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Substitute for Wax Maskant in Plating



Greetings! I'm trying to help the Air Force (AF) find an acceptable 
substitute for the use of a protective wax in plating and other 
metal finishing  operations.  Specifically, jet engine blade repairs 
involve injecting wax into the interior of the blade to protect it 
during two operations: 1) while the coating is being removed by 
acidic stripping, 2) prior to laser drilling to protect the blade 
while air holes are being drilled.  After metal finishing, theAF  
typically uses perchloroethylene to remove the wax.  In order to meet 
the EO 12856 goals, the AF is actively searching for a substitute for 
perc that could remove the wax.  

Does anyone know of a substitute for the wax that would be
compatible with a  less toxic/hazardous degreaser? The AF has tested
and evaluated dozens of cleaners already (with no success) and is now 
looking more closely at physical cleaning methods.  This issue 
applies to many engine parts not just the blades I mentioned above.  
I've left a message on the National Metal Finishing Resource Center 
already and searched EnviroSense.  Thanks and have a good weekend!


Dina Li
Sr. Pollution Prevention Specialist
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
Pollution Prevention Division (MS-4-3)
11251 Roger Bacon Dr, Reston, VA  20190
(703) 318-4603 fax (703) 736-0826 or (703) 709-1044
dina.w.li@cpmx.saic.com