When it comes to choosing a vacuum impregnation sealant, there are two options: recoverable or recyclable. This blog defines these options, and explains some of the benefits of choosing Godfrey & Wing sealants.
Recoverable sealants are those that are recaptured for reuse before impregnated parts are moved to the wash station. The recovered sealant maintains its original form, can be reused immediately and does not require restoration.
Recycled sealants are salvaged from the wash station. This recycled sealant needs to be run through a process where it’s separated from the wash water, and treated to reconstitute its original properties.
Godfrey & Wing’s sealants are recoverable and offer the following benefits:
- Purity–Recoverable sealants remain in their original state during the impregnation process. They can be used multiple times without any additional processing to remove wash water or other contaminants.
- No VOCs–The methacrylate polymers used in recoverable sealants have a low concentration of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). This results in minimal emissions during the impregnation process.
- Part Quality–Because recoverable sealants remain pure, the risk of sealant contamination is eliminated. This helps ensure parts will be properly sealed, whether they’re impregnated during the first cycle with a batch of sealant, or the 50th cycle. Additionally, there will be no stickiness or flake contamination on the part surface, which can occur with recyclable sealants.
- Sealant Storage–Uncatalyzed recoverable sealant can be stored at ambient temperature. Only the catalyst paste is refrigerated. This is unlike recyclable sealants, which require the stocking and storage of most chemicals including sealant, refrigerated catalyst paste, wash water conditioner, and chemical adjuster.
- Less in-plant chemistry–Recoverable sealants are automatically returned to the impregnation module and immediately available for re-use. Unlike recyclable sealants, they do not have to be put through a costly and capital-intensive process to remove wash water and reconstituted.
- No pre-cleaning module required–A vacuum impregnation system requirement for recyclable sealants is that the system needs a pre-cleaning module. The pre-cleaning module prepares the parts for the impregnation process in order to control unknown, outside contamination, which could have a negative impact on the reconstituted sealant performance. Since recoverable sealants do not require a pre-cleaning module, your company will not have increased capital cost, high energy cost, disposal cost for emulsions from the pre-wash unit as well as additional equipment to maintain.
- Cleaner system and less maintenance–After impregnation, residual recoverable sealants are removed prior to the wash station. On the other hand, recyclable sealants are removed in the wash station, where they are emulsified in wash water. Parts are therefore washed in water saturated will retain residual sealant. This can result in a “poor wash” where sealant ladened wash water remains on the part. This is frequently referred to as “sealant contamination”.
Recoverable Sealants are Green
Recoverable sealants are truly green and preserve the environment. They maximize casting recovery while decreasing risk to both operator safety and the environment. They provide a significant advantage compared to recyclable sealants.
Choosing a sealant type is a critical step in purchasing in-house vacuum impregnation equipment. As systems are engineered to work with either recoverable OR recyclable sealant, it’s a decision that needs to be made carefully—the decision cannot be reversed at a later date without investing in new equipment. Recoverable sealant is clearly the best choice for manufacturers looking to control costs, and align with sustainability best practices.