Delivering Fluid Sealing Solutions Since 1972

What is Oxygen Cleaning

What is Oxygen Cleaning / Component Cleaning?

Oxygen Cleaning is a method that helps remove a variety of contaminants from components that are intended for use with either liquid or gaseous oxygen.

These contaminants include oil, grease, organic or inorganic, and scale and if left alone they can cause blockages and potential risks including fires. Contaminants in an oxygen-rich system pose the most serious risk. In industrial applications, Oxygen Cleaning eradicates the risk of explosion and fire danger whilst also allowing the system to operate in its cleanest and most sterile form.

For large volume components, M Barnwell Services provide an Oxygen Cleaning service that is utilized by the Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage, Biotechnology, Automotive and Manufacturing industries where a sterile product is critical.

Please note that the Oxygen Cleaning Service is only available on products purchased from M Barnwell Services. For more information contact a member of the team.

The Oxygen Clean Process

The majority of Oxygen Cleaning is performed in a controlled clean area, where there is no risk of dust, oil, hair, lubricants and other manufacturer contaminants.

The cleaning can be carried out in a number of ways but the method depends primarily on the nature of the contaminant and the requirements set by the standard or customer specifications.

These include:

  • Acid Cleaning
  1. Hydrochloric Acid
    Suggested only for carbon and minor alloys
    It will strip plating and coating including chrome, zinc, and cadmium
    It will remove scale, oxides and rust
  2. Phosphoric Acid
    Removes light rust, fluxes and oxides
  3. Chromic / Nitric Acid
    Recommended for aluminium, copper, and their alloys
    It will remove oils
    It is mainly used for brightening, deoxidizing and removing alkaline residues
  • Mechanical Cleaning

This includes Sandblasting, grinding and wire brushing
Removes paint, scale, welding slag and coatings

  • Aqueous Cleaning
  1. Hot Water and Steam
    Removes water-soluble containments
  2. Alkaline / Caustic
    Can be sprayed, immersed, hand-applied or by agitation or ultrasonic agitation
    Removes hydrocarbon oils, grease and wax
  • Semi Aqueous Cleaning

Hydrocarbon solvent and water emulsion
Removes heavy grease wax and oils

  • Vapour

At low temperatures, a vaporized solvent is used on the product
An ideal solution for areas that are hard to reach

  • Solvent Washing

Used to re-clean areas as warranted by inspection
It uses alcohol or other solvents

What Does Oxygen Cleaning Remove?

Oxygen Cleaning essentially removes everything that would cause a risk. This includes contaminants that cause combustion, autoignition or affects the purity of the product. According to the Standard Guide for Cleanliness Levels and Cleaning Methods for Materials and Equipment Used in Oxygen-Enriched Environments (ASTM G93) there are three types of contaminants. These are:

  • Particulate – Lint, fibres, dust, welding slag
  • Inorganics – Nitrates, phosphates, acids/solvents, water-based detergents and cutting oils
  • Organics – VOC compounds, hydrocarbon oils and greases

After Cleaning Process

As a consequence of the clean, some components require an inspection process. This will follow on from cleaning but before assembly. This process is to ensure that the products meet the minimum requirements and can be carried out in a number of ways:

  • Visual Inspection – White light is used to detect visible particles and Ultraviolet light is used for fluorescent particles
  • Wipe Test – A clean lint-free cloth is lightly rubbed on surface areas. The cloth is then examined under white and ultraviolet light for particles
  • Water Break Test – Surfaces are sprayed with clean water to see if it is free of oily residue. The water will bead up into small droplets if the oil is remaining
  • Solvent Filter Inspection – The inaccessible area is rinsed with a solvent which is then fitted to capture any remaining contaminants. The filter is then inspected with a white and ultraviolet light
  • Quantitative Inspection – This involves evaporation of the cleaning solvent to determine the weight of the remaining particles. The ones remaining will be the contaminants


M Barnwell Service’s Class 10,000 cleanroom facility reflects our commitment to meeting customers’ increased demands for cleanroom processing with heightened quality assurance.

Highlights of our cleanroom facility include:

  • Complete processing including production, ultrasonic washing, packing and labelling area
  • Guaranteed ultra – clean environment to ISO Class 7 standards
  • Bulk product storage
  • Bespoke branding potential
  • Fast and efficient processes

Located at our HQ in Birmingham the European Standard Class 7 of ISO14644-1 is equivalent to AFS (American Federal Standard) 209E cleanroom. We are committed to providing sealing solutions to industries where precision manufacturing, testing and assembly are critical.

You can find out more about the Cleanroom here

If you require further information about our range of products and/or services, please contact a member of the team.

E & OE.  M Barnwell Services endeavour to make sure that all content is correct. The information has been gathered from manufacturing partners.