Robertson Barracks Reduces Hazardous Solvent Use with Help from Envirofluid

6th December 2019 | parts washers, safe alternatives, solvents

With help from Envirofluid’s Purasolve Parts Washing system, Robertson Barracks reduced hazardous solvent use and waste and improved user comfort and environmental outcomes.

The Situation:

Replacing hazardous solvents with safer alternatives

Robertson Barracks is a major Australian Army base located in Darwin, and home to the 1st Brigade and the 1st Aviation Regiment, along with other 1 Brigade Units and external units.

Parts washers play a vital role in maintaining Army equipment on the base, with 22 parts washers used across many workshops. The existing solvent parts washers utilised hazardous solvents, and required constant servicing to maintain, whilst generating high volumes of hazardous solvent waste

The Challenge:

Ensuring safety of workers through the use of safe alternatives to hazardous solvents

The challenge that was presented was how to eliminate the solvent waste disposal and risk to defence personnel because of the conventional solvent parts washers on the base.

The Hazards:

The potential health and safety hazards of the existing parts cleaning system included:

Potential symptoms: Acute and chronic exposure to hazardous parts cleaning solvents such as kerosene may result in CNS effects including irritability, headache, restlessness, ataxia, drowsiness, dizziness, convulsions, nausea, disorientation, coma, and death.

Health Effects: Irritating to eyes and skin. Prolonged and repeated exposure can cause burns, itching, dermatitis, rash and/or blisters. Aspiration may cause respiratory irritation. Inhalation can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs. Repeated exposure can cause bronchitis to develop with coughing, phlegm, and/or shortness of breath.

Affected Organs: May damage kidneys. Irritating to eyes, skin, nose, throat, lungs.

The Solution:

Envirofluid supplied 22 Purasolve Solvent recycling parts washers to the base through JLU-N Joint Logistics Unit North. Purasolve Parts Cleaner Solvent is a low toxicity, recyclable parts washing solution with a high flash point and low vapour pressure.

When compared to the toxic waste output of traditional parts cleaning units, the change has significantly reduced overall cost-in use to Defence. The dramatic reduction in toxic waste has also lowered the risk of health and environmental impacts relating to human exposure, spills, or accidental release.

The high flash point significantly decreases the risk of fire and explosion, whilst the low vapour pressure reduces the risk of inhalation and solvent exposure.

The Outcome:

Improving Lives

The lives of Defence personnel are improved because the Purasolve Parts Washing systems are significantly better to use, improving user comfort and the environment around the parts washers because of the reduced odours, and reduced PPE requirement. The risk of inhalation and solvent exposure are dramatically reduced or eliminated because of the low vapour pressure of the Purasolve Parts Cleaning Solvent.

Improving Business

Due to the long-term recyclable nature of the system the workshop’s parts cleaners have produced zero solvent waste output in over 4 years, significantly cutting the through life cost of ownership of the parts washers.

The risk of harm to personnel from owning parts washers is significantly reduced thereby reducing the risk of future litigation costs and ensuring maximum productivity from personnel.

Improving Innovation

The Purasolve Parts Washer constantly filters the parts cleaning solvent to less than 1 micron, eliminating cleaning of parts with dirty fluid, and the need for final cleaning with another product.

The Purasolve Parts Cleaning Solvent has been through a multi filtration process to remove light aromatics, resulting in a parts cleaner that provides the benefits of a solvent without the risks normally associated with solvents.

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