Technical Articles Archives

Latex Gloves – Are You Allergic?

Many industrial manufacturing environments require workers to wear protective gloves, including during electronics and medical device production and assembly. Latex gloves not only protect workers from harmful chemicals but also protect products from worker contact and contamination during manufacturing Read more

ST 925 SMT Rework System–Three favorites combined into one nice savings

Save a few steps--and some money--with the Pace 925 SMT Rework System Pace has introduced a new low-cost “combination” system ideal for surface mount technology (SMT) rework. It’s worth adding up the savings by comparing the a la carte prices Read more

Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything

You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful Read more

8 Things to Know About the HCFC-225 Usage Ban

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, Cleaners and Aerosols, Green Initiative, Industry News, Technical Articles Leave a comment

On January 1, 2015, HCFC-255 will be banned for usage under the Clean Air Act per Montreal Protocol. Be prepared for the impact these new regulations will have on your manufacturing processes – read on to discover the facts and learn more about what comes next.

1. Why is HCFC-225 being phased out? HCFCs are hydrochlorofluorocarbons, substances which are known to deplete the ozone layer. Under the Montreal Amendment, there must be a 90% reduction in the use of HCFCs prior to 2015. In the United States, the EPA enforces these regulations under the Clean Air Act.

2. What exactly is HCFC-225? Commercially known as AK-225, it is a mixture of HCFC-225ca and HCFC-225cb isomers. With good solvency and thermal stability, AK-225 is useful for precision cleaning and vapor degreasing applications.

3. How is the phase-out defined? In accordance with the Clean Air Act, beginning January 1, 2015 HCFC-225 can no longer be imported, sold, transported or used as a liquid solvent.

4. Are there exceptions? HCFC-225 formulations that have already been packaged into aerosol containers prior to the cutoff date may continue to be purchased and used until supplies are exhausted.

5. What happens after January 1, 2015? Following this date, products containing HCFC-225 can manufactured indefinitely ONLY when the substance has been used, recovered and recycled.

6. How will the phase-out affect the products I use? The following chart illustrates the ban’s effect on commercial products. These may include chemicals currently used in your facility from Techspray, MicroCare, Chemtronics, MG Chemicals and more.

Products in use after 1/1/15  Made before 1/1/15           Made after 1/1/15
Blend of virgin AK-225 in aerosol  YES  NO
Pure (neat) virgin AK-225 in aerosol  YES  NO
Blend of virgin AK-225 in bulk pkg  NO  NO
Pure (neat) virgin AK-225 in bulk pkg  NO  NO
Reclaimed AK-225 in any pkg  YES  YES

7. Is there a replacement for HCFC-225? The EPA has already approved more than 300 substitutes for HCFC-225, some more viable options than others. Techspray Precision-V products offer an environmentally sound alternative with no current usage restrictions, and the Novec line from 3M contains no ozone-depleting components.

8. What about stockpiling? While currently prohibited, the EPA is considering a proposed rule that would allow consumers to use bulk or bulk blends of HCFC-225 inventoried prior to December 31, 2014 beyond the cutoff date and into 2015. A final decision has not yet been announced.

What Does Gamma Irradiation Mean for Your Cleanroom?

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, Cleaners and Aerosols, Technical Articles Leave a comment

The cleanroom is the most vital component of your clean manufacturing process, so naturally you’d want to protect it. But how can you be sure the products you choose to maintain this delicate environment are truly sterile? That’s where gamma irradiation comes in. In simple terms, gamma irradiation is the use of ionizing radiation to eliminate contaminants, allowing for effective sterilization of airtight packages and other less accessible areas.

What does this mean for your cleanroom? Gamma irradiation is compatible with a wide range of formulas and materials, and is powerful enough to penetrate even hermetically sealed packages. With its readily predictable dose, gamma irradiation is also easy to validate and is residue free. So you can rest assured that essential cleaning products and protective garments aren’t actually contaminating your critical environment.

We offer a range of gamma irradiated products for the cleanroom, from gloves to wipers and isopropyl alcohol. Protect the integrity of your controlled environment and save today with All-Spec.

3M Dual Conductor Wrist Strap Monitors: Which Works Best For You?

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, ESD News, Static Control Tips and Tricks, Technical Articles Leave a comment

Choosing the right workstation monitor is an essential component of any effective ESD solution. 3M offers a range of dual conductor wrist strap monitoring options designed to help protect static sensitive applications. Read on to discover which style works best for your working environment.

724 Workstation Monitor (TM724)Continuously monitors the resistance of two operators and work surface ground connections.

725 Portable Wrist Strap Monitor (TM725) – Compact battery-powered unit continuously monitors a single operator and wrist strap grounding system.

790 Static Monitor (TM790) – Small, dual-operator monitoring device mounts easily onto handling equipment, testers and auto insertion equipment.

Iron Man™ Plus Workstation Monitor (CTC331) – Single-operator unit measures voltage directly on circuit boards during assembly, as well as the entire work bench, wrist strap and dissipative mats.

WS Aware Dual Workstation Monitors (CTC061 & CTC062) – Continuously monitors all grounding parameters for dual operators to assess and pinpoint ESD safety.


5 Myths About LED Lighting

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, Technical Articles Leave a comment

What makes LED lamps different from their fluorescent and incandescent cousins? Just how efficient are they? Here we separate fact from fiction to reveal five common myths surrounding LED illumination.

Myth #1: LEDs Don’t Produce Heat
LED light sources actually do produce radiant heat, although dramatically less than conventional incandescent lamps. Proper thermal management is required to achieve optimum efficiency and intensity.

Myth #2: LEDs Aren’t Worth the Cost Over Incandescents
With the 2,000 hour lifespan of incandescent lamps versus the lifespan of LEDs – which easily reaches the 30,000 hour mark – LEDs are the very clear winners.

Myth #3: Fluorescent Is As Good As LED Lighting
Every fluorescent lamp contains highly poisonous mercury, so if the lamp breaks the surrounding environment will be exposed. Linear fluorescents have a maximum lifespan of 20,000 hours – 10,000 less than the lower-end expectancy for LEDs.

Myth #4: LED Life Spans Can Reach Over 100,000 Hours
Only in perfect laboratory conditions. However, if designed properly, LEDs will work for decades without catastrophic failure. The lifespan of the LED depends on thermal management of the lamp system.

Myth #5: LED Lamps Are Hard on the Eyes
Properly designed LED lamps are fully dimmable, and easy to adjust for users who find their brightness too harsh. LED lamps without dimming capabilities may have a shortened lifespan.

What Makes It A Cleanroom Chair?

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, Industry News, Technical Articles Leave a comment

In the cleanroom, particle control is essential – and from benches to brushes, the equipment you use plays a key role. But what’s the difference between standard lab seating and a cleanroom chair?

Constructed of materials like polyurethane and vinyl to meet strict cleanroom class standards, these specially engineered chairs feature coated frames, sealed upholstery and flatter surfaces to retain particles and prevent them from accumulating. Typically ergonomic in design, cleanroom chairs enhance comfort and performance during long shifts and are often resistant to water, chemicals and heat.

We carry a wide range of seating to meet Class 10-10000 cleanroom standards from brands like Bevco, Biofit, Gibo/Kodama and more. Find the perfect fit for your controlled environment at All-Spec, online and in stock now.