When a new cleaning product is going to be launched on the market, the most important thing is to know both the degree of cleaning and its compatibility with the materials with which it is going to be used. It is useless to have a cleaner that removes all stains from, for example, metals, if it produces corrosion and damages the piece. The negative effects can be very varied and unexpected. Trying to test all the materials would require a lot of time and resources. Therefore, it is necessary to make a good selection of the most important parameters in each case and try to cover the widest range of possibilities.
Next, we tell you how we validate cleaning products at ATRIA.
Stage 1: Selection of cleaning products
The first step in validating a cleaning product is to select which product or products to work with. Once the product and its properties are known, it is easier to define the rest of the variables for the validation tests.
It is usually advisable to use a generic cleaner whose approximate behavior is known, in this way, the product to be validated can be compared with the behavior of the generic that we will take as a reference.
If you want to validate several cleaning products at the same time, it will be important to know if they have any incompatibility, since, if so, they cannot be subjected to the same validation tests and individual tests will have to be designed for each case.
Stage 2: Selection of the substrates to be cleaned
Once the cleaning product or products to be validated have been chosen, the next step is to select the substrates to work on. In the case of generic cleaners, representative materials will have to be selected, such as metals, plastics and ceramics. In the case of being specific products to clean a certain substrate, that type of substrate will be chosen for the tests.
If you want to be more exhaustive, within a specific material, for example, wood, you can choose various types that are the most representative such as pine, cedar, maple, beech, etc…
Stage 3: Selection of cleaning product validation tests
The tests for the validation of the cleaning product depend on the substrate to be cleaned. For example, if we want to validate a rust remover on steel, we must quantify the amount of rust that remains on the surface after using the cleaner; while, if we want to validate a glass cleaner, we can do it by checking the transparency of the glass after being cleaned.
Below we describe some of the most useful validation tests we work with at ATRIA:
Compatibility trial by default
The first thing to achieve when using a cleaning product is to remove stains. There are products that, due to their own formulation, may not be compatible with different materials and cause discoloration, corrosion, opacity, etc. To verify these incompatibilities, abandonment tests are frequently used, which consist of leaving a certain amount of the cleaning product in contact with the different materials for long periods of time, which can range from hours to days. This type of test can be done under standard conditions, or under specific conditions of light, temperature, humidity, or other environmental parameters that may influence the compatibility of the cleaning product with the surface.
Ease of cleaning test
It consists of depositing a fixed amount of a representative stain on the surface to be cleaned and using a fixed amount of the cleaning product to try to remove the stain. By doing this, performance between different cleaning products can be compared. You can see an example of this type of test in the following project developed by ATRIA, in which an abrasion meter was used to maintain constant cleaning conditions between two different substrates
How do we measure if cleaning products affect the material?
Once the validation tests have been carried out, the possible interaction that the cleaning material may have had with the surfaces to be cleaned must be measured in a standard and regulated manner. Next, we leave you a list of measures that can be done to determine if the material has been affected by the cleaner:
It allows to measure the color coordinates of the material surface before and after coming into contact with the cleaner. In this way, it is possible to calculate the color difference after the test, and determine if there has been an appreciable change to the human eye.
It makes it possible to measure the amount of gloss on the material surface before and after coming into contact with the cleaner. In this way, the difference in gloss after the test can be calculated, and it can be determined if the gloss of the surface has changed in an appreciable way for the human eye.
Allows measurement of the visibility of fingerprints on the surface of the material before and after contact with the cleaner. This makes it possible to determine if the cleaning product makes fingerprints less visible, and therefore the surface appears to be cleaner than it was before the cleaning product was used.
These are the most important tests, but many other tests can be carried out depending on whether you want to validate a specific property of the cleaning product or its interaction with the materials to be cleaned.
Do you want help validating your cleaning product? Contact us!
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