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Naval Air Systems


Paul Fritz
title: ORTA, Program Analyst
lab: Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division
state: Maryland
city: Patuxent River

phone: 301-342-5586 / 301-342-1133
fax: 301-342-1134

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Siloxane Solvent Compositions,
Low-VOC/HAP-Free Non-Aqueous Solvent

Synopsis of Technology:
The invention describes a new solvent cleaner, NAVSOLVE TM. The cleaner is characterized by low volatile organic compound (low-VOC) content and free of hazardous air pollutants (HAP-free). The invention incorporates the advantages of a solvent based cleaner, while offering the Low VOC/HAP free benefits of water based or semi-aqueous cleaners. NAVSOLVE TM is an environmentally friendly "green solvent" used to clean grease and hydraulic fluids.

Industrial solvents are used as component ingredients in formulated products, or as processing aids in manufacturing. Annual U.S. solvents demand is about 12 billion pounds and valued at about $5 billion. Demand will grow modestly but the mix of solvents will continue to change dramatically under environmental and regulatory pressure designed to reduce emissions of ODS (Ozone Depleting Substances), VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and HAPs (Hazardous Air Pollutants).
Due to regulatory pressure, traditional products and processes that utilize conventional solvents have been reformulated and redesigned to replace or reduce unacceptable solvents; or recover and recycle solvents in closed systems to eliminate emissions. This has significantly impacted all solvent markets in manufacturing, transportation and construction industries.
As a result of these changes, market opportunities are emerging for higher value
specialty solvents, environmentally friendly "green solvents", and conventional solvents that are regulation exempt to replace conventional hydrocarbon and chlorinated solvents.

Market growth projections for most conventional solvent applications are modest to flat. Green solvent usage, however, in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing segments are projected to grow significantly due to environmental pressures, growing economics favoring green solvents and expanded development effort to use more green products.
This will happen in all primary use markets in manufacturing – paints and coatings, printing inks, adhesives, cleaning products, construction and transportation. Although the use of conventional solvents will continue to dominate these markets, green solvent use is projected to grow from 6% of demand in 1995 to 14% by 2010. This growth will be assisted by the higher prices of petrochemical solvents that began escalating in 2004 as a result of record high pricing of crude oil and natural gas feedstocks.

(Source: "Solvents: A Market Opportunity Study", December 2007, Stephen G. Wildes, United Soybean Board)

Full Technology Description
The invention describes a new solvent cleaner, NAVSOLVE TM. The cleaner is characterized by low volatile organic compound (low-VOC) content and free of hazardous air pollutants (HAP-free). The invention incorporates the advantages of a solvent based cleaner, while offering the Low VOC/HAP free benefits of water based or semi-aqueous cleaners.

Cold solvent cleaning of aircraft components is performed at organizational, intermediate and depot levels and usually takes the form of either spray sinks or batch-loaded dip tanks. The solvent used and widely approved is MIL-PRF-680 Type II, which has a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content of more than 750 g/l. VOCs are released during cleaning operations, contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone (photochemical smog) and can damage lung tissue, cause respiratory illness and damage vegetation. Solvent emissions are regulated regionally as well as by state and national regulations. New environmental regulations are making it increasingly more difficult to use solvents containing VOCs in weapons cleaning operations. Air Pollution Control Districts in California implement the most stringent requirements, usually stated in terms of VOC content (Rule 1171). The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has imposed restrictions limiting the use of solvents with VOC content to 25g/L for immersion cleaning processes or limiting equipment to airtight cleaning systems.

To meet the new environmental regulations, a new specification MIL-PRF-32295 entitled "Cleaner, Non-Aqueous, Low-VOC, HAP-Free," was developed to provide environmentally friendly cleaners to the Department of Defense (DoD) services. The new specification requires that a solvent must be free of HAPs, must contain no more than 25 grams per liter of VOCs, must be effective on grease and oil, must not contain ozone-depleting substances (non-ODS), must be non-toxic, must be compatible with metals and non-metals, and must be safe to use. In addition, the Aerospace National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) states that immersion-cleaning solvents must have vapor pressures less than 7 mm Hg, and wipe cleaning solvents must have vapor pressures less than 45 mm Hg. MIL-PRF-32295 classifies low vapor pressure solvents (less than 7 mm Hg) as Type I and moderate vapor pressure solvents (less than 45 mm Hg) as Type II.

Currently, NAVSOLVE TM is the only known solvent that meets the requirements of MIL-PRF-32295 Type II specification. Products qualified to the new specification will be used to clean weapon systems across DoD maintenance facilities as alternatives to MIL-PRF-680.


NAVSOLVE TM is currently at TRL 7-8 having been extensively tested by an independent laboratory. As such, it can be characterized as fully developed from the Navy's perspective

A summary of features and benefits include:
Complies with the new state and federal environmental regulations;
Provides a safer and environmentally friendly cleaner to the fleet, DoD services and commercial industries;
Low-VOC (< 25 g/L) or Exempt Solvent HAP- Free Effective (Cleaning Efficiency Equivalent to MIL-PRF-680 Cleaner);
Meets the qualification testing requirements for MIL-PRF-32295 Type II specification (Cleaner, Non-Aqueous, Low-VOC, HAP-Free);
Reduces VOC and HAP emission;
Cleans heavy greases, oils, and hydraulic flids;
High Flash Point > 140 °F;
Compatible with Metals and Non-metals;
Non-Offensive Odor;
Cost Effective;
Fast Drying;
Pricing: Unknown; however will likely cost more than current MIL-PRF-680 Cleaner.
Future Products: Effective and environmentally friendly cleaning solvents for use in military/DoD and related commercial operations.

Cleaning degreasing of vehicle mechanical parts and equipment. Automotive Industry, Aircraft Industry, Marine Industry, Dry Cleaning Industry

A few other commercially available solvents have been found meet the new requirements of MIL-PRF-32295 Type I specification. NAVSOLVE TM is the only solvent that has been found to further meet the requirements of MIL-PRF-32295 Type II specification.

Fluorinated Solvents (Exempt) High Cost, Low Cleaning Efficiency, High vapo pressure;
Bio-Based Products Low cleaning efficiency, very slow drying;
Petroleum-Based Products High VOC, Hazardoud Air Pollution, Non-Complisnce.

Ongoing coordination with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to secure inventory/classification numbers for future requisition purposes. Deal Sought