A guide to critical cleaning of oxygen components and services

The COVID pandemic of 2020-2023 increased the demand for critical cleaning of oxygen components to treat patients with symptoms.
ESHER, U.K. - April 4, 2024 - PRLog -- The need for respirators and installation of new and extended oxygen systems in hospitals, clinics and care homes with the provision of ancillary pressure reduction and delivery systems led to a massive increase in demand for the valves, fittings and pipelines which control the supplies from storage tanks and cylinders, all of which needed critical cleaning.


Critical cleaning of oxygen components is a crucial process to ensure the safety and reliability of systems that handle oxygen, especially in industries like aerospace, healthcare, and industrial gas production.

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As part of the programme of worldwide harmonisation of industry standards, the 'European Industrial Gases Association', (EIGA) published Cleaning of equipment for Oxygen Service Doc 33/18. The publication was developed from the Compressed Gas Association Document G-4.1 Cleaning Equipment for Oxygen Service (https://portal.cganet.com/Publication/Details.aspx?id=G-4.1) by the 'Compressed Gas Association'.

Specific consideration must be given to the following:
  • Cleaning standard to be achieved (how clean is clean?).
  • Cleaning procedure.
  • Solvent cleaner to be used.
  • Surface properties of the parts to be cleaned.
  • Shape and geometry of the material.
  • Types and amounts of contaminants.
  • The degree of automation required.

The size and capacity of the equipment is determined by:
  • The size of the material or components to be cleaned.
  • The required throughput.

The major significant advantage of solvent cleaning is that vaporised solvent is always pure, and the contaminants remain in the boiling liquid section which requires only periodic cleaning out, thus causing a reduction in the frequency of system downtime. The effectiveness of a particular cleaning agent depends upon the method used, the nature and type of the contaminants and the characteristics of the article being cleaned, such as size, shape, and material. Final evaluation of the cleaning agent should include testing of actual products and production processes. All equipment must, together with the cleaning chemistry, comply as a minimum with current legislation for health, safety and environment. The efficiency is controlled by utilising typical samples, written procedures and requested criteria for cleanliness.

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