A Shortcut for Screw Cleaning
What is your process for routinely cleaning a screw or removing baked-on, hard plastic residue. You know, that stuff that is suddenly flaking and creating specks and streaks in your parts? You know it can take hours to thoroughly and properly clean a screw once plastic hardens. I’ve come across molders using brass screwdrivers, hammers and torches to remove every last speck of stubborn residue. For most resins it doesn’t have to be that hard.
Spray, wait, soften and remove
I travel a lot and am in molding facilities and tool rooms talking to the guys who keep a plant running. Periodically I come across a really smart idea. You know, that idea that seems so simple and obvious you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself.
On recent visit to a molder, I was discussing mold and metal cleaning. As the discussion progressed we touched on cleaning the screw. The maintenance technician said, “I want you to see something.” He pulled out a product that removes resin build up on a mold while it is still hot and in the press. Resin build up while in production can be a big issue, slowing down production when the job isn’t yet complete or it’s too soon to pull the mold for maintenance. This cleaner softens the resin built up on the mold and then get molded off in the next cycle.
Well, what he does when it’s time to clean the screw is keep the screw hot so the plastic doesn’t harden and make it impossible to remove the screw from the barrel. So while the screw is hot he immediately sprays the cleaner intended for molds onto the plastic build up on the screw. Then he waits a few minutes. The spray works just like it does on the mold. The baked-on resin wrapped around the screw softens and gels. Then it can be easily pulled off.
Now, it doesn’t work this perfectly on all resins, but it does on most. I’ve now given this cleaning shortcut to several molders who have found it works for them just as it did for the “inventor” of this cleaning trick.
Slide Product’s has a product that works. It is appropriately called Resin Remover and has been part of Slide’s line for decades. Originally designed to remove resin on a hot mold and help keep the mold in production as long as possible, it shouldn’t be surprising someone has found another a great use for the cleaner to make their job easier. It also helps you avoid using harsher resin removal methods that could damage the screw.
It’s just so simple.