What Is Oxygen Cleaning?
Clean equipment that comes into contact with oxygen requires specific procedures to ensure that nothing is left on the surface that could interact with oxygen.
There are two types of cleaning that are pertinent for oxygen equipment, cleaning with oxygen compatible cleaners and cleaning equipment for oxygen service.
Oxygen can react with any residue, particles, dirt, oil, grease or other contaminants that are left on the surface of equipment the comes into contact with oxygen, such as the cylinder surface. The body of a cylinder or a regulator for example, should be cleaned with chemicals that will leave nothing behind that will cause an interaction with oxygen.
Surfaces that come into direct contact with oxygen, such as the valve opening on a cylinder, the inside of a cylinder or oxygen connection, must not only be cleaned with an oxygen compatible cleaner, but also with special equipment and processes to ensure that the surface has no particles left behind. If there are even small particles on the wetted surface, the speed of the oxygen coming out of the valve, could actually ignite the particles. The procedure you’ll have to follow for this is found in CGA G 4.1.
According to FDA guidance and industry standards, soap and water solutions used to leak test are not recommended and may even prove dangerous. Soap contains animal fats ( lard ) which burns easily and explosive-like in oxygen. Synthetic soap such as dish washing soap (Dawn, Joy, etc.) contain petroleum ( oil ). Some soaps contain both. These solutions leave residues on the valve that, when they come in contact with high pressure oxygen, can ignite and cause a fire.
The FDA requires 2 leak tests during the fill process, one while the cylinder is filling and another on the cylinder after they have been filled. This test must be done on every cylinder, to ensure that the contents of the cylinder is not leaking out, and that the patient will receive the full contents of the cylinder.
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