Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lab update of activities for December 2008

Alternative Cleaning Testing
We have run 67 trials for 18 companies. These include a machine construction company, a machining company; a tool manufacturer; numerous chemical companies, mostly vendors of products looking for Green Seal certification; a nano-chemical manufacturing company (boron) who has decided upon an aqueous cleaning product; and an electronics manufacturer.

Six case studies are in the works. Many of the companies have provided additional on-site testing results which we are currently working on to included in the papers.

One case study is for a company that is switching to using green seal floor stripper on their parts. This will replace their current mechanical process. Based on the success of the project, the company is currently working on a new cleaning project with lab.

A second case study was focused on replacing IPA for specialty glass cleaning. The lab had identified a potential cleaner that was being piloted by the company. The company got feedback from their customers that there was now issues with the a haze forming on the surface. The lab and the company are continuing to look for pH neutral alternative glass cleaner.

Product Certification Testing
Several companies have been working with the lab to have products evaluated for performance so that the products can be certified by various environmental standards. Testing has been conducted for Green Seal certification for GS 8, 34 and 37. Additional work has been done for product certification for EPA's DfE Formulators project.

CleanerSolutions Database
The CleanerSolutions database was recently updated with the latest batch of testing results for end users and vendor projects. In addition, minor changes to the layout of the home page have been completed. In the works will be the addition of a guided search that will help users in a stepwise manner determine what type of cleaning equipment and chemistry would best suit their needs.

Outreach
The participated in the recent TURI Continuing Education Conference held November 20 in Framingham. The session the lab ran included information on the lab's services and the CleanerSolutions database.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TURI Continuing Education Conference

TCE Substitutions
The TURI Laboratory will discuss options for those companies using TCE (now a higher hazard chemical) for cleaning applications. The results of projects attempting to replace TCE in cleaning applications will be discussed and case studies presented on how the lab provides technical assistance in the lab and on site.

For more on the conference

Friday, October 31, 2008

Heat Treat Symposium

On October 29th and 30th the lab presented on two topics at the ASM Heat Treat Symposium focused on cleaning. First, the lab talked about how the lab's provides technical service to companies looking to find a safer cleaning process. On the second day, an over view of the lab's database, CleanerSolutions, was presented to the attendees.

About 50 people were there from various heat treating companies and academic groups.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lab update of activities for October 2008

Alternative Cleaning Testing
We have run 50 trials for 11 companies. These include Machine Construction Company; Machining Company; Tool Manufacturer; 4 Chemical Companies; Nano manufacturing (boron); Electronics Mfr.

We were lucky enough to be able to conduct some testing off site at Dawson-MacDonald for laser ablation evaluation. The testing was conducted by Adapt Laser Mid Atlantic. This process was successful cleaning method for the ceramic parts coated with carbon deposits in wafer manufacturing process.
We are nearly half way to our goal of working with 25 companies in FY 09.

Case Studies for 5 companies are in the works. Three of these are currently being reviewed by the companies.

DIY Household Cleaners
We have completed preliminary EHS profile of various components that can be used to make your own cleaning products. We are working on “What Does This Mean” section to help you understand what the material safety data sheet information is trying to tell you about the chemicals. We reworked layout of EHS web pages. Our plans are to conduct more lab performance testing of the formulations.

Outreach
We recently sent out a lab newsletter. Are you interested in signing up to receive this? Let us know

The lab will be at the Cleaning Requirements for Heat Treatment: Developments & Applications sponsored by ASM Heat Treating Society on October 29-30, 2008 at WPI. We will be presenting on the lab's assistance process and the on-line cleaning results database, CleanerSolutions.


Database
We are currently in the process of adding updates and new features to the database as well. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Database Training Videos

The new lab training videos on how to use the database search features are now on the CleanerSolutions website. Check them out...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lab update of activities for September 2008

Alternative Cleaning Testing
We have conducted 36 trials for 8 companies. The general types of companies we have worked with this month include: Machine Construction Company; Machining Company; Tool Manufacturer; 3 Chemical Companies; Nano manufacturing
5 Case Studies in the works.

DIY Household cleaners
Completed preliminary EHS profile of components. Now working on “What Does This Mean” section to help with interpreting data.
We will be conducting more lab testing for performance soon. We also will be having volunteers test these formulations in their homes.

Contract Testing
Conducted follow up testing for product trying to pass Green Seal GS37 and GS 8 standards

Outreach
Cleaning Requirements for Heat Treatment: Developments & Applications
ASM Heat Treating Society
October 29-30, 2008
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

TURI Continuing Education Conference
Framingham, MA
November 20, 2008

Visit by EPA Region 1 to lab to discuss work on TCE grant in Rhode Island
Summary of work: 12 companies
26,000 pounds of TCE being used before working with us
Now less than 7,000 pounds
Read more on this project

Database - CleanerSolutions
Contract in place to begin work on adding new features

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Upcoming Events for Lab staff

At the end of October, the lab will be presenting at the ASM Heat Treating Society's
Cleaning Requirements for Heat Treatment: Development & Applications at WPI, Worcester, MA.

Learn the latest developments in cleaning requirements, technologies and evaluation methods from the experts in heat treating. Go to their site to learn more.


In November the lab will be doing a session at the TURI Continuing Education Conference in Framingham, MA. The materials covered will focus on the high hazard chemicals, specifically TCE. More information...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

TCE Reduction in RI

Some of the information from the lab's second year working with the EPA Region 1 to reduce the use of TCE in RI companies has been made available on our TURI web pages.

So far in the two years the TURI Lab has been working with companies in RI, we have been able to reduce TCE usage by 57%. Of the 41,000 lbs of TCE being used by the companies we have worked with, in two years we have helped eliminate 23,600 lbs.

Second Year TCE work in RI

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Biobased Facility Maintenance

Information now available on our website about facility maintenance using biobased materials for floor finish stripping and hard surface cleaning. Read more on this topic...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lab update of activities for August 2008

Status of lab projects we have been working on:
Alternative Cleaning Testing
We have conducted 27 trials for 7 companies. The general types of companies we have worked with this month include: Machine Construction Company; Machining Company; Tool Manufacturer; 3 Chemical Companies; Nano manufacturing

We are
wrapping up work for 5 companies.

DIY Household cleaners
Completed EHS profile of components
Will conduct more lab testing for performance
Heidi will coordinate testing at home by TURI staff.
Posted information to website: Do it yourself home made household cleaner recipes

Contract Testing
Vendor contract testing for Green Seal GS 37 standard for 2 companies.

Outreach
ISSA Conference/mailing
Heidi attending second week of September (9/8-9/12)

Cleaning Requirements for Heat Treatment: Developments & Applications
ASM Heat Treating Society
October 29-30, 2008
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Both of us are speaking at conference
Member of the technical committee

Mobile Lab magnetic decal for site visit

Database - CleanerSolutions
Working on new updates and trouble shooting existing problems
New training videos on how to use database

Monday, August 18, 2008

TURI Lab has New Mobile Lab (Sort Of)

While the TURI lab works on funding for an actual mobile lab, the lab has been using lab technician and field implementation specialist Heidi Wilcox's Saturn Vue for the last two years as the unofficial mobile lab.

Heidi will be trading in the Saturn Vue, which has high miles on it, for a new, used 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser. It has much fewer miles and is a nice grey green color. The rear seats are removable so there will be no problem carrying equipment to companies. The Cruiser also gets better gas mileage than the Vue so we are going a little greener.

Eventually, our goal is to move up to an RV size moblie lab (see below) to facilitate easier on-site assistance to companies. Why? One of the biggest stumbling blocks associated with surface cleaning alternatives assessment is the time spent gathering and sending samples off to the laboratory to be tested and then waiting for the parts to be returned for in-house assessment. If the alternative did not work, the entire process of gather and sending samples usually has to be repeated. Over time, the flow of testing and information can become less of a priority as other non-cleaning projects arise during the down time of testing.

Through initial site visits to companies, the delivery of collected materials is facilitated by the lab personnel. The materials are taken back to the lab at the end of the site visit. This process has been found to improve the initial round of testing and keeps the project going on faster pace allowing increased potential for implementation of testing results. However, there still exists the time lag when sending products back to the client for in-house inspections and retesting if necessary. This allows the same back-shelf mentality to develop. Having testing capabilities available on-site of the client will allow for alternative assessment to proceed rapidly without losing any of the quality provided by a fixed laboratory.

The mobile laboratory would expand TURI’s capabilities on testing, demonstration, and training expertise to out-of-state audiences. Outfitted with state-of-the-art cleaning equipment, the Mobile Lab would use company parts/soils to assess cleaning and provide real-time evaluations of “greener” products. Target audiences would include businesses and other organizations that lack the time, resources, and expertise to conduct evaluations of “green” alternatives. Finally, the Mobile Lab would operate as a roving training/demonstration site for regional trade organizations, government facilities, regulatory staff, and community groups.

The TURI Lab continues to seek out funding opportunities to finance this end endeavor. Please contact us if you have any interest in this project.

Possible Layout for Mobile Lab


Thursday, August 14, 2008

GreenWise Market

The lab's cleaning program is quoted in Publix GreenWise Market August 2008 issue.
Take a peek...GreenWise What on Earth?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Do-it-Yourself Household Cleaning Recipes

The TURI Lab is working on putting together a list of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) recipes that you can use for household cleaning. Ingredients will be based on typical ingredients you find in your home. In addition, the lab will be testing how well these products work. Basic health and safety information will be linked to each of the components of the recipe. Let us know if you have a DIY recipe you want us to evaluate. Recipes and health information are now available Do-it-Yourself Household Cleaners

Friday, August 1, 2008

Plans for the upcoming year

As always, July brings on our new fiscal year where we set out our goals for the year and start new projects.

Projects for this year will include:

Industrial Cleaning Assitance - continue with on site assistance with companies

Janitorial Cleaning Evaluations - test products for performance based on Green Seal GS 37 standard

Updating CleanerSolutions database with new features, improving existing features

Work on funding source for possible Mobile Cleaning Lab to better facilitate on-site assistance and trainings on surface cleaning

Choosing a Safer Cleaning Product

Read the article on our safety screening process. This article was published in Process Cleaning magazine in March/April 2008 issue. Choosing a New Cleaning Product Based on Environmental, Health and Safety Issues

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Janitorial Cleaning

We put out a new mailing to companies that make "Green" cleaners. We are letting them know what we can provide independent evaluation of the products performance. The resulting information can be used as part of the Green Seal certification process.

See our brochure

So far we have had three companies contact us for testing their products.

What are we doing in July 2008

Currently we are wrapping up working on a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The grant is focused on providing assistance to companies in the Rhode Island that are using Trichloroethylene (TCE) for cleaning applications. The goal of the project is to reduce the amount of TCE being used by replacing with safer cleaning products or procedures. This project will be finishing in September 2008.

For more on TCE

Cleaning Database

Over the years we have compiled testing data on hundreds of cleaning products.

The database is known as the CleanerSolutions database and can be found on-line at:
www.cleanersolutions.org

For those of you that have used EPA sponsored Solvent Alternative Guide (SAGE) from the Research Triangle Institute and are looking for a replacement tool, CleanerSolutions may be what you are looking for.

Read excerpt from dissertation on the creation of this database: CleanerSolutions A Tool For Toxics Use Reduction Through Solvent Substitution In Surface Cleaning Applications. Want more on this? Email me.

Find out how to use the database using our You Tube videos




For more training
videos go to our main
website

Cleaner Cleaning at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute

Welcome to the TURI Lab blog.


We will be providing updates on what we have been working on for safer cleaning practices.


To learn more about us, visit our website at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute: