Surface treatment supplier Chemetall has successfully introduced Gardoclean S 5411 at several automotive OEMs. The new cleaner is free of silicate and borate and, the company says, offers enhanced occupational safety and is easy to handle. The multi-metal compatible cleaner offers optimized performance, especially on steel substrates. The technology is suitable as part of zinc-phosphate processes and the Oxsilan thin-film technology. Dietmar Chmielewski, vice-president, technology at Chemetall, said “Substances like boric acid and disodium borate are already listed on the REACH SVHC candidate list and a ban is expected on cleaners containing these substances. With Gardoclean S 5411 we have developed an innovative solution that meets today’s and tomorrow’s market demands with additional benefits for the users.” The new cleaning technology enables lower consumption rates and increased productivity while being a very robust and sustainable process. It also allows a reduction in temperature as well as cleaning time, and so offers energy savings and productivity gains. Although silicates support excellent cleaning performance, they may cause dry-on marks and paint defects on the substrate surface. These defects must be addressed manually, which can be very costly. Furthermore, silicate-containing cleaners cannot be used when pretreating aluminum during thin-film processes, as they inhibit the required etching of the aluminium surface. Gardoclean S 5411 offers a sustainable solution for the automotive industry and all others that need to enhance their cleaning performance.