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By: Lance Looper on June 19th, 2024

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What is Oxygen Cleaning and Why is it Important?

Oxygen | safety

If you haven’t yet heard, Ratermann added full service oxygen cleaning to its roster of reliable solutions earlier this year, going one step further in providing exceptional one-stop service for customers. While you may already know that oxygen applications demand high purity, you may not know what oxygen cleaning entails or exactly how important it is. 


Full service oxygen cleaning

What is oxygen cleaning?

Essentially, oxygen cleaning is a process that removes any contaminants (grease, oil, organic matter, chemicals, scaling, etc.) from any components that will be used in a liquid or gas oxygen application. It must be performed in a controlled, clean environment with precautions taken to eliminate any particulates like dust or hair, or any traces of contaminants like oil or lubricants. 

What are the risks from contaminants?

Oxygen-rich systems are highly flammable, and certain contaminants can cause fire or even explosions. Oxygen on its own is not flammable, but it causes other materials to burn more quickly and explosively. When oil, grease, and other particles or lubricants are present in an oxygen system, the buildup can cause blockages that lead to fire or explosion.

Any environment with over 23.5% oxygen by volume is considered an oxygen-rich setting with increased risk of fire or ignition. As the percentage of oxygen increases, so does the risk of fire. Thus, sterile equipment and stringent protocols are critical for safety.

What are the most common contaminants?

The Standard Guide for Cleanliness Levels and Cleaning Methods for Materials and Equipment Used in Oxygen-Enriched Environments (ASTM G93) details three categories for contaminants and common examples:

  • Organic: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), hydrocarbon oils and greases
  • Inorganic: Phosphates, acids & solvents, nitrates, water-based detergents and cutting oils
  • Particulates: Welding slag, dust, fibers, lint, etc.

CGA G-4.1 also lays out a comprehensive explanation of oxygen cleaning, ongoing maintenance and employee training, among other important standards and best practices.

Get peace of mind with Ratermann’s oxygen cleaning service.

We offer full service oxygen cleaning in our Houston, TX facility, and can ensure your components are 100% ready and safe for oxygen service before shipping. 

Learn more about our new oxygen cleaning service, as well as our other new products and services (ASME test bench, DK-Lok Fittings, oxygen-ready piping and fittings).


Want to know more? Contact us!