Fused Quartz Handling and Cleaning Procedures

As with any high purity material, care should be taken in using the correct procedures in handling, using and cleaning fused quartz.  Reasonable care will extend the performance and lifetime of fused quartz vessels and components.  NIOSH approved corrosive acid handling equipment, i.e. protective gloves, eyewear, apron, and safety precautions should be used at all times when using the cleaning methods.

Pyromatics recommends that fused quartz be cleaned by immersion in a 10%/V hydrofluoric acid/deionized water solution for no more than 5 minutes in order to remove surface impurities.  As an alternative to hydrofluoric acid, a 7%/wt ammonium bifluoride/deionized water solution may be used with an exposure time of no more than 10 minutes.  This etching stage will remove an infinitesimal portion of the quartz exterior while eliminating virtually all surface contaminants.

The parts should be run through a deionized water rinse after cleaning.  This rinse should consist of several immersions into clean deionized water, followed by a heated drying cycle to reduce the chance of airborne contamination.

To lessen the possibility of contaminant pickup during the cleaning process, it is suggested that clean cotton gloves be worn whenever handling “clean” quartz.  (Acid proof protective gloves should be worn when in the etching stage.)

 

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