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Metal surfaces must often be cleaned before subsequent operations to remove unwanted substances such as pigmented drawing compounds, unpigmented oil and grease, chips and cutting fluids, polishing and buffing compounds, rust and scale, and miscellaneous contaminants. The article describes common cleaning processes, including alkaline, electrolytic, solvent, emulsion, molten salt bath, ultrasonic and acid cleaning as well as pickling and abrasive blasting. It also explains how to select the appropriate process for a given soil type and surface composition.

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