In cold season nonfreezing liquid for windshield washer along with gasoline are virtually the only consumable materials for a car. It seems impossible to not use this product, because it allows the driver to maintain visibility of the traffic situation and helps reduce the number of car accidents.
Antifreeze is used in all cars regardless of their brand and manufacture year. The use of summer liquid or water in winter is a reckless step. In this article we will not focus on all the positive qualities of windshield washing liquid, because they are very well known to drivers. We will focus on the correct and safe choice of this indispensable agent in the cold season.
What are the selection criteria?
One of the main parameters of antifreeze is its freezing temperature, which in practice may vary within the range from -5°C to -50°C, and in some cases reaches -65ºC. The specific value depends on the amount of alcohol added to the liquid for washing car windshield. Obviously, the choice of the product with a specific freezing threshold requires taking into account the specifics of the geographical location where the vehicle is used. It is clear that there can be days with record-breaking low temperatures, but overall climatic conditions remain stable for a particular territory.
In general, each manufacturer uses its own recipe for windshield washing liquid preparation, although the composition of the product is simple. It contains alcohol, antifreeze additives, dyes and perfumes. This apparent simplicity of this product preparation makes it rather attractive for arranging own production business. After all, the demand for antifreeze liquid is large and will be stable for many years. Nothing better has been invented so far, and they will hardly come up with something that will replace antifreeze in the near future.
Freezing temperature threshold is determined by the concentration of alcohol. For example, if antifreeze contains 70% of isopropyl alcohol, then it will not freeze at a temperature of -30°C.
Mixtures of different alcohols produce the best results. By adding 30% of methanol and 40% of ethanol, the same freezing threshold can be obtained.
Taking into account alcohol content
In theory, several types of alcohol may be used for windshield washer fluid production: isopropyl, ethyl, methyl, and as noted above, mixtures thereof.
It is worth understanding that absolutely all alcohols can cause certain harm to human health. Methyl alcohol is the most dangerous of them. It is poisonous at certain concentrations. For example, if 5 to 10 grams of this substance gets into a human body, it can cause blindness.
Many countries have banned the production of antifreeze containing methyl alcohol at the legislative level. That is why ethyl- and isopropyl-based antifreeze liquids are quite common.
Ethyl alcohol is most commonly used in the food industry. Isopropyl alcohol is characterized by sharp acetone odor.
When replenishing your reserves of antifreeze before the onset of the cold season, it is necessary to remember that it is always better to buy the product from the same manufacturer. The fact is that different companies use different additives that are not always compatible with each other when mixing. Therefore, mixing of antifreeze liquids from different manufacturers can lead to unpredictable consequences, including deposits in your washing system and clogging the nozzles.
If there are remnants of old fluid in the tank, and you don’t remember the name of its manufacturer, it is better to remove this substance and fill the tank with a completely new product.
Is it possible to accurately determine the quality?
When buying antifreeze, it is almost impossible to determine the quality at a glance. Therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to the quality of the packaging, labels, as well as the presence of all certification. Although this is still not an absolute guarantee of product quality, because there is still a chance of getting a fake one.
Quality windshield washer liquid leaves no deposits, stains and iridescent films on windshield surface. It should not be aggressive on car body parts and coatings.
From the safety perspective, try to buy ethanol-based windshield washer liquid. If this type is currently not available and time is a factor, it is possible to use substances with isopropyl alcohol.
And what about having your own business?
If you are interested in opening your own antifreeze production business, then it would not hurt to clarify a few points at the beginning. First, you have to find an area which will be appropriate for production and storage of antifreeze. Second, you have to buy the equipment. And, third, you have to obtain all the necessary permits. The formulation of antifreeze is a trade secret of a manufacturing company, but in fact it’s not rocket science. The components are known, and their optimum combination, which gives the required characteristics, can be found experimentally. There is plenty of information on this subject on the Internet.
In our view, greater attention should be paid to the selection of equipment for mixing. It determines the duration of antifreeze storage without breaking. GlobeCore offers USB-type plants, designed for mixing and dissolving of two to five separate components. These hydrodynamic (inline) mixing plants have proven themselves in industrial use as cost-effective, accurate and sustainable means of production of high-quality antifreeze liquids with optimal cost. The achievable cost savings and increase of production profitability, compared to conventional technology of mixing components in mixing vessels, can accelerate the return on investment up to 60% per year and provide a return on the project during a period of one year or less.