A proposed method of cleaning, passivating, and verifying the cleanliness of oxygen-handling hardware would extend the established art of cleaning by use of ozone. As used here, “cleaning” signifies ridding all exposed surfaces of combustible (in particular, carbon-based) contaminants. The method calls for exposing the surfaces of the hardware to ozone while monitoring the ozone effluent for carbon dioxide. The ozone would passivate the hardware while oxidizing carbon-based residues, converting the carbon in them to carbon dioxide. The exposure to ozone would be continued until no more carbon dioxide was detected, signifying that cleaning and passivation were complete.
This work was done by Paul Torrance of Johnson Space Center and Paul Biesinger of Science Applications International Corp. For further information, contact the Johnson Commercial Technology Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23290-1