View A Video on Ultrasonic Cleaners - A Quick Introduction
Ultrasonic cleaners utilize high-frequency sound frequencies of about 18
kHz in order to cause cavitation, or the formation and implosion of
minuscule bubbles in a liquid cleaning medium. These bubbles, or
implosions, serve as cleaning agents to rid parts of small dirt
particles that reside in crevices and surface areas that would otherwise
be impossible to reach. However, because ultrasonic cleaning is not
intended for large particle cleaning, parts must first be cleaned by
other methods before they are ready to undergo ultrasonic parts
Offering precision and consistency, ultrasonic cleaning equipment removes soil and contamination from parts more rapidly than any conventional cleaning method. There are several types of application-specific ultrasonic cleaners. Ultrasonic blind cleaners are specifically designed to rid blinds such as mini blinds, verticals, duettes and pleated shades from nasty contaminates like dirt, grease, nicotine and fingerprints. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners remove dirt and other contaminates from various jewelry such as rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Golf club cleaners clean the golf clubs, including the grips, from dirt buildup that occurs on through use on the golf course. Ultrasonic degreasers are contaminate-specific, targeting grease in automotive equipment and parts processing. Ultrasonic cleaners typically are used to eliminate such contaminates as sludge, buffing and polishing compounds, mold release agents and oil.
Different types of ultrasonic washers have designs that are uniquely suited to their specific function. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners, for instance, are much smaller than industrial ultrasonic cleaners since they are typically for commercial and personal use only. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are designed with a small tank containment basket and pressure controls located on the outside of the tank. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are typically powered by ultrasonic transducers, though some portable cleaners may be battery operated. Ultrasonic blind cleaners consist of a generator, transducer and a fairly large tank that can be made portable by attaching casters, depending on the size of the tank. The blinds are placed in the place the tank, which is filled with hot soapy water and injected with powerful sound waves that gently clean the various parts of the blind including slats, cords, and the head rail. Golf club cleaners differ from other ultrasonic cleaning equipment due to vertically-aligned tanks, which are necessitated by the length of the golf clubs that must fit in the tank to be cleaned. Ultrasonic golf club cleaners may also become portable through the addition of casters. Ultrasonic degreasers have a similar construction as ultrasonic blind cleaners, but they typically have an ultrasonic transducer mounted at the base of the tank that can reach sounds of up to 20 to 40 kHZ.
All ultrasonic cleaning equipment is at minimum equipped with a transducer, a generator and an immersion tank. The part requiring cleaning is placed into the tank, which contains an ultrasound conductive fluid. There are three different cleaning mediums commonly used: hot water cleaning, which uses a heated water stream; aqueous cleaning, which uses a water-based ultrasonic cleaning solution; and solvent or vapor cleaning, in which the solvent is evaporated then condensed onto the surface of the parts. The ultrasonic cleaning process begins when there is cavitation. Cavitation is caused by the transducer, which can be either attached to the tank or lowered into the fluid, when the transducer introduces ultrasonic sound waves into the tank. The agitation caused by the innumerable minute and intense imploding bubbles release both energy and heat that provides a highly efficient method of scrubbing both exposed and concealed surfaces of the immersed parts. There is a direct correlation between how high the frequency is and the number of implosions. However, the energy released by each implosion is also affected and decreases; this makes high frequencies ideal for minute particle removal with no harm to the part's surface. Materials commonly cleaned by the ultrasonic cleaning process include stainless steel, iron, aluminum, copper, brass, plastics, rubber, wood and cloth.
New developments for ultrasonic cleaning equipment include automated ultrasonic cleaning systems. These fully-automated systems incorporate a variety of cleaning actions such as power spraying, rinsing, precision flushing and drying parts. These processes are achieved at high rates of speed, which results in zero-residue cleaning when the ultrasonic cleaner is equipped or attached to deionized water. In addition, because rinsing is performed in the same tank as is the ultrasonic cleaning process, the rinse is already ultrasonic and there is no additional cost to add ultrasonic components to a rinse tank, as is the case with a multi-tank cleaning system. Fully-automated ultrasonic cleaners improve upon conventional models of ultrasonic cleaning equipment because they increase pre-assembly cleaning quality and cut solvent use by ninety percent. These improvements are the result of harnessing heat pump thermal transfer techniques which serve to minimize solvent evaporation that occurs overnight. Combined with diagnostic process control, full-automated ultrasonic cleaners offer a dedicated computerized work transporter that facilitates, establishes and maintains optimal performance levels.
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Aqueous Cleaning Systems
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Image provided by ESMA, Inc.
Ultrasonic Cleaners Types
are used to wash small parts. They have a small footprint and are often
rested on a counter or table.
- Golf club cleaners
clean golf clubs quickly and thoroughly. They are widely used at golf
courses for players to use.
takes place in a tank using an aqueous solution. In this process, it
is the cavitation that releases the contaminant from its base host.
- Industrial ultrasonic cleaners are large-capacity parts cleaners that use sound waves which produce
cavitation to clean, degrease and sterilize products in manufacturing
are used to wash small parts. As the name indicates, they are small
enough to sit upon a table.
do not require a lot of complicated machinery. Generally, they are built
in a rectangular shape, holding 100 gallons or less.
- Ultrasonic blind cleaners are equipment designed to clean window blinds utilizing ultrasonic cleaning
techniques. They provide for a very thorough cleaning, removing allergens
like dust, pollen, soot and nicotine, as well as any other accumulated
- is a process that uses ultrasonic sound waves to clean.
- uses millions of tiny bubbles to scrub.
- Ultrasonic cleaning solution is used in ultrasonic parts cleaners as an
important part of the cleaning process, since water alone is not effective at
cleaning the dirty part or product.
- Ultrasonic cleaning systems use sound waves to clean, degrease and sterilize products, parts and
machine components of grease, dirt, wax, lubricants, oil and other
- Ultrasonic degreasers are used to clean critical parts by incorporating both ultrasonic immersion cleaning and conventional vapor degreasing.
- Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners use ultrasonic frequencies to clean cracks and crevices in jewelry that are difficult or impossible for traditional cleaning methods to reach.
- Ultrasonic parts cleaners are underwater cleaning systems that use high frequency sound waves to clean parts with hard surfaces.
- Ultrasonic tanks are the components of ultrasonic cleaners that hold the water, cleaning solution and parts to be cleaned.
- uses solvents in an environmentally-safe chamber. The
vapor and ultrasonic agitation work together to clean parts.
- Ultrasonic transducers are the power source of larger cleaning systems that convert electrical
energy from a generator into mechanical energy, or sound vibrations,
which cause cavitation.
- Ultrasonic washers use ultrasound waves and special fluids to clean jewelry, surgical instruments, and golf clubs.
Ultrasonic Cleaners Terms
to the energy of sound waves and the science and application of acoustic
flowing in one direction through a fluid because of sonic waves, like
the action of a transducer in ultrasonic cleaning.
- Rotation of components
that allows cleaning solution and cavitation to remove contaminants.
- Mechanical amplitude
rising from both ends of an acoustic element. Amplification could be negative
- The use of
water-based solutions for the cleansing process.
- Small-parts container
comprised of mesh or containing holes.
- An air pocket in
a component where the cleaning solution cannot reach and the cavitation
process cannot occur.
- Cleansing bubbles
caused by ultrasonic waves in liquid, which create negative pressure.
- The succession
of rinses used for the washed part(s). Water flows in a direction opposite
of the flow of the parts, which allows for exposure to cleaner water throughout
- Using a
basket that spins to enable the water and contaminants to separate from
the surface of the cleansed part(s).
Cleaning Solution - Water-based
detergent or organic solvents that provide an intense amount of cavitation
- A water
break testing process used to determine if the components are free of
oil and other contaminants. A surface quality monitor takes measurement
for thin films of contaminants.
- A system
in which wastewater is recycled once it has been treated and purified
so it can be recirculated through the wash and rinse tanks in an aqueous
- Acoustic wave
used in ultrasonic cleaning. Parts exposure to this wave occurs throughout
the full process.
- The cleanest
stage possible for the components to experience. Cleanliness is essential
for the uses of the product.
- A device that generates
- The device used in the
process of removing moisture from components.
- The component that
provides electrical energy at the preferred ultrasonic frequency to the
transducer. Electrodes are typically thin metal plates.
- Also known as the
"power supply," it is the equipment component that provides
energy and control to the converter or transducer of an ultrasonic device
or system which is electronically run.
- A measurement unit
for frequency equal to cycles per second (cps). One Hertz is the same
as one cps.
- A common element of amplification that is equipped with
a tip in a probe for ultrasonic systems.
- A unit of
measurement for frequency equal to one thousand cycles per second (cps).
components by submerging them in an aqueous cleaning solution.
- A factor
that affects the construction of the tank, generator choice and cleansing
- Point of maximum amplitude.
- Fixed point of minimum
- A ceramic crystal between two
strips of tin. Voltage taken through the tin will displace through the
ceramic crystal, and the diaphragm attached to the transducer then creates
a pressure movement that makes a wave through the aqueous solution in
- Specific to ultrasonics
only, it refers to the converter, horn and tip system that receives power
from a generator and performs work.
- Using clean water or
solution to remove residual detergent.
The cleaning level that is lower than critical cleaning. Aesthetic or
quality problems could occur if not cleaned well.
- Not as imperative as the cleanliness
of critical or somewhat critical, but still poses an aesthetic or quality
problem if not cleaned well enough.
- Pertaining to the velocity
of speed of sound in contrast to ultrasonic. Labeling cleaning devices
as sonic does not indicate that it is ultrasonic with cavitation, just
that it vibrates components.
film depth of contaminant left on cleaned part.
- Containers to hold the
solution and part(s), usually rectangular in shape and manufactured in
almost any size.
- Component that receives electrical energy from the
generator or power supply and converts it into mechanical vibrations.
the frequency of standard electric into high frequency needed to create
- An up-and-down
motion in an aqueous solution, in which spray blasts clean the submerged
parts. Vertical agitation is a powerful cleaning method for parts containing
blind holes or intricate passages.
if oil is no longer present on the cleaned part.