Ultrasonic Parts Washers
Ultrasonic parts cleaning is a method of cleaning that has been in use since around 1950. It has changed the world of parts cleaning by offering a quicker, more reliable, and more eco-friendly alternative to older and more traditional methods. Ultrasonic parts washers specifically target those stubborn, built-up contaminants like wax, dirt, oil, and grime known to diminish quality.
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Applications of Ultrasonic Parts Washers
Ultrasonic parts washers are especially useful in the cleaning of small and/or intricate parts, as they are able to clean hard-to-reach areas, like tiny grooves and holes, that could otherwise only be cleaned by hand.
Ultrasonic parts washers are often used in these industries:
- Industrial Manufacturing
- Automotive Manufacturing and Maintenance
Ultrasonic Parts Washer Design and Customization
Ultrasonic parts washers are made up of a few main parts, those being the cleaning tank or chamber, the transducer or ultrasonic agitator, the reclamation system, hoses, pumps, nozzles and pressure generators. Should a user require it, ultrasonic parts washers may also be made with a rotating parts holder, designed to make sure that the parts in the washer get as thorough a cleaning as possible. In addition, ultrasonic parts washer sometimes include a drying unit.
The solution used in an ultrasonic parts washer may be water alone, an aqueous solution, or an organic solvent. Aqueous solutions used for ultrasonic cleaning contain components like detergents and wetting agents, which help the water work more efficiently. Typically, during operations, solutions are heated to between 122F and 149F, except in the cleaning of medical parts. In such cases, to prevent protein coagulation, solutions are heated to, at most, 113F. Regardless, the solutions used in ultrasonic parts washing are generally less harsh than the chemicals used by other cleaning methods, and the process is considered to have a much lower environmental impact.
Function of Ultrasonic Parts Washers
To work, dirty parts are lowered into the cleaning tank, which contains either a solution or just water. Once the parts are in place, a transducer, which can be built into a stainless steel tank itself or lowered in as needed, generates ultrasonic sound waves using an electrical signal that fluctuates at ultrasonic frequency. In turn, the ultrasonic sound waves create compression waves that tear the liquid apart, or implode it, leaving behind microscopic bubbles. This is known as cavitation. After cavitation occurs, the bubbles collapse with energy to the tune of 20,000 pounds of pressure per square inch and 5,000K. Armed with these frequencies, as they hit the parts in the tank, the bubbles loosen and remove all surface contaminants. Note that ultrasonic washers remove contaminants, but do not necessarily sterilize. For this reason, medical parts cleaning applications must be followed with a separate sterilization procedure. Parts washers can be manipulated to create higher or lower frequencies, which allows for greater control over the level of cleaning achieved. In other words, the more small or intricate the space to be cleaned, the higher the frequency should be.
Some ultrasonic parts washers are used in conjunction with vapor degreasing machines that use hydrocarbon cleaning solutions. Vapor degreasing machines like these use cascading three tank systems to clean fluid. These three tank systems consist of a lower tank, an upper tank, and a refrigeration coil at the top. Dirty fluid first gathers in the lower tank. It is there that the cleaning process begins. In the lower tank, the dirty fluid is heated until it evaporates. As it evaporates, it gathers on the coil, where it condenses. Eventually, it falls into the upper tank. Once the upper tank is full, it overflows into the ultrasonic parts washer’s work tank, where it is used to clean the contents of the tank.
Benefits of Using Ultrasonic Parts Washers
Though the initial costs of these types of ultrasonic parts washer are fairly high, the investment does typically pay off in the long run, as fluid used in these systems can be reused over and over, thereby reducing not only expenses, but pollution and waste as well. Ultrasonic parts washers can clean a wide variety of parts, from small electronic connectors, small glass and ceramic objects, cables, wires and rods, to dental instruments, scalpels, fishing reels, coins, firearms, lenses, and golf clubs. They offer economical, environmentally-friendly, and effective cleaning to customers everywhere. For more information or to place an order, contact a reputable ultrasonic parts washer manufacturer today.