Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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Why You Need an Ultrasonic Cleaning System for 3D Printed Parts

May 30, 2017

Advances in 3D printing have made this new technology widely accessible with broad manufacturing capabilities. The 3D printers work by depositing tiny drops of material in thin layers according to a digital design. The material of the 3D part is usually a type of resin or plastic that is in liquid or paste form when it is deposited and then hardens into a solid. The printers make it possible to create items with complex shapes as prototypes or samples and they can be used to make test pieces before starting production.

Complex items may require several types of material and there may be overhangs, gaps or complicated structures. The 3D printer makes sure that overhangs and structures don’t collapse by depositing supporting material underneath. Some parts of the item may have to slide or rotate over, around or through other parts. For such parts, the printer deposits thin layers of separating material to make sure the sliding or rotating parts don’t stick together. When the item is finished, it may have several areas where such supporting or separating material is present. Before the 3D printed item can be used, the extra material must be removed.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Can Clean 3D Printed Parts

Removing extra supporting and separating material from a 3D printed part quickly and effectively can be difficult. The layers to be removed are often thin and not easily accessible. Scrubbing or mechanical removal is time-consuming and can leave an unwanted residue. Using a specially formulated solvent to dissolve the material can require lengthy soaking times and result in incomplete removal. An ultrasonic cleaner is often an excellent solution for the cleaning of these parts and the removal of the unwanted material. Ultrasonic cleaners clean quickly and clean thoroughly, even around complex shapes and in hard-to-reach places.

An ultrasonic cleaning system works by using ultrasonic waves to generate cavitation bubbles in a cleaning liquid. The bubbles form and collapse in time with the frequency of the sound waves. This bubble action results in an intense scrubbing effect wherever the cleaning liquid touches the surface of the 3D printed item. If the cleaning liquid contains a solvent for the unwanted material or if the material is soft compared to the rest of the item, only the unwanted material will be removed.

Kaijo Ultrasonic Cleaners for Optimum Results

Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning systems can clean 3D printed parts and remove unwanted filler material quickly and effectively. The Phenix III turnkey system is ready to clean with a minimum of installation and set up work and is sized to handle most typical 3D printed items. The system operates at 26 kHz or 38 kHz and delivers 600 W or 1200 W of cleaning power.

For bigger 3D printed items, Kaijo ultrasonic generators, transducers and tanks can be used to set up special solutions aimed at a customer’s specific cleaning needs. The components can operate with the solvents needed for 3D printed parts cleaning and the transducers mounted in the tanks are rated for up to 100 degrees centigrade. When a customer has existing cleaning tanks to be re-used, Kaijo can help design custom configurations with multiple transducers to deliver excellent cleaning action in large tanks. Kaijo’s extensive experience with ultrasonic cleaning systems helps customers get the 3D cleaning performance they need. If you want a quote or free consultation on which ultrasonic cleaning systems should be used for your application call Kaijo or email [email protected].

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How Ultrasonic Cleaners Utilize Cavitation

May 17, 2017

How Ultrasonic Cleaners Utilize CavitationUltrasonic cleaning systems use cavitation in cleaning liquids to remove contaminants and surface dirt from a wide variety of parts that need cleaning. Cavitation bubbles are created by the action of sound waves in a cleaning solution. As the ultrasonic sound waves travel through the liquid, bubbles appear in the low-pressure troughs of the waves and collapse in the high-pressure peaks. The creation and collapse of the bubbles results in a powerful scrubbing action that operates throughout the liquid.

Manufacturing plants that have equipment cleaning needs can benefit from the fast, thorough cleaning provided by industrial ultrasonic cleaners. Parts such as nozzles, containers, valves and tools can often be cleaned completely in as little as ten minutes.  Manufacturers of parts or finished products can use ultrasonic cleaners to remove process material before shipping or clean products such as medical devices, solar cells, jewelry and ceramics. Ultrasonic cleaners work quickly and effectively without harsh chemicals.

How to Get the Cleaning Action You Need

The action of the cavitation bubbles can be adjusted by varying the ultrasonic frequency and the cleaning power. At low frequencies such as 26 kHz to 38 kHz, the ultrasonic wave peaks and troughs are comparatively far apart, resulting in larger bubbles. When large bubbles are created and collapsed, the scrubbing action is comparatively intense. Such low frequencies can clean rugged parts with stubborn dirt rapidly but they are not suitable for more delicate parts or parts with soft surfaces where the large bubbles may cause pitting or other damage.

Intermediate frequencies such as 78 kHz to 160 kHz result in smaller bubbles and less aggressive cleaning. Systems operating at these intermediate frequencies can clean fragile machined parts and soft materials. Even higher frequencies such as 1 MHz and above deliver very gentle cleaning action and are suitable for cleaning delicate semiconductor devices and microscopic structures. Customers can select either a single-frequency cleaner suitable for a clearly defined cleaning task or cleaning systems that can operate at several frequencies to deliver the level of cleaning action required for different cleaning applications.

Depending on the size of the parts to be cleaned, the power of the ultrasonic cleaning system must be high enough to generate bubbles throughout the cleaning tank. A single ultrasonic transducer array can deliver power of up to 1200 W and clean parts up to about 500 mm (20 inches) long. For larger parts needing bigger tanks, several ultrasonic transducers can be mounted along the bottom or on the sides. A custom design for such applications can use existing or new tanks to match customer needs.

Benefits of Kaijo’s Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems

Kaijo offers a complete line of industrial ultrasonic cleaners. Turn-key systems such as the Phenix III include an ultrasonic generator and a tank with the transducers already mounted. These systems are ready to start cleaning with a minimum of installation and setting up.

Alternatively customers can opt to buy ultrasonic generators such as the Quava or Phenix Series and buy transducers and tanks separately. These are excellent options for applications where existing cleaning tanks are to be re-used and Kaijo can help with such customizations.

Benefits of using these systems for industrial cleaning applications include the following:

  • Quick and complete cleaning of all types of parts to remove a variety of contaminants
  • Effective cleaning of complex shapes and parts with holes and crevices
  • Cleaning without harsh chemicals or mechanical scrubbing
  • The safe, efficient cleaning process results in improved facility performance and better quality output

Kaijo can advise customers on how to best satisfy their cleaning requirements and help them select the system they need. The company’s experience and expertise help ensure that the ultrasonic cleaners meet and exceed expectations. If you would like a quote or free consultation on how industrial ultrasonic cleaners can be used for your cleaning application call Kaijo or email [email protected].

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