Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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Using Ultrasonic Cleaners in Disaster Restoration

March 29, 2018

Items recovered from disasters such as floods, fires or hurricanes are often covered in dirt or contaminated with soot and mold. Cleaning such items with traditional methods involves soaking them in chemicals to loosen dirt and brushing or wiping the items clean. Chemicals may be harsh, attack the surface of the items and leave residues. Brushing and wiping can’t get into small seams, sharp corners and crevices and may result in scratches. The result is that such items may have a moldy or smoky smell, bits of dirt attached that can’t be removed and damaged surfaces.

Instead, the use of ultrasonic cleaning systems can leave items completely clean and close to their original condition. The systems clean without the use of harsh chemicals or rough mechanical brushing. Items are cleaned quickly and completely, including in dead-end holes, hard-to-reach places and difficult to clean rough areas. Recovered items are returned to the individuals or businesses sooner and in better condition, ready to be used as they were before the disaster struck.

How Ultrasonic Systems Clean Recovered Items

Cleaning items recovered from disasters involves breaking the contaminants free from the surface of the recovered item and then removing them. Traditionally chemicals dissolve the contaminant or at least make it easier to remove with brushing and wiping. Ultrasonic cleaning systems can clean in water or a mild detergent solution and accomplish the loosening and removing in one step.

Depending on the size of the recovered items, one or several are immersed in the ultrasonic cleaning system bath. The systems work by generating ultrasonic waves and microscopic cavitation bubbles in the cleaning liquid. The bubbles form and collapse in time with the frequency of the ultrasonic waves. When they collapse against the surface of an item to be cleaned, they produce a strong microscopic scrubbing action that loosens dirt and contaminants and cleans down to the original surface.

All Kinds of Items Can Be Cleaned

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are suitable for a wide variety of items recovered from disasters. The systems can be designed with special tanks to clean large items or they can take a number of small items and place them in a bath inside a basket that holds them suspended in the cleaning solution. Solid metal and ceramic items can be cleaned quickly while easily damaged items can receive less intense cleaning action. Ultrasonic systems can be adapted to specific cleaning tasks and customized to deliver the desired cleaning performance.

For robust items with hard surfaces, low ultrasonic frequencies result in large, powerful bubbles. High frequencies produce smaller bubbles for a gentle cleaning action suitable for delicate items. For items contaminated with grease or oil, heating the cleaning solution may help speed up the cleaning process. For certain hard to remove contaminants, mild but specific solvents can be added to the cleaning solution to ensure rapid and complete cleaning. In each case, ultrasonic cleaning is faster than traditional methods and results in a complete removal of contaminants from everywhere on the items to be cleaned.

Putting Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems to Use

Cleaning companies specialized in disaster recovery can easily start using small ultrasonic cleaning systems to see whether they meet their needs. System components such as ultrasonic generators and transducers can be purchased separately and used with existing cleaning tanks or new ones. Turnkey systems are available for plug and play use and are especially versatile for cleaning many small items such as jewelry and kitchen utensils. As it becomes evident that cleaning performance is far superior to traditional methods, companies can install larger systems to handle big jobs.

Kaijo has a complete line of ultrasonic cleaners, both as separate components and as turnkey systems. The equipment is versatile and can be used for many different cleaning applications including disaster recovery. The company has extensive experience in this field and is prepared to help customers achieve the cleaning performance they want.

 

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How Ultrasonic Waves Are Produced for Industrial Cleaning Applications

March 16, 2018

Industrial ultrasonic cleanersultrasonic waves for industrial cleaning applications deliver more effective and efficient cleaning performance without the use of harsh chemicals typically used in traditional cleaning methods. A variety of parts, from robust metal and ceramic components to delicate semiconductors can be cleaned quickly and completely via the cavitation bubbles from ultrasonic waves generated from an ultrasonic system. Parts of all shapes are immersed in cleaning tanks with the bubbles cleaning even hard-to-access holes and crevices. The systems are available in varying frequencies to satisfy the requirements of any industrial cleaning application.

Ultrasonic Cleaning System Components

Industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of ultrasonic generators, transducers and the cleaning tank. They can be purchased as separate units or as turnkey systems that can be plugged in and are ready to start cleaning. When existing cleaning tanks can be used, it is often cost-effective to buy generators and portable immersible transducers while tabletop turnkey solutions are ideal for cleaning small parts. Choosing a supplier that has a full range of industrial ultrasonic cleaners will help in getting the system that best suits a particular application.

The ultrasonic generator produces the electric signal that forms the basis for the ultrasonic waves. Signals can range from about 20 kHz to 200 kHz (for ultrasonic frequencies) and 200 Khz to 1.6 MHz (for megasonic frequencies), and the generators can deliver up to 1200 W of power. For specific applications, a single frequency generator is sufficient, but for cleaning applications that handle many different kinds of parts, multi-frequency generators are available.

The electric ultrasonic signal generates ultrasonic waves via an ultrasonic cleaning transducer. The transducer has to be able to handle the frequency and power produced by the generator and it can be mounted at the bottom or on the sides of the tank as well as being an independent unit placed in the tank. Large tanks may need more than one transducer to effectively fill the volume of the tank with ultrasonic waves.

The cleaning tank has to be made of material heavy enough to withstand the cleaning action of the ultrasonic waves and it has to be big enough to handle the largest parts to be cleaned. Baskets for the parts are often used to keep easily damaged components from vibrating against the sides or bottom of the tank, and in that case, the tank has to be big enough to hold the basket as well.

How Ultrasonic Cleaners Work

The ultrasonic transducer takes the electric signal from the generator and uses either piezoelectric or magnetic effects to create ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution. When an electric charge is applied to piezoelectric crystals, they change size. As a result, a high-frequency electric signal produces a vibration in the crystals and, via a heavy metal plate, the crystals can produce ultrasonic waves in the cleaning liquid. The same effect can be achieved with materials that change size in magnetic fields. The ultrasonic waves fill the cleaning tank and start the cleaning action.

When an ultrasonic wave travels through water, it creates compression peaks and troughs. Microscopic bubbles form in the troughs where the pressure is low and collapse in the peaks due to the high pressure. When a bubble collapses, a small but powerful jet of liquid rushes into the space where the collapsed bubble was. These jets produce an intense cleaning action on the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned. Cleaning takes place wherever the bubbles are present, throughout the tank, inside cavities and all around complex structures. Cleaning is fast and removes all contaminants.

Kaijo can Help

Kaijo has a complete line of industrial ultrasonic cleaning equipment, including separate components and turnkey systems. The company uses transducers based on the piezoelectric effect and can deliver powerful low-frequency systems for robust cleaning action as well as systems using high frequencies for gentle cleaning of delicate components. Kaijo’s unparalleled experience in developing ultrasonic technology for various industrial cleaning applications ensures that the company’s equipment delivers the expected performance.

 

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