November 26, 2018
Industrial ultrasonic cleaners rely on the mechanical scrubbing action of microscopic cavitation bubbles to remove contaminants from the surfaces of parts to be cleaned. As a result, the systems don’t need to use harsh chemicals to soften and dissolve surface contaminants. Instead, ultrasonic cleaners work quickly to clean contaminants from all kinds of surfaces and eliminate soaking, pressure washing and mechanical scrubbing. As chemicals and their safe handing increase in cost, industrial ultrasonic cleaners provide an opportunity for substantial savings while reducing negative environmental effects.
Ultrasonic Vs. Traditional Cleaning Methods
Industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems consist of an ultrasonic generator, a transducer and a cleaning tank. The generator produces the ultrasonic signal and the transducer changes it to sound waves when it is immersed in the cleaning solution. Cavitation bubbles form in the low-pressure troughs of the sound waves and collapse in the high-pressure peaks. When a bubble collapses next to the surface to be cleaned, it releases a burst of energy that dislodges contaminants from the surface. The cleaning method is completely safe, environmentally friendly and does not require the use of chemicals. A ten to twenty minute cleaning time is often enough.
In contrast, traditional cleaning methods rely on the action of harsh chemicals to clean parts and components. Depending on the cleaning application, an acid or strong solvent is used to dissolve the contaminants in question and remove the bulk of the dirt from surfaces to be cleaned. Often several baths are necessary and manual removal of some of the dirt is sometimes required. The process takes a lot of time and uses lots of chemicals and water. After the parts are clean, the chemical waste has to be neutralized and disposed of in an acceptable manner. Increasingly stringent health and safety standards, for example for ventilation, add to the cost of the traditional cleaning process.
The inherent advantages of the ultrasonic cleaning process include rapid cleaning and the ability to clean inaccessible places. The adoption of ultrasonic cleaning also provides a safer, healthier workplace and a greener, and more environmentally friendly operation. Both of these aspects provide cost advantages.
In addition to no longer having to purchase chemicals, the extensive chemical handling infrastructure can be eliminated. Harsh and toxic chemicals have special storage requirements and spills can be expensive. Chemical mixing and delivery to the cleaning tanks is hazardous and the corresponding systems are costly. Large quantities of water are required for washing parts between baths and for diluting the chemicals. Finally, chemical waste has to be treated with more chemicals and disposal of the neutralized waste is expensive as well. Traditional industrial cleaning methods are neither green nor safe and meeting environmental and safety regulations in the future will only become more difficult.
Industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems don’t use any chemicals and only occasionally use mild detergents and heat to soften contaminants and make them easier to remove. The systems operate within a completely safe working environment and no special safety measures are required. Water use is limited and wastewater can be disposed of without special neutralization or treatment. The ultrasonic cleaning process is both green and safe.
Kaijo’s Product Line of Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners
Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaners are designed to provide a versatile solution so customers can meet the needs of their specific cleaning applications. The company can make recommendations for ultrasonic frequency, system power and type of transducer and propose specific equipment from the complete line of ultrasonic cleaning products. Systems can be turnkey, individual components or retrofitted for existing cleaning tanks. In every case, Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning systems will deliver superior cleaning performance in an environmentally friendly and safe fashion. Contact Kaijo for a free consultation or quote on selecting the right system for any industrial cleaning application.
November 8, 2018
Ultrasonic cleaners provide quick and complete cleaning for parts to be plated or coated, saving time and ensuring superior adhesion. The ultrasonic cleaning process leaves bare surfaces free from contaminants, even in hard-to-reach places such as interior cavities and holes. The use of ultrasonic parts cleaners is completely safe and doesn’t require chemicals to soften or dissolve dirt. Benefits include faster processing, higher throughput and better quality output.
Why Use Ultrasonic Cleaning with Plating or Coating?
Parts to be plated or coated, such as parts made from metal or plastic, often have surface contaminants that must be removed before the plating or coating process can take place successfully. If impurities are left on the surfaces, the covering material often will not adhere to the parts and the quality of the product and its appearance will suffer.
Typical contaminants are residues from machining, buffing compound and shop dirt. Traditional cleaning methods include soaking in chemicals, manual scrubbing and washing. These methods are time-consuming and often don’t remove all contaminants in hard-to-reach places. Ultrasonic parts cleaners remove all contaminants down to the bare surfaces everywhere on the parts to be plated or coated, even from inaccessible areas such as interior openings or crevices. Cleaning is fast and complete.
How Ultrasonic Cleaning Before Plating or Coating Works
Ultrasonic cleaning systems work by producing microscopic cavitation bubbles in the cleaning tank. An ultrasonic generator delivers the high-frequency electric signal to a transducer immersed in the cleaning solution. The transducer has a surface that vibrates at the ultrasonic frequency and creates the ultrasonic waves in the liquid.
Ultrasonic waves in a liquid have high-pressure peaks and low-pressure troughs. Cavitation bubbles are created at low pressure and they collapse in the high-pressure peaks. The continuous cavitation action results in a strong scrubbing effect on the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned. Contaminating material and particles are dislodged and carried away by the cleaning solution. The process depends on the type of contaminant and how much has to be removed but cleaning is often complete after ten to twenty minutes.
Choosing the correct frequency, power and type of transducer is important for effective cleaning before plating or coating. The frequency depends on the structure of the parts and the nature of the contamination. The manufacture of some parts results in surfaces coated with heavy, oily or greasy material while other parts only have a light coating of powder or dirt. The parts themselves may be robust and rugged or delicate and easily damaged. Choosing the right ultrasonic frequency takes these factors into account.
Low frequencies such as 26 kHz or 38 kHz generate comparatively large bubbles that deliver strong, aggressive cleaning power suitable for heavy contamination of robust parts. Lighter contamination on more delicate parts can use higher frequencies with smaller bubbles and softer cleaning action. For the more delicate parts, higher frequencies in the 160 kHz to 200 kHz range deliver gentle cleaning. No matter what kind of part and what contaminants, ultrasonic cleaners can be configured with one or more frequencies that will deliver excellent cleaning performance prior to plating or coating.
Once the frequencies are determined, the power has to be adequate to fill the cleaning tank with ultrasonic waves. With adequate power, bubbles and cleaning action will appear wherever cleaning solution is present. Transducers can be built in, such as in turnkey systems, bolt on or immersible. The independent immersible units are especially flexible and can be easily be used in existing tanks, for example, if there is an existing plating or coating line with cleaning tanks already integrated.
Kaijo’s ultrasonic parts cleaners can effectively be used with any plating or coating application. In addition Kaijo will help customers select a system that will provide optimum performance to meet their specific cleaning requirements.