May 29, 2018
Ultrasonic cleaning systems can clean hard surfaces such as glass lenses quickly and effectively, but if there are any special characteristics of the lenses, choosing the correct ultrasonic frequency, power and bath can be important. Low frequencies may wear away or pit surfaces and hot baths or baths with detergents may dissolve or etch even hard materials. Glass itself is usually not affected by ultrasonic cleaning but special coatings, surface treatments or plastic lenses may be damaged. When there is any doubt, it’s important to get the right ultrasonic cleaning system and use the appropriate frequency and power settings for your specific application.
How Ultrasonic Frequencies Can Clean Lenses
Industrial lenses made only of pure glass are ideal candidates for ultrasonic cleaning. An ultrasonic generator produces the high-frequency electronic signal and a transducer immersed in the ultrasonic bath converts the signal to ultrasonic waves in the liquid. The waves create cavitation bubbles in the pressure troughs of the ultrasonic waves and the bubbles collapse again in the wave pressure peaks. This creation and collapse of microscopic bubbles in time with the ultrasonic frequency produces a powerful scrubbing action against the hard surfaces of the lenses. Anything adhering to the glass is removed.
Lower frequencies produce larger bubbles and a robust cleaning action while high frequencies produce smaller bubbles for more delicate cleaning. The power of the ultrasonic cleaning system impacts the amount of time required for cleaning as well. For some contaminants, such as grease and oily residue, a mild detergent helps the cleaning action as does heating the bath to soften such deposits.
Robust cleaning with the addition of detergents and heat cleans pure glass quickly and completely but when the lens has a treated surface or surface film, these measures may cause damage. A more careful, customized approach is required.
Gentle Cleaning of Delicate Lenses
Measures to safely use ultrasonic cleaning systems on all kinds of industrial lenses start with choosing a system that will clean gently while minimizing the time the lens stays immersed in the cleaning solution. The required ultrasonic frequency has to be high enough to avoid damaging coatings that are softer than pure glass. At the same time, many lens coatings are sensitive to lengthy immersion in water, possibly absorbing water, changing color or detaching from the lens surface. The frequency therefore has to be low enough to clean effectively, rapidly removing the particular kind of contaminant that is present.
While the chosen ultrasonic frequency determines the intensity of the cleaning action, the power of the system influences how quickly cleaning takes place. If the power is too low, too few bubbles are generated and the cleaning process takes longer. Exactly the right power level produces the maximum number of bubbles and the fastest cleaning. Even higher levels of power are wasted and don’t influence the cleaning speed.
Heat and detergents are sometimes incompatible with delicate surface treatments of lenses. If the ultrasonic cleaning system is properly configured for maximum cleaning speed, it is often not necessary to add detergents to the cleaning bath or apply heat. The trade-off between duration of the cleaning process and the addition of detergents or heat can be based on the specific lens treatment that has to undergo cleaning. If the coating is very sensitive to exposure in water, heat and a specially formulated solvent may speed up the process and reduce water exposure. In general, cleaning at room temperature using deionized water is the least aggressive and default solution.
Kaijo Offers Ultrasonic Cleaning System Consulting
Custom ultrasonic cleaning solutions are often the most effective and least damaging when delicate surfaces such as those of non-reflective industrial lenses have to be cleaned. Kaijo can suggest the best ultrasonic systems for specific industrial lens cleaning applications based on the company’s extensive experience in the ultrasonic cleaner field. In addition to finding effective solutions for such cleaning tasks, Kaijo can supply components or systems from its complete line of ultrasonic equipment.Read More
April 27, 2018
Sound energy propagates not in vacuum the way radio-frequency energy does, but within physical mediums. When matter is subjected to sound energy, it is stimulated in a way that forms a rippling propagation — like waves in a body of water. You would also be able to see sound energy pass through a visible medium as well. In water, it would need to be very loud, high-energy sound, however, and occupy a low frequency range of no more than a few cycles per second.
Human hearing is able to perceive sound energy at a certain frequency range — between about 20 Hz to about 20,000 Hz. Sound exists at much higher frequencies that include ultrasonic or megasonic ranges as well. While sound may not be audible at these ranges, it does come with practical applications with the use of megasonic and ultrasonic cleaning systems.
How does ultrasonic and megasonic cleaning work?
Liquids and gases subjected to high-frequency sound at powerful energy levels lead to the formation microscopic tears in these mediums. When ultrasonic or megasonic sound energy passes through these mediums, it causes millions of these tears to arise in the form of vacuum bubbles each second. They form and collapse rapidly. The process is known as cavitation.
Cavitation is a high-energy phenomenon. Each bubble of vacuum that forms and collapses radiates shockwaves. Objects placed close to these cavitation bubbles tend to be subjected to the energy of these implosions. It can be powerful enough to dislodge rust and other tough contaminants off microscopic areas of surfaces exposed. It is this phenomenon that the ultrasonic and megasonic cleaning approach exploits.
Exploiting different energy bands
Ultrasonic cleaning appliances employ different kinds of ultrasonic loudspeakers to generate the sound energy that they apply. Piezoelectric speakers are typically the common ones used today.
Ultrasonic energy tends to act differently at different frequency bands; in cleaning appliances, the highest frequency bands tend to be the most effective. In the megasonic range, as they are known, vibrations pass through the liquid cleaning medium at or above 1 MHz (a million cycles a second). At this frequency range, the cleaning tends to be the most gentle enough, and yet powerful enough to dislodge particles from the surface of semiconductor wafers and other delicate components.
Other bands of sound energy are employed, as well. The 25 kHz ultrasonic band provides powerful and robust cleaning for hard surface parts used in industrial equipment. The 40 kHz band is considered ideal for mid level precision equipment such as armaments and auto parts. The higher ultrasonic levels over 100 kHz are considered for electronics and high precision instruments.
The ultrasonic and megasonic cleaning approach is revolutionary
Cleaning processes have conventionally required the use of hash chemicals and/or physical scrubbing or abrasive cleaning methods. Wear-and-tear on the parts and devices being clean would be common. Not only are these processes limited in their usefulness with delicate equipment, they require the application of an involved chemical disposal system for compliance with environmental laws.
Ultrasonic and megasonic cleaners, on the other hand, employ a contact-less cleaning system. When objects to be cleaned are placed in a bath of inert liquid, the sound energy generated by the system reaches the tiniest nooks and crannies, no matter how complex the shape of the work. Cleaning occurs without wear-and-tear on the part or component to be cleaned. There are no harmful chemicals used, time is saved, and workers need little special training. This provides significant time and cost savings.
Kaijo has been a leader in the development and use of ultrasonic cleaning systems since the 50s, and today, offers a complete range of high-tech systems. Equipped with a patented Quava generator that offers process engineers a high degree of process control, along with innovations such as the Pulse Cleaner and the Mega Tube, Kaijo’s megasonic cleaning system and related products are at the forefront of modern industrial cleaning technology.Read More
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.
February 27, 2018
Ultrasonic cleaning systems are often a part of processes used in the manufacture of medical instruments, devices and implants. The method is employed in the everyday use of medical equipment, as well. One reason ultrasonic cleaning is often required is that medical equipment often includes delicate, high-precision designs which contain complex surface geometries.
Conventional cleaning approaches that use solvents and abrasives would hardly be appropriate — devices used in the human body don’t require cleaning from stubborn stains, after all; instead, they need to be made free of microscopic contamination and chemical residues. Routine cleaning using conventional methods will often leave behind particles of detergents or chemicals. Removing these from delicate structures requires a special approach.
Ultrasonic cleaning technology answers these needs
Ultrasonic cleaning systems employ the power of cavitation, a natural phenomenon. When liquids are subjected to strong forces, they tend to fracture into microscopic areas of vacuum. When these vacuum bubbles form and collapse, often millions of times each second, they create high temperatures and powerful impact over microscopic areas. These are the forces harnessed by ultrasonic cleaners.
These appliances use powerful high-frequency sound waves to disrupt liquid placed in a cleaning bath to create the cavitation bubbles needed. When medical devices are placed in such a bath, these cavitation bubbles form over the surface. These bubbles are able to dislodge everything from bacteria and fungus to carbon deposits, grease and chemical remnants, with pinpoint precision.
Ultrasonic cleaning technologies offer impressive advantages
Reduced to their simplest form, ultrasonic cleaning appliances are a loudspeaker in a tank of liquid. These speakers are specially designed for the creation of powerful, high-frequency sound waves. As simple as it may sound, this approach produces powerful results unobtainable through other cleaning methods.
Solvent-free cleaning: In other cleaning approaches, including ones that use water, there always are remnants and contaminants left by the cleaning process. The gentle, yet powerful forces brought into play by ultrasonic cleaning systems, however, ensure cleaning action that comes with no remnants, an important requirement in the medical field.
Delicate cleaning for fragile equipment: Medical equipment can be tough in the applications that they are intended for; they can be surprisingly delicate against everyday forces, however. Cleaning such equipment, then, can present special challenges. Ultrasonic cleaning brings to bear powerful forces, but on microscopic areas. It ensures a blend of power and gentleness. Equipment does not need to be touched or handled through the cleaning process, ensuring its safety.
Compliance with professional requirements: The CDC and the WHO recommend the deployment of ultrasonic cleaning technology for medical applications. It is for the simple reason that medical equipment requires a level of cleanliness rarely needed anywhere else. Microscopic surface fissures and interstices are often able to harbor biological or other contaminants, and these simply cannot be reached with conventional cleaning methods. Ultrasonic sound waves, however, are able to dislodge contaminants from smallest crevices, ensuring a high level of medical suitability.
The industry leader in ultrasonic cleaning technology
For more than 65 years, Kaijo Shibuya has been a world leader in the development and use of ultrasonic cleaning systems for a wide variety of industry applications. From compact systems for accessible use, to much larger systems, Kaijo’s full product line of ultrasonic cleaners can address the needs of the medical industry as required by professional organizations.Read More
January 30, 2018
Ultrasonic cleaning systems can remove a wide variety of contaminants from the surfaces of parts to be cleaned, but specific material types can be removed more quickly and completely with additional measures. Oil-based dirt, grease and organic compounds can take the form of hard deposits that are difficult for the cavitation bubbles of the ultrasonic system to attack. The cleaning action of the bubbles will eventually break up and remove such material, but the process is more time-consuming than for other types of dirt.
In such cases heating the ultrasonic cleaning solution helps speed up the cleaning process. The hot liquid softens the deposits and makes it easier for the ultrasonic cleaning action to take place. Often a mild detergent is added as well to dissolve some of the contaminants. Cleaning with a heated solution is an effective way of making the ultrasonic cleaning system perform efficiently and at full capacity.
How Heat Improves Performance
The performance of ultrasonic cleaning systems depends on correctly matching the system to the characteristics of the parts to be cleaned and the materials to be removed. Robust parts such as metal automotive components can often be cleaned in a plain water bath using the strong cleaning action of the lower frequencies of ultrasonic systems. More delicate parts such as semiconductor wafers need the softer cleaning action provided by higher frequencies. If the material to be removed from such fragile parts is extensive and hardened, additional measures improve ultrasonic cleaning performance.
Depending on the contaminants to be removed, mild detergents and heat can be applied. The detergent and heat combination can be tailored to the particular material and an appropriate selection can improve cleaning performance substantially. Typically, contaminants are made up of several components and the detergent increases the solubility of some of them while heat softens the material and increases the effectiveness of the detergent. For the delicate cleaning of higher frequencies, the bubbles are smaller and less energetic. This lower energy is often not enough to remove hard materials quickly, but once heat has softened the material and the detergent has dissolved some of the bonds keeping the dirt in place, the small bubbles can clean quickly and completely.
Heating the Ultrasonic Bath
Ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of ultrasonic generators, transducers and tanks. The ultrasonic generators produce the ultrasonic electrical signal and are selected based on the frequency needed for the cleaning application. The transducers are mounted in the bath immersed in the cleaning solution and they have to be matched to work with the selected generator. Both can be designed for a single or a range of frequencies
For the tanks, the only requirement is that they have to be large enough to hold the parts to be cleaned. If the parts are to be held in a basket to keep them away from the bottom and sides of the tank and avoid damage from vibrations, the tank has to be big enough to accommodate the basket.
For cleaning applications requiring heat, both the transducers and the tank must be designed for a heated cleaning solution. While cleaning applications may require different temperatures for optimal cleaning, a typical temperature may be around 80 degrees centigrade (176 degrees Fahrenheit).
Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning systems can accommodate such heating requirements and the company can help customers select suitable equipment and systems from their complete line of ultrasonic products. The transducers and tanks are heat-resistant up to 100 degrees centigrade (212 degrees Fahrenheit) and Kaijo’s customer support team can help determine what combination of detergent and heating is ideal for specific customer’s cleaning applications.Read More
January 19, 2018
Conventional degreasing and other cleaning processes involving the use of pressure cleaning, solvent and abrasives are on their way out in many industries. The change has come about for a number of reasons. The movement of industry towards green processes is one reason — solvents are often toxic to the environment. New environmental regulations being put in place by various state and local governments make it very hard for industries to get around, as well.
Cost- and efficiency-related concerns, however, have been the primary reason for the move away from conventional cleaning techniques. The chemicals needed in these approaches can be expensive, and can require further expense in the protection of the workers who use them. Safe disposal of toxic residue and the requisite inspections can take considerable investment, as well.
Yet, effective cleaning is essential to a great many industrial processes. From the immaculate surfaces needed prior to the application of powder coating processes, to the cleaning of high-tech filters and bearings at NASA, and from the jewelry industry to the automotive industry, safe, cost-effective and superior cleaning technology is a great need.
In Search of a More Affordable, and Cost-effective Cleaning Approach
In many industries that require the cleaning of industrial parts or other articles of various sizes, ultrasonic cleaning systems have proven to be the method of choice for a number of important reasons.
The action of ultrasonic energy on certain surfaces is observed in a number of scenarios. Anyone who is familiar with boats, for instance, has usually seen some damage to propellers — ultrasonic energy generated in the churn of propellers can be uncontrolled in its power; it often excavates tiny pits in the metal. When this energy is applied in a well-controlled manner, however, it can be used as a powerful cleaning agent.
Ultrasonic energy works in a very simple way — when dense, elastic media such as water is subjected to high-frequency energy, it expands and contracts so rapidly as to cause millions of microscopic fractures or tears. The small bubbles that are created collapse quickly after they are formed, often with great force. When such vacuum bubbles collapse close to the surface of an object, the force can knock surface contaminants off. Ultrasonic cleaning systems successfully apply ultrasonic energy to perform a great deal of useful work.
How do Ultrasonic Cleaners achieve their Effect?
Ultrasonic cleaning units consist of a tank usually filled with water, coupled to a powerful ultrasonic transducer capable of generating high-energy ultrasonic frequencies between 20 to 200 kHz. When objects to be cleaned — anything from industrial parts to dental equipment and jewelry — are placed in the bath, the ultrasonic waves generated create millions of cavitation bubbles. Localized areas can experience pressures over 10,000 psi, and temperatures over 10,000°F; dirt is effectively knocked off. Since these pressures and temperatures are created over microscopic areas, however, there is never any harm done to the work to be cleaned.
How are Ultrasonic Cleaners Superior to Conventional Cleaning Solutions?
Every nook is reached: With conventional cleaning — the pressure sprayers, solvents and abrasives — the cleaning action can often only reach areas clearly exposed. Ultrasonic energy, however, is able to get to hidden, unexposed areas.
The cleaning tends to be thorough: With cavitation bubbles forming and imploding in their millions, there is cleaning action in a way no water jet or abrasive can ever achieve. Even more importantly, the cleaning is achieved with little surface damage done, something that can be very important in the high-tech industry, the jewelry industry, or even the automotive industry, where delicate engine seals and finishes may need attention.
Insoluble contaminants are cleaned: Solvents are able to clean soluble contaminants; many contaminants, however, are simply resistant to the effects of solvents. Ultrasonic energy simply displaces such contaminants without the need for abrasive action.
Ultrasonic cleaners Help the Bottom Line
With such powerful and safe cleaning ability, the toughest cleaning jobs are usually completed in under an hour, with little need for supervisory personnel, or the need for the toxic waste disposal. With practically no moving parts, these appliances tend to require minimal maintenance, as well.
Ultrasonic cleaning systems are not all made the same. Kaijo, an industry leader in ultrasonic cleaning, has been at the cutting edge of the technology for over 65 years, developing purpose-built ultrasonic cleaning solutions for every industrial application. With the latest in ultrasonic cleaning deployed in practically every industry around the world, Kaijo has more experience with this technology than nearly any other name in the business.Read More
December 13, 2017
Coatings of grime, grease and sludge are only some of the stubborn contaminants that industries everywhere struggle with. The conventional approach to the cleaning and maintenance of equipment has always been environmentally hazardous, involved harsh chemicals, difficult protective equipment for workers, and costly compliance procedures. Few alternatives have proven viable.
Ultrasonic cleaning technology today, however, has finally arrived, and offers a solution. An affordable and highly effective advance in the area of safe industrial cleaning, these systems have been proven for years, with wide use seen since the 70s. From antiques to the delicate components of mechanical watches and electronic equipment, and from greasy engine blocks to industrial mechanical equipment, ultrasonic cleaners are universal in their usefulness. They are even used to clean the thousands of window blinds that cover windows in offices and public buildings everywhere.
Sound, not substance
Ultrasonic cleaning relies on the idea that physical removal of stains, oil and soil from materials does not require physical contact. Instead, this cleaning method relies on the principle of cavitation.
At its most basic, the principle of cavitation is simple enough — it describes the phenomenon in which disturbances in liquids lead to the creation of short-lived cavities bubbles of gas or vacuum. In certain scenarios involving high levels of energy, the destruction of bubbles so formed generates considerable amounts of force. The impact created by such imploding bubbles powers the ultrasonic cleaning method.
At its simplest, an ultrasonic cleaning appliance is a tank fitted with a special loudspeaker capable of generating sound waves in the ultrasonic frequency spectrum. At tens of thousands of cycles a second, this spectrum lies far above the human auditory threshold.
When high-energy ultrasonic sound waves pass through a liquid like water, they create the desired disturbance, leading to the formation of millions of microscopic bubbles. As these bubbles form and implode many times each second, they create the cavitation energy needed to knock dirt, grease, debris and other contaminants off the surface of any article immersed. It is as if there are millions of microscopic chisels knocking dirt off. The cavitation energy created by these bubbles, however, is gentle, even as it removes tough contamination.
Choosing the right kind of ultrasonic cleaning technology
The transducers used in ultrasonic cleaning systems are specifically designed for the generation of high levels of ultrasonic sound energy. There are two kinds of technology in wide use today, magnetostrictive and piezoelectric, the former being a more conventional approach than the latter.
In magnetostrictive transducers, layered metals induced to rapidly expand or contract when subjected to varying magnetic fields. The action creates ultrasonic sound waves. These are robust transducers, but are limited in their versatility. They are rarely able to create ultrasonic sound energy in the spectrum over 30 kHz.
Piezoelectric transducers are a newer technology. These devices exploit the piezoelectric principle — which describes the ability of objects to change shape when exposed to electric fields. In piezoelectric transducers, crystals capable of such physical transformation are attached to metal plates that amplify their action. Piezoelectric transducer technology is far more suitable for ultrasonic cleaning simply because it is able to create ultrasonic sound energy at very high frequencies. This makes it far more versatile and energy-efficient.
Kaijo Piezoelectric ultrasonic cleaning systems
The higher the ultrasonic sound frequency, the smaller the bubbles created, the gentler the action, and the more precise the cavitation action. Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning systems employ piezoelectric transducer technology for its inherent superiority. With transducers that produce ultrasonic energy from 20 kHz in the ultrasonic range to over 1.5 MHz in the megasonic range, Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning systems offers versatile cleaning ability. With power at these sonic spectrums ranging up to 1200 W per transducer, these are among the most versatile cleaning technologies in the world.
With more than 65 years in the industry, Kaijo is, today, at the forefront of the ultrasonic cleaning industry, and offers a range of quality ultrasonic cleaning tools for every industry need. From the electronics industry to the medical industry and industries using heavy mechanical equipment, Kaijo offers clients both the right tools and expert advice in making the correct choice. Whatever your industrial need, Kaijo’s turnkey Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems provide a cost effective solution. Specialists at Kaijo also help analyze a customer’s cleaning requirements and propose the most effective ultrasonic cleaning solutions based on their specific cleaning requirements.Read More
November 20, 2017
408 Fuel injectors may suffer from deposits to such an extent that they have to be removed from the engine and cleaned manually. Traditional methods involve soaking in harsh solvents, forcing solvents through the injector at high pressure and removing deposits manually. These methods often don’t result in complete removal of the deposits and they may damage the injector. In addition, the solvents used are expensive and difficult to dispose of properly and in an environmentally friendly manner. The cleaning process itself is time-consuming and expensive. Ultrasonic cleaning systems offer an effective alternative that doesn’t suffer from the same drawbacks and that cleans quickly and completely.
How Ultrasonic Cleaning Works
With ultrasonic cleaning, fuel injectors are placed in a cleaning tank that has an ultrasonic transducer installed at the bottom or in the walls. Alternatively, a portable ultrasonic transducer may be placed in the cleaning solution. The injectors should be placed in a basket so that they don’t touch the tank walls or bottom to avoid damage from possible vibrations.
The ultrasonic transducer is powered from an ultrasonic generator that supplies the high frequency electrical signal. The normal signal for this type of ultrasonic cleaning is about 30 kHz, for example 26 kHz or 38 kHz. The transducer generates ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution and the waves cause cavitation bubbles to form as the sound pressure rises and falls. It is these bubbles that clean hard metal surfaces such as those of fuel injectors.
Because the bubbles appear wherever the cleaning solution is present, ultrasonic cleaning works both outside and inside the fuel injectors, cleaning hard-to-reach places effectively and removing surface contamination everywhere. As a result, deposits and surface contamination are removed from inside fuel injector holes, from inside threads and from couplings. All foreign material is dislodged and cleaned down to the bare metal. At the same time, ultrasonic cleaning is fast, typically taking from ten to twenty minutes.
Ultrasonic Cleaning Hints
Ultrasonic cleaning systems are safe and easy to use and they clean without the use of aggressive chemicals. They work well with all kinds of parts to be cleaned but performance is improved when a few simple factors are taken into account. While they normally remove all dirt, they can work even faster for some cleaning applications.
Cleaning performance depends to some extent on the frequency used and the cleaning power of the generator. Lower frequencies deliver more powerful cleaning action but may damage fragile parts and some metal surfaces. In any case, the generator has to be powerful enough to fill the cleaning tank with ultrasonic waves. Too little power results in dead areas where the cleaning bubbles are fewer.
Another way of speeding up the cleaning process is to add a mild solvent to the cleaning solution. Although ultrasonic cleaning works well with plain water, dissolving or softening the deposit will help the bubbles clean. If the nature of the contaminant is known, specific solvents or detergents that attack the material to be removed can be added to the cleaning solution. Unlike cleaning with traditional methods, no soaking is required, and the mild solvent or detergent works together with the cavitation bubbles to speed up the cleaning action.
Kaijo’s 60 years of experience with ultrasonic cleaners allow the company to propose the best solutions for their customers’ cleaning requirements. Kaijo can advise companies that have to clean automotive parts such as fuel injectors regarding the best ultrasonic frequencies to use and the power needed for the ultrasonic generator. The company can follow up with proposals from its complete line of ultrasonic cleaning equipment and can make suggestions based in its experience in supplying such equipment to various companies working with new and restored automotive parts.Read More
September 29, 2017
The aerospace industry manufactures high-precision parts as well as repairing and maintaining complex engines and machinery. Production parts and parts from maintenance and repair operations are often contaminated by dirt, grease, oil or other lubricants deriving from normal operation or from production processes. Traditionally these parts have been cleaned manually by scrubbing or washing with aggressive solvents or other chemicals. Ultrasonic cleaning systems offer an alternative that saves time and money through an environmentally friendly process that cleans parts quickly and efficiently.
How Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Work
Ultrasonic cleaning systems consist of ultrasonic generators, transducers and cleaning tanks. The ultrasonic generators produce the high frequency electrical signal that the transducers, located inside the cleaning tanks, convert to ultrasonic waves in the cleaning fluid. The ultrasonic waves create microscopic bubbles that scrub the parts immersed in the cleaning fluid and remove surface contaminants.
The process works quickly and cleans completely everywhere the cleaning fluid can penetrate, even in crevices, tubes, holes and other hard-to-reach places. The cleaning fluid can be plain water or mild detergents can be added for improved cleaning performance. When heavy grease or similar heat-sensitive materials have to be cleaned, the cleaning fluid can be heated to soften the contaminant and allow cleaning to be completed faster.
Transitioning to Ultrasonic Cleaning
The aerospace industry can change over to ultrasonic cleaning easily and smoothly because the cleaning tasks are often discrete and clearly defined. For example, machining metal parts or extruding tubes often involves coating the metal with lubricating oil. When the parts come off the line, they have to be cleaned. Traditional cleaning involves a cleaning station that spray washes or scrubs the parts. The station can be replaced with a turn-key ultrasonic cleaning system that works more quickly. Because cleaning now takes less time, the rest of the production process can remain unchanged although overall productivity may well increase.
For repairs and maintenance, parts may have to be cleaned before being re-installed. Such parts are often soaked in chemicals to remove contaminants. The same soaking tanks can be used for ultrasonic cleaning by installing transducers in the existing tanks. The production line remains unchanged but the cleaning is accomplished faster and without chemicals.
Advantages of Ultrasonic Cleaning
Using ultrasonic cleaning systems allows aerospace companies satisfy their cleaning requirements more quickly and at a lower cost than with traditional cleaning methods. Ultrasonic cleaning takes less time than mechanical or manual scrubbing and removes contaminants completely. A quick rinse and drying takes less time than a complete wash and possibly neutralization of cleaning chemicals used with other cleaning methods. Storage, handling and disposal costs for toxic chemicals are eliminated as are equipment costs for ventilation, fume hoods and employee safety. Ultrasonic cleaning uses only mild detergents and does not pose any hazards for workers.
In addition to faster cleaning and reduced costs, ultrasonic cleaning systems offer better cleaning performance. Lower frequencies deliver robust cleaning action with larger bubbles while higher frequencies generate smaller bubbles and more gentle cleaning. Customers can fine tune cleaning performance by selecting a frequency that cleans quickly to remove contaminants while leaving the underlying surface clean and smooth. Even delicate machined parts can be cleaned effectively at high frequencies while heavy dirt can be removed with low frequency systems.
Ultrasonic Cleaning Benefits
The lower costs, reduced cleaning time and safe cleaning method provided by ultrasonic cleaning systems can deliver substantial benefits to aerospace manufacturers. Production facilities become more efficient and improved cleaning performance results in higher customer satisfaction and fewer problems as a result of incomplete cleaning.
Ultrasonic cleaning technology leader Kaijo has supplied ultrasonic cleaners to the aerospace industry and has the experience and expertise to help aerospace manufacturers and sub-contractors transition to using ultrasonic cleaning. Kaijo can supply a complete line of ultrasonic cleaning systems, from turn-key installations to separate components and customized equipment. The company can advise customers how best to meet their ultrasonic cleaning needs, make specific recommendations and ensure that the anticipated benefits are realized. For a free quote or consultation to determine how ultrasonic cleaning can be used for your specific industry application contact Kaijo or email [email protected].Read More
August 28, 2017
Ultrasonic cleaning systems can clean parts and components quickly, thoroughly and without chemicals or manual brushing. The systems work by placing items to be cleaned in a water bath and using ultrasonic sound waves in the liquid to dislodge contaminants. Properly selected and installed ultrasonic cleaners can reduce cleaning costs substantially and increase the efficiency of many production lines or manufacturing processes. Even shops needing a variety of parts cleaned on a regular basis can benefit from using these systems. Once installed and setup using the appropriate frequency and power levels for the specific application, cleaning is done rapidly and effectively.
Ultrasonic cleaning systems use cavitation bubbles generated in the cleaning liquid by the ultrasonic sound waves. These microscopic bubbles scrub contaminants from the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned. The bubbles attack the surface dirt everywhere, even in holes and other difficult-to-reach places. Some of the dirt dissolves and the rest can be rinsed away. This process is quick and cleans completely.
The time savings come from no longer having to soak parts in chemical baths to soften the dirt. Subsequent manual cleaning with pressure sprays and scrubbing is eliminated. Instead, operators can fill the ultrasonic baths, place the parts in a basket in the liquid and set a timer. For contaminants that dissolve or soften with heat, a mild detergent and heating the bath can speed cleaning. Typical cleaning times range from 10 to 20 minutes but can vary with the severity of the contamination and the nature of the dirt. For all but the simplest rinsing jobs, this represents a large saving over traditional cleaning methods.
Cost savings come from multiple sources. Water and power use are reduced and the use of harsh, expensive chemicals is eliminated. The whole cleaning process becomes safer and more environmentally friendly. Depending on the cleaning chemicals used previously, a variety of chemical handling equipment may no longer be needed.
High performance ultrasonic cleaning systems use less power because a typical ultrasonic generator is rated up to 1200 Watts. Very large baths may need several generators but the power used is much less than that used by the equipment of conventional cleaning systems. Water use is lower because only a single bath volume is needed for cleaning. Chemical baths need several bath volumes for soaking, cleaning and neutralizing. The reduced power and water use translate into cost savings.
Major reductions in cost are associated with the elimination of harsh chemicals. The chemicals themselves are expensive but such substances require equipment for storage handling and disposition. Dangerous chemicals have to be stored safely and need special chemical handling facilities. After they’re used in cleaning, they often have to be neutralized with other chemicals and disposed of in an approved fashion. Any spills or other accidents can be extremely costly.
Even if an ultrasonic cleaning solution needs detergents to clean more effectively, these are mild, environmentally safe and inexpensive. Depending on what chemical and mechanical cleaning method is being replaced, cost savings may vary but they almost always justify the purchase of an ultrasonic cleaning system.
Kaijo Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems
Kaijo can help plant managers explore the cleaning requirements of their operations and suggest ultrasonic cleaning solutions. The company offers free consultations and can advise on what is needed for a customer-specific installation. Kaijo has a wide range of state-of-the-art ultrasonic cleaning systems and consistently innovates to meet the needs of customers. From small, self-contained turnkey systems to large installations using existing cleaning tanks, Kaijo can evaluate customer requirements and propose a cost-effective ultrasonic cleaning system.Read More