Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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How Ultrasonic Cleaners Are Used in Biotechnology Applications

March 10, 2020

Biotechnology companies have special needs for cleanliness of parts and equipment and for cleaning applications that don’t contaminate biotechnology processes. Parts such as tanks, containers, sieves, tubes and sensors often have to be completely free of contamination before being used in a biotechnology application. Using harsh chemicals to clean parts may leave deposits that can harm the biological process while mechanical cleaning by hand is time-consuming and can’t reach hard-to-access places. Industrial ultrasonic cleaners can clean parts and equipment quickly and completely without the use of harsh chemicals. They represent an ideal solution to many of the biotechnology industry cleaning needs.

Effective Cleaning of Biotechnology Equipment Using the Right Ultrasonic Frequency

Ultrasonic cleaners work by generating microscopic cavitation bubbles in the cleaning solution. The bubbles are created and then burst in time with the frequency of the ultrasonic system. A bubble bursting near the surface of a part to be cleaned releases a tiny but powerful jet that dislodges surface contaminants. High frequencies generate smaller bubbles with gentle cleaning action while lower frequencies produce large bubbles and robust cleaning.

Choosing the right ultrasonic frequency depends on the material of the part to be cleaned and the nature of the contamination. Parts with hard surfaces such as those made of stainless steel or glass can have severe contamination removed quickly at low frequencies in the 20 kHz range.

Parts made from softer materials such as plastic or aluminum can suffer damage from pitting if the frequency is too low. Such parts can be cleaned with higher frequencies in the 40 kHz range. To be sure soft parts are not damaged, even higher frequencies may be used if the contamination is not very severe.

The highest frequencies, above 100 kHz, are used for fragile components such as sensors or electronic devices. Such parts may have easily damaged surfaces, delicate microscopic structures or fragile connections. Choosing a high frequency will still remove the contaminants but will deliver the gentle cleaning required for such parts.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Can Remove Biological Films and Oils

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners can remove all kinds of contaminants using plain water as the cleaning bath, but sometimes films cling tightly to surfaces and can take longer to clean completely. In such cases, the ultrasonic cleaning action can be improved by heating the cleaning solution and/or adding a mild detergent.

Heating the cleaning solution can soften oily and biological films while a mild detergent can dissolve the material that binds the films together or to the underlying surface. For specific contaminants, solvents aimed at the contaminating material can improve cleaning performance. Ultrasonic cleaning combined with a heated selected solvent represents a powerful cleaning solution.

Kaijo Can Deliver Superior Customized Ultrasonic Cleaners

Kaijo uses experience acquired over the last 60 years in ultrasonic technology research to design and build industrial ultrasonic cleaners to meet the specific needs of its customers. As one of the leading ultrasonic cleaner manufacturers, Kaijo’s full line of ultrasonic cleaning equipment operates from the lowest to the highest frequencies and is suitable for operation with heated baths and solvents.

Kaijo builds the ultrasonic cleaners in house and can supply customized units operating at frequencies from 19.5 kHz to 2 MHz. Dual and multiple frequency systems are available in both turnkey systems and as individual components. Cleaning baths can be heated to 70 degrees centigrade with cleaning power up to 1200 W. Kaijo works with customers in many industries that use ultrasonic cleaners including the biotechnology industry. The company offers free consultation and can propose custom units to meet the special requirements of biotechnology cleaning applications. Contact Kaijo for a free consultation on using ultrasonic cleaning for your specific application.