Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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Important Things to Know When You Buy an Ultrasonic Cleaner

November 4, 2021

When you select the right ultrasonic cleaner, the cleaner should work quickly and clean your parts completely without damaging soft surfaces or delicate components. There are several key characteristics that have to be chosen correctly, or the cleaner may not work properly. An experienced ultrasonic cleaning system manufacturer can help make sure you get the right system for your cleaning application.

The Ultrasonic Frequency Is Important for Ensuring Quick and Complete Cleaning

The cleaning intensity of ultrasonic cleaners varies with the frequency. Ultrasonic cleaners remove surface contamination from parts to be cleaned by using an ultrasonic cleaning generator to produce microscopic cavitation bubbles in the cleaning solution. Low frequencies generate comparatively large bubbles and energetic cleaning while the bubbles generated by higher frequencies are smaller and less energetic.

The lowest ultrasonic frequencies, at about 20 to 40 kHz, deliver the most intense cleaning action while higher frequencies, up to 1 MHz, generate increasingly lower cleaning intensity. Robust parts with hard surfaces can be cleaned quickly at the lowest frequencies while more fragile parts, parts with delicate coating, or parts with soft surfaces require higher frequencies to avoid pitting or mechanical damage. The ideal is to choose the lowest frequency that will leave the parts undamaged but deliver rapid cleaning.

The Ultrasonic Cleaning System must be Powerful Enough for the Size of Tank

Ultrasonic cleaning takes place wherever the cleaning solution can penetrate, but if the system is not powerful enough, the cleaning tanks may develop dead spots and cleaning can be uneven. Large tanks may require several ultrasonic transducers to ensure an even distribution of cavitation bubbles. Both the number of transducers and their placement in the tank can affect cleaning performance.

A manufacturer that provides industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems can analyze the requirements of a cleaning application and recommend a system with adequate power levels. If there is not enough power or if the power is not evenly distributed throughout the cleaning tank, the ultrasonic cleaner may not perform as expected.

Make Sure the Cleaning Tank Size Can Hold Your Parts

The parts to be cleaned have to be completely immersed in the cleaning solution. Tanks can be custom designed to hold long parts, square parts, or parts with different shapes and sizes. The key is to make sure the longest part can fit into the tank. When many small parts are being cleaned, a basket can hold them and prevent them from vibrating against the sides of the tank. In that case, the tank has to be large enough to hold the basket.

Heating the Cleaning Solution May Speed up Cleaning

Oily or greasy residue and hardened deposits can be softened by heating the cleaning solution. While ultrasonic cleaners can work without heat, the cleaning process is quicker when these contaminants are softened. If the cleaning application involves removing deposits that are softer at higher temperatures, a tank that can be heated will improve cleaning performance.

Mild Detergents Can Dissolve Contaminants

Industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems can clean effectively using just plain water, but some contaminants are removed more easily if mild detergents or solvents are added to the cleaning solution. Detergents can help loosen deposits and, for especially hard-to-clean contaminants, specific solvents can be used to speed up cleaning.

Kaijo provides customers with expert guidance on selecting the right system and can also help with suggestions on detergents, depending on the cleaning application. In addition to helping solve challenging cleaning problems, Kaijo’s Phenix Hyper industrial ultrasonic cleaner product line delivers superior cleaning performance with a unique 3D Hyper proprietary waveform that cleans delicate parts quickly without damage. When Kaijo helps you to choose the best industrial ultrasonic cleaner, you’ll be sure to get the required cleaning performance for your application.