Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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Should De-Ionized Water Be Used with an Ultrasonic Cleaning System?

October 16, 2017

Should De-Ionized Water Be Used with an Ultrasonic Cleaning System?De-ionized (DI) water is plain water that has been purified to remove contaminants such as metals and salts (ions). When DI water is used in ultrasonic cleaning systems it can improve cleaning performance, depending on the parts to be cleaned and the nature of the contaminants to be removed. Such increased cleaning performance is especially important for delicate parts that can’t tolerate detergents. For these cleaning applications, using slightly heated DI water makes the ultrasonic cleaning process more effective than when using plain water.

When to Use DI Water

While ultrasonic cleaning systems will work with plain water, adding a mild detergent can often speed up the cleaning action. Delicate parts such as semiconductor wafers, printed circuit boards and some medical devices might be damaged by using detergents, so in these applications cleaning with DI water is recommended. The DI water helps the ultrasonic bubbles clean rapidly, even in the absence of detergents.

For stubborn grease and oil contamination, DI water is not effective in speeding up the cleaning process. Instead, a mild detergent or solvent specific to the particular contaminant is needed. Sometimes using a solvent that attacks the dirt but doesn’t harm the part to be cleaned can be found. For other types of cleaning, the use of DI water throughout the cleaning process is beneficial.

When an ultrasonic cleaning system has removed dirt from the parts to be cleaned, the cleaning solution is drained away but the parts often still have to be rinsed to finish the cleaning process. Normal water has dissolved minerals and other impurities so that rinsing can leave a deposit. After the parts are dry, they may have spots or films left over from the evaporated water. If this is not acceptable, DI water can be used for rinsing. Since it contains no impurities, dried parts and components will be completely clean and free of spots.

How DI Water Helps Clean

DI water helps ultrasonic systems clean parts and components in two ways. DI water without any additives has no impurities and therefore acts like a sponge. Once the microscopic bubbles generated by the ultrasonic cleaning system have dislodged tiny particles, the DI water quickly absorbs any dissolved substances. Normal water already contains impurities and therefore doesn’t absorb contaminants to the same extent.

A second way in which DI water helps ultrasonic systems clean quickly applies when mild detergents are added to the system. When normal water is used, the detergent first absorbs the impurities in the water before going on to help clean away dirt. With DI water, there are no impurities to reduce the effectiveness of the detergent and all of the cleaning power goes to absorb contaminants removed from the parts to be cleaned.

As a result, the use of DI water can improve the effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning systems in general. It speeds up cleaning for applications that can’t use detergents and helps systems clean when detergents are required. In both cases, rinsing with DI water will remove any remaining impurities.

How Kaijo Can Help

Kaijo has over 65 years of experience with ultrasonic technology and can help with specific customer applications. The company will provide free consultation and advice on using ultrasonic cleaning systems and can help determine whether the use of DI water is effective in each customer’s application. As well as giving expert advice, Kaijo can follow up with concrete proposals drawn from its extensive line of ultrasonic cleaning systems and components. In addition to guidance on DI water, customers can get advice on which systems will work best for them, what ultrasonic frequencies to use for their cleaning applications and how to best configure their systems.

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Why Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Are Used by Aerospace Manufacturers

September 29, 2017

Why Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Are Used by Aerospace ManufacturersThe 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 info@kaijo-shibuya.com.

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Kaijo’s New Phenix Hyper Ultrasonic Generator Provides Optimum Cleaning Results

September 21, 2017

Kaijo's New Phenix Hyper Ultrasonic Generator Provides Optimum Cleaning Results

Kaijo’s new Phenix Hyper ultrasonic cleaning generator along with the Hyper immersible transducer deliver improved cleaning performance using the latest ultrasonic technology. The generator can be used with the standard sweep frequency mode but also features the new Hyper mode that improves cleaning effectiveness with a uniform ultrasonic pattern that completely fills the process tank.

Typical ultrasonic controls are included in the generator’s standard functions and it can produce up to 1200 W output power. Its user-friendly operator interface makes process control transparent and an assortment of alarm, display and interlock functions ensure safe and reliable operation. Together with the Hyper immersible transducer, the new system helps avoid incomplete or non-uniform cleaning and reduces the possibility of surface damage to cleaned parts. Hyper mode allows finely tuned cleaning and removes small particles and deposits completely.

 

Phenix Hyper Ultrasonic Generator Features

Operating at 78 kHz and delivering adjustable output power up to 1200 watts, Kaijo’s Phenix Hyper ultrasonic cleaning generator incorporates advanced technology and a complete set of controls and alarms. Specific generator functions include:

  • Auto tuning – the generator automatically adjusts to changing process environments
  • Oscillation verification and alarm
  • Choice of standard sweep mode or advanced Hyper mode
  • Eight-level power adjustment through remote oscillation terminals
  • Remote interlock terminals

 

The new vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) shows operators key process variables, alarms and settings and allows control of the cleaning process. Output power is displayed in teal time and alarms displayed include upper output limit, lower output limit, transducer error, abnormal inner temperature, interlock alarm and six different types of memory error.

 

The ultrasonic generator provides the following characteristics:

  • Output 10 to 1200 Watts adjustable in 1 watt increments
  • Dimensions 350 x 440 x 165 mm, W x D x H, weight 11 kg
  • Power supply 200 to 240 V, single phase, 50/60 Hz, 12 A
  • Ambient 1 to 40 degrees C, 0-80 percent humidity (no condensation)

 

Working with the new Hyper immersible ultrasonic transducer, the system represents an easy-to-use turn-key solution for applications with an existing cleaning tank. The Hyper ultrasonic transducer is matched to the Phenix Hyper generator with a 78 kHz operating frequency and a 1200 W maximum power capacity. The transducer is made of a high polish stainless steel, weighs 17 kg and measures 365 x 280 x 100 mm. It is suitable for immersion in cleaning solutions up to 80 degrees C.

 

Phenix Hyper Generator and Transducer Benefits

The new ultrasonic cleaning generator and transducer set combines improved cleaning with easier operation and more reliable performance. Parts made from metal, ceramics and glass can be cleaned effectively on all sides, even when they have complex shapes with hard-to-reach places. The Hyper ultrasonic cleaning technology works wherever the cleaning solution can penetrate, removing fine contaminants quickly and completely throughout the cleaning tank.

Benefits of the new technology include:

  • The Hyper Mode achieves three-dimensional cleaning of complex shaped objects to insure all surfaces of irregular shaped objects are cleaned
  • Solutions to problems of poor or incomplete cleaning or surface damage to cleaned parts
  • Can be used with plain water or with mild detergents in cleaning solutions heated up to 80 degrees C
  • User-friendly interface is easy to use
  • The generator and transducer can be placed into service immediately in a turn-key configuration without a complicated installation and set-up

 

Kaijo can help customers with ultrasonic cleaning solutions and advise where the new Hyper technology would be appropriate. With extensive experience and unparalleled expertise in the ultrasonic field, Kaijo can evaluate a customer’s cleaning needs and make recommendations from its complete line of ultrasonic cleaning products, including those using the new Hyper technology.

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Time Vs. Money: How an Ultrasonic Cleaning System Saves Both

August 28, 2017

Time Vs. Money: How an Ultrasonic Cleaning System Saves BothUltrasonic 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.

Saving Time

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.

Saving Money

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.

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How an Ultrasonic Generator Works

August 17, 2017

How an Ultrasonic Generator WorksThe ultrasonic generator is at the heart of ultrasonic cleaning systems as it produces the high-frequency signal that the ultrasonic transducers convert to sound waves in the cleaning solution. In addition to generating the signal, the unit can control the frequency and the power, produce several or a range of frequencies and act as part of an integrated, turnkey solution or independently to power separate transducers. Ultrasonic generators need to be selected to match specific cleaning requirements in order for the system to work effectively. Key criteria for generator selection are the power and frequency of the generator and the matching transducers. In each case, the cleaning tank has to be large enough to hold the longest part to be cleaned, the power has to be high enough for the tank size and the frequency has to match the type of contaminant and the mechanical strength of the parts to be cleaned.

How It Works

An ultrasonic generator converts the 60 Hz facility power to high frequencies ranging from about 20 kHz to the 1 MHz range. Some models can generate only a single or a few frequencies while others can produce a wide range. Different levels of power are also available. For multiple-frequency models, operators can select the frequency that is most appropriate for their cleaning application.

In addition to producing the high-frequency signal, ultrasonic generators control the signal to maximize cleaning performance. Generators may automatically adjust the signal to compensate for heavy or light loading of the cleaning tank and they may “sweep” the signal, varying the frequency slightly to eliminate resonance or standing waves in the cleaning tank. For example, when a generator is operating at 38 kHz, varying the frequency randomly between 36 and 40 kHz eliminates hot spots and tank resonance that could damage the parts to be cleaned.

Selecting the Right Model

The right frequency is the key to effective ultrasonic cleaning. Low frequencies in the 26 to 38 kHz range produce large, energetic cavitation bubbles in the cleaning solution. The cleaning action is powerful but fragile components may be damaged and soft surfaces may suffer pitting. This range is suitable for items such as machined parts, glass and wires.

For the mid-frequency range of 78 to 160 kHz, the cavitation bubbles are smaller and the cleaning action is gentler. Hard disk drives, solar panels and ceramic parts can be cleaned at these frequencies. The most delicate components can be cleaned at the highest frequency ranges of 450 to 950 kHz. These frequencies are suitable for semiconductors, LEDs and fragile medical components.

If the ultrasonic generator is used with a single process and always has to clean the same kind of parts, selecting a single-frequency model makes sense. For general-purpose facilities, where the ultrasonic cleaning system may be used for many different cleaning applications, a generator that can produce many frequencies is a good choice.

Kaijo Ultrasonic Generators

Kaijo has a complete line of ultrasonic generators and offers free consulting to make sure customers select the type of system best suited to their cleaning applications. Generator models include the Quava high power, the Quava Mini and the Phenix Legend ultrasonic generators. Models are available as separate components or in turnkey packages.

The Quava high power models include generators that can operate at either multi-frequencies of 26/78/130 kHz or 38/100/160 kHz or ten different single frequency systems from 26 to 950 kHz. The Quava mini is a self-contained, compact tabletop system for small cleaning jobs. The Phenix Legend has 4 single frequency systems of 78kHz, 100kHz, 130kHz and 160kHz. Kaijo can help customers select the right ultrasonic components for a new process tank or help convert an existing tank.

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How to Design an Ultrasonic Cleaning System for Your Application

July 31, 2017

While ultrasonic cleaning systems are an ideal solution for many cleaning applications, they have to be designed with the particular tasks in mind. The operating frequencies of the system and tank size are key factors in selecting a system that will fulfill requirements. The rated power of the ultrasonic system, its flexibility to meet various cleaning needs and the type of transducers used also impact how well the system will perform. Only an ultrasonic cleaning system with the necessary design features will clean quickly and effectively.

Parts or Components to be Cleaned

The main influence on the design of an ultrasonic system is the nature of the parts or components that have to be cleaned. Key characteristics are a size of the parts, the material they are made of and the kind of dirt or contaminants to be removed.

The size of the parts determines the size of the cleaning tanks and the type of basket needed. The basket keeps the parts suspended in the cleaning solution so they don’t rest on the bottom or against the sides of the tank where vibrations might damage them. The basket has to fit inside the tank, and its mesh has to be fine enough to support the parts. Large numbers of small parts or single large pieces might need a large tank while a smaller tank might be suitable for fewer or smaller parts. Large tanks need more power and may require several ultrasonic transducers to cover the whole tank.

The part material and the nature of the contaminant determine what frequencies are best. Low frequencies of 20 kHz to 40 kHz deliver robust cleaning action to remove heavy dirt from rugged parts such as metal components and glass. Higher frequencies in the 100 kHz range clean more fragile items such as delicate machined parts and solar cells. Higher frequencies in the 1 MHz range deliver gentle cleaning for items such as semiconductor components. Choosing the wrong frequency can result in either slow cleaning or damage to the parts to be cleaned.

Selecting the Right Type of Ultrasonic Cleaning System

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of an ultrasonic generator that produces the ultrasonic signal, transducers that convert the signal to sound waves in the cleaning solution and the cleaning solution tank. The components can be purchased separately or as a turnkey ultrasonic system that incorporates three components in one integrated package. Transducers can be independent, immersible units or they may be mounted or bolted onto the tank. Selecting the right type of system for an application helps ensure effective and rapid cleaning as well as reliable performance.

For some applications, it may make sense to purchase immersible transducers to place in an existing cleaning tank. Cleaning requirements may be for cleaning a specific part or component and a single-frequency system optimized for the use might be the most appropriate. Another production line might need multiple cleaning tasks to be performed at different times. Small turnkey systems are often cost effective, or a customer might need a large, custom tank with multiple transducers.

Kaijo can help customers select the best system for their needs and make sure that it performs as expected. Kaijo’s team of ultrasonic system experts have the experience to analyze a customer’s requirements and suggest the most effective solution. They can make recommendations on key system characteristics such as frequency, power and system configuration to ensure that the resulting cleaning performance matches the customer’s requirements to improve efficiency.

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How Ultrasonic Cleaning Tanks Work

July 19, 2017

How Ultrasonic Cleaning Tanks WorkUltrasonic cleaning tanks hold the solution that cleans parts and components through the action of cavitation bubbles generated by the ultrasonic sound waves. An ultrasonic generator produces the electric signal and transducers mounted on the tanks convert the signal into waves in the cleaning liquid. The cavitation bubbles deliver a strong scrubbing action throughout the liquid and can clean fully in hard-to-reach places.

Ultrasonic cleaning tanks have to withstand the cleaning action and vibrations created by the transducers and they have to be constructed to satisfy many different cleaning requirements. Kaijo ultrasonic cleaning tanks feature high-quality construction and provide reliable cleaning performance. The tanks are designed for use in industrial cleaning applications and clean parts and components quickly and completely. A wide range of sizes designed for use at 600 W or 1200 W cleaning power is available.

Tank Construction

Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning tanks are made of thick gloss polished stainless steel to provide a stable structure for the mounted transducers and as an inert container for the cleaning liquid. Kaijo can supply specific tanks designed to work with Kaijo ultrasonic generators and custom-designed tanks are also available.

Ultrasonic cleaning tanks have to be sized to hold the parts to be cleaned. Parts are usually suspended in a basket to avoid contact with the sides or bottom of the tank where they could suffer damage due to vibrations. The basket has to be large enough to hold the parts to be cleaned and has to fit inside the tank

Kaijo has an extensive range of standard tank sizes and can supply custom tanks sized to customer applications. The tank length determines the size of the largest piece a tank can hold and standard tanks are available in lengths from 370 mm (14.6 in.) to 550 mm (21.7 in.) while custom tanks can be larger if required.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Tank Operation

Kaijo tanks are available with mounted transducers and generators operating at 26 kHz, 38 kHz or 78kHz. These ultrasonic cleaning tanks are complete systems that deliver robust cleaning action, typically cleaning most parts in about 10 minutes.

For example, the highly reliable Phenix III generator can be combined with Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning tanks and mounted transducers to form a cost-effective turnkey system. Such a combination can clean glass, ceramics, machined parts and food as well as jewelry, cosmetics, and medical devices.  The transducers are heat resistant up to 100 degrees Centigrade and Kaijo’s Water Resonance System is available to substantially increase cleaning effectiveness.

The tanks can operate with a water bath but adding a mild detergent and heating the cleaning solution can speed up cleaning performance for some contaminants. This is especially true of greasy or waxy dirt that softens at higher temperatures and is dissolved by detergents. The ultrasonic system can clean complicated shapes and crevices as well as dead-end holes and areas inaccessible for mechanical cleaning methods.

Kaijo Can Help

Kaijo has over 60 years of experience in ultrasonic cleaning technology and can help customers select the best system and configuration for their cleaning application. Selecting the appropriate tank, frequency, power and system features ensures that the ultrasonic cleaning system performs up to its capability. When the selected system can either carry out a single cleaning task effectively or has the flexibility to clean multiple different parts well, it maximizes the return on investment and improves production line efficiency.

Kaijo’s specialists can help analyze a customer’s cleaning requirements and propose effective ultrasonic cleaning solutions. Consultations with ultrasonic cleaning experts are free and Kaijo’s team can recommend specific ultrasonic cleaning tanks and systems that match a customer’s needs. A well-designed and properly configured ultrasonic system can reduce costs, improve output quality and increase productivity.

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Can My Parts Be Cleaned Using Ultrasonics?

June 29, 2017

Industrial operations often require the cleaning of parts during or at the end of the manufacturing process. Traditionally such cleaning methods use harsh chemicals to dissolve contaminants and mechanical scrubbing to remove tough residue. Cleaning parts in this way is time-consuming and expensive. Even the best traditional cleaning methods are not completely effective and leave contaminants in hard-to-reach places. Ultrasonics can address these problems and provide quick and completely effective cleaning solution for all kinds of parts, tools and equipment.

How an Ultrasonic Cleaning System Works

Ultrasonic cleaning systems remove surface dirt and contaminants through the action of microscopic bubbles in a cleaning bath filled with water (which may also include a mild detergent). As the ultrasonic sound waves travel through the cleaning solution, the waves produce crests of high and low pressure. Cavitation bubbles form in the low-pressure areas and collapse under high pressure, creating an intensive scrubbing action. The effect of bubble formation and collapse is strong enough to deliver a substantial improvement in cleaning performance over traditional methods.

How to Choose an Ultrasonic System

Ultrasonic cleaning systems can increase production facility efficiency by reducing cleaning times, but they must have the right characteristics for a particular cleaning application. Choosing the right frequency and power are critical for optimal performance and choosing the right system ensures that all required cleaning needs can be met.

Low-frequency systems operating at around 26 kHz or 38 kHz create comparatively large bubbles with a robust cleaning action. Such systems are ideal for heavy residues on hard surfaces such as steel, copper and glass. Systems with higher frequencies operating at 100 kHz or more generate smaller bubbles that create a gentle cleaning action for delicate parts such as solar cells, medical devices and semiconductors.

No matter what the frequency, the system has to be able to generate enough power to fill the cleaning tank with bubbles. Finally, if an industrial process involves a single, specific cleaning action, a single-frequency system is an appropriate choice. If many different cleaning applications may be needed, a multiple-frequency system is better.

Additional Features of Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems

Other features used with an ultrasonic cleaning system include baskets to hold the parts to be cleaned, the possibility of heating the cleaning solution, different sizes of cleaning tanks and the ability to operate with different cleaning solutions. Making sure that your cleaning system includes the features you need is critical for effective ultrasonic cleaning performance.

For baskets and size of the tank, the basic requirement is that tank size has to be large enough for the parts you want to clean. Baskets hold the parts to be cleaned and keep them from touching the walls and floor of the tank. Baskets are not necessary for cleaning, but the floor or walls of the tank may vibrate with the ultrasonic waves and contact with the parts could cause damage. If a basket is used, the basket has to be sized according to the parts it will hold, and the tank has to be large enough to hold the basket.

Heating the cleaning solution is an advantage for contaminants that soften with increased temperature. Grease and oil are easier to remove when warm and heating can speed up the cleaning process. The same is true for cleaning solutions. While ultrasonics will work with plain water, adding a mild solvent designed to remove a specific contaminant improves cleaning performance.

Kaijo Ultrasonic Cleaners

An excellent way of ensuring that an ultrasonic cleaning system can fulfill the requirements of a specific application is to consult a company specializing in ultrasonic cleaning solutions. Kaijo has over 65 years of experience in this field and can help choose the ideal system. The Phenix turnkey ultrasonic cleaning system is an example of a versatile system that can meet a variety of requirements. Kaijo’s staff of experts can explain how the Phenix system operates and the features it offers while examining the needs of customers and proposing specialized solutions where required.

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Kaijo Shibuya America Inc. Exhibiting at SEMICON West 2017

June 21, 2017

Kaijo Shibuya America Inc. will be exhibiting at SEMICON West 2017, at Booth 5518 North Hall, from July 11-13 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Come by our booth to talk with us and learn how our new Phenix Hyper wave can enhance the uniformity of your ultrasonic cleaning process. Kaijo is an industry leader in megasonic and ultrasonic cleaning technology and offers a wide selection of state-of-the-art products and innovations not found with other ultrasonic cleaning manufacturers. (more…)

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Ultrasonic Cleaning 101: What Are Ultrasonic Waves and How Do They Clean?

June 19, 2017

Ultrasonic cleaning systems use ultrasonic waves to clean parts, tools and equipment quickly and effectively. A typical system is made up of an ultrasonic generator, a transducer and a cleaning tank. The generator produces an electrical signal at the required ultrasonic frequency. Ultrasonic frequencies used range from about 26 kHz to 200 kHz, and a generator may be designed for a single frequency or a frequency range.

The transducers convert the electric signal to physical vibrations that can create ultrasonic waves in a liquid. The transducer is submerged in the cleaning solution and includes a heavy metal plate. When the transducer receives the electric signal from the generator, the metal plate vibrates at the ultrasonic frequency and fills the liquid in the cleaning tank with ultrasonic waves.

The cleaning tank holds the parts to be cleaned, the cleaning solution and the transducer. It may include a basket to keep the parts from touching the tank walls and bottom, and it may include a heater to warm the liquid. High performance industrial ultrasonic cleaners work with plain cold water but adding a mild detergent and heating the solution can improve cleaning performance for some contaminants.

How Ultrasonic Waves Clean

The ultrasonic waves in the cleaning liquid remove contaminants and dirt from the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned through the action of cavitation bubbles. Just like waves on the surface of a body of water, ultrasonic sound waves have peaks and troughs. When the sound waves travel within a cleaning solution, the peaks and troughs become areas of high and low pressure.

In the low-pressure areas, cavitation bubbles form and the bubbles collapse under high pressure. As an ultrasonic sound wave trough passes the surface of a part to be cleaned, the cavitation bubbles form along the surface. When the high-pressure peak of an ultrasonic wave passes by, the bubbles collapse and release energy which produce a scrubbing action on the surface. This process repeats at the frequency of the ultrasonic wave. As a result, millions of microscopic bubbles form and collapse many thousands of times per second delivering intensive cleaning action by loosening dirt and contaminants and scrubbing the surfaces to be cleaned.

How System Frequency Affects Cleaning Performance

While all industrial ultrasonic cleaners operate the same way, the operating frequency influences what kinds of parts can be cleaned most effectively. In general, low frequencies can better deal with heavy dirt and contamination on hard surfaces while higher frequencies are used for delicate cleaning applications.

The sound wave pressure peaks of low frequencies such as 26 kHz to 38 kHz are relatively far apart, leaving more time for the cavitation bubbles to grow. The comparatively large bubbles give off a lot of energy when they collapse, and the resulting cleaning action is especially intense. Frequencies such as 100 kHz or higher leave less time for the bubbles to grow and the smaller bubbles give off less energy when they collapse. The cleaning action at the higher frequencies is gentler, becoming less aggressive as the frequency rises.

The low frequencies are suitable for items such as metal tools, glass or hard disk drive components. High frequencies are used for more fragile items such as delicate machined parts, semiconductor components or solar cells. Choosing the correct frequency and other ultrasonic system features is critical for optimal cleaning performance.

How Kaijo can Help You Choose the Right System

Global ultrasonic cleaning system manufacturer Kaijo offers a wide range of standard and turnkey solutions and can customize systems to match special cleaning needs. The company has the expertise to evaluate cleaning applications and suggest the ideal system to match specific requirements. Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaners can clean quickly and completely to help increase manufacturing productivity, reduce the use of harsh cleaning chemicals and improve output quality with better cleaning performance.

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