Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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How to Buy the Right Ultrasonic Cleaner for Your Application – Part 2

August 13, 2018

The most important considerations in choosing an ultrasonic cleaning system are the size of the tank, the frequency of the system and the power it can handle. Accessories such as a cleaning tank temperature heater and a basket to hold the parts must also be considered. Once these basic characteristics are fixed and the type of system required for the cleaning application is clear, additional options are available that may improve cleaning performance and speed up the cleaning process, depending on the parts to be cleaned and the contaminants to be removed.

Cleaning Tank Heater

Ultrasonic cleaning systems work by generating microscopic bubbles that scrub surfaces clean and remove surface contamination. When contaminants are hard deposits, the bubbles work more slowly because the deposits either absorb some of their energy or are too hard to immediately be broken up and washed away. Typical deposits and contaminants of this type include grease, engine deposits and burnt oil or carbon.

Such contamination is difficult to remove by any cleaning method but heat usually helps soften the deposits or loosen them from the underlying surface. When the cleaning solution of an ultrasonic cleaning system tank is heated, the bubbles act much faster and the cleaning process is completed in less time.

Tank heaters are a useful option for ultrasonic cleaning systems but they have to be designed for the application. The cleaning solution may contain a mild solvent but it is mostly water that boils at 100 degrees centigrade. As a result, the heat settings should be controlled to make sure the cleaning solution does not start boiling.

The cleaning tank also contains ultrasonic transducers that work with electronic parts sensitive to high temperatures. If the cleaning solution is going to be heated to a point just under boiling temperatures, the transducers must be able to withstand 100 degree centigrade heat. For applications that require the tank heater option, making sure that the system is designed to support it is critical.

Using Sweep Frequencies

An ultrasonic cleaning system is designed to operate at a certain frequency at which optimum cleaning results are achieved due to the size of the microscopic bubbles and the cleaning action intensity. At a given frequency, a system may experience a number of unpredictable negative effects. There may be dead spots in the cleaning tank where ultrasonic waves cancel each other out and no cleaning occurs. Resonance vibrations may appear and threaten to damage equipment or the parts to be cleaned. Sweep frequency modes reduce these effects.

When using sweep frequencies, the ultrasonic cleaner frequency varies around a central value. If ultrasonic waves are cancelling out somewhere in the tank, changing the frequency slightly will stop this effect or displace it temporarily to another tank location. Overall, cleaning is more even. Changing the frequency also stops resonance vibrations because they occur at one particular frequency. Using sweep frequencies to continuously vary the operating frequency helps to achieve better cleaning performance.

Water Resonance System

A water resonance system treats water destined for the cleaning tank to promote the formation of cavitation bubbles and help ensure even cleaning action throughout the tank. The water treatment of a water resonance system provides an even distribution of nuclei essential to bubble formation. With the nuclei distributed evenly, bubbles form everywhere in the cleaning solution rather than mainly above the ultrasonic transducer. A water resonance system helps ensure even cleaning action on everything placed in the cleaning tank.

Kaijo Can Provide Ultrasonic Systems as well as Key Options

Kaijo works with many different manufacturers to supply of the right ultrasonic cleaner to meet for their application. The company can supply complete systems from its comprehensive line of ultrasonic products and it has optional features that include tank heaters, use of sweep frequency and water resonance. Specialists at Kaijo also help analyze a customer’s cleaning requirements and propose the most effective ultrasonic cleaning solution based on their specific cleaning requirements.

 

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How to Buy the Right Ultrasonic Cleaner for Your Application – Part I

July 30, 2018

 

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners can clean parts quickly and completely if they have the right characteristics for the application. Ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of a generator, one or more transducers, and a cleaning tank. Each component has to be selected correctly and they have to work together for the system to live up to its cleaning potential. Systems can be designed to clean one kind of part or they can be flexible and clean many different kinds. The key to selecting the right system is to be clear about what cleaning has to be done and what the required result should be.

The Cleaning Application

Cleaning parts effectively depends on the kind of part that has to be cleaned and the type of contaminants that are on the parts. When the right industrial ultrasonic cleaner is used, the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned are unaffected while the substances that have to be removed are washed away quickly. Ultrasonic cleaners remove light contamination such as dust, films and residue quickly and completely, even when the parts are odd shapes or have holes, cracks and crevices. The ultrasonic cleaners act wherever the cleaning solution can penetrate so interior cavities are also cleaned as long as the cleaning solution can enter.

When contamination is heavy, additional measures may be appropriate. For thick deposits of oil or grease, heating the cleaning solution helps speed cleaning because the oil and grease become softer and easier to remove. For some difficult deposits, mild solvents that act on the contaminant may also help clean the parts. If a cleaning application falls into these categories, the ultrasonic cleaning system should be able to handle solvents and heat the cleaning solution.

Size and Power

The size of the parts to be cleaned determines the cleaning tank size and influences the power required for the industrial ultrasonic cleaner. For unusually shaped parts, such as long thin parts or large flat ones, a custom tank may be appropriate to avoid having to power a large amount of cleaning solution, most of which is empty. In any case, the tank has to be slightly larger than the longest dimension of the parts to be cleaned.

Larger tanks will need more power but the most important factor is that the ultrasonic waves have to be evenly distributed and reach all sections of the cleaning tank. Too much power may cause pitting on the surfaces of the parts so buying a system with the right power is important. A competent manufacturer can help select the required power levels or recommend a system for which the power level is adjustable, depending on the cleaning application.

How to Immerse the Parts to be Cleaned

Since ultrasonic cleaning is carried out by means of high-frequency sound waves in the cleaning solution, both the tank walls and the parts to be cleaned may vibrate slightly as cleaning takes place. This means parts must be suspended in the cleaning solution to avoid contact between the parts and the tank walls or bottom because the vibrations can cause damage.

A basket that fits inside the tank can hold the parts safely suspended in the cleaning solution but the cleaning tank will have to be slightly larger to accommodate the basket. Baskets are usually stainless steel but they can be coated to hold delicate parts without scratching.

Kaijo’s Experts can Provide Help

With extensive experience in industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems, Kaijo can help customers select the ultrasonic cleaner best suited to their needs. Kaijo will provide free consultation on size, power, baskets as well as the appropriate frequency to use for a given cleaning application. They offer an extensive product line of ultrasonic cleaning equipment to address the needs of many different kinds of industrial cleaning applications.

 

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Selecting an Ultrasonic Transducer for Your Cleaning Application

July 17, 2018

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are composed of a signal generator, an ultrasonic transducer and a cleaning tank. The transducer changes the electrical high-frequency signal from the generator into ultrasonic sound waves in the cleaning solution. Due to this key role, it is important to choose a transducer that will work well with the generator and cleaning tank but also perform as expected for the cleaning application.

Ultrasonic Cleaning transducers have to deliver ultrasonic power in the liquid of the cleaning tank and withstand difficult operating environments without failure or reduced performance. Different types are available and some may be more suitable for specific cleaning tasks. Getting the best transducer means selecting the right type, designed by an experienced manufacturer and built with high-quality materials.

How an Ultrasonic Transducer Works

Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning transducers are made up of an electrical section that receives the electric signal from the ultrasonic generator and a mechanical section that vibrates at high frequency to generate the sound waves in the cleaning solution. Once received, the electric signal is applied across piezoelectric crystals that change the signal into vibrations. A heavy metal sheet is attached to the crystals and amplifies the vibration over a larger area. The whole construction is enclosed in a stainless-steel housing with the vibrations transmitted through the steel to the outside. When the transducer is immersed in the cleaning solution, the vibrations result in corresponding ultrasonic waves in the liquid.

Sound waves are compression waves that travel through the liquid as compression peaks and troughs. In the troughs, cavitation bubbles form due to the low pressure, and the bubbles collapse again in the high-pressure peaks. The collapsing bubbles release an energetic jet of cleaning solution that dislodges dirt and contaminants from the surface of the parts. The scrubbing action of these jets results in effective and rapid cleaning of the parts without damaging the underlying surface. Cleaning is thorough and takes place even in places that are inaccessible for conventional cleaning methods.

Type of Transducers

Different types of ultrasonic cleaning transducers are suitable for different cleaning applications. Kaijo offers immersible transducers, bolt-on transducers or mounted units depending on the cleaning system configuration. The transducers can be purchased separately, as individual units, or as part of a turnkey system.

Immersible transducers are the most flexible. They can be placed in any tank in the cleaning solution and will work whether they are horizontal or vertical, as long as they are completely immersed. These transducers are ideal for installing in an existing tank or an existing cleaning system for which ultrasonic cleaning is being added.

Bolt-on or mounted transducers are more permanently installed and can be part of a new system. The transducers are mounted or bolted onto the walls or bottom of the cleaning tank. For large tanks, several transducers may be needed to evenly fill the tank with ultrasonic waves.

Ultrasonic Transducer Characteristics

Ultrasonic transducers have to withstand the conditions present in the cleaning solution without damage. This means their surfaces have to be immune to pitting from exposure to ultrasonic waves and the housing must be waterproof. Ultrasonic cleaning solutions are sometimes heated and they may contain mild solvents. Transducers should continue to deliver rated performance under such operating conditions.

Kaijo has a complete line of ultrasonic transducers to meet the most demanding industrial cleaning requirements. Typical is the 40 kHz ultrasonic transducer, which will deliver 600 W or 1200 W of power, operate in up to 100 degrees centigrade liquids and which comes in a rugged hermetically sealed 316L stainless steel housing. Kaijo can help customers with their selection of ultrasonic transducers based on the company’s long-standing expertise in the ultrasonic cleaning field and can follow up recommendations with offers from their full line of transducers.

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How Ultrasonic Generators Work to Provide Optimum Cleaning Results

June 27, 2018

Ultrasonic generators produce the high-frequency electric signal that is required for an ultrasonic cleaning system to operate effectively. The devices are powered by normal 60 KHz electric circuits and use electronics to generate ultrasonic frequencies between about 20 kHz and 1 MHz. Piezoelectric or magnetorestrictive transducers convert the electric signal to ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution. Ultrasonic generators are an important part of the ultrasonic cleaning system as they control the frequency, and also insure that the selected frequency and power output are maintained.

The Role of Ultrasonic Generators in an Ultrasonic Cleaning System

Ultrasonic cleaning systems work by using high-frequency sound waves in a cleaning solution to remove dirt and surface contaminants from a variety of parts and products. When the systems are selected with the right characteristics for an application, they work quickly and efficiently to completely clean items submerged in the cleaning tank. Even irregular parts and components with holes or crevices are cleaned wherever the cleaning solution can penetrate. The systems remove the need for corrosive chemicals, soaking and mechanical scrubbing.

The cleaning performance of ultrasonic cleaning systems depends on the action of cavitation bubbles created by the ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution. These bubbles form in sound wave pressure troughs and collapse in the pressure peaks, delivering intense scrubbing action on the surfaces of the immersed parts. The transducers placed in the cleaning liquid create the sound waves by vibrating at the selected ultrasonic frequency produced by the ultrasonic generators. The whole system has to have matching characteristics with the frequencies, power, tank size and controls forming an integrated system that works together in a specific cleaning application.

In such a system, the ultrasonic generator plays a key role. Depending on the size of the parts to be cleaned, the nature of the parts, the type of contaminant and the projected use of the system, the generator voltage, power, frequency and other characteristics can be determined. Choosing the right generator affects the performance of the entire system.

How to Choose the Ultrasonic Generator

The ultrasonic frequency generator has to fit into the production environment while at the same time match the cleaning application requirements. Factors making it suitable for a facility include the operating voltage, the size and the type of use. For a particular cleaning application, the selected frequency, power and controls are important. Once the specific cleaning application requirements are defined, selecting the right frequency and corresponding transducers and cleaning tanks is clear.

If a cleaning system is always used the same way, to clean one kind of part made of the same material, a single-frequency generator is the most cost effective option. In manufacturing operations machined parts made from softer metals (i.e. aluminum) will require gentler cleaning from using a higher frequency generator at 78 kHz, while the same part made from a harder metal (i.e. steel) can be cleaned best using of a low frequency generator at 26 kHz. Generally, low frequencies produce intense cleaning action for parts or components made from harder materials while high frequencies provide gentle cleaning of parts or components made from softer materials. In all cases, the ultrasonic generator power must be high enough to fill the cleaning tank with ultrasonic waves, and the system design must ensure that the wave pattern is uniform for the most effective cleaning action.

Kaijo can Help Select the Best Generator

Kaijo’s generators are available as part of a complete ultrasonic cleaning system or as individual components. The complete line of generators ranges from small, desktop units to 1200 W industrial cleaners. Their advanced control systems ensure consistent and quick cleaning action even for difficult cleaning tasks. Kaijo can advise what generators and systems are best suited for a customer’s specific cleaning application and can recommend the corresponding equipment. For a free consultation or quote on using any of Kaijo’s products call 408 675-5575 or email [email protected].

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How to Select the Right Type of Ultrasonic Cleaner

June 19, 2018

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners come in several different types with various configurations and characteristics that are determined by the cleaning application. The size of the cleaning system, its power, its frequency and its controls all influence the system’s cleaning capabilities. Selecting the right type of industrial ultrasonic cleaner is critical to obtaining the best cleaning performance possible.

Type of System

While ultrasonic cleaners all work basically the same way, the different types of cleaning system include desktop or bench top systems, turnkey systems and large industrial systems. For cleaning small parts of one type with the same contaminants, a turnkey desktop unit is often the most suitable. These compact systems are integrated for placing on a small surface and they operate at 120 V and at one frequency. The frequency selected matches the parts to be cleaned and the dirt to be removed while the small tank can clean effectively at comparatively low power.

A bench top system is larger and can be an integrated turnkey system or assembled from individual components. Selecting separate ultrasonic generators and transducers adds flexibility to the cleaning operation and allows the cleaning of many different kinds of parts and the removal of different contaminants. Generators and transducer can be switched to obtain the different frequencies needed or they can operate a several frequencies.

Large industrial systems are characterized by tanks that can accommodate long or bulky products. The ultrasonic generators are mounted separately and several transducers may be required to fill the tank with ultrasonic sound waves. The design of these systems is critical to ensure that ultrasonic cleaning takes place evenly throughout the tank.

Selecting System Characteristics

In order to insure that the selected industrial ultrasonic cleaner works as expected, it has to use the right frequency and provide the required power for the application. Transducers can be mounted in the tank or can be loose, immersible units. The cleaning tank can hold pure water or the cleaning solution can contain mild detergents or solvents. For certain applications, a heated cleaning solution improves cleaning performance.

The cleaning frequency selection is vital for removing dirt quickly and completely while avoiding damage to the objects to be cleaned. Frequencies of around 20 to 40 kHz deliver intense cleaning action that cleans quickly but may erode the surfaces of delicate components. Higher frequencies deliver progressively gentler cleaning but take longer to remove dirt. An ideal selection is the lowest frequency that the part to be cleaned can withstand. Once the frequency is selected, the system power has to be high enough to evenly fill the tank with sound waves. For example, a 1200 W system can handle tanks of several cubic feet.

When existing cleaning tanks are to be used, a separate immersible transducer is often the easiest solution. For systems with new tanks, selecting a tank with the transducer built in avoids problems with transducer placement and vibrations. When a heated cleaning solution is to be used, tanks with heating will be needed and tanks suitable for holding solvents should be used if the cleaning solution will contain solvents.

Special measures such as heating or using mild chemicals can help with difficult cleaning tasks. Heat is useful when cleaning heavy contamination with grease and oil because the higher temperature softens surface contaminants and makes them easier to remove. Specific solvents or detergents aimed at dissolving a particular contaminating material can also speed up cleaning and ensure complete removal of the substance.

No matter which type of ultrasonic cleaner is needed for an application, Kaijo can help with the selection and offers consulting free of charge. Once it is clear what cleaner is needed, Kaijo can offer equipment from its complete line of ultrasonic cleaners and will back up its products with outstanding customer service.

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How Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Are Used to Clean Industrial Lenses

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.

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How Long Will Ultrasonic Cleaning Take to Clean My Parts?

May 16, 2018

How long an ultrasonic cleaning system takes depends on the system, the part to be cleaned and the contaminants. For light cleaning action of a part with hard surfaces, a few minutes may be enough. Average cleaning times for common ultrasonic cleaning tasks may range from ten to twenty minutes. For cleaning substantial deposits of caked-on grease or carbon, cleaning may take substantially longer. Even for the most difficult cleaning applications, cleaning with ultrasonic cleaners is generally much faster and effective than traditional cleaning methods.

Powerful Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners

The time required for industrial ultrasonic cleaners to effectively clean a part depends on the frequency and the power of the system. The technology uses the action of microscopic cavitation bubbles in the cleaning solution. A high frequency such as 100 kHz and above produces small bubbles and gentle cleaning that takes longer. Low frequencies such as 20 to 40 kHz produce large bubbles and strong cleaning action that works quickly.

High frequencies are used for delicate parts such as semiconductors that could be damaged if the cleaning action of the ultrasonic system is too intense. Low frequencies are used for robust components such as metal car parts with hard surfaces that can withstand strong cleaning action. As a result, parts with soft surfaces or sensitive structures may take longer than to clean than tough, metal parts.

The power of the ultrasonic system also helps determine how quickly the system can clean. If the power is too low, there will be fewer cavitation bubbles to clean the parts and the cleaning will take longer. Just the right power for the size of bath produces the most bubbles possible and results in the fastest cleaning action.

How the Contamination to be Cleaned Affects Cleaning Speed

The speed with which industrial ultrasonic cleaners can remove dirt depends on how heavy the contamination is and the nature of the contaminant. The part to be cleaned also plays a role because cleaning speeds up if mild solvents or detergents are added to the cleaning solution or the bath is heated. If the part to be cleaned is sensitive to the chemicals or could be damaged by heat, these measures can’t be applied and cleaning will take longer.

Ultrasonic cleaners work especially quickly when the contamination is in the form of light dirt or particles. These can be dislodged quickly and rinsed away, leaving completely clean parts. Soft films or materials soluble in water are also removed rapidly. For materials that will dissolve in other chemicals, specific solvents or mild detergents can be used to speed up cleaning. Heat is used to soften contaminants such as hardened grease or oily deposits. In each case, the increased speed of the cleaning process has to be balanced against the ability of the parts to withstand the action of the added chemicals or heat without damage.

Comparatively Fast Cleaning

Although ultrasonic cleaners can take longer for some applications than for others, their overall cleaning performance is much faster than traditional methods involving soaking, scrubbing and pressure washing. Soaking, while it may be effective, is usually very time-consuming and requires the use of expensive, corrosive chemicals. Scrubbing can damage the parts and is labor-intensive. Pressure washing can only be used for robust parts and may not get hard-to-access surfaces clean. Ultrasonic cleaners clean comparatively quickly and completely, even cleaning dead-end holes, interior crevices and textured surfaces effectively.

Kaijo can provide free consulting services to help customers select the best high performance ultrasonic cleaner for their application. Kaijo’s cleaning systems work quickly and clean parts thoroughly. The company has unparalleled experience in field of ultrasonic cleaning technology and can provide expert advice with a quote from its complete line of industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems and equipment.

 

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What Is the Definition of Ultrasonic and Megasonic Frequency?

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 contactless 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.

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How Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners Enhance Aerospace Safety

April 17, 2018

Aerospace parts for rockets and aircraft require periodic cleaning to maintain their functionality. Cleaning has to be thorough and complete to ensure parts don’t fail during operation or compromise the safety of passengers and crew. Removal of deposits and contaminants using traditional cleaning methods can stress the aerospace parts and reduce their lifetime or affect their ability to withstand the temperatures and pressures common in aerospace operation. Industrial ultrasonic cleaners offer an attractive alternative that cleans quickly and effectively with reduced part stress.

How Ultrasonic Cleaners Work

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of an ultrasonic generator, transducers and a cleaning tank. The generator produces a high-frequency electric signal at the operating frequency of the system and with the required power. The transducers are immersed in the cleaning solution and convert the electric signal into sound waves inside the cleaning tank. The cleaning solution can include a mild detergent or solvent, but even plain water is effective for many cleaning applications.

When the ultrasonic sound waves travel through the cleaning solution, they produce pressure peaks and troughs. Microscopic cavitation bubbles are created in the pressure troughs and collapse in the peaks. When a cavitation bubble collapses, it produces a powerful jet that dislodges contaminants from the parts to be cleaned and removes dirt down to the original surface of the parts. Ultrasonic cleaning is gentle and environmentally benign.

Advantages of Changing to Ultrasonic Cleaners

Traditional cleaning methods for aerospace parts include soaking in aggressive chemicals, manual scrubbing and pressure washing. Often the cleaning methods are highly specialized and parts have to be shipped off site to precision cleaning facilities at substantial costs. Even then, cleaning inaccessible holes, interior surfaces and rough parts can be challenging. With heavy contamination, aggressive cleaning can damage parts or leave them unsuitable for further safe use.

High Performance Industrial ultrasonic cleaners provide effective and comprehensive cleaning for a diverse range of cleaning applications. For rugged parts, lower frequencies can deliver robust cleaning action with larger cavitation bubbles and powerful cleaning action. For delicate parts, higher frequencies operate with smaller bubbles and clean more gently. Ultrasonic cleaning systems can deliver exactly the strength of cleaning action needed.

While the cleaning action can be calibrated to the requirements of the application, cleaning is comprehensive in that it takes place wherever cleaning solution is present. The cleaning bubbles appear and act inside pipes, through holes and in crevices. All surfaces are cleaned quickly and completely.

For example, removing carbon deposits from a jet engine nozzle using traditional cleaning methods can be difficult. The nozzle may have to be shipped to a dedicated cleaning facility that has the capability to work with harsh chemicals and to inspect the results. The nozzle may have to be scrubbed inside and out while inaccessible interior areas have to be soaked, inspected, and possibly soaked some more. If the aggressive cleaning results in scratches or the wearing of surfaces that have to conform to tight tolerances, the nozzle may have to be scrapped or re-machined.

With ultrasonic cleaning, the nozzle can be placed in an ultrasonic cleaning tank onsite and cleaned inside and out, including inaccessible areas, usually in less than an hour. There is no possibility of scratching or wearing part surfaces and the deposits are removed completely the first time. The process is quick and saves money.

Safety Benefits

When parts are not stressed during the cleaning process, aerospace safety increases. During cleaning by means of harsh chemicals, scrubbing and pressure washing, parts may suffer damage that remains undetected. When such damage results in part failure, the consequences in aerospace applications can include catastrophic failure and possible loss of life. A correctly designed ultrasonic cleaning system does not stress the parts, and such damage is excluded.

Kaijo has a complete line of industrial ultrasonic cleaners along with the experience to supply systems for specific aerospace part cleaning applications. The company can advise on the type of system, frequency and power required to ensure the right system is used for a customer’s specific cleaning application.

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Using Ultrasonic Cleaners in Disaster Restoration

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.

 

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