Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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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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How Ultrasonic Waves Are Produced for Industrial Cleaning Applications

March 16, 2018

Industrial ultrasonic cleanersultrasonic waves for industrial cleaning applications deliver more effective and efficient cleaning performance without the use of harsh chemicals typically used in traditional cleaning methods. A variety of parts, from robust metal and ceramic components to delicate semiconductors can be cleaned quickly and completely via the cavitation bubbles from ultrasonic waves generated from an ultrasonic system. Parts of all shapes are immersed in cleaning tanks with the bubbles cleaning even hard-to-access holes and crevices. The systems are available in varying frequencies to satisfy the requirements of any industrial cleaning application.

Ultrasonic Cleaning System Components

Industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of ultrasonic generators, transducers and the cleaning tank. They can be purchased as separate units or as turnkey systems that can be plugged in and are ready to start cleaning. When existing cleaning tanks can be used, it is often cost-effective to buy generators and portable immersible transducers while tabletop turnkey solutions are ideal for cleaning small parts. Choosing a supplier that has a full range of industrial ultrasonic cleaners will help in getting the system that best suits a particular application.

The ultrasonic generator produces the electric signal that forms the basis for the ultrasonic waves. Signals can range from about 20 kHz to 200 kHz (for ultrasonic frequencies) and 200 Khz to 1.6 MHz (for megasonic frequencies), and the generators can deliver up to 1200 W of power. For specific applications, a single frequency generator is sufficient, but for cleaning applications that handle many different kinds of parts, multi-frequency generators are available.

The electric ultrasonic signal generates ultrasonic waves via an ultrasonic cleaning transducer. The transducer has to be able to handle the frequency and power produced by the generator and it can be mounted at the bottom or on the sides of the tank as well as being an independent unit placed in the tank. Large tanks may need more than one transducer to effectively fill the volume of the tank with ultrasonic waves.

The cleaning tank has to be made of material heavy enough to withstand the cleaning action of the ultrasonic waves and it has to be big enough to handle the largest parts to be cleaned. Baskets for the parts are often used to keep easily damaged components from vibrating against the sides or bottom of the tank, and in that case, the tank has to be big enough to hold the basket as well.

How Ultrasonic Cleaners Work

The ultrasonic transducer takes the electric signal from the generator and uses either piezoelectric or magnetic effects to create ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution. When an electric charge is applied to piezoelectric crystals, they change size. As a result, a high-frequency electric signal produces a vibration in the crystals and, via a heavy metal plate, the crystals can produce ultrasonic waves in the cleaning liquid. The same effect can be achieved with materials that change size in magnetic fields. The ultrasonic waves fill the cleaning tank and start the cleaning action.

When an ultrasonic wave travels through water, it creates compression peaks and troughs. Microscopic bubbles form in the troughs where the pressure is low and collapse in the peaks due to the high pressure. When a bubble collapses, a small but powerful jet of liquid rushes into the space where the collapsed bubble was. These jets produce an intense cleaning action on the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned. Cleaning takes place wherever the bubbles are present, throughout the tank, inside cavities and all around complex structures. Cleaning is fast and removes all contaminants.

Kaijo can Help

Kaijo has a complete line of industrial ultrasonic cleaning equipment, including separate components and turnkey systems. The company uses transducers based on the piezoelectric effect and can deliver powerful low-frequency systems for robust cleaning action as well as systems using high frequencies for gentle cleaning of delicate components. Kaijo’s unparalleled experience in developing ultrasonic technology for various industrial cleaning applications ensures that the company’s equipment delivers the expected performance.


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Using Ultrasonic Cleaners for Medical Devices

February 27, 2018

Using Ultrasonic Cleaners for Medical DevicesUltrasonic 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.

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How Medical 3D Printing Benefits from Ultrasonic Cleaning

February 16, 2018

How Medical 3D Printing Benefits from Ultrasonic CleaningHospitals, medical research centers and facilities are increasingly using industrial ultrasonic cleaners on 3D printed models of organs or body parts to create prosthetics. Organ models for a particular patient can help determine the best way to proceed with surgery and may help with accurate diagnosis. Both models and prosthetics are used in educational programs as well. When used in such programs and in medical practice or research, the 3D printed product gives a complete reproduction that can be examined from all sides rather than a flat image showing only one side.

Organs and body parts often have complex shapes and irregular surfaces that must be reproduced in the 3D printing process. To accurately create intricate protrusions and make sure the model does not collapse when holes and crevices are printed, the 3D printing process deposits support material as well as the material used to build the model. The support material temporarily holds up the build material until the latter has hardened and is self supporting. The support material then has to be removed. To ensure model accuracy, it is important to remove the support material cleanly and completely.

How Ultrasonic Cleaning Removes Support Material

Ultrasonic cleaning can remove the support material without affecting the build material and can ensure that the removal is rapid and complete. Depending on the materials used, the ultrasonic cleaning system can operate at frequencies delivering exactly the right cleaning strength.

The industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems consist of an ultrasonic generator, a transducer and a cleaning tank. The generator produces the ultrasonic electrical signal and the transducer converts the electrical impulses into ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution. Microscopic cavitation bubbles are created in the pressure troughs of these waves and the bubbles collapse in the pressure peaks. When the bubbles come into contact with the support material, the scrubbing action of the bubbles removes the material while the build material is left unaffected.

Low frequencies can be used for build materials that can withstand a strong cleaning action and for robust models. Frequencies of 26kHz or 38kHz produce large bubbles and a strong cleaning action. Delicate models or models with fragile build materials can have the support material removed with higher frequencies delivering gentle cleaning action. Frequencies up to the megahertz range produce smaller bubbles and the resulting cleaning action is gentler. Ultrasonic cleaning system manufacturers can help design systems that deliver just the right amount of cleaning strength for the 3D printing materials used.

The Advantages of Using Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are ideal for removing medical 3D printed support material because they provide several advantages over traditional methods using harsh chemicals to dissolve the material. Such advantages include the following:

  • Cleaning is rapid and completely removes the support material while leaving the build material unaffected.
  • The ultrasonic cleaning process is completely safe for the personnel preparing the models.
  • No toxic chemicals are introduced into the medical environment.
  • Disposal of the wastewater does not require additional safety procedures.

Kaijo has a complete line of industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems and equipment with the latest technology and the advanced features required for medical 3D printing. The company can supply compact and self-contained turnkey systems or separate components to be assembled in a custom solution. Kaijo has extensive experience in ultrasonic cleaning and personnel with the expertise to select the systems, frequencies and power ideal for specific medical 3D printing applications. Kaijo’s industrial ultrasonic cleaners are being used at medical facilities to remove 3D printing support material and can help ensure that such applications meet the needs of the medical profession.

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Why Use Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems with a Heater?

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.

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How Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Promote Profitability

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.

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How Utility Companies Cut Grease, Grime and Costs with Ultrasonic Cleaners

December 22, 2017

The large compressors that utility companies use to move natural gas through pipelines and into storage need extensive maintenance. Both the compressors themselves and the engines that drive them require regular cleaning of parts such as valves, rings, sensors and actuators. Unwanted deposits have to be dissolved, grease and grime have to be cleaned off and contaminants have to be removed.

Traditionally such cleaning and maintenance work has been carried out by hand. Parts are soaked in strong chemical solvents and then scrubbed to remove residues. Soaking takes a lot of time and the chemicals are expensive. Scrubbing is labor-intensive and it’s hard to get parts completely clean. If it’s important to remove deposits completely, it might take several cycles with different chemicals and various cleaning methods. Overall, the cleaning process takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money.

Utilities can achieve better cleaning performance at lower cost by using industrial ultrasonic cleaners. The process uses powerful ultrasonic generators and transducers to generate microscopic bubbles in the cleaning solution. The scrubbing action of the bubbles cleans parts completely and rapidly. Manual cleaning and expensive, harsh chemicals are not needed. Utilities using this process can reap substantial benefits from the advantages that ultrasonic cleaning delivers.

Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaner Advantages and Benefits

Ultrasonic technology can remove deposits from compressor and engine parts using only a water-based cleaning solution. For specific contaminants, mild solvents can be added to the water to speed up cleaning. For hardened grease and oil-based materials, the solution can be heated so the cleaning bubbles can more easily dislodge the softened material. In each case, no additional manual scrubbing is required.

The bubbles generated by industrial ultrasonic cleaners appear wherever the cleaning solution can penetrate. This means that crevices, dead-end holes, bolt threads and inaccessible interior surfaces are cleaned just as completely as the outsides of the parts. As long as a part is submerged in the ultrasonic bath, all surfaces are cleaned equally and completely.

Because harsh chemicals are not needed, ultrasonic cleaning starts out with a substantial operating cost advantage. The savings are even higher when the time saved through faster cleaning can result in increased throughput or reduced downtime. Additional savings come from reduced labor costs. Finally there are savings from not having to neutralize and safely discard the toxic cleaning chemicals used in traditional cleaning processes. The fact that ultrasonic cleaning is environmentally friendly is an additional bonus.

While utilities can save substantial amounts of money switching to industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems, an even stronger incentive is the improved cleaning performance. When machine parts are cleaned down to the bare metal everywhere, maintenance is more effective, easier to carry out and achieves improved reliability for the compressors and engines. Parts that are completely clean have a longer life and extend the lifetime of the corresponding machines. Often failure rates and unscheduled down time is reduced and maintenance intervals can be extended. Overall facility-operating performance can be improved.

Kaijo can help utilities realize the benefits of using ultrasonic technology. The company offers free consulting services to determine which ultrasonic cleaning systems are best suited for the customer’s application. Sometimes a turnkey system represents the best solution while at other times retrofitted components using existing cleaning tanks is cost-effective. Kaijo can follow up its recommendations with proposals from its complete line of industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems. Clients in many different industry verticals already use Kaijo ultrasonic systems to reduce their maintenance times and costs. Utilities, with their many stations requiring machine parts cleaning can achieve similar results with Kaijo’s help.

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The Power behind Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems

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.

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Using Ultrasonic Cleaning for Fuel Injectors

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’a Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems

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.

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