Ultrasonic cleaning is an efficient and effective precision cleaning technology unique in its ability to clean inaccessible areas that other technologies can’t. Ultrasonic cleaning frequencies of the first cleaners ranged from one to several hundred kilohertz; however, the upper frequencies had little practical application because they lacked the power needed to clean effectively (Gallego-Juarez & Graff, 2014). With advancements in technology and understanding of acoustic cavitation, ultrasonic cleaner frequencies are now very effective above several hundred kilohertz, also referred to as megahertz.
Ultrasonic cleaning technology is ideal for penetrating blind holes, threaded recesses, and parts with increasingly complex geometries, such as those produced with additive manufacturing technology. However, numerous variables affect the effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning results. Effective ultrasonic cleaning requires energetic implosions of cavitation bubbles (Gallego-Juarez & Graff, 2014).
Some variables that affect the implosion intensity are time, temperature, and chemistry; however, for effective ultrasonic cleaning, all the variables that affect implosion intensity must be considered.
- Size and number of cavitation bubbles
- The temperature of the cleaning solution
- The viscosity of the cleaning solution
- The surface tension of the cleaning solution
- Dissolved gas in the solution and its diffusion rate
- The vapor pressure of the cleaning solution
- Ultrasonic power
- Ultrasonic frequency
All the mentioned variables of cavitation bubble implosion intensity need to be considered to achieve the optimal combined ultrasonic and chemical effects, not just one or two, which is why precision cleaning requires expertise, like Emerson’s Branson Ultrasonics
Optimize the effectiveness of ultrasonics in your precision cleaning application; contact the experts at Emerson.
Gallego-Juarez, J. A., & Graff, K. F. (2014). Power Ultrasonics : Applications of High-Intensity Ultrasound. Elsevier Science & Technology.