Ultrasonic cleaning is the application of ultrasound or ultrasonic waves in eradicating contaminants or dust particles from a surface. The process involves the utilization of 20kHz to 40kHz sound waves. These produce a stimulating effect in the cleaning solvent, emitting the impurities. The process is known as cavitation. It is a widely used technique with extensive industrial applications.
The cleaning process is pivotal in the medical industry, automobile industry, electronics & semiconductor industry, aerospace, defense, food industry, jewelry and gemstone industry & most of the manufacturing industries. In these industries, materials require keen details-oriented cleaning to get the maximum results. That’s why ultrasonic cleaning comes as the most ideal solution. In this blog, we will discuss ultrasonic cleaning and its industrial applications.
What is ultrasonic cleaning?
It is the incorporation of ultrasound or ultrasonic waves to clean the surfaces through vibrations generated at a preset frequency. The projected sound waves produce microscopic voids, which further form bubbles. These bubbles surround the impurity and dislodge it. The ultrasonic cleaners contain a tank that holds the cleaning solvent. We can use simple Demineralized water, popularly known as DM water as a cleaning solvent or a particular chemical. It depends on the type of impurity we want to remove.
During the process, the temperature ranges from 25oc to 100oc depending on various factors. For medical instrument cleaning though, the temperature is set around 45oc. The pressure inside the cleaning tank is also adjusted based on the requirement. The cleaning process through ultrasonic applications takes around 3 to 10 minutes depending on the material to be cleaned and the surface contaminants. Though ultrasonic cleaning is preferred for the surface cleaning of most industrial materials, it might not be well suited for highly chemically reactive materials.
Industrial Applications of Ultrasonic Cleaning
Ultrasonic cleaning is an efficient way of achieving standardized cleaning. The method helps in removing the microscopic impurities with great ease. That’s why it has found various industrial uses like:
- Jewelry cleaning
The ultrasonic cleaning finds extensive use in jewelry cleaning. This is because it allows deep and small cracks without damaging the surface. So ultrasonic cleaning provides an efficient way of cleaning delicate and sophisticated jewelry pieces.
- Medical cleaning
Medical instruments need to be thoroughly cleaned—otherwise, the chances of contamination and infections increase. Ultrasonic cleaning offers an excellent solution for deep cleaning. However, it doesn’t remove viruses or bacteria. That’s why proper sterilization is still required.
- For cleaning optical lenses
Ultrasonic cleaning has also found its application in cleaning optical surfaces. It removes the fingerprints and oil stains efficiently.
- For cleaning automobile & aerospace components
Intricate spaces are easily accessed and cleaned in the automobile & aerospace industry using ultrasonic cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaning has seen excellent cleaning results even in narrow & delicate spaces.
Benefits of Ultrasonic Cleaning
Throughout the years, researchers have conducted many studies that technically demonstrate the reliability and effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning. But from a business perspective the main benefits of ultrasonic cleaning are:
- Low energy consumption
The technology eliminates the need for additives. That’s why it targets the total electrical energy on the given range. This reduces the wastage of energy and optimizes its application.
- Environmental friendly cleaning
The piezoelectric phenomenon is applied to transform the electrical energy into high-frequency mechanical vibrations. This reduces the incorporation of consumables. Moreover, with increased efficiency coefficient and better optimization, the wastage of resources is reduced.
Ultrasonic cleaning has been applied in various industrial segments like the automobile, aerospace, electronics, semiconductors, medical, jewelry, optics & other manufacturing segments. This is because it provides efficient and deep cleaning. Moreover, ultrasonic cleaning consumes fewer resources and offers excellent results. This makes ultrasonic cleaning extensively popular in commercial & industrial applications.