Currently, cleaners of various types are becoming more relevant, especially new ones such as ultrasonic cleaners. This technology is really nothing new, it has been used in the industry for a long time, but it has not been that long since they have also been available to the general public.
In this article we are going to see what these ultrasonic cleaners are, what they can be used for, and how to choose the best, in addition to making some purchase recommendations...
Table of Contents
- 1 The best ultrasonic cleaners
- 2 What are ultrasounds?
- 3 What is ultrasonic cleaning?
- 4 What is an ultrasonic cleaner?
- 5 How to choose a good ultrasonic cleaner?
- 6 Choosing the cleaning fluid
The best ultrasonic cleaners
As for best ultrasonic cleaners that you can buy today for an affordable price, we have the following:
As for the the liquids you can buy, here you have a selection of the best:
- For electronic devices:
- For glasses, jewelry, dentures, etc.:
- For metals and mechanical parts:
What are ultrasounds?
Our sound waves with frequencies above 20 kHz they are inaudible to the human ear, remember that the ear only captures from 20 Hz to 20 Khz, below 20 Hz they are considered infrasound, while if they exceed 20 Khz of auditory erception they are considered ultrasound. Although they do not produce sounds detectable by us, this does not imply their nonexistence. In fact, certain creatures are capable of perceiving them…
What is ultrasonic cleaning?
La ultrasonic cleaning It stands out as the most effective procedure for sanitizing pieces of very different nature, as we will see later. This cleaning method is based on the use of high-frequency waves that propagate in the liquid in which the parts to be cleaned are immersed. These waves generate tension forces that break the mechanical and ionic bonds of all the particles present on the surface of the submerged pieces.
This guarantees the dirt removal deposited on the pieces, even in areas that are difficult to access. Any trace of impurity comes off and dissolves in the liquid. This is thanks to the fact that it takes advantage of the phenomenon known in fluid mechanics as cavitation.
Ultrasonic waves are generated by electrical devices called piezo-ceramics and are transmitted to the liquid, which is usually water or an aqueous solution. These waves cause the formation and subsequent collapse of bubbles. That is, through microcurrents and shock waves, this production and collapse of bubbles is produced, which will be the ones that really clean the surfaces of the piece to be cleaned.
What is an ultrasonic cleaner?
Ultrasonic cleaners are an effective tool for the Sanitizing delicate objects or hard-to-reach areas, achieving the elimination of dirt and bacteria that other cleaning systems cannot eliminate. Generally, these devices consist of a container where the pieces to be treated are placed, submerging them in a special liquid through which high-frequency waves propagate and that cavitation phenomenon as I explained in the previous section.
These devices find application in various sectors, such as medical, pharmaceutical, sports, automotive, aesthetics and engineering, because they offer a deep and delicate cleaning of objects, guaranteeing the complete removal of any waste in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner, in a short period of time. In addition, it is quite convenient, since you do not have to carry out the cleaning process manually…
Ultrasonic cleaners are usually composed of the following parts or pieces:
- Plate and cooler.
- Ultrasonic transformer.
- Digital control panel.
- Stainless steel bowl.
How does an ultrasonic cleaner work?
This device uses ultrasonic waves with frequencies ranging between 20 and 400 kHz, generating vibrations that loosen the residue and dirt accumulated on the objects undergoing cleaning due to this cavitation and bubbles explained above. However, for this to be possible, a liquid is needed for the cleaning process.
In general, they include detergents, wetting agents and other components that improve the quality of cleaning. Some examples of these liquids are:
- Decarbonizing solution, used for engines and their components.
- Specific stripping solution for ultrasonic devices.
- Cleaning solution designed to remove inks.
- Degreasing solution for ultrasonic applications.
- Sanitizing solution for use in cleaning molds in the food industry or to eliminate surgical material waste.
Steps to follow
Using the ultrasonic cleaner is easy, you just have to follow manufacturer's instructions, as it could vary slightly for each model and brand. But basically it is putting the liquid and the piece in the bucket, covering it, turning on the device, adjusting the washing parameters, and waiting for it to finish, lasting in some cases about 30 minutes. Once finished, some additional steps may be required in some cases, but not all. For example:
- Many cases require nothing more than cleaning and drying the piece once finished.
- Other cases may require additional rinsing for complete absence of residue, such as surgical implants, etc.
- There could also be parts that need surface treatments to protect against corrosion, rust, etc.
Advantages of the ultrasonic cleaner
An ultrasonic cleaner mainly allows you to carry out exhaustive and complete sanitization on various materials that are usually difficult to clean, such as steel, aluminum, copper, rubber and certain types of plastic, without causing damage. Between the advantages What offers the use of an ultrasonic cleaner include:
- It is an environmentally friendly cleaning system, as it is energy efficient and saves water.
- Save time and money, being up to 80% faster than other cleaning methods.
- It performs a thorough cleaning that many other systems do not achieve.
- Provides disinfection and sterilization, to sanitize a multitude of different parts.
- They are easy to use and fast.
- They do not involve risks, since they are safe.
- They contribute to prolonging the useful life of materials.
However, it also has Some disadvantages, like is logic. Among the most notable ones that you have to know are:
- initial cost: Ultrasonic cleaning equipment can be expensive to purchase, which can represent a significant investment, especially for individual users or small businesses.
- Maintenance: require regular maintenance to ensure optimal operation. This includes cleaning and replacing the ultrasonic transducers and maintaining the cleaning fluid in proper condition.
- size and space– Some models of ultrasonic cleaners can take up considerable space, which can be a problem in space-constrained environments. Everything will depend on the type of cleaner (capacity). A domestic appliance is not the same as an industrial one…
- Object size limitations: The cleaning capacity of an ultrasonic cleaner is limited by the size of the bucket. Objects that are too large will not fit in the bucket and therefore cannot be cleaned with this technology.
- sensitive material: some sensitive or fragile materials can be damaged by the action of ultrasonic waves, especially if excessively high frequencies or corrosive cleaning liquids are used.
- Noise: During the ultrasonic cleaning process, noise is generated, which can be annoying in work environments close to people or where a quiet environment is required. That is why it is advisable to leave the cleaning equipment in an isolated place in the home or workplace.
- Cleaning time– Although effective and fast, the ultrasonic cleaning process can take longer than other cleaning methods. However, when it comes to very dirty objects or hard-to-reach areas, it is faster to use one of these cleaners instead of other more laborious and arduous methods.
- Energy consumption: Ultrasonic cleaners require electrical energy to operate, which can increase energy costs in industrial environments, although those sold for private use usually do not spend much, so you will hardly notice it on your utility bill. light. Plus, since they only work occasionally, when you have something to clean, they won't be a noticeable expense either.
Applications: what can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner?
Ultrasonic cleaners are used to clean surfaces on even small pieces, and allow sanitization when other solutions do not work. Ultrasonic cleaning is used in a multitude of industries, such as the automotive, railway sector, jewelry and watchmaking, tool making, ceramics, for surgical and dental materials, to clean high vacuum equipment, precision optics, the textile sector, aeronautics and aerospace sector, tools, pharmaceutical industry, etc. Therefore, to know what can you clean With this type of devices we have:
- Engine parts that have dirt, grease, and other debris.
- Diving equipment or submerged parts that have salt or lime.
- Solder residue and other contaminants or dirt from a PCB. It also allows you to clean other devices such as mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, PDAs, GPS, etc.), but using special liquids for electronics, such as isopropyl alcohol, which does not leave traces of moisture.
- Glasses and lenses. For example, fingerprints and other optical impurities.
- Devices like watches.
- Jewelry cleaning.
- Plastic pieces.
- Contaminants and dirt from surgical, dental or personal hygiene instruments.
- Brass, copper and other metal elements with paint or surface deterioration.
- Dirty tools.
- Powder residue on weapons and other utensils.
And what can't be cleaned?
However, it is not suitable for everything. cleaning is not recommended pieces such as the following, since it may involve irreversible damage:
- Electronic devices susceptible to humidity or the liquids used.
- White and porous gems: amber, turquoise, mica, lapis lazuli, jade, etc.
- In general, any material below 5 on the Mohs scale.
How to choose a good ultrasonic cleaner?
To find out how to choose a quality ultrasonic cleaner, you should look at the following parameters:
- Ultrasonic frequency- It is important to select the appropriate frequency, as some types of dirt are only effectively removed at a specific frequency. If an object is not cleaned properly, the process needs to be repeated at a different frequency. However, caution should be used when applying frequencies to delicate structures, as an inappropriate frequency can cause damage. The frequency is related to the size of the bubbles generated, the more dirt is needed, a lower frequency is needed for finer bubbles, however, for delicate pieces such as jewelry, larger bubbles (higher frequencies) are better.
- Bucket size: The capacity of the bucket must be adequate for the size of the objects to be cleaned. For example, for small parts, a lower capacity ultrasonic cleaner is preferred. If you plan to clean larger objects, such as cylinders, heads or pistons, a larger bucket is required, and the internal basket may need to be adapted to prevent parts from passing through the bucket grates.
- Ultrasonic cleaning product: A specific product is used to clean the parts, which may be available in liquid or powder form. In the case of the powder product, a 5% solution is usually used.
- Temperature: the appropriate temperature must be set for each type of material. This involves testing different factors until you find the optimal temperature. In general, we usually work with temperatures between 40°C and 60°C, others can reach 80 or 90ºC. At >60ºC it can even eliminate bacteria and viruses that may be more resistant.
- recirculation system: Some machines have a liquid or water inlet and allow dirty liquid to be removed so that it does not accumulate. Others will require you to empty the bucket yourself when necessary.
Choosing the cleaning fluid
You should never use solutions other than those recommended by the manufacturer of the ultrasound machine. I am not referring to machines, but liquids that have a different nature, since you could damage the cleaner itself and also the objects you clean. For example, you can choose liquids on the table:
- For metals: There are liquids specially formulated for cleaning metals, although it is important to consider that not all metals are treated in the same way. The cleaning technique varies depending on whether you are working with aluminum, alloys, iron or steel. Some fluids can be used for a wide range of different metals, and there are even some special fluids for very dirty parts, such as engines, naval parts, etc.
- For electronics: If you want to clean electronic components using ultrasound, it is highly effective, as it offers exceptional precision in the results without causing damage to delicate and small electronic parts, such as motherboards, resistors and other components. They are usually neutral detergents specially designed for this.
- For plastics: It depends largely on the type of plastic to be cleaned. In general, we can categorize plastics into two groups:
- Natural plastics- Used in food and automotive applications, these plastics can withstand high temperatures and are therefore suitable for ultrasonic cleaning.
- recycled plastics: These plastics, coming from recycling, do not tolerate high temperatures and are therefore not suitable for ultrasonic cleaning.
- for food: These products are formulated to eliminate oils and fats, both of animal and vegetable origin, in food-related applications, without affecting these very particular products.
- For sterilization: They can eliminate much of the microbial life to sterilize or sanitize medical, dental devices, food utensils, etc. For this, special liquids are used that help disinfection.
How often should the solution be changed?
First of all, it is important to highlight that the base of the solution used is water in many cases, in combination with a specific liquid designed for ultrasonic cleaning. The time to replace the cleaning fluid depends on various factors, the level of dirt on the pieces being the most relevant. For example, if parts have carbon, oil, or grease stains, the liquid in the bucket will likely become dirty quickly.
Therefore, it is not possible to provide an exact time period for changing the solution. The decision to do it It will depend on your personal observation, that is, when you notice that the liquid is very dirty or if you consider that the contents of the bucket can still withstand another cleaning session.
However, carefully read the instructions for use of the cleaning device (manual) and the label of the liquids you use for cleaning. In one or the other there are usually recommendations to change the cleaning fluid. Of course, it is not an exact science as we have said, everything will depend on the type of piece and its dirt. For example, the greases that exist in certain metals of mechanical parts can even emulsify during the process, and become thicker, so it would be better to remove them.
Now you know everything you need to know about these cleaners, you just need to choose one of the ones we propose to start enjoying their advantages... You will see that your glasses, devices, jewelry, and more will be impeccable, like never before!