Ultrasonic cleaners are designed to deactivate a wide range of potential contaminants. They’re capable of cleaning just about any type of object, but only if buyers choose the right models. Since not all ultrasonic cleaners are created to the same specifications, buyers should start by clarifying cleaning needs and goals. Once that’s done, read on to find out what they need to know before buying a new ultrasonic cleaning device.
How Ultrasonic Cleaners Work
Before moving on to discuss unique considerations for buyers, let’s take a look at the basics and dispel a surprisingly common myth. Many people believe that ultrasound cleaners operate by creating vibrations that shake off dirt and contaminants, but that’s simply not the case. They actually work by generating microscopic cavitation bubbles, which dislodge contaminants safely without damaging the objects being cleaned.
Size of Objects to Be Cleaned
The first factor buyers should consider before buying an ultrasonic cleaner is size. Start by identifying the largest objects that will need to be cleaned regularly using the new machine. Take full measurements, then use them to identify a proper tank for the specified application. When in doubt, send the measurements to a reliable manufacturer who can help with sizing.
Properly Sized Baskets or Racks
Items placed in these cleaners should never come into contact with the ultrasonic transducers located inside the tanks. Instead, objects to be cleaned must be placed in specialized parts baskets or on racks.
Make sure the basket or rack is designed for use in the specific model of ultrasonic cleaner in question. If any part of the basket, rack, or objects placed in the machine for cleaning touches the ultrasonic transducer pack, it will cause etching that will eventually lead to corrosion. Purchasing specialized parts baskets from the same manufacturer will help to reduce the risk of damaging transducer packs.
Wave Sweep Availability
Ultrasonic cleaners that feature wave sweep are able to disperse various frequencies at different wavelengths to eliminate inactive zones in the tank. They’re better able to provide effective, uniform cleaning of intricately detailed parts and require no degassing.
Frequency and Power
Ultrasonic cleaners usually operate between 28 and 120 kHz. Lower ultrasonic frequencies are used for more abrasive cleaning such as the removal of lapping compounds. Delicate items and soft metals require higher frequencies for safe, effective cleaning.
The most common frequencies used in commercial and industrial ultrasonic cleaners are 38 to 40 kHz, but there are also specialized machines available for more challenging cleaning applications. It’s important that the machine have sufficient power to deal with any and all intended applications. A good ultrasonic cleaner will allow the operator to lower the power and raise the frequency for delicate applications and reverse these settings for coarser ones.
Routine Maintenance Needs
All ultrasonic cleaners need occasional maintenance. In most cases, it consists of draining the tank of detergent and cleaning it out occasionally to remove the heavier dirt and debris that settles on the bottom. The filtration system’s filters will also need to be cleaned periodically to ensure proper operation.
Quality Is Key
Ready to start looking into ultrasonic cleaners? Arguably the most important factor to consider, along with all of those listed above, of course, is machine quality. Look for a vendor that specializes in selling ultrasonic cleaning systems and take the time to explore all of the company’s options.