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Selecting A Cleaning Process And Cleaning Solutions

Before a cleaning system is purchased, the parts to be cleaned should be submitted for an application analysis where:

  1) The materials of construction, configuration, and quantity of the parts to be cleaned are identified.
2) The soils to be removed are identified and analyzed.
3) The cleaning approach to be used, either aqueous or solvent, is determined and trials undertaken.

Only then can an appropriate ultrasonic cleaning system, designed for the cleaning process and the cleaning solution, be provided.

Choosing A Chemistry
While all of a liquid's physical properties will have an effect on ultrasonic cleaning, the effects of vapor pressure, surface tension, viscosity, and density are the most pronounced. Since temperature influences these properties, it also has influence on the effectiveness of cavitation.

Considering the effects of these four key physical properties on cavitation, studies have shown that high density, low viscosity, and middle range surface tension and vapor pressure are the ideal conditions for most intense cavitation. Due to temperature effects on these four physical properties, the most intense cavitation will be considerably below the liquid's boiling point, but not so low as to get into the adverse regions of too low vapor pressure or too high surface tension. Different liquids will have different temperatures at which cavitation intensity will be the greatest because of the difference in physical properties and their rate change in temperatures. Thus the cavitation intensity will be less either below or above this ideal temperature.

Any cleaning system should be designed for use with the cleaning solution. Aqueous systems usually consist of open tanks in which the parts to be cleaned are immersed. A complex system may consist of several tanks, incorporating recirculating pump and filter systems, rinse and drying stages, and other accessories.

Systems designed for use with solvents, often ultrasonic vapor degreasers, usually incorporate means for continuously reclaiming contaminated solvent. Ultrasonic vapor degreasing is accomplished in an integrated multiple-compartment system consisting of boiling solvent sumps and ultrasonic rinse sumps.

The combination of warm solvent vapors and ultrasonic agitation thoroughly removes oil, grease, wax and other solvent-soluble soils. The parts emerge from the cleaning process warm, clean and dry.

Theory of Ultrasonics
Selecting A Cleaning Process And Cleaning Solutions
Three Major Factors To Consider


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