Ultrasonic Frequency in Cleaning Applications

In the simplest terms,

ULTRASONIC CLEANING FREQUENCY = CLEANING POWER

Properly applied, ultrasonics can perform a more thorough, more complete cleaning job than any other cleaning method. Ultrasonics is a non-destructive method of cleaning which utilizes sound waves to form and implode vapor pockets on the surface of contaminated parts. This implosion results in the release of stored energy that creates a virtual scrubbing or cleaning action on the surface of the part to be cleaned.

In ultrasonic cleaning, the pressure phase of a sound wave is used to provide the cleaning action. Sonication creates areas in the liquid where negative pressure exists. At these points on the part to be cleaned, thousands of minute vapor bubbles are formed and these bubbles effectively scrub the part. As the ultrasonic energy level alternates (a half second later) the pressure in this same zone becomes positive and the vapor bubbles implode. This implosion (the bubbles bust inwardly) occurs with great violence. This action is commonly called “cavitation” and is not to be confused with the formation of air bubbles caused by degassing of water. While the quantity of energy in any one implosion is extremely small, it is calculated that enormous pressures in the order of 10,000 pounds per square inch and extreme temperatures of approximately 20,000 oF are generated. This cavitational activity–the formation and bursting of these vapor pockets–actually forms the scrubbing or cleaning action on the surface of the part.

Power Sonics TM Ultrasonic Transducers – A Magnus Engineered Equipment Exclusive

Power SonicsTM ultrasonic transducers are mechanically strong and capable of handling large amounts of power – a desirable feature when difficult cleaning jobs are encountered. Power SonicsTM operate at a frequency of 20 kHz whereas conventional sonic cleaning systems operate at 25 or 40 kHz. To see the difference in cleaning power, we need to examine the following chart.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Power

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Note that the “y-axis” is the relative strength or cleaning power of the ultrasonic system.

Ultrasonics running at 20 kHz are 5 times stronger than those running at 25 kHz and about 20 times stronger than those running at 40 kHz.

Greater cleaning power allows for faster cleaning speeds, more efficient cleaning, and the ability to clean the toughest substrates.

 

Ultrasonic Cleaning Power

Magnus Engineered Equipment manufacturers it’s own Ultrasonic transducers and generators.  Power Sonics ™ line of transducers offer unmatched cleaning consistency whether the parts to be cleaned are large or small, simple or complex, handled singly, in batches, or in an automated line.   Because ultrasonic energy penetrates into crevices and cavities, any type of part or assembly can be cleaned such as precision parts or assemblies.  Having the capability to clean entire assemblies without disassembly results in labor savings that makes ultrasonics the most economical way of cleaning.  The Power Sonics ™ line includes both radial and flat 20 kHz transducers which optimize energy transfer to the bath to maximize ultrasonic scrubbing.

The exclusive Power Sonics TM lamination design results in a transducer which achieves cavitation easily and quickly. This occurs in relatively un-degassed as well as fully degassed solutions. As the name implies, power in the bath directly affects cleaning capability. The 20 kHz magnetostrictive transducer, driven as a uniform unit by an intense generator signal, optimizes energy transfer to the bath to maximize ultrasonic scrubbing. The design produces the highest cavitation intensity and highest power density available in the market.  Power levels of 10 Watts per square inch are achieved!

Radial transducers are cylindrical and expose parts to “full surround” ultrasonic sound waves, thus providing cavitation much greater than “flat” transducers.  For products such as wire, cable, tubing, channel, flat stock, rod, pipe and other materials which can be passed through the radial ultrasonic unit, the ability to clean with a radial ultrasonic unit is unmatched in the sonics industry.  Product can be cleaned through the Power Sonics TM radial transducers at any speed desired and in the smallest footprint owing to the design of the radial transducers.  Unlike systems which utilize flat transducers, the use of radial transducers eliminates “sonic shadowing” and ensures that the entire surface of the product is cleaned !  This feature is important for cleaning of continuous product where 100% surface cleanliness is desired.

Magnus Engineered Equipment has a breadth of experience in designing and manufacturing ultrasonic cleaning equipment to clean any type of substrate from bearings to surgical needles.  Transducers made from special alloys are available as are hardened surfaces.  Magnus Engineered Equipment can recommend the proper cleaning chemistry to optimize the performance of the Power Sonics TM equipment.  Contact Magnus Engineered Equipment to see how Power Sonics TM can be used in your cleaning application.

20 kHz Magnetostrictive Ultrasonics….the most powerful ultrasonics for cleaning applications.

The table below shows the difference in ultrasonic cleaning power as a function of ultrasonic frequency.  Magnus Engineered Equipment (MEE) offers ultrasonic cleaning equipment in a variety of frequencies, but MEE’s 20 kHz magnetostrictive offering is the most powerful ultrasonic cleaning technology in the industry….period !   In order to achieve this level of cleaning power, MEE builds it’s own transducers and generators.  Magnetostrictive transducers are used to deliver the 20 kHz high power not deliverable with piezoelectric transducers.  Some vendors may claim that their 25 kHz or 28 kHz systems deliver the same power as a 20 kHz system, however as one can see in the figure below, the power delivered by 20 kHz is much higher.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Power

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Acetone Replacement

A company which manufactures composite pressure vessels was manually cleaning resin contaminated stainless steel components with Acetone and manual scraping.  The company wanted to find a better way of doing this and approached Magnus Engineered Equipment.  In order to be successful, fully cured and partially cured resin materials needed to be removed from a variety of stainless steel substrates.  Magnus Engineered Equipment provided a process which uses novel bio-degradeable chemistry to economically remove cured and uncured resin in very fast times (less than 30 minutes).  The novel chemistry lasts longer and costs less overall than the acetone it replaces, and no manual labor is required.  Furthermore, operator exposure to acetone and acetone disposal issues were eliminated.  This “green” process can also be used to replace other common cleaning agents such as Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), toluene and other thinners as well as remove other organics such as polyester, vinyl ester or epoxy resin, gel coats, adhesives, urethanes, waxes, paints and stains.