Ultrasonic Cleaner Parts and Accessories Improve Efficiency
How Ultrasonic Cleaner Parts can Boost Ultrasonic Cleaner Utility
The maxim “have the right tools for the job” should be your guideline in selecting ultrasonic cleaner parts and accessories that improve the efficiency of your ultrasonic cleaning tasks. Carefully considered investments in parts and accessories should soon pay for themselves in terms of improved cleaning results, faster throughput, customer satisfaction and in expanding the services you offer. Here are some suggestions for your consideration.
Using Baskets for Parts Cleaning
Baskets have two key functions for parts cleaning:
- Parts baskets keep products being cleaned from contact with the bottom of the ultrasonic cleaner tank. Otherwise severe damage and eventual leaking will result due to vibrations.
- Parts baskets ensure cavitation (cleaning) action is maximized by holding products at the optimum level above the tank bottom. This is why different tank dimensions call for correct basket specifications.
Most ultrasonic cleaner parts baskets are designed with an open mesh bottom of sufficient strength to hold products being cleaned. Do not overload your baskets by stacking parts in an effort to clean more parts at the same time. Best results are achieved when parts are not in contact with each other.
A variety of special ultrasonic cleaner parts accessories are available to handle special cleaning requirements. Examples include jewelry racks and racks to position printed circuit boards in the solution.
If you clean very small parts consider fine mesh immersion baskets that can be positioned in standard baskets or otherwise suspended in the cleaning solution. For another look at this see the section on cleaning with volatile solvents.
And as a refresher we invite you to view our video “Why use ultrasonic cleaner parts baskets?”
Alternatives to Ultrasonic Cleaner Parts Baskets
If you clean very large parts in an industrial ultrasonic cleaner an alternative is a mechanism to lower the part into the ultrasonic cleaning solution.
Exercise care to keep the part from contacting the bottom of the tank. Some tanks are designed with ridges fabricated on the bottom to hold these parts, thus freeing the raising and lowering mechanism for use elsewhere during your cleaning cycle.
Ultrasonic Cleaner Parts to Reduce Noise and Evaporation
Ultrasonic is defined as sound above the range of human hearing (typically 20,000 cycles per second or 20 kHz). But ultrasonic cleaners do make noise caused by vibrations within the unit itself and parts being cleaned.
Cleaning at higher frequencies is less “noisy” than at lower frequencies. To reduce noise distraction
- Place ultrasonic cleaners within sound insulating cabinets
- Sound-deadening lids, available for some models help reduce cleaning solution evaporation
- Equip staff with sound protecting earmuffs
Many models of Elma benchtop ultrasonic cleaners come with lids that do double duty by serving as a drain tray after the cleaning cycle. This allows you to return drained solution to the cleaning tank. Larger industrial units may come with standard or insulated lids.
Ultrasonic Cleaner Parts to Manage Cleaning Solution Temperature
Ultrasonic cavitation creates heat that eventually increases the temperature of your cleaning solution. In some cases higher temperatures are good in that they improve cleaning efficiency. In every case this increases cleaning solution evaporation.
Heat is not desirable when cleaning electronics and PCBs because excessive heat may cause warping, thus ruining the board. The same applies to using an ultrasonic cleaner to clean and restore vinyl records.
Recommended cleaning solution temperatures are provided by manufacturers of the formulas.
When higher temperatures are required specify an ultrasonic cleaner equipped with a heater. This improves your efficiency by pre-heating the solution before starting your cleaning cycles. But note that after a point (typically 80⁰C) cleaning efficiency drops off.
To avoid cleaning solution temperatures from getting too high, a useful ultrasonic cleaner parts accessory is a cooling coil. This can be inserted in the ultrasonic cleaner tank and connected to a source of cold water or a water cooling mechanism.
Ultrasonic Cleaner Parts for Highly Acidic Solutions
Ultrasonic cleaning solutions can be generally classified as alkaline, neutral or acidic and are described in our post on cleaning solution chemistries.
Ultrasonic cleaners are equipped with cavitation-resistant stainless steel tanks. These tanks resist most all of the commonly used ultrasonic cleaning solutions.
Special care is required when your cleaning requirements call for higher acid content solutions. In these cases you’ll need to use an acid resistant insert designed for the size of your ultrasonic cleaner tank.
Ultrasonic Cleaner Parts for Volatile Solvents
This is a critical topic. You must take very special precautions when using volatile solvents such as IPA, acetone and toluene in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Special equipment is strongly recommended along with assurances that you comply with national and local safety regulations as well as those established by your plant safety personnel and/or local fire department.
For an in-depth look at this important topic please read our post on using flammable solvents in an ultrasonic cleaner.
For cleaning larger parts with volatile solvents you’ll need an explosion proof ultrasonic cleaner especially designed for this demanding process. An example is the SOL XP explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaning system.
Ultrasonic Cleaning Parts Dryers
There may be cases where your ultrasonic cleaned parts must be dried quickly after the cleaning cycle. Elmadry TD hot air drying units are offered in three sizes. They blow filtered hot air or cold (room temperature) air around parts; moisture-laden air exits from the vented lid.
This post covers many but not all ultrasonic cleaner parts and accessories that can go a long way toward providing faster, more thorough cleaning enabling you to increase throughput in your business and, we hope, improve your profitability.
If you don’t see the part or accessory you need or want help in selecting the right equipment please contact our professionals for unbiased recommendations.