Ultrasonic cleaners are used by many companies to clean equipment and devices. Apart from saving time, it is also cost-effective.
Not knowing the right way to use ultrasonic cleaners can cause damage not only to your parts but also to the cleaner. In the long run, that will affect your business’s bottom line.
In addition, if you don’t have a clear understanding of your ultrasonic cleaner’s potential, you will end up overusing it. Let’s take a look at some tips that will enable you to get the best results from your ultrasonic cleaning tools.
Consult a Professional
Make sure you read and follow the manufacturer’s manual when using an ultrasonic cleaner. Avoid experimenting with solutions and parts that are not approved by the manufacturer, and make sure you follow the right processes when using the product. For example, only wash items that the manufacturer approves for your ultrasonic cleaner.
If your ultrasonic cleaner ever malfunctions, don’t attempt repairing it yourself. Keep in mind that ultrasonic cleaners work on high voltage; hence, you might cause damage to the cleaner if you try to repair it, especially if you have no experience in that area. You can also cause harm to yourself if you are not careful.
Most ultrasonic cleaners come with a warranty. You might lose the warranty if you open the cleaner yourself. The ideal thing to do is to consult a professional or simply use your warranty.
Don’t Overload the Cleaner
You may want to try cleaning a lot of parts all at once to save time. This is not a wise decision. Overcrowding the cleaner may cause surfaces to rub against each other, which will cause scratches. You aim to clean your parts, not wear them out.
Put parts in the cleaner in batches. It may take longer, but your parts will also last longer and not get damaged.
Get the Chemistry Right
Although water is a great choice for ultrasonic cleaning, it doesn’t work as effectively on other contaminants. You’ll need other solvents to get the job done. For example, contaminants such as dirt, soil, oil, light grease, and carbon, require alkaline solutions for effective cleaning. Because alkaline solutions have a high pH value, they are able to handle such tough stains.
Alkaline solutions are excellent with hard metals such as steel, stainless steel, and titanium. However, take note that steel can rust quickly so you’ll need a solution with an in-built rust inhibitor. Alternatively, rinse the metal in a rust inhibitor.
But alkaline solutions won’t work for delicate metals such as aluminum. For such soft metals, you’ll need acidic solutions to get the job done. Acidic solutions generally have a low pH value and hence are able to perform gentle cleaning action. They are also recommended for water-damaged parts.
When dealing with more sensitive parts, such as parts of an electronic device and surgical tools, you’ll need a neutral pH solution. Such a solution is also excellent for cleaning light contamination such as dust or light dirt particles, grinding and polishing media, dust and fingerprints. It is also great for ceramics, precious metals, and jewelry cleaning.
Avoid Flammable Cleaning Solutions
Due to the powerful vibrations caused by the cleaner, the solution can get hot. It is important to use a non-flammable solution for cleaning. Flammable solutions or solutions with low flashpoints quickly generate heat and kinetic energy, taking the temperature in the ultrasonic cleaner to dangerous levels.
A lot of damage can occur if the solution gets overheated while it is paired with a flammable liquid. It could even cause a fire. Always use a water-based solution in your cleaner. If you are out of water-based solutions, you can make your own by adding water to some detergent.
Never Plug-In An Empty Cleaner
Don’t plug in or put on your ultrasonic cleaner if the tank is not properly filled. If the tank is empty and it is switched on, the transducer will burn out. You will end up with a damaged ultrasonic cleaner.
Always make a conscious effort to ensure that the tank is properly filled to be the recommended level before switching it on. One mistake that people make is removing the plug and forgetting to switch off the socket.
This can be dangerous if the tank is plugged in; however, some items are unsuitable. Items such as some fragile jewelry and stones can get damaged in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Some electronic devices like microphones are also not suitable. You should do proper research on devices and items that should not be cleaned with your ultrasonic cleaner. Carefully read the manual as well. It will have information on what not to place in the cleaner.
Use the Appropriate Time and Temperature
Most ultrasonic cleaners work best in the 135-degree to 150-degree F range. This is because that temperature provides good microscopic cleaning energy.
Although higher heat may soften dirt and loosen its chemical bonds at a faster rate, it can also accelerate evaporation and can damage softer metals.
Lower temperatures may be used for critical applications. This would require leaving the parts in the solution for a longer period. This is because time and temperature are inversely proportional.
Choose the Right Process
Just like cleaning an oven, you should always use the right cleaning process when using ultrasonic cleaners. For suspended contaminants, you may have to filter the entire bath.
If you are cleaning more complex parts, you would have to wash or rinse several times. Not using the right process during ultrasonic cleaning may give you unsatisfactory results.
How long your ultrasonic cleaner lasts and how effective it is in cleaning your parts depends on you. Causing damage to your cleaner may affect your business, company, or organization financially.
The resources you will use in repairs can be used in other important areas. These tips will help your ultrasonic cleaner last longer and work more effectively. If you are looking to purchase an ultrasonic cleaner, check out this review of three top cleaners.