Frequently Asked Questions

How do I test my Ultrasonic Cleaner ?

There is a simple industry recognised standard for testing the performance of an Ultrasonic Cleaner using aluminum cooking foil.  Foil test instructions here.  foiltest.pdf

What if my Ultrasonic Cleaner fails the foil test?

Intersonic Systems will be able to service and repair your ultrasonic cleaner or supply you with a new one.

What is cavitation?

Cavitation is the term used to describe the mechanical effect that occurs when high frequency sound waves are introduced into a solution.  The mechanism underlying this process is one in which microscopic bubbles in the liquid implode or collapse under pressure of agitation to produce shock waves striking the surface of the part being cleaned displacing and loosening particles from the surface.  The size of the cavitation bubble depends on the ultrasound frequency, at 20kHz the cavitation bubble diameter is 0.17mm, at 40KHz the bubble is below 0.14mm.  The cavitation effect is the continuing implosion of many of the bubbles throughout the ultrasonic liquid in the tank and on the surfaces of the items being cleaned.  During the implosion the gases inside the bubble heat up to approximately 5500 degrees centigrade, this is for a very short period of time.  

What is degassing?

Degassing is the process of eliminating suspended gas bubbles and dissolved gas from a liquid.  Dissolved gas migrates into cavitation bubbles and prevents them from imploding.  gas bubbles absorb ultrasonic energy resulting in reduced sound intensity in the tank.  When the tank is filled with clean water add cleaning solution and operate the cleaner without a basket for at least 10 minutes.  (time depends on the size of the tank, shorter or longer periods of degassing may be require)

Why is my tank eroded?

Ultrasonic cleaning relies on the cavitation effect.  Tank erosion is the slow erosion of the stainless steel tank caused by contaminants and normal wear and tear.  Eventually the tank will become porous, allowing liquid to enter the transducer area, and destroying the system permanently.  Erosion is normal, the lower the operational frequency, the faster erosion will occur. 

How can I reduce tank erosion and extend my ultrasonic cleaners life?

  • Do not use acidic cleaning solutions.  Acid will drastically increase the rate of tank erosion.
  • The bottom of the tank is constantly covered by contamination particles and these can build up quickly.  The cavitation forces are reflected back to the bottom of the tank causing faster tank erosion especially if the particles are abrasive.  Replace the cleaning solution regularly and wipe the bottom of the tank to remove the contaminants. 
  • Always use a basket to keep your parts clear of the tank bottom.
  • Do not leave your ultrasonic cleaner running unnecessarily.

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