What is ultrasonic cleaning and how does it work?

Ultrasonic cleaning is a highly effective cleaning method using ultrasonic cleaners. Due to the effective cleaning, it is often used in the medical and dental branch. Ultrasonic cleaners are not only ideal for medical purposes, but also for electronics and technology. In this article, we tell you all about the operation of ultrasonic cleaning.

How does ultrasonic cleaning work?

An ultrasonic cleaner is needed to do ultrasonic cleaning. What does an ultrasonic machine do? This device uses sound waves to clean objects. In ultrasonic fluid, the sound intensity increases, creating a negative pressure. This negative pressure breaks the liquid, creating tens of thousands of tiny water vapour bubbles. When these water vapour bubbles are caught in a sound wave, they start to vibrate. 

Due to the vibrations, the water vapour bubbles grow until they become unstable and implode. These implosions cause small but strong currents in the ultrasonic liquid. Because not a few, but tens of thousands of implosions occur simultaneously, a powerful reaction is created, which we call ultrasonic cleaning.

How do I use an ultrasonic cleaner?

How ultrasonic cleaning works has already been explained, but how do you use an ultrasonic cleaner? Each ultrasonic cleaner is filled with (demineralized) water and ultrasonic liquid. It is recommended not to put objects on the bottom of the machine, that is why we have a basket with our ultrasonic cleaners. We also have additional baskets with extra fine mesh, ideal for small parts and instruments. These are available in a round and rectangular . When choosing the format, please take into account the space the baskets take up.

Degassing before cleaning

Before placing objects in the cleaning bath, it is important to degas the cleaning bath and let it get up to temperature. Make sure the ultrasonic bath is filled with ultrasonic fluid up to the filling line or at least for ⅔. Do you have a digital ultrasonic cleaner? Then there might be a 'degass' function. No "degass" function? No problem. You get the same effect by turning on the ultrasonic cleaner for 10 to 30 minutes with the ultrasonic function. The time depends on the size of your cleaner. If the cleaner is 10 litres, then degas for 10 minutes. If the cleaner is 27 litres, degas it for 30 minutes. The degas process also speeds up the temperature of the ultrasonic cleaner.

Direct or indirect cleaning

After preparing the cleaning bath, you can place the objects in the ultrasonic cleaner. You can do this in two ways: indirect or direct cleaning. Direct cleaning is placing the object directly in the cleaning bath and it is important to replace the liquid after each cleaning session. Indirect cleaning uses a glass beaker and a fine mesh basket. By using a glass beaker you can clean several materials at the same time and loose dirt will not stay in your ultrasonic cleaner. Note: Rinse the objects with warm water after cleaning. This will prevent the cleaning fluid from soaking in.

What are frequencies?

The frequency of the vibrations and the sound is indicated in Hertz, also sometimes abbreviated as Hz. The frequencies generally used for ultrasonic cleaning are between 20 kHz and 50 kHz. A frequency of 20 kHz creates relatively large air bubbles and ensures fast and powerful cleaning. With a kHz of 40 small bubbles are created which ensure an intensive cleaning. This frequency is particularly ideal for hollow instruments, for example. Through the small air bubbles these are cleaned with ease. The ultrasonic cleaners of B-autoclave have a high cleaning frequency of 40 kHz, so you are assured of a thorough ultrasonic cleaning.

The advantages of ultrasonic cleaning

The principle of ultrasonic cleaning should now be clear. But what are the main advantages of this system?

Thoroughly clean result

First of all, ultrasonic cleaning simply provides the most thorough result. You clean the objects deep into their pores, leaving even tricky surfaces and hard-to-reach places spotless. You will never achieve the same result by hand, because it is impossible to deliver the same intensity without damaging the objects.

No scratches and damage

This brings us directly to advantage 2: the objects are not affected or damaged during ultrasonic cleaning. After all, there is no abrasive effect thanks to ultrasonic cleaning. Even the most delicate and complex shaped parts can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.

Save time and effort

Finally, of course, it is very nice that with an ultrasonic cleaner you do not have to make any effort. When the machine is on, you can just go and do something else, which also saves time.

Want to know more about ultrasonic cleaning?

Do you still have questions about the principle of ultrasonic cleaning or do you want to find out which of our ultrasonic cleaners is the most suitable for you? For all your questions, please contact us via 0321 3178 or info@b-autoclave.com. Our specialists are at your service!