What is precision cleaning?
It’s important to distinguish between “regular cleaning” and “precision cleaning.” True precision cleaning involves removing all contaminants from the surface of the object to be cleaned. Precision cleaning is vital to the success of industries as varied as aerospace, defense, medical implants, computer tech, and pharmaceutical. In fact, parts in these industries must be cleaned so thoroughly that they can pass microscopic inspection of their surfaces. If contaminant removal is only partial, this can be expensive, slow down production and have a negative impact on a company’s bottom line and reputation.
Considerations for Precision Cleaning
If you’re going to be having parts precision cleaned, there are certain factors and steps to be taken into consideration.
First, how clean do your parts need to be at the end of the process? What standard are you using, and how will this be determined? In most cases, parts are inspected closely before the cleaning process begins and then they are inspected again according to industry-wide standards and cleanliness levels. You need to determine what is appropriate for your industry and use that as your benchmark.
Once you’ve determined your inspection and cleanliness standards, you’ll need to determine what cleaning strategy you’ll employ.
Precision Cleaning Strategies
When it comes to precision cleaning strategies, there are a wide array of possibilities. These include methods as varied as vapor degreasing, hand cleaning, CO2 snow and mechanical blasting. All the above options have their benefits and drawbacks. For example, some of them require the use of hazardous solvents which create additional workplace safety and environmental considerations. These add further complications and cost to your precision cleaning process. Some processes add intensive time and labor, which can also drive costs up.
To solve the issues caused by intensive labor or hazardous solvents, many precision cleaning operations choose ultrasonic cleaning. For the most intricate jobs requiring a high level of cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning fits the bill, surpassing other methods for most cleaning needs.
What is Ultrasonic Cleaning?
Ultrasonic cleaning works through the generation of high-frequency sound waves through a liquid, using piezoelectric transducers to generate the waves via a diaphragm. When these high-frequency waves strike against the surface of an object, they produce millions of microscopic bubbles which instantaneously collapse. This physical effect is known as “cavitation,” and each collapse causes the snap release of jets of energy. Cavitation produces the power behind ultrasonic cleaning, uniformly “scrubbing” every surface of the object being cleaned, even cleaning down inside blind holes or intricate internal sections
How does ultrasonic cleaning work with precision cleaning?
Once parts have been inspected, they are ready to be sent to an ultrasonic cleaning unit designed for high-end precision cleaning, such as one of the units found in the Omegasonics Pro series. The parts to be cleaned are placed in a liquid bath along with a detergent formulated specifically for the specific type of application and contaminant addressed in the cleaning. Once the part to be cleaned is submerged, the ultrasonic cleaning process can begin. The number of ultrasonic cleaning cycles used, length of time in the bath, temperature used, and so on will be determined by the type of contaminant and parts material. Keep in mind that not all materials or applications are suitable for ultrasonic cleaning. We recommend that you get in touch with the ultrasonic cleaning experts using the contact information at the end of this article.
Once the part has been thoroughly cleaned, precision cleaning protocols demand that it also be rinsed in at least one or more water only baths before being quickly and properly dried. For many precision cleaning processes, this involves the use of forced hot air dryers to dry the parts thoroughly. The judicious application of a rinsing agent can help keep water spots from parts, as well as making sure to use distilled water.
Overall, although there are many approaches to successful precision cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning provides a thorough and cost-effective method that works well across industries. Want to know more about how ultrasonic cleaning can transform your precision cleaning operations? Call one of our ultrasonic experts at Omegasonics at 888-989-5560 or email us at Omegasonics@Omegasonics.com. You can also get in touch with us by filling out our online contact form.