One of the most important parts of your ultrasonic cleaner is the ultrasonic cleaning solution that you use. Ultrasonic cleaner solution is the medium that does the heavy lifting.
Solution composition and temperature are two of the things that can have an effect on the outcome of your cleanings.
Types of Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution
Traditionally, solutions used in ultrasonic cleaning were made of some pretty nasty chemicals. Freon and trichloroethane were used to great effect in the process. With new green chemical regulations, specifically ones that target products like these organic compounds, solutions have been moving in an environmentally friendly direction.
There are now a wide variety of water based solutions available to use in your cleaning tank. Water is known as the universal solvent for a reason; it is excellent in the role.
It is hard to get more environmentally friendly than water. Water is also chemically inert, not poisonous and will not catch fire. The downside is, water which is considered contaminated can be hard to dispose of. Before using water based solutions for cleaning, make sure that you have a proper disposal plan in place. More information on green solutions:
- Start Going Green with Water-Based Soaps in Ultrasonic Cleaning
- Alternatives In Cleaning With Toxic Solvents
- Why We Use No Industrial Solvents in Our Cleaners
To improve the performance of water, it is best to add detergents to the mix. This assists when you are attempting to rinse and dry already cleaned parts. Detergents also aid in loosening the bonds between the contaminate and the substrate you are trying to remove it from. They can also help to clean hard to reach areas that may not come clean with water alone.
The properties of water also allow it to compress more easily than organic solvents. This means you get more energy out of your tank than you would using other compounds.
Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution Temperature
Along with the type of solution that you are going to use, be very careful to monitor the temperature of the solution. There are a lot of things going on in the solution during cavitation that can cause unexpected and possibly even negative results.
Generally speaking the warmer the solution is, the better the cavitation results. The issue is when you start approaching the boiling point of the solution. Here are two simple ways of testing cavitation.
If we review some high school chemistry, you might remember that pressure can affect the boiling point. Even if you do not remember that, just look at the instructions for a package of noodles or rice at high altitudes. You will see at lower pressures, it is easier to boil water. What does this have to do with your ultrasonic cleaner?
What you are actually doing is creating little waves of energy in the solution. The front of the wave has increased pressure. This means at the back of the wave, there is decreased pressure. If the combination of the drop in pressure and the temperature of the solution exceed the boiling point of your solution, you can develop bubbles, reducing the effectiveness of your ultrasonic cleaner.
Solutions are often used in combination with heat, which effectively eliminates entrapped air in the water tank. For most applications, a temperature of 122-149 °F (50-65 °C) is effective. However, for some medical applications it is generally accepted that solutions should be used at temperatures below 100 °F (38 °C) to prevent protein coagulation.
Helpful Ultrasonic Cleaning and Solutions Resources
- What Does Ultrasonic Mean?
- Advantages of Ultrasonic Cleaning
- How To Choose the Correct Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution?
- The Importance of Choosing the Right Ultrasonic Soap for Cleaning
- How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works – part 1
- How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works – part 2 – Chemistries
- How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works – part 3 – Temperature
- How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works – part 4 – Frequencies
- How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works – part 5 – Bubble Size
- How Do Industrial Washers Work?
- Ultrasonic Tabletops – Powerful, Convenient Parts Cleaning
- … and many more found on the blog!
Contact our Team of Ultrasonic Cleaning Experts
Trying to find the best ultrasonic cleaning solution for your application or have other questions regarding ultrasonic cleaning? Contact our experts at Omegasonics by calling 888-989-5560, emailing us at Omegasonics@Omegasonics.com, or by filling out our online contact form.