Ultrasonic cleaners…..

abr303

Retro Guru
Anyone use or recommend any ultrasonic cleaners (size/brand etc.) for getting ones bits clean ……. 😊
 

Magpiegifts

Gold Trader
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I have a good friend who owns a jewellery shop. I take it his ultrasonic cleaner is same as others are using to clean their parts. Might have to pay him a visit with a bag of part lol😉
 

hookooekoo

Retro Guru
I used an ultrasonic bath at work once to clean some aluminium brake levers that I had hand-polished. The idea was to use the ultrasonic bath to get every last trace of autosol out of the nooks and crannies in the levers. My plan went wrong when I pulled the levers out of the ultrasonic bath, and realised that the ultrasonic process, in combination with washing up liquid, had dulled my lovely hand-polished mirror finish. I didn't use the ultrasonic bath again. I re-polished the levers, and blasted them with lots of WD40, then wiped them down with some kitchen towel.

I'm telling this story because ultrasonic baths can be quite an aggressive method of cleaning. The process generates huge numbers of tiny bubbles (this is technically termed cavitation), which then suddenly collapse. When these bubbles collapse next to the metal surface you're trying to clean, the pressures generated can be quite large, which is what produces the cleaning effect. This may not be much of a problem for objects such as chains, but could damage sensitive finishes when placed in large, powerful, industrial cleaning units.

If I recall correctly, one of the instruction manuals I once read for an ultrasonic bath stated that you can test the unit by suspending a strip of aluminium foil in the bath (knowing that the unit is working correctly is important when cleaning surgical equipment). If the ultrasonic bath is working correctly, the aluminium foil should start perforating after a few minutes. Of course that's an extreme example, because aluminium foil is very thin. So when a bubble collapses nearby, there is not enough thickness of material to resist the extreme pressures generated, causing the foil to deform, and then perforate.

A similar effect can occur in pumps, and can lead to a sound being generated that sounds like gravel is circulating around the pump. This effect is a well known problem in the pumps industry, as the cavitation voids are much larger, and so the pressures generated when the voids suddenly collapse are much greater. In pumps that are poorly designed or poorly setup, cavitation can rapidly cause serious damage and destroy pump impellers.

Cavitation damage on a pump impeller (picture from here)
cavitation-big.jpg
 

abr303

Retro Guru
I used an ultrasonic bath at work once to clean some aluminium brake levers that I had hand-polished. The idea was to use the ultrasonic bath to get every last trace of autosol out of the nooks and crannies in the levers. My plan went wrong when I pulled the levers out of the ultrasonic bath, and realised that the ultrasonic process, in combination with washing up liquid, had dulled my lovely hand-polished mirror finish. I didn't use the ultrasonic bath again. I re-polished the levers, and blasted them with lots of WD40, then wiped them down with some kitchen towel.

I'm telling this story because ultrasonic baths can be quite an aggressive method of cleaning. The process generates huge numbers of tiny bubbles (this is technically termed cavitation), which then suddenly collapse. When these bubbles collapse next to the metal surface you're trying to clean, the pressures generated can be quite large, which is what produces the cleaning effect. This may not be much of a problem for objects such as chains, but could damage sensitive finishes when placed in large, powerful, industrial cleaning units.

If I recall correctly, one of the instruction manuals I once read for an ultrasonic bath stated that you can test the unit by suspending a strip of aluminium foil in the bath (knowing that the unit is working correctly is important when cleaning surgical equipment). If the ultrasonic bath is working correctly, the aluminium foil should start perforating after a few minutes. Of course that's an extreme example, because aluminium foil is very thin. So when a bubble collapses nearby, there is not enough thickness of material to resist the extreme pressures generated, causing the foil to deform, and then perforate.

A similar effect can occur in pumps, and can lead to a sound being generated that sounds like gravel is circulating around the pump. This effect is a well known problem in the pumps industry, as the cavitation voids are much larger, and so the pressures generated when the voids suddenly collapse are much greater. In pumps that are poorly designed or poorly setup, cavitation can rapidly cause serious damage and destroy pump impellers.

Cavitation damage on a pump impeller (picture from here)
cavitation-big.jpg
That’s great thank you and very informative 👍
I’m possibly looking into it as a way of cleaning and degreasing certain parts. I do polish a lot of aluminium parts and some steel too so your read was interested and duly noted 👍
 

hookooekoo

Retro Guru
That’s great thank you and very informative 👍
I’m possibly looking into it as a way of cleaning and degreasing certain parts. I do polish a lot of aluminium parts and some steel too so your read was interested and duly noted 👍
It might be fine. I think it depends on the power of the unit. The one I used at work was quite powerful. Units for cleaning jewellery would be much more gentle.
 

rwm1962

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I use this one - not just for bike parts. I'm very happy with it. Bigger capacity (3L) than my old Aldi one, has a longer cycle & heats the water too.

 

hookooekoo

Retro Guru
I use this one - not just for bike parts. I'm very happy with it. Bigger capacity (3L) than my old Aldi one, has a longer cycle & heats the water too.

Nice. That's a proper bit of kit.
 
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