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How does an ultrasonic cleaning machine work?

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How does an ultrasonic cleaning machine work?

An ultrasonic cleaning machine is simply a bath filled with a cleaning solution through which ultrasound is passed. Items placed within the bath will be subjected to the ultrasonic cleaning activity, specifically the implosions caused by cavitation which sucks dirt off the surface of items placed within the bath.

An ultrasonic bath typically has 5 components;

The bath itself, to hold the cleaning solution and the parts being cleaned. Size does matter! The bath must be large enough to hold the basket with parts being cleaned, with sufficient space for an effective clean.

The cleaning solution used to remove the dirt of items placed in the bath. The cleaning solution must assist in taking the dirt off, not damage the item being cleaned, and effectively transmit ultrasonic waves. Health, safety and environmental factors regarding the handling, storage and disposal of the solution are also important considerations.

A basket to hold the parts being cleaned in the bath. The basket holds the items being cleaned off the base of the tank, and does not impede ultrasonic activity. It must clearly be strong enough and with a mesh of the right size to hold the items being cleaned securely and safely during the cleaning process.

A generator that converts mains frequency (50 Hz in the UK) to an ultrasonic frequency typically 25 to 80 kHz. This is often sited away from the bath itself for safety and ease of maintenance.

Transducers that vibrate at the frequency generated by the generator transmitting the ultrasound waves through the solution within the bath. These transducers are designed to vibrate effectively at the frequency produced by the generator. They can be sited on the base or walls of the bath itself, using the steel walls as the diaphragm to pass the waves through the solution inside the bath. Alternatively, the transducers can be bonded on the inside walls of a steel box which is submerged in the bath. The ultrasound waves are then passed from the “submersible” into the bath solution. For larger baths, submersibles are often preferred to tank bonded transducers, since they are easier to remove for maintenance separately from the bath itself.

Although the general set up of an ultrasonic cleaner is the same, the specific details of the components are variable depending on the exact cleaning process it is designed for.

To understand more about ultraosnic cleaning machines and how they might benefit you and your application please call or email one of our helpful cleaning experts today on 01924 495 975 or hello@sonicsolutionsltd.com

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We approached Sonic Solutions after our parts manufacturers let us down and wasted precious time by supplying oily parts. Not only were they friendly, helpful and happy to rush our parts through - the quality was unbelievable! They arrived back at our factory just in time to not hold up production and we couldn't recommend them highly enough.

Martin Frings


Our company AssetCool found the entire team at Sonic Solutions to be responsive and incredibly supportive of a new project. Their technical knowledge is superb, and they delivered exactly what they promised. We're very happy to recommend them to anyone with ultrasonic cleaning needs, and look forward to working with them again in the future.

Tonia Parris


I reached out with a problem to various companies prior to talking with Sonic Solutions, most were unhelpful. These guys insisted on the first trial being for free! The job was excellent and the turn around time very impressive. We are now setting up a monthly cleaning regime with them. A joy to deal with.

Andy Sim


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