The use of ultrasonic cleaning has become widespread in a range of industries, from manufacturing and engineering to healthcare and pharmaceuticals. But sometimes the sonic cleaner process with water on its own is not enough and a chemical solution is needed to help things along.
The choice of cleaning solution will depend on a number of factors. These include the type of material being cleaned, the nature of the contaminant to be removed and what, if any, additional processes - such painting or plating - are due to take place after cleaning is completed.
All of these things will influence the type of solution to be used, the dilution level and the optimum temperature needed to achieve the best results. The solutions used in ultrasonic cleaning processes generally fall into one of four categories. These are: neutral, acidic, mildly alkaline and alkaline.Which Solution?
Using neutral solutions with a sonic cleaner is appropriate where the items to be cleaned are plastic, rubber, glass or metal and where the piece to be processed is delicate in nature. The cleaner can be used to remove things such as dust, organic compounds, pigments and grease.
Acidic solutions are used for removing tougher contaminants like rust and limescale. But while they can be used on ferrous metals, they're not generally suitable for alloys. It's important to remember that when using acids a suitably resistant tank or tank insert will be needed to immerse the items to be cleaned in order to protect the equipment.
Alkaline solutions at various levels are used to clean clean up grease, oil, dust and other dirt from materials such as ceramics, glass, non-ferrous metal and rubber. Alkaline solutions are the most often used for general cleaning tasks. In laboratory environments, an alkaline solution with added ammonia is often used. This can also be useful for use on brass and copper to provide a bright clean finish.
More specialised solutions are available for use in cleaning optics, medical instruments and so on. There are also specialist options for tasks like cleaning up smoke damage and removing protective waxes and coatings.
Where flammable solvents are used, these need special measures to ensure safe handling and proper ventilation. Possible sources of ignition must also be removed.
To find out more about sonic cleaning, take a look around the website at some of the options available or call us for a FREE consultation with our chemical consultant.
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