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The Role Of Heated Ultrasonic Cleaners

If you've used ultrasonic cleaning before, you've probably noticed that it's hot stuff. We don't mean results-wise (though ultrasonic cleaning is the best industrial cleaning technology available); we mean in terms of actual temperature. Most digital ultrasonic cleaners come with a heating system onboard and tank temperatures of 180F are seen in some applications. So what is the role of heat in ultrasonic cleaning, exactly? And how can you use heat within a digital ultrasonic cleaner for highly effective cleaning? Let's take a look. 

heated ultrasonic cleaning

How does it work?

In most ultrasonic systems, one or more heating plates are mounted to the side of the stainless steel tank. These plates transfer the output of simple electrically powered heating elements through the steel wall of the ultrasonic bath into the cleaning medium. The heat works alongside ultrasonic power to provide precision cleaning. 

What is the usual temperature range of a heated ultrasonic cleaner?

Most ultrasonic cleaning units operate between 130F and 180F, though some processes operate at as low as 90F. 

What's the best temperature for ultrasonic cleaning?

The ideal temperature of your heated ultrasonic cleaner will depend on three main factors: your cleaning solution, the item or parts being cleaned, and the contaminants being removed. 

  • Cleaning solution: Some products carry a manufacturer's recommendation for operating temperature, so be sure to account for this. 
  • Item being cleaned: Most ultrasonic cleaning targets can easily handle temperatures throughout the usual cleaning range, but others (such as circuit boards) can warp or suffer other damage in high temperatures.
  • Contaminants: Some contaminants need to be subjected to high temperatures to be removed in an efficient manner. More importantly, some contaminants become more stubborn when heated beyond a certain point. For example, proteins in blood will harden significantly above about 100F. In cases like this, there should be little or no heating applied to the ultrasonic cleaning solution. 

Note that the tank capacity and tank material will have an impact on how quickly heating occurs. 

What factors need to be taken into account?

The heat delivered into solution by the heating unit on the digital ultrasonic cleaner is predictable and easily controlled. But we also need to consider the heat created by the cleaning process itself. The ultrasonic transducers also produce a small amount of heat. A 500 Watt group of transducers will produce around 90 Watts of heat at full intensity. 

Let's say a 6 gallon tank configured with 500 Watts of ultrasonics has the heating system set to 140F and is maintaining that temperature. If the heated ultrasonic cleaner is under continuous operation for 4 straight hours beyond that time, the tank's temperature could increase to over 160F. 

For this reason, it's important to monitor the cleaning process and ensure that the temperature in the medium doesn't stray outside the envelope dictated by your cleaning medium, parts, and contaminants. 

How does heat affect the process?

Heat has three main roles in the ultrasonic cleaning process: 

  1. Increasing the effectiveness of soaking: In general, warmer liquids are more effective at removing a wide variety of contaminants, leading to superior cleaning results.
  2. Gas removal: Dissolved air and other gasses inhibit cavitation; a warmer solution helps these gasses escape, increasing cleaning effectiveness. 
  3. Reduced viscosity: Warmer liquids are less viscous, and lower viscosity means more effective cavitation. 

Can we save energy or time when heating?

Thankfully, with the latest digital ultrasonic cleaner technology, controlling heat on a timer basis is straightforward. With the new Sonic Touch II control system, it's a simple matter to set up a weekly schedule that automatically heats solutions prior to the cleaning session. This saves time and labor. Plus, the advanced data collection capabilities of the Sonic Touch II allow operators to analyze the performance of all industrial ultrasonic cleaner subsystems. This makes it possible to determine how to achieve the best heat profile for optimal cleaning. 

Contact our knowledgeable staff today and let us guide you through any questions you may have about heated digital ultrasonic cleaners. 

Why Choose Ultrasonic Power Corp?

As a “Made in the USA” ultrasonic equipment company, we leverage the latest in technology to ensure our customers get the most effective and efficient ultrasonic cleaning machine solutions. Our products are built with highly durable stainless steel and will outlive and outperform anything else on the market. We provide fit-for-purpose technical assistance, components for preventative maintenance, training, and other support solutions. Our portfolio of products and services differentiates us as an innovative brand with the utmost integrity.

Working with UPCorp is a seamless process, from the moment you contact our team of experts to receipt of your precision cleaning system. And it doesn't stop there as we provide an industry-leading warranty as well as a range of post-purchase support and maintenance services. Find out today how UPCorp can help you improve your operations with a superior industrial ultrasonic cleaner.

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