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About Ultrasonic Cleaners

Ideal for cleaning delicate items without abrasion or the use of harsh chemicals or items which would require a lot of painstaking and fiddly scrubbing, ultrasonic cleaners are easy to use and conveniently portable. Items which can be cleaned in this way include coins, tools, watches, jewellery and electronic components. Introduced for industrial use in the early 50s, the process removes dirt, grease, rust and loosely adhering coatings of contaminants. The object to be cleaned is placed within a chamber in the Ultrasonic cleaner along with water or another solvent, depending on the nature of the job. Two factors create the ultrasonic vibrations; electrical current is converted to a resonant frequency by an oscillator, and a transducer turns this agitation into sound waves. The sound waves pass into the fluid, causing the formation of millions of partial vacuum bubbles, a process called cavitation. These cavitation bubbles, being unstable, collapse with a great deal of energy, producing temperatures of around 5,000 Kelvin and pressure of around 20,000 lbs per square inch in microscopic, localised areas. This energy serves to remove contaminants from the object being cleaned. Intricately detailed objects can be cleaned more thoroughly by raising the frequency to produce smaller nodes between the cavitation points. Cleaning solutions containing wetting agents and detergents can be used to increase the effectiveness of the process. Effectively the cleaning solution does the cleaning while the sound waves do the scrubbing. A wide range of ultrasonic cleaners of various capacities and designed for domestic use are available. Also offered are the cleaning fluids which can be used with them.