The short answer is - most definitely yes! The longer answer though involves an understanding of how an ultrasonic cleaner
works and the types of cleaning solutions that are suitable for ferrous metals. A�
Understanding the principle behind Ultrasonic Cleaners
Ultrasonic cleaners are highly efficient cleaning devices that use ultrasound waves in combination with a cleaning solution to clean a wide variety of things including ferrous alloys. It employs high-frequency sound waves (ranging from 20-400 kHz) to 'lift' off the contaminants from the surface of the items being cleaned without any physical contact.
Ultrasonic Cleaners work on the principle of a process known as cavitation. But the efficiency of the cleaning process depends a lot on choosing the right cleaning solution. Not just that, the safety of the items being cleaned also depends on the choice of the cleaning solution.
An ultrasonic cleaner uses the sound waves to travel through the cleaning solution provided. It stretches and compresses the medium of the liquid. Once the amplitude crosses the threshold endurance of the cleaning solution, it creates millions of microscopic vacuum bubbles. The liquid compresses these bubbles once they reach equilibrium. This creates tiny liquid jets that implode forcefully in the cleaning solution, literally blasting away the dirt and embedded particles from the surface of the items being cleaned.
Ultrasonic cleaning is tough on dirt but an eco-friendly process and gentler on the equipment than most other traditional methods. To give you an idea about the efficiency of the cleaning process, perhaps it would suffice to say that each bubble that implodes in the solution has a temperature of about 5000C and a pressure of more than 10,000 PSI (at molecular level)! Despite the immense force exerted, the process is safe for the objects being cleaned, provided proper guidelines are followed. And the first of these steps is to choose the right cleaning solution.
Cleaning Ferrous metals - knowing the different types of cleaning solutions for Ultrasonic Cleaners
Cleaning solvents have evolved over the years from their harsh avatars. Most cleaning fluids available today are biodegradable. Ultrasonic cleaning concentrates can be broadly classified under four categories:A� alkaline, mildly alkaline, neutral, and acidic. A�
Ferrous metals can be cleaned only by using acidic solutions. Acidic solutions are specific formulations for ultrasonic cleaners that are used in heavy-duty cleaning tanks. You can use it to get rid of mineral or rust deposits on ferrous metal objects. But acidic solutions cannot be used with light alloys that are prone to corrosion. Make sure that you do not try to simultaneously clean objects made of different metals!
Neutral solutions are used for cleaning delicate objects made of things like glass, plastic, rubber, and generally, most metals. They can easily remove impurities like organic compounds, dust, pigments, and grease.
Non-ferrous metals, ceramic, rubber, etc. can be easily of rid of grease, dust, soot, oil, and other similar organic compounds with a ultrasonic cleaning liquid that is mildly alkaline. A�
Alkaline solutions can be used for laboratory items, jewelry, and objects made of other non-ferrous metallic item. However, they cannot be used for zinc or aluminum objects.
Word of warning: Maintain caution while using ultrasonic cleaning solutions since unsuitable chemical solutions can harm the tank of the transducer. This can even translate into physical harm to operating staff. Never use flammable solvents directly in the cleaner. The heat will vaporize flammable liquids which creates a palpable risk of explosion or fire.
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