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Washing Machines

Industrial Ultrasonic Washing: how does it work?

February 28, 2022
Industrial Ultrasonic Washing: how does it work?

In modern industry, product washing is a ubiquitous and indispensable process, necessary to remove residual or unnecessary elements from manufactured or processed products, either to improve their presentation, increase their duration or prepare the product for other subsequent processes. The first industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems were developed around 1950 and ultrasonic cleaning made it easy to clean complex parts or parts with special requirements.


Ultrasonic washing works within the interaction of 3 mechanisms:

a) Cavitation b) Acceleration c) Physicochemical reactions.

Cavitation (a) is the reduction of the static pressure of a liquid below its vaporization point, generating tiny vapor filled cavities that generate shock waves when collapsing. In industrial cleaning, cavitation is produced by high-frequency pressure waves (sound) that agitate a fluid (b) which is usually water with detergents or solvents (c) where the product to be cleaned is submerged. This cavitation has sufficient capacity to overcome the adhesion forces between particles and substrates, loosening contaminating particles adhered to materials such as metals, plastics, glass, rubber or ceramics, among others. Ultrasonic cleaning allows to remove contaminants such as dust, sludge, oils, pigments, rust, grease, fungi, algae and even bacteria, cleaning such materials as wax or grease coatings, rust, corrosion, old paints, fingerprints, soil, dirt, mold, soot, etc.

Transducers are usually piezoelectric or magnetostriction components that change their shape in the presence of electromagnetic fields.

The objects to be cleaned are immersed in a suitable container with some type of solution as needed (solvents, detergents, surfactants, etc.). An ultrasonic transducer generator device inside the container is what produces ultrasonic waves by moving in synchrony with an electrical signal at ultrasonic frequency (usually from 15kHz to around 3MHz), which generate compression in the container solution that “ stretch” (accelerate) the solution creating millions of microscopic bubbles by cavitation, which implode with great force, but in a very small space, so in general they do not cause damage but they do separate and remove dirt and contaminants.

The effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning depends on the mutual interaction of these 3 factors, varying the ultrasonic frequency; cavitation usually occurs better at lower frequencies, but higher frequencies produce higher accelerations so it is important to select the proper equipment.

The original Cleanvy washing and drying technology offers an effective solution for industrial cleaning. Ultrasonic degassing system / Vacuum ultrasonic process / Rotation / JET STREAM / bathed, etc. Cleanvy offers an exclusive line of distillation solvent recycling systems that will help reduce costs and comply with official environmental standards.


The advantage of using industrial ultrasonic cleaning is that as long as the part being cleaned can be immersed, the ultrasonic process will easily penetrate gaps, cracks, and cavities without damaging the surface of the item (as long as the transducer and frequency are chosen properly). The use of ultrasonic cleaning enhances the effectiveness of the corresponding solutions and vice versa; for example, the reduction of surface tension increases cavitation levels, while the cavitation force helps to separate dirt whose adhesion has been weakened by surfactant elements, all this without the need to use abrasive principles, even with very soft materials. In addition, ultrasonic cleaning can clean parts with geometries that are difficult to access, as well as porous surfaces with ease, and delicate objects that cannot be cleaned by physical contact.


Although we have discussed the advantages of ultrasonic cleaning, it is important to mention that the cavitation phenomenon can be destructive if not applied correctly. Common examples of cavitation damage are found in turbines or propellers and are common concerns, for example, in hydroelectric turbines, which in the long run, tend to accumulate physical damage from cavitation. Likewise, in ultrasonic washing, the transducer emission frequency must be chosen appropriately, since there will be situations where certain objects may have surface sensitivity at certain frequencies where the size of the cavitation bubble causes damage, as we must remember that the implosion of the cavitation bubble, although small, can reach high temperatures and enough force that, when accumulated, cause damage to the piece being cleaned.


KAIJO is a manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning systems. KAIJO solutions allow a deep and constant cleaning of manufactured parts such as: machined, pressed, cast, heat treated, shot blasted / polished metal parts, electronic fabrications, semiconductors, HDD parts, LED's / FPD as well as many other products from other industries such as medical , optics, food, precision parts.

Most common applications.

Among the most popular ultrasonic washing applications we find:

  • Semiconductors: LCD's, silicon substrates, diodes, transistors, LED's, etc.
  • Electronics: printed circuits, glass screens, electrodes, magnetic heads, connectors, hard drive parts, etc.
  • Precision parts: watches, cameras, sewing machines, metal filters, etc.
  • Optics: lenses, prisms, fiber optics, glassware, etc.
  • Machined parts: parts, bearings, ball bearings, valves, cylinders, hydraulic parts, etc.
  • Automotive: engines, pistons, camshafts, injection pumps, parts, etc.
  • Textiles: filters, fabrics, fibers, bristles, brushes, etc.
  • Food: eggs, fruits, vegetables, cans, containers, etc.
  • Research and development: processes for physical, chemical, medical and/or biological laboratories.

General ultrasonic washing process:

A complete ultrasonic washing system usually contains 3 stages: ultrasonic washing, rinsing (ultrasound optional), drying. Depending on the specific needs of the product, other stages may be included.

In the first stage, the piece or part to be washed is submerged inside a container where the ultrasonic emitting transducer is located. This container will be filled with the fluid through which the sound will be transmitted. It is important to mention that both the fluid, the concentration of the cleaning agent, surface tension, time, as well as temperature affect the cleaning results, so it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions; the job of the cleaner is to increase the efficiency of the process and reduce the washing time.

The second step is the rinsing of the piece or part to finish removing the unwanted elements. A neutral fluid should be used for the part (usually water) to ensure that no unwanted residue remains. If necessary, an ultrasonic generator transducer can be used again.

The third step is drying, where the rinse element is removed from the piece or part. There are multiple methods to achieve this, mainly drying by air, by centrifugation or by evaporation, either by heat or at room temperature.

Once these steps are finished, the piece is ready for its next process. Units to achieve this can be purchased as systems integrated directly into the process or separately depending on customer needs.

For more information regarding ultrasonic industrial washing processes, we invite you to contact your Yamazen sales representative by calling 472-7486400, by email at info@yamazen.com.mx or through the chat or contact form on our website. .

Gerardo Pérez Plascencia


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