Elma - Tips on Maintaining your Ultrasonic Cleaner Tank

Our thanks to Elma/Tovatech for allowing us to reprint the following article.
By Rachel Kohn, Ph.D., Tovatech


You’ve made an investment in an ultrasonic cleaning system because you know how efficiently ultrasonic cavitation removes contaminants from most any wettable surface. Here we present some tips on protecting your investment in the equipment, specifically the cleaning solution tank. We’ll cover the consequences of improper operating procedures (not that you would do that, of course) and how to spot signs of potential problems.


Ultrasonic Cleaning Tank Construction


Stainless steel is the preferred material of construction for ultrasonic cleaning tanks. That’s because of its high resistance to cavitation action and chemical attack by ultrasonic cleaning solutions. That said, highly acidic cleaning solution chemistry should only be used in acidresistant containers that can be immersed in a water solution to which a surfactant is added. Ultrasonic waves pass through the acid resistant container to act on objects being cleaned in the acidic solution.


Takeaway: Do not use aqueous cleaning media with pH values in the acid range (pH <7) directly in the ultrasonic tank if fluoride, chloride or bromide ions are present or can be released from parts being cleaned. These can quickly destroy stainless steel by crevice corrosion within a very short period of ultrasonic operation.


Ultrasonic Cleaning Tank Signals


Cavitation erosion and pinholes occur in any tank but can be slowed or minimized through proper use, regular tank cleaning and filtration of the cleaning solution. Cavitation erosion is the normal wearing of the tank surface during use. It can be accelerated by dirt particles that settle on the tank bottom as they fall from parts being cleaned and abrade the surface. Acting as...

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