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How do you test a ultra-sonic cleaner?

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  • How do you test a ultra-sonic cleaner?

    Found one at a yardsale today for a buck. It lights up and has a timer that seems to work. When I put about a teaspoon full of dish detergent and some water the bubbles don't appear to go away. Should they if the ultra sonic cleaner was working? I thought ultra sound broke the bubbles?

    This would be a nice little addition to the machine shop.
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    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

  • #2
    Makes a ear annoying shriek, noise goes up and down as it oscillates. Put plain water into it to test it. ANYONE with facial implants, (plastic cheek bones) will run in pain. LIstening to one run most the day in a tattoo shop is as annoying as a water drip.

    Circuitry is not that complicated that drives one, but emitter voltage can exceed 1000v.. I was quite amazed while working on one I had to see my fluke 77 at 1200 volts. Good thing the amps were not there to really fry the meter or I'd had a bad day.

    Basically it runs the frequency up, implodes the water bubbles with a shear like mechanical-vibration, then rolls the freq back and they go back together, SoFT water must be used for best effect, any water softener will work somewhat. USING solvents in one, well it produces large amounts of explosive gases.

    What brand did you get? I had three branson units up to 2 gallon in parts boxes gave to me, silly me, you can buy every part of them. ONN YEAH, use a basket to hang the parts in, laying parts in the bottom directly on the emitter Piezo is not good, can cause it to over heat by not being able to cycle. I always have wanted to build a big on on the bottom of a stainless steel sink to wash my house dishes in. THE clothes Ultrasonic was "sucked" off the market after I read rave reviews on it, supposedly the "underground" said that it would have bankrupted the clothes washer companies cause they are geared up for gear-box mechanical washing. I know it'd take a pretty good piezo to shake 30lbs of wet clothes.
    Last edited by Dawai; 07-29-2007, 12:18 PM.
    Excuse me, I farted.

    Comment


    • #3
      Using dish soap, some of it has stuff in it to make the bubbles last. If it is the style of the small home jewelry cleaning style that Harbor Fright sells the power isn't as great as the ones David is talking about. Easiest way is to put clean water in it and a small item that has some dirt mud on it. Cycle it thru the time and see how much dirt comes off. The more dirt comes off the better it is working. Some are better than others. And a lot of the jewelery tool and model making tool suppliers sell the same one that Harbor Fright sells.
      The cleaning solution for them is thinner than 90% of the dish soaps.
      Glen
      Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
      I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
      All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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      • #4
        Originally posted by David E Cofer
        Makes a ear annoying shriek, noise goes up and down as it oscillates.
        That's what "real" ultrasonic cleaners sound like, but my Harbor Freight sounds like a "Zzzz Zzzzz Zzzz."

        I've got this one, and surprisingly, it works pretty well:
        http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93035

        Ultrasonic cleaners do wear out: there's a piezoelectric transducer that's epoxied to the bottom of the tub with some special kind of epoxy. Over time the vibration shakes it loose, and the tank starts to lose it's cleaning power, then stops altogether. From what I've found on the web (i.e., take it with the grain of salt) they're generally unfixable -- you can't just epoxy the transducer back on to the bottom.

        Ultrasonic cleaners are the best thing since sliced bread for cleaning small parts with a lot of crevices, like bolts and screws: if you drop a handful of greasy screws into the cleaner and turn it on, you can see the dirt/grit/grease just "puff" away from the threads like magic.

        So you'll know pretty quickly if the machine works...
        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

        Comment


        • #5
          OHH..

          A real ultrasonic cleaner is the best thing to clean small castings shook out of of refractory type investment. Sparkly, no pickling needed. About the time the button stops being so red in the sprue, throw the flask in a 5 gallon bucket of water, it explodes the investment into paste, then the lil sticky stuff is still adhered to the part, then ultrasonic it clean.

          I did jewelry to learn how to cast. I learned sand casting much later.
          Last edited by Dawai; 07-29-2007, 12:46 PM.
          Excuse me, I farted.

          Comment


          • #6
            From: http://www.coleparmer.com/techinfo/t...faq.htm&ID=792

            "How do I know if the unit is cavitating properly?

            Most poor cleaning usually results from improper control of one or more process variable(s); such as choosing the wrong detergent solution, insufficient heat, or not allowing enough time for the particular soil to be removed. If you suspect that your ultrasonic cleaner is not cavitating properly, there are two simple tests you can perform: the "glass slide" test and the "foil" test.
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            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            How do I perform the "glass slide" test?

            Wet the frosted portion of a glass slide with tap water and draw an "X" with a No. 2 pencil from corner to corner of the frosted area. Making sure that the tank is filled to the fill line, immerse the frosted end of the slide into fresh cleaning solution. Turn on the ultrasonics. The lead "X" will begin to be removed almost immediately, and all lead should be removed within ten seconds.
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            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            How do I perform the "foil" test?

            Cut three small pieces of aluminum foil about 4" x 8" each. Fold each piece over a rod that you will use to suspend the foil in the tank. A clothes hanger works well. Your cleaner should be filled with an ultrasonic cleaning solution, degassed, and brought up to normal operating temperature. Suspend the first "square" in the center of the tank and the other two a couple of inches from each end of the tank. Make sure that the tank is filled to the fill line, and turn on the ultrasonics for about ten minutes. Remove the foil and inspect: All three pieces of aluminum foil should be perforated and wrinkled to about the same degree."

            These things are the cats meow for cleaning small carburetors. Jay

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            • #7
              Anyone know of a place to buy one of the pendant type piezo units?

              On a large tank, they drop the pendant into the tank, them are sometimes 250 watt units. Talk about exciting a chrome plating solution? or a derusting tank? I'd love to experiment with one.

              There was a piezo unit that went under a carburetor on a car to atomize the fuel, with todays injection units it is old hat, then the piezo injectors for dye for carpet use. Them were as big as my wrist thou.
              Excuse me, I farted.

              Comment


              • #8
                Pay your $1
                take it home
                See if it cleans!
                If it don't, get your money back!
                Just got my head together
                now my body's falling apart

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Swarf&Sparks
                  Pay your $1
                  take it home
                  See if it cleans!
                  If it don't, get your money back!
                  Well, guy that I am, I just threw caution, good sense and my gut feeling to the wind and jumped right into the fast lane. I gave the guy his buck! It didn't do much when I tried it at home with dish washing detergent so I did some reading on the web and find that ammonia is a common solution to use in these. I'll have to pick some up.

                  David, thanks for all the info. My unit has about a 1 1/2 cup container and is the size of a shoebox. It's made by EC/M. If it don't work, I'll use that as my excuse to get the one Lazlo got from harbor freight as the container is much larger and more useful and less than $60.00.
                  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                  Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                  It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ultrasonic cleaners

                    I second what Jay said about the foil test. Two guys here in town used to repair all sizes of ultrasonic cleaners. They would "tune" the transducers until the UC would beat a piece of aluminum foil to a wrinkled mess in a few seconds. The transducers are repairable and are tunable, according to them. I watched them repair my UC in a few minutes - it was inoperable when I got it for a few dollars (to use as a stripping tank). The tuning was done by moving a screw-like thing in the center of the coil until optimum operation was achieved. It was somewhat trial and error, with liquid being poured into the device after each setting and the foil test performed. Liquid was then poured out, the thing was turned a little with a screw driver, and it was tested again. That shiny foil really gets beat up quickly when it is working correctly! After the optimum setting was achieved, you have to put a dab of glue or rubber cement on the thing to keep it in position during prolonged operation. A.T.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Your Old Dog
                      I did some reading on the web and find that ammonia is a common solution to use in these. I'll have to pick some up.
                      If you want a really cheap, really effective ultrasonic cleaning solution, try Parson's Amoniated Cleaner from Walmart. It's one of the few amoniated soaps I could find anymore (Top Job, Mr. Clean et al have all gone to exotic stuff), and it works a charm in an ultrasonic cleaner.
                      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        At a former job, we had a tank that was about a 2 foot cube. I think it was a Branson. We used Simple Green to clean carbide parts after honing to 2 lightband flatness. The grinding and honing grit would get into the pores of your skin and stay for days. A quick dip of your fingertips into the ultrasonic would clean your skin real well. A one to two second dip would do wonders.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ulav8r
                          A quick dip of your fingertips into the ultrasonic would clean your skin real well. A one to two second dip would do wonders.

                          Well I went with Lazlos suggestion and bought this one:

                          http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93035

                          I liked the idea it was quite a bit bigger then the one I had but not so that I could dangle any appendages in there ! I only had a buck in the other and it may work but it really has a small container. Would probably work great for jewelery.
                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have used the Branson and HF units. When cleaning just a few small parts I filled the tank with water, then placed the parts in a small plastic bottle or jar with cleaning solution inside enough to cover the item. It floated near the surface, reduced the amount of cleaning solution needed and was easier to clean the unit. It worked well for small items like individual loose ball bearings or heavily greased items.

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                            • #15
                              I have a few cleaners. From a small branson to a 5gal, 2000 watt unit. 1000 watts for cleaning and a 1000 watts for the heater. Stick yer fingers in the big one and you know its on. Hurts like yer getting the flesh eatin off.. LOL...

                              Even my smallest (.5 gal branson) unit will dig at yer finger nail edges. Can definitely tell its on.

                              If you have never used a professional cleaner yer missing out. I have used the inexpensive HF machines and they are toys compared to a good cleaner. Though, once again, budget determines alot on what you actually need. JRouche
                              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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