Ultrasonic Tank Power Density

What are some guidelines for effectively using an ultrasonic tank?


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Q: I want to know more about the effectiveness of an ultrasonic tank. I am working with a machine producing 20 watts per liter. The machine is built for cleaning industrial components in nuclear power plants. But I want to know if that is the correct process and density. Also, is the power density an essential parameter when choosing the detergent for the ultrasonic?  —T.O.

A: The size of the ultrasonic tank will have a significant influence on the effectiveness of the power density of the ultrasonic generator.  The surface area to volume of a smaller tank (i.e., about 1-20 gallons) will absorb more of the ultrasonic energy in which case you may need more than 20 watts per liter.  Based on your description, I am going to assume you are using a larger tank (i.e., greater than 100-200 gallons).  In this case, 20 watts per liter is a very good power density.  Power densities as low as about 5 watts per liter may be effective in large cleaning tanks (greater than 1,000 gallons).

The selection of the cleaner is not related to the power density of the ultrasonic tank.  You will need to select the cleaner based on the contaminants you are removing along with the materials you are cleaning.  Oil removal is best done with an alkaline detergent, while scale and oxide removal are generally best done in an acid cleaner.  However, you will need to match the cleaner chemistry with the metals to be cleaned.  For instance, a highly alkaline cleaner that is not inhibited with silicates will attack aluminum.  I would suggest you contact a representative from your chemical supplier to assist in choosing an appropriate cleaning agent.

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