How to Specify Sonic Cleaner Capacity

How to Specify Sonic Cleaner Capacity

When you decide that an ultrasonic cleaner is the best way to remove contaminants from products you manufacture or refurbish an important part of the purchasing decision is to specify your sonic cleaner capacity. By that we mean cleaning tank dimensions and the amount of cleaning solution you need to carry out the sonic cleaning process.

Basket size is smaller than tank internal dimensions

This may seem perfectly logical but basing tank size and solution capacity on the physical dimension(s) of products being cleaned is only part of the approach. Two points must be kept in mind: (1) parts must be supported by a basket to keep them from contacting tank walls and the tank bottom* and (2) parts must be completely immersed in the cleaning solution.

Sonic Cleaner Basket Size

As you go through the many ultrasonic cleaners on the iUltrasonic website you’ll see that the baskets are offered as either standard or as an option, depending on manufacturer. Because baskets are designed to fit into the tank basket dimensions are less than the tank dimensions. Basket selection in terms of length and width dimensions is based on the dimensions of part(s) being cleaned.

You must also consider the working depth of the ultrasonic cleaner, which is the distance between the bottom of the basket (not the bottom of the tank) and the surface of the cleaning solution. Note that some baskets are designed to be fully immersed in the solution, while others are not. This introduces the next consideration.

Sonic Cleaning Solution Volume

The fill line – or another indicator – shows the maximum amount of cleaning solution to be used by the particular model you purchase. Fill lines are also useful for the important pre-cleaning steps of mixing and degassing fresh cleaning solutions.

Most of our posts on cleaning particular items suggest, for example, filling the tank half way with water, adding the correct amount of cleaning solution for a full tank, then adding water to the fill line before turning on the ultrasound and activating the degassing mode if so-equipped.

Parts being cleaned will displace cleaning solution. To accommodate this drain an amount of mixed and degassed solution into a separate container, place the basket of parts to be cleaned into the tank then return sufficient solution to reach the fill line, setting aside the leftover for future use.

A Caution

The fill line or other designation indicates the maximum volume of the ultrasonic cleaner tank. The service volume is the amount required to completely immerse products being cleaned. The service volume is provided by tank manufacturers and also indicates the minimum amount of solution required to safely operate the cleaner without a load. An example is pre-heating the solution before immersing products. Operating under-filled tanks (tanks with less than the service volume) can damage your unit.

Call the iUltrasonic cleaning experts for help in solving your cleaning challenges.

*Suspending large parts in the cleaning solution is an option as long as they do not contact tank walls or the bottom.


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More About the Author

Dr. Rachel Kohn has extensive experience in developing technology-based business opportunities. Prior to founding Tovatech, she successfully built international sales of novel analytical instrumentation for Smiths Detection as a Global Account Manager in the Life Sciences division. Dr. Kohn’s prior positions include Director of Business Development at Photon-X, a telecom component start-up, Project Manager at Cardinal Health, and Business Director at the Medical Device Concept Laboratory, a nonprofit research institution focused on development of biomaterials and implantable medical devices. In addition, Dr. Kohn held various positions at Hoechst Celanese Corporation, including Marketing Manager, Project Team Leader, Business Analyst, and Senior Research Scientist. She has authored 37 patents and publications based on laboratory research in diverse fields such as advanced drug delivery systems, polymer films and membranes, optical disks, and polysaccharides. Dr. Kohn has a B.A. in Chemistry from Barnard College and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from M.I.T.