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Managing Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution Temperatures

Correct ultrasonic cleaning solution temperatures are a key element in successful industrial sonic cleaning operations. In fact it is accurate to state that cleaning solution temperature is important for any ultrasonic cleaning operation. Ultrasonic cleaning temperatures are recommended by cleaning solution manufacturers and can be set on cleaners equipped with thermostat-controlled heaters. Units such as the Elma EH and SH series offered on the iUltrasonic website have temperature-controlled starting – that is sonication begins when the solution reaches the set temperature. The Elmasonic SH and the Elmasonic PH series have an added refinement in that the set and actual temperature is displayed on the control panel along with set and actual cleaning time.

Ultrasonic Cavitation Creates Heat

The stickler is that simply running an ultrasonic cleaner for long periods can cause the solution temperature to rise to 60?C or more. And hotter is not always better. Blood, for example, will strongly adhere to medical instruments at high solution temperatures and must otherwise be removed before sterilization or disinfecting. In these instances bath temperatures below 42?C are recommended. Temperature control is also important when cleaning PCBs and other electronic components that could warp at higher temperatures or could flash dry before being rinsed, thereby leaving behind cleaning solution residues. High cleaning solution temperatures may also result in demulsifying surfactants in the solution, causing them to float and appear as contaminants.

One approach to managing solution temperatures in these instances is through optional cooling coils on cleaning tank walls.

Heat is more beneficial when removing grease, oil, coolants, metal chips and similar contaminants from metal and alloy castings and fabrications or when cleaning engine parts. Even in these cases hotter is not always better. Cleaning efficiency usually drops off at temperatures above 80?C, which is the upper limit on Elma ultrasonic cleaner thermostats – although this temperature can be exceeded during ultrasonic cleaning. For this reason it is suggested that you start by setting the temperature at the absolute minimum recommended for the selected cleaning solution formulation. This also helps cut electricity consumption.

An Elmasonic SH ultrasonic cleaner
showing set and actual time and temperature

Selected Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution Temperatures

Here’s a brief summary of commonly used ultrasonic cleaning solutions offered on the iUltrasonic website: Additional information is located on theChemicals page.

  • Elma tec clean A1 for PCBs, glass, plastic, electromechanical parts 40-80?C; PCBs 65?C
  • Elma tec clean A4 for carbs, injectors, metal parts 50-80?C
  • Elma tec clean S1 for corroded metal parts 30-80?C
  • MedClean C7 for medical and dental instruments, room temperature
  • Jewelry Clean S8, 38?C
  • Gun Clean L6, 50?C

In every case read the directions for proper use and temperature ranges for all ultrasonic cleaning solution formulations.

Contact the iUltrasonic cleaning professionals at 973 440-2191 for more information on ultrasonic cleaning procedures or to discuss other cleaning solution formulations that meet your particular requirements.


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