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Ultrasonic Cleaners Maintain Mining Equipment

For many years, ultrasonic cleaners have been used to handle cleaning jobs that require a delicate touch and precise application of detergents. Small, counter-top ultrasonic cleaners have been used in venues ranging from jewelry stores to surgical suites. However, large-scale ultrasonic cleaners have also found their way into arenas such as industrial plants and auto mechanic shops, as they have proven effective at removing dirt and residues from machine parts. Recently, the high-tech ultrasonic cleaner has found its way into the bowels of the earth – or at least cleaning some of the mining equipment that explores these subterranean depths.

Early Cleaning Methods

Before the advent of the ultrasonic cleaner, mine workers had to clean drill bits and other tools with harsh, petroleum-based solvents. These cleaners would remove the oil, dust, and ore shavings that were left behind after a hard day in the mines, but these cleaning fluids also presented a number of hazards. The toxic fumes and flammable composition of these solvents made them hazardous both to the environment and to the worker's safety. Also, these solvents did not always remove contaminants from tools with deep crevices or narrow openings.

How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works

An ultrasonic cleaner contains a generator combined with specialized transducers attached to the base of a stainless steel water tank. Together, the generator and transducers create cyclical waves in the detergent solution at very high speeds, typically ranging from 25 to 130 kHz.

The ultrasonic action forms millions of tiny bubbles that build up in the solution during the expansion stage. In the compression stage, the enormous pressure on the bubble causes an abrupt implosion (called "cavitation"), which releases a huge quantity of energy. This energy quickly heats up the surrounding water and produces a stream that impacts with the surface of the tool inside the tank. This impact forces dirt, oil and other residues to lose their hold on the surface at the microscopic level.

Ultrasonic Cleaners and Mining Equipment

The worldwide need for metals, ranging from copper to iron to gold, keeps rising, especially in the current economy. The highly-specific machinery required for mining exploration and development have stringent maintenance criteria. Due to the intense nature of mining efforts, worker safety has been a pressing and controversial concern.

The use of ultrasonic cleaning by an increasing number of mining firms has done away with the call for for workers to handle noxious cleaning agents. The ultrasonic cleaner creates microscopic bubbles that take away contaminants from surfaces not accessible by hand tools. The conversion to ultrasonic technology has allowed mining companies to lower their operating expenses by refocusing laborers on more important tasks.

Features of Ultrasonic Cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners come in a wide range of sizes, from small units for fine drill bits, up to industrial-sized machines for larger parts. The industrial ultrasonic cleaner holds up to 57 gallons of solution and can be switched between two ultrasonic frequencies. This unit also makes continuous slight variations in its ultrasonic frequency to prevent dead zones and hot spots during a cleaning session. For applications where the X-tra basic 2500 is not large enough, custom industrial ultrasonic cleaners can be built in almost any size.

Elma Ultrasonic bath X-tra Basic 2500

For more information on finding an ultrasonic cleaner that meets your needs, contact the experts at iultrasonic at 973-821-3406.


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