Applying science to cleaning technology
Ultrasonics is a trade term used to refer to the use of high-intensity acoustic energy to clean materials. Ultrasonication offers great potential in the processing of liquids and slurries, by improving the mixing and chemicals reactions in various applications and industries. It generates alternating low-pressure and high-pressure waves in liquids, leading to the formation and violent collapse of small vaccum bubbles. This phenomenon is termed cavitation and causes high speed impinging liquid jets and strong hydrodynamic shear-forces.
Cavitation is a general term used to describe the behaviour of voids or bubbles in a liquid. Cavitation is usually divided into two classes of behaviour, inertial cavitation is the process where a void or bubble in a liquid rapidly collapses , producing a shock wave. Such cavitation often occurs in pumps, propellers, impellers and in the vascular tissues of plants. Non-ertial cavitation is the process where small bubbles in a liquid are forced to oscillate in the presence of an acoustic field, when the intensity of the acoustic field is insufficient to cause bubble collapse. This form of cavitation causes significantly less erosion than inertial cavitation, and is often used for the cleaning of delicate materials.
What does this science mean in practical terms?
All this science means that Ultrasonic is an extremely efficient method of cleaning. Dirt and odour is eradicated in a few seconds (depending on the size and level of contaminants on the objects), meaning contents that previously could have taken hours to be cleaned, can now be cleaned in minutes. Also many items that were previously viewed as being unrestorable can now be returned to their pre-incident condition, very cost effectively.