Cavitation bubbles are the powerhouses behind ultrasonic cleaning. Millions of tiny bubbles surround each workpiece and remove dirt, grime, contamination, and oxidation. You have a clean part within minutes. JAYCO Cleaning Technologies explains how cavitation bubbles work in ultrasonic cleaning.
High-intensity sound frequencies generated within an ultrasonic cleaning machine create cavitation bubbles in a liquid. Frequencies are usually around 40 kilohertz (kHz), which is above the level of human hearing. Higher frequencies produce smaller and less active bubbles, which is preferable for sensitive parts. Lower frequencies create larger and more powerful bubbles, and they work better for sturdier and larger industrial parts. Some lower-frequency ultrasonic cleaning tanks have sound-deadening insulation to protect the hearing of workers.
Cavitation bubbles expand and collapse rapidly throughout an ultrasonic cleaning session. These microscopic bubbles look like ordinary bubbles with a spherical, regular shape. You can’t see them with the naked eye because the bubbles are just microns wide and microscopic. When the bubbles implode, they bend to form a C-shape that looks like Pac-Man from the classic 1980s video game. Think about the open mouth of Pac-Man as a high-powered jet of fluid getting ready to strike the surface of your workpiece. The rest of the Pac-Man shape is the remainder of the bubble.
The key to how cavitation bubbles work is the jetting action that comes from their collapse. As bubbles brush up against a hard surface, the mouth of Pac-Man faces away from the surface. When the bubbles implode, a high-powered liquid jet pushes through the middle of each bubble and against the surface. These liquid jets dislodge grease, dirt, grime, and contamination on the surface. The liquid medium whisks contaminants away from the surface and keeps them away from the part. Over 5 to 20 minutes of ultrasonic cleaning, you have a completely clean workpiece.
Talk to our team at JAYCO Cleaning Technologies for all of the information you need about ultrasonic cleaning tanks and modular systems. Call us at (513) 737-9600 or contact us online to see what we can do for your business.