Glossary of Ultrasonic Terms












Cavitation
– primary, secondary Ultrasonic power starts out at the transducer as unidirectional with maximum cavitation action occurring at the part exposed directly in front of the transducer's radiating surface. We refer to that as primary cavitation energy. The more powerful the sound wave in the solution, the more cavitation energy released. Reflection and other disbursement of a high energy sound wave can effectively cause ultrasonic power to become omni-directional resulting in good cleaning in other areas of the bath. We refer to that as secondary cavitation energy. top

Chemical Saturation – a term used to indicate the cleaning chemistry in the bath has become loaded with contaminant dirt from cleaning and cannot hold more. This is usually observed with the gradual decline in cleanliness of the parts. It can be also be measured depending on the chemistry. The saturation point can be extended by proper filtration and solution makeup, either manually, or automatically. W3 evaluates production rate, dirt types and amounts and customer preferences among other factors when recommending filtration systems. top

Continuous In Line – refers to product that flows continuously through the cleaning cycle allowing continuous production line operation. The part can be continuous product like wire or strip or individual parts like those from screws or cold headed parts. Various systems are available for the various part configurations. Inline or Surround. top

Degassing – a gassy solution is one with entrapped, or dissolved, gasses, such as air, in the liquid bath. A gassy solution will impede the effectiveness of cavitation because the entrapped gas in the voids, or bubble, in the solution cushion the force of the implosion of the bubble. Degassing can be accomplished by one of two primary methods. One is thermal degassing in which the liquid is heated above the operating temperature of the bath but below the boiling point and then reduced to operating temperature. The second is to operate the ultrasonics which drives the entrapped air out of the liquid. This is easily observed by the bubbles streaming from the radiating plate up to the surface of the liquid. The more powerful W3 ultrasonic transducers complete and maintain degassed solutions much faster. New liquid is typically very gassy. When degassing, it is advisable to have the cleaning solution at desired concentration of cleaning chemistry since that also introduces gassy liquid into the bath. Once degassed, the bath will stay degassed as long as operating temperature is maintained and ultrasonics is regularly operated. There are some conditions which can introduce air into the bath to partially degas the bath. One is if the parts being cleaning have large amounts of air trapped in cavities or pockets. Another is an uncovered tank for extended periods with low temperature. Air molecules will mix with the liquid molecules on the surface and over time the bath can become significantly gassy not unlike a fresh solution. You may notice a squeal on startup and streaming bubbles in the bath. Follow degassing procedures in that instance. top

MCMS – Multi Chamber, Multi Stage refers to W3 cleaning systems where the part load is transferred and processed in individual chambers through the cleaning cycle, often with an automatic transfer system. The load can be loaded at one end and unloaded at the other or have a single load/unload station. Lift transfer, walking beam, pick and place all fall into this category. MCMS. top

Micron – actually named micrometer in English is used as the term micron to avoid confusions with the micrometer measuring device. It is a common unit of measurement in cleaning to help define cleanliness of a part. A micron is 0.001 mm in diameter. It might be easier to imagine a typical human hair is 90 times greater in diameter and nearly 8k times the cross sectional area.

Power Density – is the measure of power input, usually in kW, per unit to the volume of the bath. Another measure of power density is power per area. W3 relates power per area with its magnetostrictive transducers and power per unit volume with its piezoelectric transducers. Different values but significantly different importance. Maximum ultrasonic cavitation results from sound waves generated immediately in front of the radiating surface. After that, the load density, solution depth, reflection, dissipation of the wave, etc. become the determining factors on the effect of the cavitation. The part surface must be exposed to the radiating sound wave and power to area is the truest measure. Piezoelectric transducers can have different numbers of elements on the same size radiating surface. W3 magnetostrictive transducer elements are spaced laminations bonded evenly across the entire surface of the radiating surface and excited all together. Each standard flat transducer produces an optimum of 10 W/sq in. This drives the radiating surface with a piston like action producing an intense and even cavitation action in the bath. See Types of Transducers. top

SCMS – Single Chamber, Multi Stage refers to W3 cleaning systems that allow the operator to put a part load into a single cleaning chamber and the machine operates through the complete cleaning cycle stages from reservoirs within the cleaning machine. The operator then switches the clean load with the next dirty load. Cellular parts cleaners fall into this category. SCMS. top

Shallow Bath – refers to cleaning products in a bath that is only inches deep. The products are usually continuous flow products, such as wire in multiple lines or wide, such as strip. The power of the ultrasonic cavitation is increased many times over conventional power levels through the transducers and design of the system. In-line top

Surround – W3 exclusive line of equipment and systems that surrounds part load with ultrasonic power, mostly 360 degrees. Power density intensities exceed 10 W/sq in. Ultrasonic power starts out at the transducer as unidirectional with maximum cavitation action occurring at the part exposed directly in front of the transducer's radiating surface. We refer to that as primary cavitation energy. The more powerful the sound wave in the solution, the more cavitation energy released. Reflection and other disbursement of a high energy sound wave can effectively cause ultrasonic power to become omni-directional resulting in good cleaning in other areas of the bath. We refer to that as secondary cavitation energy. Surround systems direct the sound wave to expose the part load to the most primary and secondary cavitation resulting is faster, more thorough cleaning. This design also allows more flexibility in product and solution flow than conventional tanks permit. Surround. top

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All selections of equipment are first preceded with a thorough analysis of your specific application and production needs with one of our experienced W3 Ultrasonic application personnel.

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