In the world of ultrasonic cleaning not all ultrasonic cleaners were created equally. In fact performance varies across the ultrasonic manufactures and their ultrasonic cleaner product range.
Many other Brands of ultrasonic cleaners fail the ultrasonic performance test from day one of their working life. Unfortunately it is better to discover the inefficiency sooner rather than later and to minimise further losses through poor ultrasonic cleaning.
The importance of the ultrasonic performance tests, as recommended by Standards Australia. Has a twofold benefit to the consumer.
- You will know your ultrasonic cleaner is cleaning through the whole tank and not just in sections of the tank.
- The ultrasonic cleaner should be serviced if the performance test fails. Unisonics advises to submit equipment earlier rather than later to avoid further operating problems.
The risk of incomplete sterilisation is high if medical instruments are not completely cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaner, because the ultrasonic cleaner is not cleaning through the whole tank as it should. This could lead to the sterilization process failing and cross contamination infection between patients.
In the case of ultrasonic cleaning of parts or circuit boards, preparing for the next process like, varnishing. The ultra-sonic cleaner must clean through the whole tank or you run the risk of the next step with the part or circuit board failing. A circuit board only partially ultrasonically cleaned of flux after a repair or creation could be subjected to arcing on the dirty sections causing damage.
Also if you are cleaning parts before a final paint, the paint may not adhere properly to a dirty surface.
The minimum amount of times the ultrasonic performance test should be performed on your ultrasonic cleaner is when you first purchase, so you know what to expect and that the ultra-sonic cleaner is functioning correctly. If you notice any change in the length of time needed to clean parts or if the ultrasonic cleaner changes in any way, a performance test should be performed on the ultrasonic cleaner before the warranty expires. Many companies like hospitals perform more regular ultrasonic performance tests limiting increased risk and ramifications.
Various ways of doing performance tests are available. 'Standards Australia' recommends the foil or graphite on disk test. Most tests only test small sections of the tank. Therefore 'Unisonics' recommends using the foil test because the test checks the whole tank for cavitations. The process is quick, simple and effective.
Please find as follows the testing process for efficiency levels in the ultrasonic cleaner using aluminium foil. The aluminium foil test is a testing procedure that Unisonics Australia has been using for more than 20 years and gives you accurate comprehensive results.
- Cut a section of Aluminium Foil the length and depth of the Ultrasonic Bath.
- Immerse section of aluminium foil into the liquid in a vertical hold.
- The foil must not make contact with tank bottom and be left for a duration of 30 seconds.
- A consistent pattern of perforation should result with hole sizes varying from one to four mm in diameter.
- Foil can be purchased from any supermarket.
Results: If you have blank areas of foil in the test area that have no holes. That would indicate that the ultrasonic cleaning is not working properly in that part of the tank.
If your foil looks like this after the test then you have a acceptable result.
PLEASE NOTE: In larger Ultrasonic Cleaners more than one section of foil may be immersed. If the foil test is to be done at the beginning of the day the fluid should be removed from the tank, prior to the cleaning of instruments, as the solution left is foil contaminated.