Cleaning Aluminium with an Ultrasonic Cleaner - Case Study

Customers Criteria: Free from all contamination
Component: Mesh filters
Material: Aluminium & Steel
Contamination prior to cleaning: Solder paste
Total number off: 2
Number off per run: 1

Ultrasonic Cleaner Cleaning Agent Temperature(s) Concentration
Versa 120 Wash Decospray TM 50°C 3-5%
Versa 120 Rinse De-ionised water 50°C 100%
Versa 120 Dryer N/A 60°C N/A

One part was cleaned standing up in a 12 litre tank to confirm the chemistry was effective, after good initial results the test was up scaled. Each filter had a total time of 10 minutes in the ultrasonic, then rinsed in tap water with no sonics to neutralize and remove any left on debris. Finally the filters were dried in a hot air dryer unit for a total time of 10 minutes. Comments: Good results with the contamination being effectively removed without damaging the aluminium, with a high level of contamination being removed. Filtration is advised.

Before cleaning Aluminium

before cleaning Aluminium

After cleaning Aluminium

after cleaning Aluminium

Customers Criteria: Free from all contamination
Component: Tooling
Material: Aluminium / Stainless steel
Contamination prior to cleaning: Machining oils/Coolant
Total number off: 5
Number off per run: 1-6

Ultrasonic Cleaner Cleaning Agent Temperature(s) Concentration
Kemet 30 Galvex 18:01 50°C 3-5%
Kemet 30 De-ionised water 50°C 100%
Versa 120 Dryer N/A 60°C N/A

Process for cleaning Aluminium:

Wash: Tools were cleaned individually for a cycle time of 5 - 10 minutes with a 3 - 5% concentration of Galvex 18:01 (depending on part type and size). Rinse: After the wash cycle the tools were then rinsed in a stand alone tank using deionised water with no Sonics for a cycle time of 2 minutes. Drying: Finally the tools were dried with a temperature setting of 60°C for a cycle time of 5 minutes.

Temperature, cycle time and cleaning agent concentration are all important factors that will help reduce cavitation erosion. Ultimately, if you leave a soft part like polished aluminium in an ultrasonic for too long it will eventually start to erode due to the ultrasonics, if the correct parameters are used cavitation erosion should not occur. We recommend a 40 KHz ultrasonic as it generates a finer implosion which will reduce the potential of cavitation erosion. Also keeping the cleaning agent concentration at 3%.

cleaning Aluminium

Customers Criteria: Free from all contamination
Material: Aluminium
Contamination prior to cleaning: Machining oils, finer prints
Total number off: 4
Number off per run: 1-6

Ultrasonic Cleaner Cleaning Agent Temperature(s) Concentration
Kemet 30 Galvex SU737/Helit plus 45°C 5%
Kemet 30 De-ionised water 55°C 100%
Versa 120 Dryer N/A 65°C N/A

Parts were cleaned using the Galvex SU737, the parts were placed in the ultrasonic cleaner for a total cycle time of 10 minutes. The parts were then rinsed in a separate tank using deionised water with no Sonics for 2 minutes; finally the parts were dried at a temperature of 65°C for 5 minutes then inspected.Other Parts were cleaned using the exact same parameters but using Helit plus. Both cleaning products used produced good results, visually Helit plus looks to be the better one. All parts were cleaned individually.

cleaning Aluminium parts