Removing oil from parts with an Ultrasonic Cleaner - Case Studies

Customers Criteria: Free from all contamination
Material: Tool Steel
Component: Tooling
Contamination prior to cleaning: Machining oil, Swarf
Total number off: 1
Number off per run: 1

Ultrasonic Cleaner Cleaning Fluid Temperature(s) Concentration
Kemet 12 Galvex 17:30 N 50°C 5%
Kemet 12 De-ionised water 40°C 100%
Versa 120 Dryer N/A 50°C N/A

Process for removing oil from Steel:

Wash: Place the parts into the basket and submerge into the tank. Set for a cycle of 5 minutes. Rinse: Transfer the parts from the wash basket into the rinse and leave for 2 minutes. The parts where dried using a Kemet versa hot air dryer set at 50°C for 5 minutes, alternatively using a air line.

% Satisfactorily Cleaned: 100%
Etched effect: None

Comments: You can see the contamination begin to remove immediately after the Sonics are turned on.

removing oil with ultrasonic cleaning

Before removing oil from part

before cleaning off oil

before removing oil

After removing oil from part

after cleaning off oil

after removing oil

Customers Criteria: Free from all contamination
Material: 6082 Aluminium
Component: Vacuum chamber
Contamination prior to cleaning: Grease, Oil & fingerprints
Total number off: 1
Number off per run: 1

Ultrasonic Cleaner Cleaning Fluid Temperature(s) Concentration
Mi 80 Rodastel 30 60°C 3%
Mi 80 De-ionised water 60°C 100%
Mi 80 Dryer N/A 60°C N/A

Process for removing oil from Aluminium part:

Stage 1: This part was cleaned using our MI range of ultrasonic cleaners. First stage is the wash tank using our cleaning agent Rodastel 30; this is a low acidic cleaning agent and works very well with aluminium. The part had an initial cycle of 5 minutes then inspected for any cavitation erosion and damage. With no damage the part had a second cycle of 10 minutes, after the cycle had completed the part was transferred to the second stage rinse tank. Rinsing neutralises the part and is a very important stage. The part was then dried for a cycle of 10 minutes using our MI hot air dryer unit. Stage 2: The part had a further cycle of 25 minutes to test if cavitation erosion became apparent. After this cycle there are clear signs of cavitation erosion.

% Satisfactorily Cleaned: 100%
Etched effect: Cavitation erosion started to take place after 30 minutes in the ultrasonic wash tank.

Comments: Using Rodastel 30 this part would only need 5 minutes in the ultrasonic wash tank. Signs of erosion only became apparent after 30 minutes.

Before removing oil from part

before removing oil from vacuum chamber

After removing oil from part

after removing oil from vacuum chamber

Customers Criteria: Free from all contamination
Material: General Steel
Component: Steel Tubes
Contamination prior to cleaning: Cutting fluid & Oil
Total number off: 5
Number off per run: 1-2

Ultrasonic Cleaner Cleaning Fluid Temperature(s) Concentration
Kemet 30 Galvex 17.30 / Rodacleen supra 70°C 1-3%
Kemet 30 De-ionised water 70°C 100%
Versa 120 N/A 70°C N/A

Process for removing oil from Steel part:

Galvex 17.30 Trials: Each tube was cleaned individually; the tube was set in the basket then submerged into the tank for a cycle time of 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the tube was inspected but there were still traces of oil staining, the tube was placed back in the tank for an additional 5 minutes. The tube was then rinsed in a separate tank containing just deionised water to remove any left on cleaning agent that could cause staining. Finally the tube was dried in a hot air dryer unit for 5 minutes at 70°C. Conclusion: Galvex 17.30 adds a hydrophobic layer to the component; this layer repels water and protects metallic substrates that easily oxidize. The Galvex has removed all of the oil contamination.

Rodacleen Supra Trials: Again each tube was cleaned individually with the exact same method and parameters as the previous Galvex 17.30 test. Unfortunately there was no improvement in process time as the Rodacleen Supra is a stronger fluid but the tubes still required 10 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaning. Conclusion: Rodacleen has excellent emulsifying property’s and also adds a hydrophobic layer to the parts thus achieving cleaning & anti-corrosion protection in only 1 cleaning tank.

% Satisfactorily Cleaned: 100%

Comments: A 40 KHz ultrasonic was used for these trials, although we would recommend a 30 kHz ultrasonic cleaner as this will remove the contamination more efficiently thus reducing cleaning times. Both fluids performed the same achieving clean parts. We would recommend the Galvex 17.30 as the concentration dilution is lower and is less aggressive than Rodacleen supra making it more user-friendly.

Removing oil from steel with Galvex 17.30

before cleaning off oil with galvex

after removing oil with galvex

Removing oil from steel with Rodacleen Supra

before cleaning off oil with roadcleen

after removing oil with rodacleen