Delivering What’s Next in Precision Cleaning

three steaks being cooked sous vide

8 Benefits of Using Ultrasonic Sous Vide Equipment in Commercial Kitchens

Cooking method innovations are transforming commercial kitchens by enhancing efficiency and elevating the quality of dishes served.
Sous vide is one such technique that is gaining popularity. This process involves sealing food in a vacuum bag and cooking it in a water bath at a precise temperature.

Commonly, it has long been a low-temperature, long-time cooking method that produces results that are impossible to achieve through other cooking methods.

But by merging sous vide procedures with ultrasonic technology, chefs have a new, revolutionary approach to improve this technique and achieve exceptional accuracy and uniformity in their sous vide creations in much less time.

Table of Contents

Why Use Ultrasonics for Sous Vide?

Ultrasonics, which involves applying high-frequency sound waves. These waves create microscopic cavities in the water bath, which forcefully implode in a process referred to as cavitation.

Here are the 8 main benefits of using ultrasonics for sous vide cooking:

1. Enhanced Flavor Infusion

Ultrasonics soften the food more effectively and evenly, allowing flavors to be deeply infused throughout the food.

2. Accelerated Marination Times

Using ultrasonics in sous vide cooking can significantly speed up the marination process.

Traditionally, this process can take several hours to days, depending on the recipe.

With ultrasonics, however, the water heats evenly in the bath in only a few minutes.

This ensures that every part of the food reaches the desired temperature quickly and uniformly in minutes as well.

3. Tenderized Tough Fibers Fast

Along with flavor, the texture of the food significantly contributes to an excellent culinary experience.

Ultrasonics can soften tough fibers in meats without damaging the structural integrity, resulting in a tender, juicy product.

This method of tenderization, together with the precise cooking control delivered by sous vide, enables chefs to create textures that are challenging to replicate with conventional cooking techniques.

4. Accelerated Cooking Times

Efficiency without sacrificing quality is the Holy Grail of any professional kitchen.

Ultrasonics can significantly slash the cooking time needed for sous vide dishes without affecting the quality.

Dishes that typically take hours to cook can be prepared considerably quicker. This increases kitchen productivity and simultaneously cuts down on energy use.

5. Improved Food Safety

Sous vide cooking is celebrated for its precise, safe cooking temperatures, which minimize the danger of food borne diseases.

The integration of ultrasonic technology further boosts this advantage by ensuring a uniform temperature distribution across the water bath.

Uniform heat distribution helps eradicate any cold regions that could potentially shelter harmful bacteria, thus making sous vide cooking coupled with ultrasonics a much safer alternative for professional kitchens.

6. Customizable and Adaptable

Crest Ultrasonics provides a highly adaptable and efficient solution for integrating ultrasonic technology into commercial kitchens.

Our immersible ultrasonic transducer system, built from durable and cavitation-resistant 316L stainless steel, is designed for seamless integration into new or existing systems for precision control over sous vide processing.

Customized sizes, wattages, and frequencies are available to suit particular needs. The frequencies range from 25 kHz to 1000 kHz, with options for custom combinations. This customization allows kitchens to adapt the ultrasonic effects to specific food types, further optimizing the cooking process.

Operators can mount these transducers on the tank’s sides or bottom for flexible placement in any tank of any size. They are also easy to service, making them perfect for converting a standard sous vide bath into an ultrasonically enhanced bath.

Optimal transducer placement facilitates uniform cavitation effects, which is essential for enhanced flavor infusion and texture improvement in sous vide cooking.

By offering modular design and easy servicing, Crest Ultrasonics ensures that commercial kitchens can maintain and adjust their ultrasonic sous vide systems with minimal downtime, assuring a constant, high-quality culinary output.

7. Increased Kitchen Productivity

Management will soon note increases in kitchen productivity and table turnover rates due to faster plating.

8. Crest Ultrasonics Gives Your Commercial Kitchen a Competitive Edge

By adopting ultrasonic technology in sous vide cooking, commercial kitchens can offer consistently superior dishes in texture, flavor, and safety. And offer it faster.

This technological edge can become a significant selling point, attracting customers seeking the highest standards in dining experiences.

Advance Your Professional Cooking Performance Today

With safe and consistently superior sous vide cooking, created in a fraction of the time needed by ordinary methods, your kitchen will have significant selling points for customers who seek the highest standards in dining experiences.

As the culinary landscape continues to evolve, advanced technologies like ultrasonics will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of professional cooking, making now the perfect time to explore their potential.

What Are Other Benefits of Using Sous Vide in a Commercial Kitchen?

Sous vide offers several other benefits for commercial operations, including reduced food waste and the ability to prepare dishes in advance. It also allows chefs to focus on finishing and plating dishes during service, as the sous vide components can be prepared ahead of time.

How Can I Ensure Food Safety with Sous Vide Cooking in a Commercial Setting?

Food safety is a paramount concern in commercial sous vide cooking. It’s essential to adhere to local health codes and guidelines, including proper food handling, storage, and temperature control. Monitoring and documenting cooking times and temperatures can help ensure that food is cooked safely and consistently.

Can Sous Vide Improve Kitchen Efficiency?

Sous vide can significantly improve kitchen efficiency by allowing for bulk preparation of items, reducing last-minute cooking stress, and enabling precise timing for dish assembly. It also decreases the need to supervise cooking items constantly, freeing staff for other tasks.

How Do I Incorporate Sous Vide Dishes Into My Menu?

When incorporating sous vide dishes into a menu, consider starting with items that benefit significantly from the precise cooking control sous vide offers, such as meats, fish, and eggs. Experiment with flavor profiles and textures that sous vide enhances and consider how sous vide components can complement your existing menu items.

How Do I Train My Staff To Use Sous Vide Techniques?

Proper training is crucial for successful sous vide cooking. Staff should be trained on the principles of sous vide cooking, equipment operation, food safety concerns specific to sous vide, and how to troubleshoot common issues. Consider providing resources or bringing in an expert for training sessions.

Are There Any Legal Considerations for Using Sous Vide in a Commercial Kitchen?

Legal considerations can vary by location, but they often involve ensuring that sous vide practices comply with local health codes and food safety regulations. This may include obtaining special permits or approvals, so it’s important to consult with local health authorities.

How Do I Manage Portion Control with Sous Vide Cooking?

Sous vide allows for precise portion control since items can be individually bagged and cooked. This helps in managing food costs and ensuring consistency across servings. It’s essential to establish standard portion sizes and train staff on proper bagging and preparation procedures.

How Can Sous Vide Contribute to Sustainability in a Commercial Kitchen?

Sous vide cooking can contribute to sustainability by reducing food waste through precise cooking and the ability to reheat without losing quality. Additionally, choosing eco-friendly and reusable vacuum seal bags can help minimize plastic waste.

Adopting sous vide in a commercial setting requires careful planning, investment in the right equipment, and training. However, the benefits of increased efficiency, consistency, and food quality can offer a significant return on investment for many foodservice operations.

The Only Ultrasonics You Need for Sous Vide

Immersible Ultrasonic Transducers

Crest Ultrasonics immersible transducers are constructed of cavitation resistant, bright annealed 316L stainless steel with robotically welded seams to ensure a long life. You can design these customized submersible units into your new ultrasonic systems or retrofit them into existing systems to introduce ultrasonic precision cleaning.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Tanks

Every Crest ultrasonic tank is constructed of cavitation resistant, bright annealed 316L stainless steel, which provides the optimum environment for precision cleaning with extended service life. Our tanks are welded inside and out to ensure a long life and sturdy performance. And our transducerized tanks offer a plug-and-play solution for a number of cleaning needs.

8 Benefits of Using Ultrasonic Sous Vide Equipment in Commercial Kitchens Read More »

A 3D printer complex part that could use an ultrasonic cleaner for resin prints

Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Resin Prints: The Best Way to Clean Your 3D Printed Parts

3D resin printing has become increasingly popular for its ability to create highly detailed models and prototypes. However, one challenge with resin prints is properly cleaning them after printing to remove any excess uncured resin.

Ultrasonic cleaners provide an effective solution for cleaning and finishing resin prints. 

In this article, we’ll look at using an ultrasonic cleaner to get professional-quality results with 3D-printed resin models. We’ll cover the basics of how ultrasonic cleaning works, what type of cleaner to select, proper cleaning solutions and settings, and tips for getting your prints ultra-clean.

With the proper ultrasonic cleaning process, you can give your resin prints a smooth, professional finish ready for painting or display.

Table of Contents

How Do Ultrasonic Cleaners Work?

Ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency sound waves, typically above 20 kHz, to agitate a solution. The ultrasonic waves create millions of microscopic bubbles that grow and rapidly collapse. This process is called cavitation. The bubbles act like tiny scrub brushes to lift residue off the surface of objects placed in the cleaning solution. You can learn more about how ultrasonic cleaners work here.

Choosing the Right Ultrasonic Cleaner for 3D Printing

When selecting an ultrasonic cleaner for 3D-printed resin models, there are key features and specifications to look for that make the cleaning process more manageable and prevent print damage.

  • Size Matters—Look for an ultrasonic cleaner that comfortably fits your largest prints. Measure your build platform to determine the minimum tank size needed. Allow extra space for cleaning multiple objects at once.
  • Heat Control Is Key—Precise temperature control allows dialing in the ideal heat for the resin used. Heating helps cleaning, but too much heat can make some resins gummy. Look for a cleaner with a temperature range of at least 90-180°F (32-82°C).
  • Adjustable Timer—An adjustable timer allows controlling exposure to safe limits. Most prints only require a few minutes of ultrasonic cleaning time. Longer exposures can damage delicate details. A timer of up to 10 minutes is usually sufficient.
  • Power Level Options—Higher wattage provides more aggressive ultrasonic cleaning, but too much power can damage prints. Look for a unit with power levels adjustable from at least 50-200 watts to customize cleaning strength.
  • Dedicated Baskets—Ultrasonic cleaning baskets are designed to lower prints into the cleaning solution make the process safer and easier. Baskets prevent direct contact between the pieces and ultrasonic transducers.

Choosing the Proper Cleaning Solution

When selecting an ultrasonic cleaning solution, there are a few key considerations to ensure optimal performance:

  • Read the Label—Look for solutions formulated explicitly for cleaning 3D printing resins. General-purpose cleaners may not be compatible with printer resins. The label should indicate if the solution works with your resin type.
  • Follow Dilution Ratios—Mix concentrate and water at the dilutions recommended. Using too strong or weak of a solution can impact cleaning performance. Stick to manufacturer guidelines for best results.
  • Consider Wash & Cure Combo—Some 3D resin printers include branded wash and cure solutions. Using the paired combo provides an optimized cleaning and curing process.
  • Mind Expiration Dates—Ultrasonic resin cleaning solutions have a limited shelf life like other chemicals. Check expiration and discard old solutions to ensure peak effectiveness.
  • Try DI Water Dilution—Using distilled or deionized water to dilute concentrate helps avoid mineral deposits that can interfere with cleaning. Tap water may leave residues.
  • Refresh Solution—Be sure to change out the cleaning solution periodically. The used solution collects dissolved resin and loses potency over time. Refreshing prevents recontamination.

See Ultrasonic Resin Print Cleaning in Action!

Proper Ultrasonic Cleaning Techniques for 3D Printing

How you use an ultrasonic cleaner can significantly impact cleaning effectiveness and prevent print damage. Following proper techniques is critical to getting the best results.

  • Pre-Rinse Prints—Before ultrasonic cleaning, rinse prints with isopropyl alcohol to remove any loosely adhering resin. This pre-rinse prevents oversaturation.
  • Load Print Properly—Carefully place prints into mesh baskets, avoiding contact with tank bottom. Suspending prints prevents abrasion. Arrange objects to allow total solution circulation.
  • Select Time and Temperature—Consult cleaner and solution guidelines for recommended time and temperature settings. Start on the low end with delicate prints. Heat helps cut grease, but too much can make resin gummy.
  • Post-Rinse Thoroughly—After ultrasonic cleaning, rinse prints thoroughly with clean alcohol to fully flush away residue. Multiple rinse baths may be needed for intricate pieces.
  • Let Prints Dry Completely— Allow prints to dry thoroughly before further handling or curing. Residual solvent can inhibit curing under UV. Drying times will vary based on size and geometry.
  • Adjust Settings As Needed—If prints show damage or residual resin after cleaning, adjust time, temperature, or power levels accordingly for the next batch. The goal is thorough cleaning without detriment.

The Cleaning Process

Ultrasonic cleaning involves several key steps performed in sequence to safely and effectively clean 3D-printed resin models.

  • Mix cleaning solution according to manufacturer’s directions and fill the ultrasonic cleaner tank. Use fresh solution for the best results.
  • Pre-rinse prints briefly in isopropyl alcohol to remove loose resin.
  • Load prints into cleaner mesh baskets, avoiding contact with the tank bottom.
  • Set time and temperature based on resin printer/solution guidelines. Start conservatively.
  • Initiate ultrasonic cleaner and allow the entire cleaning cycle to complete.
  • Remove prints and post-rinse thoroughly in clean alcohol to flush residue.
  • Allow prints to air dry thoroughly before further handling. Drying time varies.
  • Inspect prints and adjust cleaner settings if needed for the next batch.
  • Change out used solution regularly to maintain peak cleaning power.

This precise process will allow you to achieve professional results with ultrasonic 3D print cleaning.

Using IPA for Cleaning

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) plays a key role before and after the ultrasonic cleaning process for 3D resin prints. Using it properly improves results.

  • Use 90%+ purity IPA. Higher water content reduces effectiveness.
  • Pre-rinse prints in IPA first to remove loose resin before the ultrasonic bath.
  • Use multiple fresh IPA rinse baths after ultrasonic cleaning to fully flush residue.
  • Agitate prints and change out IPA baths until rinse the IPA runs clear.
  • Suspend prints in rinse baths to allow 100% circulation around all surfaces.
  • Thoroughly air dry prints after rinsing before further handling or curing.
  • Allow used IPA to fully settle before decanting. Filtered IPA can be reused.
  • Properly dispose of or recycle used dirty IPA according to local regulations.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area and avoid skin contact when using IPA.

What is IPA?

IPA, short for Isopropyl Alcohol, is an organic compound. It is used as a solvent because it can dissolve substances like uncured 3D printing resin. Use IPA as a simple yet powerful tool for pre-cleaning and post-rinsing ultrasonically cleaned 3D-printed resin models.

Benefits of Using IPA

IPA offers significant advantages in the ultrasonic cleaning process for 3D-printed resin models.

  • Effectively dissolves and rinses away uncured resin residue.
  • High-purity IPA maximizes cleaning and solvent properties.
  • Pre-rinsing prevents the oversaturation of prints before the ultrasonic bath.
  • Post-rinsing removes the remaining dissolved resin after the ultrasonic bath.
  • Allows full flush of intricate print geometries when appropriately used.
  • Quick IPA drying enables prints to fully air dry after cleaning.
  • Settled used IPA can potentially be reused after filtration.
  • Relatively inexpensive and widely available.

Proper IPA usage helps ensure that your prints achieve the desired smooth, residue-free finish after ultrasonic cleaning. Its solvent properties are uniquely suited for this application.

Disadvantages of Using IPA

While providing important benefits, using an IPA cleaning solution has some drawbacks to consider when ultrasonically cleaning 3D-printed resin models.

  • Highly flammable, requires careful handling and storage
  • Drying time can be lengthy for large or intricate prints
  • It may not entirely remove some resin residues without combinational cleaning
  • Fumes require working in a well-ventilated area
  • Used IPA requires proper hazardous waste disposal
  • Repeated exposure can dry out skin, and gloves are recommended
  • Less environmentally friendly compared to some aqueous solutions
  • Settled IPA must be filtered well before reusing as a rinse bath

Being aware of these limitations allows steps to be taken to safely and effectively integrate IPA into the ultrasonic 3D print cleaning workflow.

Other Cleaning Solution Options

A highly alkaline or caustic solution with added detergent may work well to remove some resins. The detergent helps the solution thoroughly wet and dissolve the support material.

Other support materials like wax may require flammable solvents with low flash points that can dissolve the wax. And for supports made of materials like LFS, high flash point solvents or semi-aqueous solutions containing solvents could be effective.

The key is choosing a removal solution that is formulated to break down and dissolve away the specific support material used in the molding process.

It’s essential to follow the solution manufacturer’s directions in all cases. When in doubt, please contact our Chem-Crest professionals.

Optional Equipment and Cleaning Procedures for 3D Printed Parts

Small, delicate parts like jewelry or dental implants can be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol or a similar volatile solvent. Place the pieces in beakers filled with solvent and submerge the bottom of the beakers in an ultrasonic benchtop cleaning tank containing water and a few drops of dish soap.

Alternatively, you can place the parts into small fine mesh baskets that fit inside the beakers. Make sure to use baskets that allow the beaker to be loosely covered during ultrasonic cleaning. Covering the beaker minimizes the solvent vapor that escapes into the air. The baskets containing the parts must sit low enough in the beaker to be fully immersed in the solvent. This allows the ultrasonic waves to fully penetrate and cavitate the solvent around the parts for thorough cleaning.

In either case, be sure to degas the solution for around 10 minutes without a load before proceeding.

For larger parts, utilize an ultrasonic tank designed for higher flash points or semi-aqueous solutions. Lower the parts into mesh baskets in the tank filled with the appropriate cleaning liquid. If using a combustible solution, add a polypropylene tub inside the stainless steel tank as a safety precaution. When finished, remove and rinse the parts in clear water.

Finally, you can use purpose-built explosion-proof ultrasonic systems for industrial operations involving large quantities of 3D-printed parts. These systems allow the safe ultrasonic cleaning of parts in IPA or other low flash point solvents. Proper ventilation is critical when working with flammable liquids. Always follow safety protocols and equipment guidelines.

Best Practices for Cleaning Resin Prints

When working with 3D-printed resin models, following certain best practices for post-print cleaning is crucial for achieving professional-quality results.

  • Test Prints First—When first using an ultrasonic cleaner for resin prints, test the process on lower-value print samples. Check for any damage or residue left behind. Adjust times and temperatures accordingly before cleaning more intricate or valuable prints.
  • Clean Prints Immediately—For best results, clean resin prints soon after printing, before the cured resin has time to harden significantly. The ultrasonic process will be most effective on fresh prints.
  • Use Proper Rinsing—After ultrasonic cleaning, thoroughly rinse prints with clean 90%+ isopropyl alcohol. This helps remove any residue dissolved by cleaning but not thoroughly flushed away.
  • Let Prints Fully Dry—Allow prints to air dry fully after rinsing. Residual solvent can impact the curing and finishing steps. Drying times will vary based on print size and geometry.
  • Finish Sanding If Needed—If any leftover residue persists, gentle sanding with fine grit sandpaper can remove it. Be careful not to damage fine print details. Proper ultrasonic cleaning minimizes the need for sanding.

Removing Supports and Excess Resin

After ultrasonically cleaning 3D-printed resin models, some additional steps help finalize print preparation by removing supports and any lingering residues.

  • Use flush cutters to clip support structures from the print as close to the surface as possible.
  • Gently use a plastic scraping tool to remove any stubborn supports and detach the build plate.
  • Lightly rinse the print with isopropyl alcohol using a brush to dislodge particulates.
  • Carefully inspect the print under bright light for any remaining visible resin residue.
  • Gently wipe the print with a microfiber cloth soaked in IPA to eliminate spots of excess resin.
  • If needed, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand away any bits of cured resin without damaging details.
  • Rinse print again with IPA and allow to fully air dry before final curing.

Taking the time to properly remove supports and fully clean prints after ultrasonic cleaning ensures the best results before final curing.

With the right ultrasonic cleaner and dialed-in process, you can achieve professional-quality, smooth, clean resin prints ready for finishing and use. Ultrasonic cleaning is an excellent tool for bringing out the best in 3D-printed resin models.

How Long Should I Ultrasonically Clean a 3D Print?

The general guideline is to clean for 5 to 10 minutes at around 30°–50° C (higher temperatures can make some resins stickier). However, considering various factors, including resin type, print size, and your ultrasonic cleaner specifications, is essential. Monitor the process to determine the optimal cleaning time for each print.

Can Ultrasonic Cleaning Damage or Warp Some 3D Printed Materials?

Yes, ultrasonic cleaning can distort or warp certain 3D printed materials if they are incompatible with the process. It’s important to consider its effects on the dimensional accuracy and integrity of the printed parts when selecting this method.

What Risks or Hazards Exist With Using Flammable Solvents In Ultrasonic Cleaning?

Flammable ultrasonic cleaning solvents pose serious fire, chemical exposure, and environmental contamination hazards if improperly handled. Proper protective equipment, ventilation, and explosion-proof systems are crucial precautions when using these chemicals.

Is Protective Gear Needed For Ultrasonic Cleaning Of 3D Prints?

Protective equipment like gloves, goggles, and masks are highly recommended for ultrasonic cleaning to guard against solution splashes and vapor inhalation. Proper ventilation and temperature control also help ensure safety.

Can I Use Water As My Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution?

Most ultrasonic cleaners require a cleaning solution to be used along with water. Water alone will not be effective enough in removing resin and support material from the prints. Therefore, it is recommended to use a cleaning solution designed explicitly for resin prints.

Can An Ultrasonic Cleaner Be Used For Cleaning Other Components Besides Resin Prints?

Yes, you can use an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning various components besides resin prints. It is commonly used in manufacturing, automotive, and jewelry industries for cleaning small parts and objects.

Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Resin Prints: The Best Way to Clean Your 3D Printed Parts Read More »

solvent bottle with sticker with flammable icon

How to Safely Use An Explosion Proof Ultrasonic Cleaner for Flammable Solvents

Is it possible to safely use an ultrasonic cleaner for flammable solvents?

Yes, but you must understand the risks associated with these solvents, especially considering their low flash points—the temperature at which they ignite.

If not handled properly, these solvents can pose serious hazards.

Let’s explore the safety considerations for using flammable solvents in ultrasonic cleaning systems, including precautions, equipment options, and compliance with safety standards.

Table of Contents

What Are Some Flash Points for Flammable Ultrasonic Cleaning Solvents?

“Flash point” refers to the lowest temperature at which the vapors of a volatile compound ignite in air when exposed to an ignition source.
Guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) define a flammable liquid as one that possesses a flashpoint below 199.4F (93C).).
Flammable solvents can create a hazardous environment, as stated by the National Electrical Code (NEC), since any ignition source can readily ignite fumes.
Here is a table of common organic solvents:

SOLVENT Flash Point (°C) Flashpoint (°F)
Denatured Alcohol 14 57
1-propanol (IPA) 12 53
Toluene 4 40
Acetone -20 -4
Cyclohexane -20 -4

(All figures are rounded to the nearest whole number and might vary slightly depending on solvent brand and purity.)

Understanding the flash point of a solvent is essential in determining the potential risks and hazards associated with its use.

Flash points also help identify the appropriate storage and handling procedures to minimize the chances of fire or explosion. 

By considering the flash points of flammable solvents, users can implement necessary safety precautions and choose suitable equipment to mitigate the risks of ultrasonic cleaning.

Understanding the Risks of Ultrasonic Cleaning with Flammable Solvents

Using flammable solvents in an ultrasonic cleaner can pose several risks:

  • Fire Risk: The most immediate risk is the potential for a fire. Solvents can ignite from a spark or any form of heat.
  • Explosion Risk: If the solvent vapors reach a specific concentration, they can cause an explosion.
  • Health Risk: Solvent vapors can be harmful if inhaled. They can cause dizziness, headaches, and longer-term health issues.
  • Environmental Hazards: Improper disposal of flammable solvents can lead to environmental pollution.
  • Equipment Damage: Certain solvents can damage the equipment if they are not compatible with the materials used in the cleaner.

Fumes or spilled solvents can easily ignite when exposed to extraneous sources such as electrical equipment, associated wiring, or uncertified explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners.

Key Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaning Applications of Flammable Solvents

Here are some key industrial applications where flammable solvents are used in ultrasonic cleaning:

  • Medical: Surgical implants are cleaned using IPA.
  • Electronics: Electronic components, such as printed circuit boards, are cleaned using flammable solvents, as they can easily remove oils, greases, and other contaminants without damaging the components.
  •  Automotive: Parts like powder coating nozzles are cleaned using IPA, and flammable solvents are used for cleaning or degreasing car parts, including engine components
  • Aerospace: Small X-ray tube components are cleaned in volatile solvents, as are other critical components where a high degree of cleanliness is required
  • Textiles: Some flammable solvents are used in the textile industry for spot or general cleaning.
  • Paint and Coating Stripping: Flammable solvents, including Toluene, can dissolve and remove paints, varnishes, and surface coatings.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Flammable solvents such as Acetone are used in various stages of drug production, including purification and cleaning processes.
  • Printing: Flammable solvents are used to clean equipment, remove ink residues, and maintain the machinery.
  • General Manufacturing: Various parts and equipment are cleaned using flammable solvents, requiring strict adherence to safety protocols to prevent accidents and potential hazards.

Safety Precautions for Dealing With Flammable Solvents in an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Handling flammable solvents in ultrasonic cleaning requires utmost care. Here are some safety precautions you should follow:

  • Proper Ventilation: Make sure the area is well-ventilated. This will help prevent the build-up of flammable fumes.
  • Use of Safety Equipment: Always use appropriate safety equipment, such as gloves, goggles, and lab coats, to protect yourself from accidental spills or splashes.
  • No Smoking or Open Flames: Ensure no smoking or open flames are near the area where you’re handling the solvents.
  • Grounding: Flammable solvents can generate static electricity, which can cause a spark. Always ground all equipment to prevent this.
  • Proper Storage: Store flammable solvents in approved containers and cabinets designed for explosive materials.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Have a fire extinguisher nearby and be familiar with its operation. Also, know the location of the nearest fire exit.
  • Proper Disposal: Dispose of used solvents per local regulations. Never pour them down the drain.
  • Training: Everyone who works with flammable solvents should have proper training in handling and disposal and in responding to emergencies involving these materials.

Safety should always be your priority when dealing with flammable solvents or hazardous materials.

Key Features of Explosion Proof Ultrasonic Cleaners

These specialized cleaners are designed to prevent sparks or ignition sources from coming into contact with flammable solvents, reducing the risk of explosions or fires.

Here are some key features of explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners:

  • Class I, Division 1 Compliance: An explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaner is certified for use in Class I, Division 1 compliant per the NEC classification method
  • Robust Construction: They are built with rugged materials like stainless steel to withstand harsh environments and provide prolonged service life.
  • Robust Ventilation: Explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners are equipped with a robust ventilation system that effectively removes any fumes or vapors generated during the cleaning process, reducing the risk of ignition.
  • Intrinsically Safe Electrical Components: All electrical components used in explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners are inherently safe, meaning they are designed to prevent sparks or arcs that could ignite flammable solvents.
  • Temperature Control: These cleaners have precise temperature control features that ensure the solvent remains within a safe temperature range, minimizing the risk of reaching flash points.
  • Time Control Settings: Users can set a specific cleaning duration depending on the level of cleanliness required.
  • Inbuilt Drain Systems: These facilitate easy and safe disposal of used cleaning solutions.
  • Automation Features: Some models may offer automated fill, start, and stop functions for ease of use and efficiency.
  • Multiple Frequency Options: Multiple ultrasonic frequency options allow for fine-tuning the cleaning process.
  • Portability: Despite their robust construction, many explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners are portable, allowing for convenient relocation.
  • Noise Reduction: Some models come equipped with noise reduction features for a quieter operation.

Importance of Ventilation and Fume Control

Ventilation and fume control are critical when dealing with flammable solvents for several reasons:

  • Preventing Build-up of Flammable Fumes: Flammable solvents can emit vapors that build up in the air over time. If these vapors reach a particular concentration and come in contact with an ignition source, they can cause a fire or even an explosion.
  • Maintaining Air Quality: Many flammable solvents release harmful fumes that can be dangerous if inhaled. These fumes can lead to health issues such as respiratory problems, dizziness, nausea, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness. Proper ventilation helps to ensure that these fumes do not reach dangerous levels.
  • Avoiding Chemical Reactions: Some flammable solvents can react with other chemicals or materials present in the environment, leading to hazardous conditions. Ventilation helps to remove these solvents from the environment before they can cause such reactions.
  • Improving Visibility: In some cases, the fumes released by flammable solvents can reduce visibility in the workspace, making it more difficult for workers to perform their tasks safely and efficiently.
  • Compliance with Safety Regulations: Many jurisdictions have safety regulations that require adequate ventilation when working with flammable solvents. These rules are designed to protect workers and prevent accidents.

Compliance With Safety Standards and Regulations for Flammable Solvents in Ultrasonic Cleaning

Safety standards and regulations for flammable solvents in ultrasonic cleaning often vary by country and region. 

However, some commonly recognized international safety standards include:

  • NFPA 30: This is the Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code provided by the National Fire Protection Association. It provides fundamental safeguards for storing, handling, and using flammable and combustible liquids.
  • OSHA 1910.106: This Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard applies to handling, storing, and using flammable liquids with a flash point below 200°F.
  • ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU: In Europe, equipment used in environments with flammable solvents should comply with this directive.
  • IECEx System: The International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx System).

Compliance guidelines include:

  • Use equipment specifically designed for use with flammable solvents.
  • Ensure the equipment is adequately earthed/grounded to prevent static electricity build-up.
  • Keep the working area well-ventilated to prevent vapor accumulation.
  • Store solvents in appropriate containers in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place away from ignition sources.
  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and eye protection.
  •  Follow proper procedures for handling and disposing of flammable solvents.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain equipment to ensure it’s in good working order.

Are Ultrasonic Cleaners Made For Flammable Solvents Really Explosion Proof?

No device can be 100% guaranteed as “explosion proof.” Proper use, maintenance, and adherence to safety protocols are critical when using these devices with flammable solvents.

Can Ultrasonic Cleaners Be Used With Non-Flammable Solvents as Well?

Yes, you can use ultrasonic cleaners with non-flammable solvents. However, it’s always important to consider the following factors:

  • Ensure that the solvent is compatible with the materials of the items you are cleaning.
  • Check that the solvent suits the dirt or contaminants you want to remove.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the ultrasonic cleaner and the solvent.
  • Safety should always be your top priority, so use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and work in a well-ventilated area if necessary.
crest ultrasonics logo retina
To determine the best ultrasonic cleaning equipment and solutions for your business needs, please contact one of our experts today. You can reach our main office at 800-992-7378. For national and international sales representatives in your area, please click here. For email, please use our contact form.

How to Safely Use An Explosion Proof Ultrasonic Cleaner for Flammable Solvents Read More »

red glow with bubbles

Considering An Industrial Heated Ultrasonic Cleaner?

The decision of whether to invest in a heated ultrasonic cleaning system is significant, and understanding the pros and cons is an essential first step.

In this article, we’ll demystify the world of industrial heated ultrasonic cleaners, shedding light on their capabilities and helping you determine if it’s the right choice.

Whether you’re a business owner, a technician, or someone intrigued by the latest cleaning technology, we hope this brief guide helps!

Table of Contents

The Advantages of Using Heat Energy With Ultrasonic Cleaning

Operators commonly use heat during ultrasonic cleaning because it brings several advantages:
 
  • Improved Efficiency with Certain Cleaning Solutions: Some cleaning solutions are designed to work more effectively at higher temperatures. Using heat with these solutions can, therefore, improve their cleaning power.
  • Better Removal of Stubborn Residues: Heat can help soften and dissolve stubborn residues, making them easier to remove during ultrasonic cleaning.
  • Degreasing Capability: Heat is particularly effective at dissolving grease and oil, making it ideal for cleaning mechanical parts and kitchen utensils.
  • Reduced Cleaning Time: By speeding up the cleaning process, heat can significantly reduce the time needed to clean items thoroughly.
  • Enhanced Disinfection: Heat energy can help kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, making it an effective method for sterilizing items.
  • Better Penetration: Heat can help the cleaning solution penetrate deeper into hard-to-reach areas, ensuring a more comprehensive clean.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Heat energy can make ultrasonic cleaning more cost-effective in the long run by reducing cleaning times and improving efficiency.
Always follow manufacturer recommendations when using heat in ultrasonic cleaning processes , as some materials may be sensitive to high temperatures.

The Disadvantages of Using Higher Temperatures for Ultrasonic Cleaning

While heat can enhance the effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning in certain situations, it can also present several potential disadvantages:
  • Damage to Some Sensitive Materials: Delicate, extremely thin, or fragile items can be damaged when exposed to high temperatures. Plastics and certain rubbers, for example, can warp or melt, and certain metals can discolor or deform. Certain gemstones can be damaged by heat.
  • Damage in Some Scientific Applications: Heat can denature proteins and damage other biological samples.
  • Cleaning Sensitive Electronic Components: Heat can cause thermal stress to electronic components, potentially leading to failure.
  • Risk of Burns and Fire: Using heat introduces risks related to burns and fire, especially if flammable cleaning solutions are used or if the equipment is not handled correctly.
  • Increased Energy Consumption: Heating the cleaning solution requires additional energy, which can increase operating costs.
  • Longer Preparation Time: Heating the cleaning solution to the desired temperature takes time, which can prolong the overall cleaning process.
  • Potential Acceleration of Unwanted Chemical Reactions: Heat can speed up chemical reactions. This can lead to the creation of potentially harmful gases, especially when certain cleaning solutions are used.
  • Reduced Equipment Life Expectancy: Excessive heat may lead to accelerated wear and tear of the components of ultrasonic cleaning equipment.
Always use appropriate safety measures and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using heat with ultrasonic cleaning.

Key Features to Look for in a Heated Ultrasonic Cleaner

The key features of a heated ultrasonic cleaner should have vs. a non-heated one are:
  • Heating Function: While obvious a need, be careful to look for this specifically when choosing your system.
  • Adjustable Temperature Control: This allows you to set the heat level as needed for different types of items and levels of dirtiness.
  • Timed Heat Settings: These allow you to control how long the solution stays heated during the cleaning cycle.
  • Automatic Shut-off: This prevents accidents that can occur when the temperature gets too high for any reason.
All other features related to the operation, such as frequency range, capacity, construction material, timer, ease of use, safety features, drainage system, noise level, and warranty, are generally the same for both heated and non-heated ultrasonic cleaners.

How Do I Determine the Correct Heat Settings for My Ultrasonic Cleaning Tasks?

For industrial ultrasonic parts cleaning, the correct heat settings will vary based on the type of contaminant and the material of the parts.
Here are some general guidelines:
  • Light oils, dust, or fingerprints: These can often be removed at lower temperatures, around 50-60°C (122-140°F).
  • Cutting oils, heavy grease, or similar contaminants: Higher temperatures, around 70-80°C (158-176°F), might be necessary.
  • Very stubborn residues or contaminants: Occasionally, temperatures up to 90°C (194°F) may be needed.
However, these are just general guidelines; you should not see them as recommendations. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or material safety data sheets to ensure the chosen temperature won’t damage the parts.
 
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To determine the best ultrasonic cleaning equipment and solutions for your business needs, please contact one of our experts today. You can reach our main office at 800-992-7378. For national and international sales representatives in your area, please click here. For email, please use our contact form.

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