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Ultrasonic cleaning is extremely efficient at removing contaminants when the optimal chemistry, cleaning cycle time, and temperature are used.
Ultrasonic cleaning uses cavitation bubbles induced by high frequency pressure (sound) waves to agitate a liquid. The agitation produces high forces on contaminants adhering to substrates like metals, plastics, glass, rubber, and ceramics. This action also penetrates blind holes, cracks, and recesses like the cells engraved into an anilox roll or anilox sleeve.
In an ultrasonic cleaner, the object to be cleaned is placed in a chamber containing a suitable solution (in an aqueous or organic solvent, depending on the application). In aqueous cleaners, surfactants (e.g., laundry detergent) are often added to permit dissolution of non-polar compounds such as oils and greases. An ultrasound generating transducer built into the chamber, or lowered into the fluid, produces ultrasonic waves in the fluid by changing size in concert with an electrical signal oscillating at ultrasonic frequency. This creates compression waves in the liquid of the tank which 'tear' the liquid apart, leaving behind millions of microscopic 'voids' or 'partial vacuum bubbles' (cavitation). These cavitation bubbles collapse with enormous energy; however, they are so small that they do no more than clean and remove surface dirt and contaminants.
The higher the frequency, the smaller the nodes between the cavitation points, which allows for cleaning of more intricate detail like high line-count anilox rolls.
For ultrasonic cleaning to be effective, the chemistry, temperature, and cycle time must be right. This is where Sonic Solutions' Phoenix Series saves time and money for flexographic printers. By consistently delivering that ideal combination, the Phoenix Series efficiently cleans anilox rolls in minutes achieving full cell volume in the engraved rollers and sleeves.