How to Select the Best Flammable Liquid Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic Cleaning with Flammable LiquidsFlammable liquid ultrasonic cleaners may often be required when contaminants are difficult to remove and where residues that may remain after using conventional water-based biodegradable cleaning solutions are unacceptable.  Flammable liquid (also called volatile solvent) ultrasonic cleaners can overcome these challenges as we will explain later in this post.

But first a short tutorial.

What is a Flammable Liquid?

They are not all exactly the same.  Flammable liquids have different flashpoints. In brief, the lower the flashpoint the more flammable they are, which is an important consideration when specifying an ultrasonic cleaner for flammable liquids.  

The American Chemical Society publishes a table of  common organic solvents that includes flash points.  Examples of low flash point volatile solvents are 1-propanol at 59⁰F, acetone at -4⁰F and toluene at 39⁰F.  Solvents with higher flashpoints include NEP (N-Ethyl-2-pyrrolidone) or NMP (N -Methyl-2-pyrrolidone) at or above 131˚F.

It’s the Fumes, Stupid!

In chemical terms … Read the rest

How to Choose a Lab Refrigerator or Freezer

How to Choose a Lab Refrigerator or FreezerSelecting a laboratory refrigerator or laboratory freezer is not the same as visiting the local appliance store to pick out a unit for your kitchen.  There are substantial differences.  Not only that, there is a tremendous variety of models available in terms of capacity and performance features. 

This post quickly describes differences between household and laboratory refrigerators and freezers. Then we’ll looks into the many feature options available and help you select the model that meets your requirements.

How to Pick the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner

Selecting the Best Ultrasonic CleanerTips on Selecting the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner

So, you’ve landed here because you’ve heard about ultrasonic cleaning and how wondrous it works in removing almost any contaminant from almost any surface that can be immersed in an aqueous cleaning solution.  The task you have now is how to select the best ultrasonic cleaner for the cleaning challenges you have in mind. 

Here we offer some useful suggestions.

Why Selecting an Ultrasonic Cleaner is Important

If you’re interested in selecting an ultrasonic cleaner for your cleaning operations you’ve probably done a bit of research and found that choices seem endless.  The range of sizes, shapes, features and pricing is further complexified (our word) by prices for the units.  How do you select an ultrasonic cleaner and be assured that it will do the job you expect of it?  

This post does not get into pricing.  What we hope to do here … Read the rest

How to Select an Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution

ultrasonic_cleaing_solution_selection_v3Benchtop and industrial ultrasonic cleaners provide outstanding cleaning results in thoroughness and speed for applications from watch making to jet engine components and virtually anything in between that can be safely wetted.  Largely responsible for this is the variety of ultrasonic cleaning solutions provided by manufactures to target both broadly defined and highly targeted cleaning challenges. Selecting the right ultrasonic cleaning fluid is not a hit-or-miss proposition.  Several considerations come into play.  

Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution Selection Tip No.1

What is the contaminant?  Put another way, what do you want to remove by an ultrasonic cleaning process?  Examples include

  • grease, grime and grit on engine and drive train components
  • salt and other residues on scuba gear
  • soldering residues and other contaminants on PCBs
  • burned on plastic injection mold deposits
  • grit and grime on cherished vinyl LP records
  • contaminants on surgical and dental instruments
  • tarnish or old paint on brass, copper and
Read the rest

How a Digital HPLC Liquid Flow Meter Works

HPLC Liquid Flow MeterBefore explaining how HPLC liquid flow meters work here’s an explanation of what digital HPLC flow meters do:  Digital HPLC flowmeters are used to measure the accuracy of High Performance Liquid Chromatography pumping systems in order to meet FDA and other regulations regarding installation qualification (IQ), operational qualification (OQ) and performance qualification (PQ) of equipment used in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries as well as other analytical labs.

The process demands accurate, reproducible column retention time as an analyte (what is being analyzed) is pumped through the HPLC system.

These precision instruments are not to be likened to flow meters used on process lines measuring flow rates in, for example, thousands of gallons per minute but instead in fractions of milliliters per minute.

Why HPLC Pump System Accuracy is Important

As suggested above, meeting regulations (and protecting a company’s reputation) is the reason.  Consistent accurate performance is an absolute necessity. … Read the rest

How to Calibrate Precision Scales and Analytical Balances

Control panel for the Kern HCN Hanging Scale

Control panel for the Kern HCN Digital Hanging Scale

Before we describe how to calibrate precision scales and analytical balances we’ll tell you why you need to calibrate these precision weighing devices.  In many instances it’s required by law but in all cases calibrating these instruments, especially those used in R&D labs and other demanding applications, should be conducted on a regular basis as a part of good laboratory practices (GLP).

Calibration exercises apply to other types of scales for many of the same reasons.  Buyers and sellers of products want to get and give “fair measure.”  For the purpose of this post we’ll focus on precision scales and analytical balances where deviations between actual weight and displayed weight can be unacceptable.  Calibration exercises are aimed at making the scales as accurate as possible.  

In addition to explaining how to calibrate these weighing instruments this post first goes into detail … Read the rest

What is a Heated Ultrasonic Cleaner?

What is a Heated Ultrasonic Cleaner?

The simplistic answer to “what is a heated ultrasonic cleaner?” is simply an ultrasonic cleaner that has the ability to heat the cleaning solution. More important is a knowledge of the role of heat (temperature) in ultrasonic cleaning and the enhancements or disadvantages heat can impart to the ultrasonic cleaning process.  Also important is keeping in mind the fact that heat generation is a natural byproduct of an ultrasonic cleaning cycle.… Read the rest

Injection Mold Life Extended with Ultrasonic Cleaning

Before and After Ultrasonic Cleaning Injection Molds

Injection molds used to form plastic products can represent sizeable investments and are characterized by complex shapes, precision finishes and vents.  Cleaning plastic injection molds must be accomplished on a regular basis and in such a way that removes all traces of burned on deposits from surfaces and residual plastic in vents without scratching or otherwise mechanically damaging mold surfaces.   

“Our investment in injection molds can reach tens of thousands of dollars each,” says Roger Wheeler, tooling manager at PAM Injection Molding based in Kernersville, NC. “While different molds have different surface tolerances, customer-demanded tolerances for a mold surface can be as precise as 0.0002 inch. That’s why,” he says, “longer injection mold life depends highly on not only keeping them clean but conducting mold cleaning operations in such a way that extends their life by maintaining surface finish tolerances.”… Read the rest

Avoiding Errors with Analytical Balances

Avoiding Errors with Analytical Balances

Avoiding errors when using analytical balances – or for that matter any weighing instrument – involves the coming together of several practices on the part of the user.  This post focuses on assuring accurate weighing results when using analytical balances with readouts (what is displayed on the instrument) to milligrams.    For an analytical balance such as the KERN ABT 120-4M available from Tovatech it is 0.1 milligram.   Semi-micro balances can display to micrograms or 0.01 milligram.

Accuracy is paramount when weighing to these levels with analytical balances and is often subject to regulation by organizations such as the FDA and professional trade associations.  Technicians must institute practices and procedures to avoid weighing errors and to insure that the displayed weight precisely reflects the weight of the sample.

Ultrasonic Cleaners for Jet Engine Maintenance

Ultrasonic Cleaners for Jet Engine Maintenance

Regular maintenance procedures are strictly prescribed for aircraft jet engines and include thorough cleaning and inspection of fuel nozzle assemblies.  “An example is the highly popular Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine which requires cleaning engine fuel nozzle manifold adapter assemblies every 400 hours of operation,” says Scott Pottebaum, Director of Technical Services, Elliott Aviation in Des Moines, IA.   “Overhaul and maintenance procedures are clearly spelled out in the P&W Maintenance Manual; service organizations such as Elliott Aviation are responsible for performing these procedures then testing the engines before they are approved for return to service.”… Read the rest