Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner Boosts Efficiency of Small Engine Shops

May 14th, 2010

Owners of small engine repair shops more easily accommodate seasonal peaks in demand when they use an ultrasonic cleaner instead of manually scrubbing carburetors, engine blocks and other engine components in harmful solvents that can also present a disposal problem.

For example, fuel in the carburetors of lawnmower engines, outboard marine engines and snowmobile engines that sit idle during portions of the year may thicken and gum up small passages and orifices virtually impossible to reach by manual cleaning.  In contrast, the cavitation action generated by an ultrasonic cleaner reaches any and all surfaces of these delicate instruments, safely restoring them to a like-new condition.  Carbon, varnish and grease build-up on valves, cylinder heads and other engine parts are likewise safely removed even from aluminum surfaces thanks to the power of ultrasonic cleaning using biodegradable ultrasonic cleaning solutions.

Components of an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaners come in a variety of sizes, either tabletop or floor mounted.  The cleaning action is performed in the cleaning tank, which is filled with the ultrasonic cleaning solution after dilution to the manufacturer’s specification.  Devices called ultrasonic transducers are mounted on the bottom of the tank and are connected to an ultrasonic generator.

When the unit is turned on, cavitation action begins.  Parts to be cleaned are placed in a mesh basket and lowered into the solution for the cleaning cycle. The billions of tiny bubbles generated by the transducers implode with tremendous force upon contact with the engine parts, removing all contaminants without damaging the parts.

The cleaning cycle can be as little as 10 minutes but depends on the quantity of parts being cleaned and the extent of contamination.  After being cleaned engine parts are removed, rinsed, dried and are ready for reassembly.   Time that mechanics would otherwise spend on manually cleaning the parts can be used to service other engines.

Ultrasonic Bath and Cleaner Maintenance

Fresh ultrasonic cleaning solutions must be degassed by using the ultrasonic cleaner’s degassing mode in order to remove contained air that interferes with the cavitation process.  Oils that rise to the surface of the solution should be skimmed off and disposed of in a proper manner.  The unit’s filters trap solid contaminants that are removed by ultrasonic cavitation to help extend the life of the cleaning solution.  Tanks should be drained and cleaned on a periodic basis because settled out particles can damage them during the cavitation process.

If time spent cleaning small engine parts is slowing down your operations, look into an ultrasonic cleaner.  You may find it will quickly pay for itself in terms of increasing your shop’s capacity.

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What cleaning processes do you follow in your small engine shop?  How long do they take?


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