How to Specify an Ultrasonic Cleaner Basket

Basket dimensions are smaller than tank dimensions

Basket dimensions are smaller than tank dimensions

Ultrasonic cleaner baskets are the silent partners in ultrasonic cleaning systems.  Their main function is holding parts being cleaned while ultrasonic energy does the cleaning job.

Baskets also keep parts being cleaned from contacting the bottom of the cleaning tank.  There are two reasons for this.  First, the ultrasonic frequency will cause parts to vibrate against the tank bottom and eventually wear a hole in the metal*.  Second, the parts will serve as sound dampers and interfere with cavitation.

Calculating Basket Size

Basket size is a critical part of specifying an ultrasonic cleaner.    It is more critical than the internal dimensions of the ultrasonic cleaning tank.  As an example, the 2.5 gallon Elmasonic S80H available from Tovatech has inside dimensions of 11.8 x 9.4 x 5.9 inches deep but the recommended basket is 10 x 7.9 x 3 inches deep.   The basket dimensions must accommodate the parts being cleaned.

Working depth is another specification issue.  It is defined as the distance between the bottom of the basket and the surface of the ultrasonic cleaning solution, which should reach the tank’s fill line.  If the part isn’t immersed it isn’t getting cleaned.   Basket handles are designed to suspend the basket in such a position that the top rim is below the tank’s fill line.

To introduce another specification consideration, how many parts are you cleaning at a time?  Optimum cleaning action occurs when parts are not in contact with each other.  Contact could also cause surface damage due to vibration.  So unless you periodically remove the basket and reposition the parts, specify a basket (and therefore a cleaner) to accommodate the load.

For a closer look at this topic we invite you to visit our post on ultrasonic cleaner baskets and brackets.  Please contact the ultrasonic cleaning professionals at Tovatech for answers to your questions on ultrasonic cleaning equipment and procedures.

*Hard particles that settle during ultrasonic cleaning can serve as “drills” and wear holes in the tank bottom.  This is why tanks should be cleaned each time the cleaning solution is replaced.

About Rachel Kohn

So how did an MIT Ph.D. end up selling refrigerators? When I figured out that a lot more scientists buy lab refrigerators than innovative leading-edge instruments. I hope that my many years of lab experience will help you find the right equipment for your work. Before co-founding Tovatech I worked in business development and project management at Smiths Detection, Photon-X, Cardinal Health, and Hoechst Celanese. And before that I spent 12 years as an R&D chemist at Hoechst Celanese and Aventis working on advanced drug delivery systems, polymer films and membranes, optical disks, and polysaccharides. Some day, eventually, I’ll make enough money to develop an innovative technology that will change the world. Read More