|TIMBER INDUSTRIES - 'HEADmaster'
‘$OUND ADVICE’ from focus 21 ltd
~ Some GUIDELINES for ULTRASONIC CLEANING in the TOOLROOM ~
Look after your staff;
- DO disconnect the mains supply before filling the tank.
- Because cutter blocks are heavy items, attention should always be given to the height of the top of the tank. Low tables, designed to suit the operator should be considered rather than just placing the unit on top of an existing bench.
- Remember to take sensible precautions when handling and using any chemicals. Solutions such as ‘ULTRAfluid – EN’ are relatively safe to humans and have disinfectant qualities, however care with any chemicals, or solutions, should always be taken.
Look after your Sonic Bath;
- DO clean the tank out weekly. Heavy deposits on the base of the tank reduce it’s efficiency.
- DO NOT place items immediately on the bottom of the tank. Always use the basket or saw-rack to support item being cleaned. Efficient cavitation requires approx 25mm of solution around the surface being cleaned. Also, placing items on the base can result in damage to the ‘base -mounted transducers and result in premature wearing from abrasion.
- DO cover the tank with the lid when not in use. This helps prevent heat loss in the solution and guards against damage to the tank base if items are inadvertently dropped in.
- DO NOT turn on the ultrasonics or heaters before the tank has been filled with liquid. This can result in damage and negates the Manufacturers Warranty.
- DO turn off the heaters about five minutes before emptying the tank to allow them to cool down before the solution is removed.
- DO use biodegradable, environment friendly, and Staff Safe, solutions in your tank.
- DO NOT use highly caustic or hydrogenated solutions. These break down under ultrasonic pressure and cause carbon embrittlement. This can result in breaking away of tips during use and a slow etching of the cutter block itself. Are your blocks a dull grey?
- DO NOT use solvents or flammable solutions. The Ultrasonic Cleaning Process produces instantaneous, very high, temperatures during cavitation.
- DO add the cleaning solutions to the water, not water to solution. This will help prevent foaming of the solution and possible eye splashes when filling.
- DO regularly replace soiled ‘static’ cleaning solutions. In our kitchens we would not expect to wash up Monday’s dishes using last month’s washing up water. Cleaning solutions should be changed at least once a month. This time could be less when the tank has been subjected to heavy use or to remove heavy soiling.
- Regular cleaning of cutter blocks will make the process quicker and easier. Generally speaking, under normal conditions, cleaning of cutter blocks and/or saw blades will take about four to six minutes.
- Standing a cutter block on end rather than on it’s side will assist dislodged soiling to fall away during cleaning. Contaminants lodged around and behind cutters and wedges, although dislodged can remain sitting on top surfaces. This can of course be easily flushed away after the process is completed.
- If an item to be cleaned is very heavily soiled, then process for about four minutes, remove from the solution, wipe, spray rinse, or airgun blow the loosened matter off, turn the item over and replace in the solution. If necessary repeat the process. This will assist removal of loosened heavy gunk and resin from cavities. A static solution will last longer when not saturated with excess foreign matter, and wiping away surplus helps reduce the cavitation time, saving electricity and helping maintain the life of your tank.
- The process of cavitation requires a totally inert liquid, free of large gas or air bubbles. This can normally be achieved in three to five minutes by running the ultrasonic cycle when the tank is first filled, prior to loading any items to be cleaned.
- Where possible use hand hot, (not boiling), water when filling the bath. The heating panels in ultrasonic baths are designed to keep the temperature at a constant level and using them to bring the water up from mains temperature can therefore take some time. If only cold water is available or the power supply is closed down overnight, then the use of an immersion heater can be useful to shorten the time required to bring the solution up to operating temperature, (40-55 deg.C) the following morning. Solutions will work in cold water but most are more effective if hot.
- DO open, (not remove), the exhaust valve on Hydroblocks when cleaning to allow the release of any air or gases that may expand on heating to help prevent possible distortion to the sleeve.
- In the unlikely event of grease in Hydroblocks becoming “cooked” then mount the Block on a spindle, remove the exhaust valve and pump the sleeve with new grease until only clean grease is seen to be extruded.
Look after your Tooling;
- A quick rinse in water after cleaning will remove any soil holding solution from the surface of items that have been cleaned and prevent contamination of grinder fluid.
- Ultrasonic cleaning is so effective that it can suck the oil out from the pores of steel and iron. In older type cutter blocks this can result in the very quick appearance of rust, if precautions are not taken to prevent this before putting the blocks back on the shelf.
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