Specifying Explosion Proof Ultrasonic Cleaners

June 9th, 2016

Surgical implants are cleaned with volatile solvents.

Surgical implants are cleaned with volatile solvents.

Volatile solvents are often called for when sonic cleaning parts and components that must be residue free after the cleaning process.  Examples include printed circuit boards, surgical implants, inkjet print heads and powder coating nozzles.  Solvents used in these applications include IPA, acetone, toluene and certain ethers.  When using such solvents on a regular basis it is important to specify explosion proof ultrasonic cleaners along with related safety procedures to avoid igniting solvent and vapors in the area where they are being used.


Explosion Proof Ultrasonic Cleaner Specs

Explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners are designed in such a way as to eliminate ignition points within the equipment itself.  Examples include ultrasonic generators*, transducers and timers that may cause sparks that could ignite spilled solvent or fumes.  But they should employ other safety factors as well.  Industrial and benchtop Electrowave EXP ultrasonic cleaners available from Tovatech are examples of these units.

  • Totally encapsulated electronics.  All internal electronics are encased in high density foam allowing no opportunity for sparks to ignite vapors or spills.
  • Short-term cleaning cycles.  Ultrasonic cleaning as a process creates heat in the solvent.  For this reason Electrowave standard timers are limited to 30 minutes (60 minutes on request).
  • No heaters = Simplified operation – on/off and timer.
  • Lids to reduce volatile solvent evaporation.

The last point deserves amplification.  Solvents evaporate quicker than water-based cleaning solutions. Tanks must be kept at least half full to avoid damage to transducers.

Explosion Proof Cleaner Operating Environment

As we note in related posts, the EXP explosion proof ultrasonic cleaners are designed to avoid the danger of fire or explosion from the equipment itself.  But operating them creates what is called a hazardous area due to the immediate presence of solvent and fumes. This means

  • Fumes must be vented using approved ventilation systems.
  • Electrical equipment must be rated as intrinsically safe by the National Electric Code, NFPA-70 Articles 500-503
  • Prohibiting the use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices in the designated hazardous area

For more on this topic check our post on safety guidelines for explosion proof ultrasonic cleaners.

Have questions?  Feel free to contact our scientists for answers to your questions on explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners or for information on ultrasonic cleaning systems designed for water-based cleaning solutions.

*Certain industrial sized explosion-proof units have remote generators.