Ultrasonic parts cleaners

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Dan Burkhart, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. Dan Burkhart

    Dan Burkhart New Member

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    I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be interested to know if they are versatile enough to completely displace the solvent type.
    Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?
    It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer (Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have to work in noxious vapors all day.
    I would apreciate comments pro or con.
    Dan Burkhart
    Oakville Ont
     
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  2. On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 12:40:32 +1100, Dan Burkhart
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be interested
    >to know if they are versatile enough to completely displace the solvent
    >type.
    >Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?
    >It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer
    >(Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have to
    >work in noxious vapors all day.
    >I would apreciate comments pro or con.
    >Dan Burkhart
    >Oakville Ont


    Dear Dan,

    Thou subtile, perjur'd, false, disloyal man, think'st thou I
    am so shallow, so conceitless, to be seduced by thy
    flattery, that hast deceiv'd so many with thy vows? Return,
    return and make thy love amends.

    Beware of ultrasonic cleaners--they destroy aluminum parts:

    "Do not use ultrasonic cleaning with aluminum component and
    aqueous solution. That is the standard procedure for
    introducing hydrogen into the aluminum for researchers of
    hydrogen embrittlement of aluminum (the other techniques are
    plasma charging and NaOH submersion). A quick experiment
    would be tossing a piece of kitchen foil into the ultrasonic
    cleaner with water. The foil will disintergrate within the
    half hour."

    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=u...&[email protected]&rnum=1
    or http://tinyurl.com/45a6t

    Silvia
     
  3. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic Guest

    On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 12:40:32 +1100, Dan Burkhart
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be interested
    >to know if they are versatile enough to completely displace the solvent
    >type.
    >Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?
    >It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer
    >(Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have to
    >work in noxious vapors all day.
    >I would apreciate comments pro or con.


    They produce the garbage that you were trying to wash off the parts in the first
    place in a solution with water and any detergent, wetting agent, emulsifier you
    might have used.

    I've not used one on bike parts. They are unpleasant to be around - horrible
    noise - but are easier and for fine stuff more effective than hand scrubbing.

    Ron
     
  4. Weisse Luft

    Weisse Luft New Member

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    Oddly enough, when used with petroleum solvents, the aluminum issue is reduced to a minor problem with unfinished parts. No worries about hydrogen embrittlement.

    In regular water bath units, pack the parts in plastic containers suitable for the solvent. Polyethylene food containers with airtight lids work well with regular paint thinner or deodorized kerosine, just never use them again for food! Leave enough room so the container floats in the bath. Sonicate as usual.

    Let your solvent settle for reuse, the only issue would be the solvent will become loaded with lubricant. This is also not an issue because eventually, no chain lubrication would be necessary! All of that chain lube you use will itself become recycled!
     
  5. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    Dan Burkhart wrote:

    > I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be interested
    > to know if they are versatile enough to completely displace the solvent
    > type.
    > Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?
    > It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer
    > (Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have to
    > work in noxious vapors all day.


    There are as many answers to this as mechanics but I also
    disliked having a few gallons of stinky stuff around. The
    fluid quickly becomes oily anyway. So we sold all the parts
    washers here years ago.

    Now we use Milwaukee Sprayers with auto brake wash ( mostly
    alcohol) for general cleaning.

    http://www.sureshotsprayer.com/product.htm

    We'll occasionally use a Branson ultrasonic cleaner. The
    ultrasonic units work well with detergent and water but you
    need to find a brand that won't spot anodizesd aluminum
    parts. Your residue is water mixed with detergent and the
    grit /oils that came off your parts.

    I personally clean parts with a sprayer and toothbrush over
    a soiled cloth and toss the cloth. The ultrasonic seldom
    saves any time. We do use it for complete 'every nut and
    bolt' rebuilds but those are rare.
    --
    Andrew Muzi
    www.yellowjersey.org
    Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  6. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 12:40:32 +1100, Dan Burkhart
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be interested
    >to know if they are versatile enough to completely displace the solvent
    >type.
    >Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?


    Garbage in, garbage out. They create nothing, they destroy nothing;
    they just move it around. Whether the contaminat-laden fluid presents
    a disposal problem is a matter of opinion and regulation.

    >It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer
    >(Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have to
    >work in noxious vapors all day.


    I have used Safety-Kleen solvent in an ultrasonic cleaner; it works
    OK. So do a lot of other things. My current very small ultrasonic
    unit is filled with a diluted butyl cleaner; I use it for a variety of
    tasks.

    If you live in an area where the use of solvents containing volatile
    organic compounds is regulated or restricted, you'll want to look for
    alternatives. Either way, a solvent bath is still just one of several
    options.


    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  7. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Ronsonic wrote:

    > On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 12:40:32 +1100, Dan Burkhart
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be
    >> interested to know if they are versatile enough to completely
    >> displace the solvent type.
    >> Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?
    >> It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer
    >> (Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have
    >> to work in noxious vapors all day.
    >> I would apreciate comments pro or con.

    >
    > They produce the garbage that you were trying to wash off the parts
    > in the first place in a solution with water and any detergent,
    > wetting agent, emulsifier you might have used.


    Exactly.

    > I've not used one on bike parts.


    I have. They're the best thing there is for cleaning chains, and probably the
    only thing that works perfectly.

    They are unpleasant to be around -
    > horrible noise - but are easier and for fine stuff more effective
    > than hand scrubbing.


    The one I had made no noise at all. After all, it's ultrasonic -- beyond the
    range of human hearing. Dunno if it bothered the dog.

    Matt O.
     
  8. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    A Muzi wrote:

    > Dan Burkhart wrote:


    >> I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be
    >> interested to know if they are versatile enough to completely
    >> displace the solvent type.
    >> Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?
    >> It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer
    >> (Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have
    >> to work in noxious vapors all day.


    > There are as many answers to this as mechanics but I also
    > disliked having a few gallons of stinky stuff around. The
    > fluid quickly becomes oily anyway.


    I always used a piece of oil absorbing mat for boat bilges, which soaks up all
    the oil so you can dispose of it properly.

    Matt O.
     
  9. Dan Burkhart

    Dan Burkhart New Member

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    Thanks to all who responded. As usual, some very useful input.
    I guess I more or less assumed these machines were specifically designed for use with some sort of aqueous solution, but it makes sense they would work with solvent.
    Safety Kleen's closed loop solvent recovery system is about as close as you can get to good environmental stewardship, but I was just thinking of ways to get rid of the solvent vapors and maybe reduce costs in the process.
    Dan
     
  10. Dan-<< I have read passing mention of these on this forum.I would be interested
    to know if they are versatile enough to completely displace the solvent
    type.
    Do they produce any wastes which pose disposal issues?
    It's not that I have any reason to be disloyal to my current employer
    (Safety Kleen), but when I open my shop, I would prefer not to have to
    work in noxious vapors all day. >><BR><BR>

    I answer-
    First, open your own shop? Good for you, bring your sense of humor.
    Second, we looked at ultrasonics when we opened and at the price, compared to
    the small SafetyKleen rig, couldn't justify the purchase. I guess the best
    would be a lease, but none such around here.
    As AMuzi stated, it can goon up anodizing, but it does clean a chain really
    well, particularly when new(flame ON!!!).

    As for odors, we normally roll ours outside but on cold/snowy, it stays inside
    and with the top down, doesn't stink.

    Peter Chisholm
    Vecchio's Bicicletteria
    1833 Pearl St.
    Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535
    http://www.vecchios.com
    "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
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