Different Applications for Ultrasonic Cleaners And Autoclaves

How can Ultrasonic Cleaners and Autoclaves be used?

For centuries, cleaning technology has continually expanded and improved to accommodate the leading dictate of the consumer market. As new models of cleaners begin to emerge, two technologies still continue to reign in this business: ultrasonic cleaners and autoclaves. Considered some of the most reliable and effective methods of disinfection and sterilization, these two top dogs of the cleaning industry have incorporated themselves in various fields of work such as medicine, aerospace, and even surgery. Let’s discuss where these brilliant cleaning technologies are most applied.

What is ultrasonic cleaning?

Ultrasonic cleaning is a method of treatment that uses the power of cavitation to remove contaminants from items placed in the cleaner chamber. Cavitation is the effect that takes place when sound waves introduced to a liquid creates the violent implosion of billions of microscopic bubbles, effectively cleaning an item even in otherwise hard-to-reach areas. This unique method of disinfection allows for the safe, highly effective, and quick decontamination of vital instruments such as medical equipment and surgical appliances.

Picture of crest ultrasonic cleaning machine

 

What are ultrasonic cleaners used for?

Ultrasonic cleaners make use of sonic energy to facilitate a wide variety of applications through multiple work environments. Some of the versatility of this cleaner can be depicted in:

  • Ultrasonic cleaning of dental and surgical instruments

Major medical organizations including WHO and the CDC repeatedly emphasize the importance of correctly cleaning instruments to be used in medical and dental surgery. It has been noted that the process of decontamination should readily begin by carefully wiping away contaminants and placing them in an enzyme soak before dumping them into an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaning works far better than manual scrubbing because the explosion of the microscopic bubbles onto the item surfaces can ensure deep cleaning in all the cracks and crevices of the instrument.

  • Cleaning laboratory glassware

Laboratory equipment especially glassware such as flasks, graduated cylinders, burettes, and pipettes are difficult to clean because of their geometric shapes. Introducing these items to an ultrasonic cleaner instead of manual washing can not only reduce breakage and associated replacement costs but can also deliver thorough cleaning all thanks to the stealthy power of cavitation action.

  • Cleaning printed circuit boards

Newly manufactured printed circuit boards can often be “infected” with contaminants like excess solder. Subjecting these new components to alcohol, sprays, and solvents for manual scrubbing can damage delicate parts. Ultrasonic cleaners are gentle on these delicate components all the while delivering excellent cleaning to them.

  • Cleaning engine parts

Auto service departments and lawn equipment service providers can now let go of their reliance on solvents and sprays to remove gunk and grime from engine parts. By accepting ultrasonic cleaning methods, they can receive better results and an environmentally friendly alternative. Overall, ultrasonic cleaners are brilliant for factory use to clean greasy parts.

  • Jewelers and watchmakers

In the jeweler business, ultrasonic cleaning can often be referred to as “cold boiling” owing to the production of bubbles by the sound waves in water. Jewelers and watchmakers use ultrasonic cleaners to remove soil from delicate items such as precious jewels and watches.

  • Guns and bicycles

Bike chains and bearings often get a lot of dirt on them and can be difficult to clean. Similarly, due to their intricate design guns can also present a challenge to disinfect. Ultrasonic cleaners are often used to clean these items with assured safety.

What is an autoclave?

An autoclave is a machine that provides a physical method of sterilization. Much like the ultrasonic cleaners, an autoclave helps clean an item of interest to ensure safe usage after. Unlike the ultrasonic cleaners, however, this machine does not use sound waves to get rid of soil from surfaces of items. An autoclave sterilizes materials by heating them up to a particular temperature for a specific period of time, triumphantly killing bacteria, viruses, and even spores present on these items.

Commonly used for the sterilization of medical instruments, the application of autoclaves is, but not limited to, the sterilization of surgical equipment and various other materials.

Picture of Tuttnauer Autoclave

 

What is an autoclave used for?

Sterilization autoclaves are widely used in the following industries:

  • Microbiology
  • Medicine
  • Podiatry
  • Tattooing
  • Funerary practice
  • Dentistry
  • Prosthetics fabrication

Depending on the media to be sterilized, an autoclave can be used for various applications.

In medicine

Autoclaves have been widely used in medicine for many reasons such as:

  • To decontaminate medical waste containing bacteria, viruses, and other biological materials before disposal.
  • To sterilize medical equipment including glassware, unwrapped goods, utensils, porous materials, surgical equipment, etc.
  • To sterilize culture media, autoclavable containers, plastic tubes, and pipette tips

In research

Most medical-grade autoclaves cannot serve the same function for research tasks. Research-grade autoclaves are used in the scientific research and pharmaceutical industries including biomedical research where efficiency and easy usability are the prime needs. These research-grade autoclaves come equipped with a liquid cycle to sterilize liquids in laboratory environments.

In the United States, steam sterilizers used in healthcare must be cleared for use by the Food and Drug Administration to serve the sterilizer manufacturer’s intended use.

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