Ultrasonic Cleaning

BRIDGEMAN
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Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby BRIDGEMAN » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:37 pm

Has anybody used an Ultrasonic Cleaning tank to clean an assembled brass/white metal kit prior to painting. Is the expense of a tank worth it and does it require the use of chemicals for the cleaning process? Any feed back would be most grateful. Many thanks. Ray

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Paul Willis
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Paul Willis » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:58 pm

BRIDGEMAN wrote:Has anybody used an Ultrasonic Cleaning tank to clean an assembled brass/white metal kit prior to painting. Is the expense of a tank worth it and does it require the use of chemicals for the cleaning process? Any feed back would be most grateful. Many thanks. Ray


Hi Ray,

In short, yes, yes, and it helps...

In more detail:

- I got one for my wife to enable her to clean her jewellery (well, that's what they're sold as, after all...) for about twenty quid from Maplin. It's not large enough to take a bogie coach in one go, but you can "half and half" it, and of course smaller stock fits in. My J15 locomotive currently goes in after each modelling session to remove fluxes and such like.

- for twenty quid or so, it definitely is worth it. If the model has been subject to glass fibre brushing, use of solder paint, or just general clag (no offence intended to the resident CLAGies) then you can actually see it streaming off the brass as the ultrasonic works. The one that I have is no longer on the website but there are a selection at http://www.maplin.co.uk/search.aspx?menuno=12991 and they regularly come up on special offer, which was how I got mine.

- I usually, for "work in progress" just use plain water, to shake off the crud and fluxes, although every so often I'll souse the whole model in Carrs Noxious Fluids(tm) applied with a scrappy brush and then give it a couple of runs in the ultrasonic tank. I might get one of the Maplin bottles of concentrate for a fiver to have some trials, but without knowing its composition it might make things worse rather than better (e.g. leave a greasy residue).

I hope that this helps your thought process along a bit, although I'm sure that there are things that I've missed.

Cheers
Flymo
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hughesp87
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby hughesp87 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:05 pm

I have been investigating one of these myself, and reached the conclusion that it's probably worth the investment, so it's good to hear that Flymo concurs with this.

Maplins also sell a fluid called 'Sea Clean Concentrate' which is supposed to accelerate the process. Does anyone have any experience of using this?

Regards,

Geraint Hughes
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craig_whilding

Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby craig_whilding » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:35 pm

I use one after each soldering session to get rid of any bits of phosphoric acid in amongst the fiddly bits. I put a tiny bit of washing up liquid in with the water sometimes but not enough to mess with undercoat before painting.

I have this one basically but Aldi do it often; £16.99 I paid though I think it was £19.99 last time.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/JPL-7000-Ultras ... 884&sr=8-1

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LesGros
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby LesGros » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:53 pm

Geraint Hughes
Maplins also sell a fluid called 'Sea Clean Concentrate' which is supposed to accelerate the process. Does anyone have any experience of using this?


I have used Sea Clean for cleaning oily/manky screw driver bits; it works well.

However, it contains: " seaweed; coconut oils; and other fruit extracts" it is non toxic and is biodegradable. I would proceed with caution and a test piece if you intend it as a pre-painting cleaner. I have not yet tried it, but would expect that therewill be a slight residue left by the coconut oil, which may give problems depending on the type of paint used.
LesG

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Penrhos1920
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Penrhos1920 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:28 pm

I've used one with various cleaners: meths, dishwasher powder, cillit band. For the final wash before painting I use sugar soap and then rise under the tap.

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iak
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby iak » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:33 am

If you know the right person whom works in the right places try Neutracon [http://www.decon.co.uk/english/neutracon.htm]
Very low dilution and its biodegradable - nice 8-)
Mind you may be able to order it from the right supplier - working in science has is advantages :D
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LesGros
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby LesGros » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:18 pm

Very low dilution and its biodegradable - nice 8-)
Mind you may be able to order it from the right supplier - working in science has is advantages


Link did not connect. But googled and found, amongst others, Appleton Woods
http://www.appletonwoods.co.uk/acatalog/Decon_90.html Scroll down for deacon neutracon

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LesG

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iak
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby iak » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:37 pm

LesGros wrote:
Very low dilution and its biodegradable - nice 8-)
Mind you may be able to order it from the right supplier - working in science has is advantages


Link did not connect. But googled and found, amongst others, Appleton Woods
http://www.appletonwoods.co.uk/acatalog/Decon_90.html Scroll down for deacon neutracon

regards


The server must be down...
Mind on no account use anything other than Neutracon in this range. :!: :!: :!:
Decon 90 is a very powerful laboratory cleaner and needs careful handling.

[Puts techi/safety hat away...]
Last edited by iak on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LesGros
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby LesGros » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:29 pm

Mind on no account use anything other than Neutracon in this range.
Decon 90 is a very powerful laboratory cleaner and needs careful handling.

[Puts techi/safety hat away...]


That sound like a good call worth heading :!: I see that the the decon 90 is more expensive too...
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LesG

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Philip Hall
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:39 pm

I've used cider vinegar and water and it seems to work quite well. No reason for cider rather than ordinary vinegar, it's just what we have in the kitchen.

Philip

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Tim V
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Tim V » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:46 pm

Following the recommendation on this thread, I've used the Maplin stuff, it worked quite well.
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David Thorpe
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby David Thorpe » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:03 am

I note that Aldi will be selling ultrasonic cleaners as one of their weekly specials (when they're gone, they're gone) as from this Thursday, 13th January. £19.99 - http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/offers/sp ... _17130.htm.

DT

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iak
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby iak » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:58 am

I've got one of these in the past and they are very good for the price.
Form an orderly line please gents....... :D

An updated link for Neutracon by the way...

http://www.decon.co.uk/english/neutracon.asp
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But I may choose to serve perfection....
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Andy W
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Andy W » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:42 pm

I've just invested in an ultrasonic cleaner and I'm a tad disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much but I thought brass would emerge "as new" but I didn't see a lot of difference - not many bubbles either. I was using plain tap water - does this act better if heated? Should the brass become visibly shinier? Perhaps the cleaning process is taking place as it should - but because I can't see what's going on I'm suspicious that nothing is! I'll try more samples tomorrow with the above tips - vinegar etc.

Have I just wasted my money, or have others found these cleaners useful?
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Paul Willis
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:29 pm

Ealing wrote:I've just invested in an ultrasonic cleaner and I'm a tad disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much but I thought brass would emerge "as new" but I didn't see a lot of difference - not many bubbles either. I was using plain tap water - does this act better if heated? Should the brass become visibly shinier? Perhaps the cleaning process is taking place as it should - but because I can't see what's going on I'm suspicious that nothing is! I'll try more samples tomorrow with the above tips - vinegar etc.

Have I just wasted my money, or have others found these cleaners useful?


in short, yes, they are useful. but they won't bring the piece up as shiny new brass.

With plain water, what the ultrasonic vibrations are doing is (very) effectively shaking all the little bits of dirt off the surface. This gets rid of all the bits of glass fibre brush, dried flux, dust and so on. If you have one around, a good demonstration is putting a fountain pen nib in the tank and switching it on. You;ll see the ink pour away from it. I use mine to clean my pens frequently :-)

If you want an "as new" effect, then cleaning with a glass fibre brush or some abrasive polish will be the answer, and then you can use the tank to clean the remains away.

If you use (for example) Carrs Acidip, then you will get a chemically clean model, but discoloured. You can see this on quite a few pictures of my Y14 build.

Hope that this helps give you some reassurance :-)

Flymo
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www.5522models.co.uk

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Andy W
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Andy W » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:56 am

Yes thanks Flymo. You have reassured me. The coach body I did my first ultrasonic tests on yesterday had (a few weeks ago) already been cleaned with Cillit Bang so was largely clean. Later I popped some BB springing units in which I hadn't cleaned and the difference was noticeable. Certainly if it cleans the flux off then it's worth it. I was just sceptical that, like the Emperor's Clothes, I was watching nothing - and paying for it!

Thanks again.

Andy
Make Worcestershire great again.
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Tim V
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Tim V » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:38 am

It also does a superb job of cleaning my watchmakers eye glass, and magnifying spectacles!
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BryanJohnson
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby BryanJohnson » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:43 pm

Ealing,

It's been mentioned before in similar threads not to put spring units in with their springs as the steel wire will rust after wards. Clean the brass before fitting the spring.

Same goes for other steel components.

Bryan

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Paul Willis
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Paul Willis » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:13 am

Tim V wrote:It also does a superb job of cleaning my watchmakers eye glass, and magnifying spectacles!


Of course, my wife's jewellery does come up a treat when it goes through for cleaning. All sparkly again.

Well, that was the reason that I bought it for her ;-)

Flymo
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David B
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby David B » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:54 pm

If the model is cleaned with one of the cleaners such as Cillit Bang or Shiny Sinks, I find that however well one tries to rinse it all off under the tap, there is inevitably some left. My ultrasonic cleaner reaches parts . . . (etc) and certainly gets rid of extraneous matter.

I did experiment, cleaning the model with Shiny Sinks and then putting the lot in the ultrasonic bath, followed by a rinse under the tap and another session in the bath with clean water, but can't say I thought the effort worthwhile.

I now give the model a scrub with cleaner, then a session in the ultrasonic. I use the heater on my cleaner and a couple of drops (literally) of washing up liquid. Using the heater leaves the model warm and helps it dry off afterwards.

My wife doesn't go in for jewellery, so I have exclusive use!

David

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Paul Willis
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Paul Willis » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:15 pm

davidb wrote:I now give the model a scrub with cleaner, then a session in the ultrasonic. I use the heater on my cleaner and a couple of drops (literally) of washing up liquid. Using the heater leaves the model warm and helps it dry off afterwards.


Thinking about this in reverse, I'd suggest that if you are going to use a detergent, go to the garage and get a couple of drops of car shampoo.

The reason why you are advised not to use washing up liquid to wash your car is that it (allegedly - I'm not a chemist or a soap salesman) contains salts and waxes to help get your plates that squeaky clean and shiny. These sound to me like a bad idea for either car bodywork, or models.

Car shampoo is apparently bereft of these additives (unless it's some of the posh wax-combined stuff) so should be cleaner towards the surface of the model.

Or does anyone know better...?

Flymo
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www.5522models.co.uk

Philip Hall
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:03 pm

davidb wrote: I use the heater on my cleaner...


My ultrasonic cleaner came from the local hardware store and doesn't seem to have a heater. Does this make much of a difference?

Philip

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John Bateson
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby John Bateson » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:25 pm

Philip,
Makes quite a differrence - but just start with boiling water from the kettle!
John
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Will L
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Re: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Postby Will L » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:42 pm

davidb wrote:... I use the heater on my cleaner and a couple of drops (literally) of washing up liquid. Using the heater leaves the model warm and helps it dry off afterwards.


&

Flymo748 wrote:...The reason why you are advised not to use washing up liquid to wash your car is that it (allegedly - I'm not a chemist or a soap salesman) contains salts and waxes to help get your plates that squeaky clean and shiny...


I to have heard that washing up liquid may contain additives that we don't want. What I use is a few grains of disk washer powder as this is alkali and will certainly neutralise any acid flux left behind. It is also quite strong so use very little and you must wash it of by following up with a clean water bath.

I also find the heater a useful addition.

Will


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