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• is sound with a frequency greater than the upper limit
of human hearing
• Approximately > 18 kilohertz (18,000 hertz)
Application Frequency (KHz) Intensity
Cleaning 20- 40 Low
Medical Imaging 250-2000 Very Low
Laboratory 20-100 Medium
Industrial 20-30 High
Ultrasound Cleaning Applications
• Often used for cleaning of
• Lenses and other optical parts
• Dental instrument
• surgical instruments
• Fountain pens
• Industrial parts
• electronic equipment.
Ultrasound Cleaning Applications
• Used in the
• Engineering industries.
• Used to visualize the
• internal organs
• For their
• any pathological lesions.
• Obstetric sonography is commonly used during pregnancy.
• Frequency Range 250-2000 KHz
• In area of
• Molecular Biology
• Used for
• Cell disruption
• Homogenizing samples.
• Dispersion & De-agglomeration
• Reduction of primary particle to micron & sub-micron range
• Even distribution of fine particles in a medium (Stable or
unstable) Eg. Fumed silica Powder or Carbon Black.
• Breaking up of agglomerates is called de-agglomeration
• An increase in available surface area can result in the increase
of the reactivity of reagents and catalysts.
• The ultrasonic breakup of the agglomerate structures in
aqueous and non-aqueous suspensions allows to utilize the full
potential of such materials.
• Cell Disruption ( Lysis)
• Breaking up of cell walls for Isolation of DNA, RNA or proteins.
Eg. Muscle tissue, liver tissue or lymphocyte, separation of virus
• Other Methods used
• Bead mill
• Cells are agitated in suspension with small abrasive particles.
Cells break because of shear forces, grinding between beads,
and collisions with beads.
• High Pressure Homogenizers
• pumping of a slurry through a restricted orifice valve. They use
high pressure (up to 1500 bar) followed by an instant
expansion through a special exiting nozzle
• Peizo Electric Effect
• Piezoelectricity is based on the ability of certain crystals to emit an
electrical charge when mechanically loaded with pressure or
• Conversely, these crystals undergo a controlled deformation when
exposed to an electric field – a behavior referred to as the inverse
• Peizo Ceramic Components are used in converting Electrical
energy to Mechanical movement or oscillations.
• The oscillations are transferred by mechanical means to a
sonotrode which is made to resonate.
The powerful industrial processors enables to treat liquid media on
• Dispersing and mixing
• in resins
• color pigments
• Coatings e.g. fumed silica powder or carbon black
• e.g. discontinuous phases
•from single or multiple feed
• Wax e.g. silicone oil
• de-agglomerating and de-flocculation
• elimination of settling
(e.g. of colloidial silica)
• particle size reduction/milling
•e.g to sub-micron ( nano) range
• de-aeration and degassing
• Sonochemistry is the application of ultrasound to chemical
reactions and processes realting to
•increase in reaction speed
•increase in reaction output
•more efficient energy usage
•switching of reaction pathway
•performance improvement of phase transfer catalysts
•avoidance of phase transfer catalysts
•use of crude or technical reagents
•activation of metals and solids
•increase in the reactivity of reagents or catalysts
•Nano materials are used in manufacture of sunscreens,
electrically conductive coatings, and strong, lightweight plastic
•Nano materials fall into three broad categories:
metal oxides, nanoclays, and carbon nanotubes.
•The goal of most powder-based processing has been smaller size
and improving the uniformity of particles.
•Particles of sub-micron sizes - so called nano particles - are now
critical to advancements in numerous applications.
• Food Processing
• ultrasonic extraction of phenolic compounds from vacuolar
structures by disrupting plant tissue
• ultrasonic extraction of Betacyanin (red pigments, e.g. from
beets) and Betaxanthin (yellow pigments)
• ultrasonic extraction of lipids and proteins from plant seeds, such
as soybean (e.g. flour)
• ultrasonic improvement of oil extraction from oil seeds
• cell membrane permeabilization of fruits, such as grapes, plums,
• Food Processing
• ultrasonic processing of
• fruit juices, e.g. orange, grapefruit, mango, grape, plum
• sauces, e.g. tomato, asparagus, bell pepper, mushroom
• dairy products
• improve stability of dispersions, such as orange juice, i.e.
• Paper Industry
• Ultrasound can be used in manufacturing paper and in paper
recycling processes for:
• preventing watermarks or lines that would reduce the paper
quality, by degassing the pulp
• enhancing the fibrillation of the pulp fibres
• replacement and/or enhancement of beating and/or refining
• using less energy than conventional beating processes
• fibre strength is maintained and chemical reactions (such as
TDF bleaching) are assisted
• enhancing the breakdown of wood chip into pulp or for the breakdown
of used paper into pulp for reprocessing into recycled paper
•extracting of dirt, oil, printed inks (de-inking), colorants, or lacquer from
paper during the process of recycling (fibre cleaning)
•reduction of microbes in whitewater
•spaying liquids onto the manufactured paper (such as coating)
•homogenizing or dispersing of paper slurries
• Generates electrical oscillations of ultrasonic frequency (e.g. above
• Electro-mechanical component, that converts electrical oscillations
into mechanical vibrations.
• The electrical oscillations are generated by the generator. The
mechanical vibrations are transmitted to the sonotrode
• Mechanical component, that transmits the ultrasonic vibrations
from the transducer to the material to be sonified.
• It has to be mounted really tightly to avoid frictions and losses
Working principle of Sonicators.
Courtesy: Hielscher Ultrasonics GmbH