Tuesday, July 10, 2018

DIY Ultrasonic Cleaner (aka Sonicator)

I recently needed a sonicator for my graphene experiments. Commercial units already available on the market, but, to satisfy my curiosity, I decided to build one myself out of a discarded pot, a generic transducer and its driver board bought on Aliexpress:

I was also inspired by this video

The result is:

The transducer, driver board, and epoxy placed on the used pot.

Close-up of the glued transducer.

Piezoelectric transducer powered by the driver board. 

The 28kHz transducer and the driver board is rated at 60W and 100W respectively. However, my power meter only reports 50W of input power.

I went with a 28kHz instead of a 40kHz version because I wanted a more energetic cavitation for stronger material pulverisation, faster emulsification, and more aggressive cleaning.

Despite being super-loud, the whole arrangement failed to agitate a few grams of micronised graphite powder both direct and indirectly. Even the cleaning effect is not that impressive. Putting my hand in the bath gives a slight tingling feeling.

I believe the sub-optimal outcome is due to the usage of the oversized pot, causing the transducer unable to resonate effectively at its natural frequency.

This may be improved by tuning the dimension of the reservoir and adding more transducer. I might repurpose the transducer to be a homogeniser in the future. For the time being, I used it as an automotive engine cleaner. :D 

To conclude the project, I basically made an underpowered ultrasonic bath, I should get a better result if I use a smaller container.