“Aviation is the branch of engineering that is least forgiving of mistakes.” – Physicist Freeman Dyson. Even small traces of residue, grease, or grime on parts used to build and repair aircraft – from jets to rockets – can cause a catastrophic explosion. Therefore, these parts must be routinely and thoroughly cleaned to restore them to their original condition. However, precision cleaning and handling of these parts can become labor-intensive, lengthy, and quite costly.

With ultrasonic cleaning technologies, aircraft and rocket parts from small and lightweight to large and heavy are being cleaned in just minutes by using sound waves that gently remove particles and oily residues. This process restores the parts for flight and increases safety for the industry. In addition, handling time is reduced, allowing for significant savings for aerospace manufacturers and the firms providing ultrasonic cleaning services to them.

Outsourcing cleaning

For many aerospace manufacturers, maintaining a clean room and staffing it with trained technicians is expensive – especially if they don’t have a large quantity of parts that require regular cleaning. In addition, technicians often lack the experience to properly clean parts and equipment, so many turn to precision cleaning companies to do it for them. Even large aerospace manufacturers may outsource the cleaning process to be assured parts are being cleaned and handled by experts.

Ultrasonic cleaning

Quality Precision Cleaning Inc. (QPC) of Duarte, California, a precision cleaning company, gets about 70% of its business from aerospace firms – mostly from space launch and rocket manufacturers.

Prior to the company’s adoption of ultrasonic cleaning equipment, it relied on manual power brushing. But this method wasn’t always effective, especially when cleaning small cavities and blind holes that are difficult to reach, such as manifolds with drilled holes inside – some as small as 1/8″. These components were very hard to clean with a brush because it was difficult to get the velocity to push out any contaminants.

QPC discovered that ultrasonic cleaning equipment could help with those internal cavities and hard-to-reach particles by loosening those contaminants so they could be flushed out easily. QPC chose to partner with Omegasonics of Simi Valley, California.