Ultrasonic Cleaning 101

Types of Metal & Their Contaminants

MetalComponentsPotential Contaminants
aluminum, zinccastings, open-mesh air filters, used automotive carburetor parts, valves, switch components, drawn wirechips, lubricants and general grime
copper, brass, silver, gold, tin, lead, solderprinted circuit boards, waveguides, witch components, instrument connector pins, jewelry (before and after plating), ring bearingschips, shop dirt, lubricants, light oxides, fingerprints, flux residues, buffing and lapping compounds
iron, steel, stainless steelcastings, stamping, machined parts, drawn wire, diesel fuel injectorschips, lubricants, light oxides
iron, steel, stainless steeloil-quenched, used automotive parts; fine mesh and sintered filterscarbonized oil grease, carbon smut, heavy grime deposits
iron, steel, stainless steelbearing rings, pump parts, knife blades, drill taps, valveschips; grinding, lapping and honing compounds; oils; waxes and abrasives
iron, steel, stainless steelroller bearings, electronic components that are affected by water or pose dryer problems, knife blades, sintered filtersbuffing and polishing compounds; miscellaneous machining, shop and other soils
magnesiumcastings, machined partschips, lubricants, shop dirt
various metalsheat-treated tools, used automotive parts, copper-clad printed circuit boards, used fine-mesh filtersoxide coatings

(Source: Ultrasonic Cleaning, Tool and Manufacturing Engineers Handbook, Vol. 3, Materials, Finishing, and Coating, C. Wick and R.F.Veilleux, Ed., Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1985, p. 18-20 to 18-24)