One of the most powerful tools that your business could take advantage of is ultrasonic cleaners. These amazing cleaners provide an unprecedented level of powerful, easy cleaning of your business’ most important items.

However, if you’ve never used an ultrasonic cleaner before, you might not be aware of the part that powers this unique device ‒ the transducer. Learn more about the transducer, what it does and why it’s so important to the cleaning ability of your ultrasonic cleaner.

The Transducer

The reason that ultrasonic cleaners are so effective at cleaning tough dirt and debris is through the use of sound waves, which are created by intense vibrations. However, for the ultrasonic cleaner to function, there must be a tool to create sound waves. This device ‒ or devices, depending on the size of your ultrasonic cleaner ‒ is known as the transducer.

A transducer works by changing electrical energy into mechanical energy. As electrical energy is applied, the transducer vibrates, which creates the sound waves that set ultrasonic cleaners apart from other cleaning options. In order for these sound waves to be transmitted into your cleaning solution, the transducer is attached to a small diaphragm that will vibrate when the device is active.

There are two types of transducers: magnetostrictive and piezoelectric.

Magnetostrictive Transducers

Like the name might suggest, magnetostrictive transducers use magnetism to create the needed vibration.

Some metals, mostly those rich in iron, will expand and contract when placed in a magnetic field, which can be used to create the needed vibrations. Thin sheets of iron rich metals are stacked to form a core, which is then wrapped with copper wire, creating an electromagnet. As electrical current is run through the wire, the stack expands. When the current is shut off, the stack contracts and shrinks to its original size. Turning the electrical power on and off at a specific rate will the cause the transducer to vibrate at a desired frequency.

While magnetostrictive transducers are an older and more expensive technology, they are durable, have very long lifetimes and avoid problems like cavitation erosion. However, as piezoelectric transducers mature as a technology, magnetostrictive transducers may lose their advantage.

Piezoelectric Transducers

Instead of using magnetic fields, piezoelectric transducers use the special properties of crystals. Some crystals, for example, change shape when electricity is applied to them, and it is through this process that sound waves can be created.

Crystals made of a material called lead zirconate titanate are stacked with small metal plates to create a repeating pattern called a tall sandwiched stack. Wires are then attached at either end of the stack and electricity is run through it. When the electricity is turned on, the stack becomes longer. It resumes its original shape when the electricity is turned off.

Attaching the stack to a diaphragm produces the same effect as the magnetostrictive transducer. While less durable, piezoelectric transducers offer several advantages, including a lower manufacturing cost, less power consumption and the ability to be produced from ceramics. However, because piezoelectric transducers are attached to their diaphragms with adhesives, they can break down and will need to be reattached or replaced.

Omegasonics Can Find the Right Ultrasonic Cleaner for You

Looking for the right ultrasonic cleaner, powered by the right transducer? Then come take a look at the wide range of cleaners Omegasonics has available!