Ultrasound is routinely used to clean, process, and degrease metal parts, precision machinery, and fabrics. The technique has found heavy use in the automotive, aircraft, and electronics industries, as well as for cleaning optical, dental, surgical, and other precision instruments. Fabrics can be laundered using ultrasound because the ultrasonic vibrations break down the attraction between dirt particles and fabrics, literally shaking the dirt loose. The principle by which ultrasonic cleaning is accomplished is known as cavitation. In cavitation, ultrasonic waves produce microscopic bubbles that collapse, sending out many tiny shock waves. These shock waves loosen the dirt and other contaminants on metals, plastics, or ceramics. The frequencies used in ultrasonic cleaning range from 15 kHz to 2 MHz.
Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Two-envelope paradox to VenusUltrasonics - How Ultrasonic Waves Are Generated, Ultrasonic Dispersion, Ultrasonic Cleaning, Welding, Nondestructive Testing, Scientific Research - Applications, Coagulation, Humidification, Milk homogenization and pasteurization, Drilling, Soldering, El