14 Oct Role of Ultrasonic Cleaning in Aircraft Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO)
Let us begin by asking the question to ourselves. Do we actually need to upgrade to Ultrasonic Cleaning? How does it work? How is it more efficient than conventional cleaning technologies? To clear all these questions let’s begin with the concept of Ultrasonic Cleaning in brief and how useful it is in the Aircraft MRO sector.
How does Ultrasonic Cleaning work?
The basic requirement of ultrasonic cleaning is that the object to be cleaned needs to be immersed in the cleaning liquid. When ultrasonic waves travel through the liquid, they create millions of microscopic bubbles on the surface of the object. This phenomenon is called cavitation. These bubbles are created by generator-powered ultrasonic transducers immersed in the tank containing the cleaning solution. As the bubbles implode due to ultrasonic cycles, they blast and carry away the most tenacious of deposits but without damaging the highly machined surfaces.
Ultrasonic Cleaning in Aircraft MRO Industry
In recent years, ultrasonic cleaning has become a necessary tool for industrial users in the automotive, aerospace, food, nuclear, pharmaceutical, electronics, and semiconductor cleaning industries. The aerospace industry has stringent requirements concerning the quality of components and their maintenance. The method of cleaning used for maintenance has a direct impact on the performance of aircraft.
Safety is a critical factor in the aerospace industry. Aircraft carriers depend on how frequently their aircraft are in the air rather than staying on the ground. Hence, fast and effective aircraft maintenance is crucial.
How efficient is Ultrasonic Cleaning compared to conventional cleaning technologies?
- Faster Cleaning: In manual cleaning, handling of parts can be very labour-intensive and expensive. With ultrasonics, cleaning can be done by fully automated systems in very less time compared to manual cleaning.
- More Effective: Ultrasonic technology cleans even the smallest of impurities effectively. It cleans every surface of complex, intricate shapes & structures as long as the object is in contact with the cleaning fluid. It can also clean assembled parts directly.
- High Quality: Repair and overhaul using ultrasonic cleaners is the ideal cleaning method to improve the quality of maintenance. Cleaning done can be quantified and proven to be more repeatable and reproducible as compared to manual or spray cleaning techniques.
- Efficient: Cleaning parts faster means that they are in the hands of your customers faster, reducing downtime, costs, and labor. Batch cleaning ensures higher productivity.
- High Precision: It is a highly precise technique which can remove even the smallest particles down to micron scale. It can reach into intricate surfaces where manual cleaning is not possible.
- Versatile: It can work with a wide range of cleaning chemicals.
- Eco-friendly: It is an aqueous energy-efficient process taking care of Mother Nature. There is reduced usage of chemicals and effluent treatment.
- Operational Cost: It significantly reduces operational cost due to lack of manual intervention. Furthermore, these machines require low maintenance.
- Automation: Fully automated multistage cleaning sytems can be used to eliminate dependence on unskilled labour.
When to choose ultrasonic cleaning?
- Cleaning of used parts for regular maintenance and repair
- Cleaning before coating
- Pre and post FPI cleaning.
- Oxygen supply line cleaning
- Exotic material cleaning
- Aqueous and solvent cleaning and drying
- Surface engineering and coating
- Substitute for vapor degreasing with TCE
Parts maintained using Ralsonics Ultrasonic Cleaners
- Air Foils
- Turbine Blades & Vanes
- Engine Components
- Injectors & Fuel Nozzles
- Landing Gears
- Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Electronics, Actuators
- Brakes, Bearing, Filters, Exhaust Shrouds
- Fragile Items like Glass
How to get Started with Ralsonics Ultrasonic Cleaning Technology
In aerospace MROs, objects to be cleaned have a clearly defined process and requirement. As a result, the available cleaning time in a production/maintenance assembly line is well-defined. Also considering existing facilities, sometimes it is not possible to disrupt an assembly line. In such cases, Ralsonics can provide solutions to add ultrasonics to existing assembly lines. A cleaning station can easily be added without changing the available production processes.
We can also provide custom automation options that can allow you to modify your cleaning setup so that manpower gets engaged in other tasks instead of moving parts or monitoring a cleaning process.
In a fast-paced field where quality expectations and manufacturing and repair costs are sky-high, ultrasonic cleaning is essential. If you would like to understand whether this technology fits your requirement for the items you clean, you are just a click away. Ralsonics – Free Consultation.