Cleaning with Ultrasound, by Altum Technologies

Conventional ultrasound cleaning is a process that uses ultrasound (usually from 20–400 kHz) and an appropriate cleaning solvent (sometimes ordinary tap water) to clean items. The ultrasound can be used with just water, but use of a solvent appropriate for the item to be cleaned and the type of soiling present enhances the effect. Cleaning normally lasts between three and six minutes, but can also exceed 20 minutes, depending on the object to be cleaned.

The drawbacks of conventional ultrasound cleaning are:

  • Random cleaning and may not reach all locations
  • Needs disassembly of equipment, ultrasound bathing and re-assembly

Altum Technologies is a new ultrasound cleaning solution from Helsinki (Finland). The company combines conventional methods with advanced ultrasound beam forming techniques to clean heat exchangers, tanks, pipelines, filters, reactors and cooling towers.

The main advantages are:

  • Enables cleaning without the need to stop the process or adding chemicals
  • Controllable and adaptable on-line high-power cleaning
  • Cleaning effect is optimal, reaches also those locations where cleaning is needed the most
  • Does not require any disassembly of the process equipment nor other changes in the equipment
  • Employees don’t need to be in touch with the biofouling, scaling or even contaminated equipment surfaces
  • Reduce the amount of washing, amount of chemicals and run the process more efficiently
  • Save environment & chemicals

Implementation and operation process

A cleaning program, customized for the customers equipment, is determined by computer simulation. Altum Technologies uses different factors, such as:

  • How fast rates do the biofouling/scaling occur.
  • Dimensions of the equipment.
  • Type of liquid inside the equipment, etc.

After this simulation, a customized cleaning program is imported as a software to the central driving unit. The solution is controlled during the cleaning operation by monitoring external indicators, like change in flow, temperature, pressure, etc. Then after a few cleaning iterations one can schedule the optimal cleaning interval.

Altum Series™ Solution works with all equipment that has liquid inside, and it only needs to take into account factors such as liquid viscosity, temperature and cavitation threshold in order to find best working level of power.

How does the installation work?

  • Transducers can be installed clamp-on without need to make any mechanical changes to current equipment. The installation method will be decided based on the need in a particular target.
  • Central unit should be installed 5 to 10 meters from the equipment.
  • Controlled ultrasound does not have any negative side effect for process equipment. Once decommissioning we will make all necessary on-site measurements and modifications to the program in order to avoid possible harmful pulse frequencies.
  • Cleaning program parameters can be changed during the operation.
  • Altum Series™ Solution works with all equipment that have liquid inside, and it only needs to take into account e.g. liquid viscosity, temperature and cavitation threshold in order to find best working level of power.
  • Best practices is to begin with small equipment that normally needs to be cleaned with short interval. After success it will be much easier to move towards bigger equipment with bigger issues.

The Finnish solution not only improves product quality and saves maintenance costs because there is no need to stop the process for cleaning, but it also saves energy. Even a small scaling in the process equipment can increase energy usage 10%.

More information at Altum Technologies

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