Ultrasound cleaning systems are very widely used throughout industry for cleaning and processing applications. Standard methods of measurement for the key parameters that influencing the performance and effectiveness of such systems have yet to be established, despite a clear industrial need.
Interest in this difficult area of metrology has recently been re-awakened by activities at PTB and NPL, and, due to the technical complexity of measurements, there is a pressing need for a collaborative approach to the investigation and establishment of potential measurement methods. It is anticipated that the proposed research might involve circulating a few carefully chosen and specially modified commercially available cleaning systems, of agreed specification between the two participants. PTB and NPL will undertake measurements under agreed operating guidelines to determine various identified parameters. Whilst some measurement techniques applied might be common to the two NMI's, to ensure consistency, others will be complementary, ensuring that key knowledge is developed as quickly as possible. It is envisaged that a variety of measurement techniques will be applied - hydrophones, methods of measuring acoustic power, cavitation detection methods (including chemical), as well as erosion or soil removal techniques. The project will also involve complementary technical visits to the laboratories: viewing facilities and techniques, applying measurement methods, discussing results and planning project direction. Results will be compared to obtain a better understanding of how they might be applied in a standardised way. The research will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications. Additionally, it will feed into the standardisation arena, through the IEC TC87 "Ultrasonics" Working Group 3. A follow up EURAMET project might relate to the implementation of these standard methods to a range of industrial cleaners.