In many cases, ultrasonic parts cleaning processes are used on very small, delicate parts with strict surface condition requirements. However, not all parts that need such clean surfaces are small. In fact, one recent Marlin Steel client needed a basket that could hold assemblies weighing up to 200 pounds.
These massive parts needed a large basket to hold them, but the length and width of the ultrasonic wash tank was too small to accommodate a complete assembly. So, how did Marlin create the perfect heavy-duty ultrasonic parts cleaning basket to hold 200 pounds of equipment through the ultrasonic cavitation process?
Creating a Two-Layered Ultrasonic Cleaning Basket
If the space wasn’t wide and long enough to accommodate all of the client’s parts, Marlin’s engineers had to consider making the basket taller. However, while not too delicate, the parts could not be rested on top of each other during the wash process—otherwise, severe damage could be incurred and the efficacy of the cleaning process would suffer.
So, Marlin’s engineers decided to create a two-layered basket design. Half the parts would go into the top basket, the other half would go into the bottom basket. This allowed each basket to hold the parts in a single layer without touching or crushing other parts—improving wash process effectiveness and reducing the risk of damage.
To join the two baskets, a large square metal frame was attached to the sides of each basket and permanently welded into place. The ends of each basket had additional smaller wires welded on to increase strength and prevent the top basket layer from bending under the weight of held parts.
Making the Basket Hoist Compatible
A 200-pound basket of parts is simply too heavy to be carried manually—there is too much risk of the basket being dropped and causing severe injury. So, the client decided to use a hoist system to move the baskets into and out of the ultrasonic cleaning equipment.
To make it easier for the client’s hoist system to grab the basket and move it, Marlin’s engineers decided to take the square metal frame attached to the center of the basket and extend it high above the top basket. This would give the client’s hoist hooks plenty of room to get under the frame without risking contact with held parts.
Once on the hoist, the basket would be lifted, carried over to the ultrasonic wash tank, and then lowered in until the contents of both baskets were completely submerged in the ultrasonic cleaning solution.
Making the Ultrasonic Cleaning Basket Tough
Ultrasonic cleaning processes tend to be tough on parts washing baskets. Baskets holding massive parts loads are no exception.
To help the basket survive the cavitation process, Marlin’s engineers decided to use a heavier-gauge stainless steel wire for the majority of the basket, and then reinforced those wires with a thick wire frame. This helped ensure that the basket could take the shock of ultrasonic vibrations without shaking apart—even while holding hundreds of pounds of parts.
To ensure strong, consistent welds, Marlin’s engineers used an MFDC welder to join the parts. This lightning-fast electric welding device was able to complete the welds faster than an eyeblink while ensuring consistency and thoroughness. This helped to maximize the strength of the stainless steel wire basket and prevent weld failures.
Once completed, the design of the ultrasonic cleaner basket was tested using finite element analysis software. This virtual physics simulation was able to recreate the stress of years of use in mere minutes. If the basket failed the design, the software would create a report detailing the cause—allowing Marlin’s engineers to solve the issue in the next design iteration. This reduced the time needed to vet the basket design from months down to hours—vastly improving Marlin’s time-to-delivery for the custom parts washing baskets.
Need a custom solution for holding your parts through a finishing process? Reach out to the experts at Marlin Steel to discuss your needs!