Ultrasonic processing utilizes high frequency sound waves to produce cavitation. As high frequency sound waves travel through a liquid, the high and low pressure cycles create tiny bubbles. When those small bubbles reach a critical diameter, they collapse, creating a high pressure, high temperature event, at the microscopic level. The pressure of a cavitation bubble collapse can be as high as 2000 atm (32,000 psi) and reach temperatures of 5000 K.
Sonochemistry utilizes ultrasonic waves and ultrasonic cavitation to enhance chemical reactions. This enhancement may be in the form of accelerating a chemical reaction or producing a different chemical product than what would have been produced in the absence of the ultrasonic vibrations. Resonant Technology has built some of the largest sonochemical processing systems in the industry, which have been installed in the pharmaceutical, aerospace, and paint/pigment industries.
Some other uses for industrial ultrasonics are:
- Ultrasonic particle size reduction in paints, pigments and dispersions
- Accelerated removal of nickel and gold brazing from components used in the aerospace industry
- Ultrasonic homogenizing of creams and lotions
- Acceleration of the transesterifcation process in the production of biodiesel
- Ultrasonic cleaning