CROSSFIRE:  The Only True Multiple Frequency Ultrasonic Cleaning System
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While there are those applications which can be addressed using an ultrasonic cleaner with 1 operational frequency, most applications can benefit from the inclusion of a patented CROSSFIRE Multiple Frequency Ultrasonic System. This system, the first true multiple frequency ultrasonic system developed in the USA and exclusive to Zenith, combines the cleaning effects of 2 or more frequencies in the same cleaning tank. By including more-than-one operational frequency, the ultrasonic cleaning system produces a cleaning effect which provides both raw power, as well as penetration into detailed areas of the parts, such as blind holes, threaded areas, and similar part design elements.

The CROSSFIRE system is created by mounting transducers of 2 or more frequencies onto the transducer mounting location, commonly called the diaphragm. Transducers must be spaced a specific distance to prevent interference with neighboring transducers.

Next, generators of 2 or more frequencies must be included in the system to drive the transducers at their natural resonance frequency. An Ultrasonic Generator is an electronic device which converts incoming voltage at a frequency of 60hz, into a higher voltage and frequency. The generator output frequency and voltage must match the transducer frequency and voltage requirement closely for maximum efficiency and power.

When a CROSSFIRE system is activated, all included frequencies are activated simultaneously, thereby producing a cleaning effect which is a combination of the characteristics of the included frequencies. For example, a 40kHz/80kHz CROSSFIRE ultrasonic cleaning system includes the power of 40kHz, with the penetration and even energy distribution of 80kHz. For more information on the cleaning characteristics of given ultrasonic frequencies, see the Technical Info under Ultrasonic Systems.

The top neighboring photo depicts Zenith's patented Ultraprobe submerged in a 40/80kHz Crossfire Ultrasonic Cleaning System.  The light-colored lines in the probe indicate the the areas of active scrubbing force where cavitation is strongest.  This signal is VERY different than the signals produced by single-frequency ultrasonic systems, such as those shown on our 40kHz web page or 80kHz web page.  The hybrid scrubbing pattern of a Crossfire system includes the properties of both included frequencies and is constantly changing the pattern during operation.  There are fewer areas of inactivity in such a system which leads to faster and more even cleaning results which are significantly less prone to damaging sensitive components.

CROSSFIRE 40kHz/80kHz Surface Action

CROSSFIRE cleaning systems will also double the range of the particle sizes most effectively addressed by the system. Studies clearly indicate that higher ultrasonic frequencies address smaller particle sizes more effectively, while lower ultrasonic frequencies address larger particles more effectively. By combining low and high frequencies together, the range of particle sizes addressed by the system is significantly improved.

Customers having owned competitive single-frequency ultrasonic cleaning systems indicate that CROSSFIRE produces a faster, and less damaging cleaning result. Ultrasonic cleaners, when improperly applied, can rapidly damage parts being cleaned, especially those manufactured of softer materials such as aluminum. CROSSFIRE will reduce the damage potential of the ultrasonic cleaning system without sacrificing cleaning speed or performance. A recent aerospace customer indicated that his CROSSFIRE system cleaned 4 times faster, with 16 times less damage than 4 competitive ultrasonic cleaning systems from alternative manufacturers, and a military customer chose Crossfire after 3 years of testing since "it outperformed every system ever tested at our facility." For more information on how parts are damaged by ultrasonic cleaners, see the Technical Info under Parts Damage.

The CROSSFIRE system does not utilize "universal transducers" of any kind. Unfortunately, no piezoelectric transducer exists which provides the same electrical efficiency and power at a multitude of operational frequencies. A transducer will vibrate most efficiently at its natural resonance frequency band. Outside of this frequency, power and efficiency can drop to values as low as 10-20%. Systems which utilize these transducers cannot operate more than 1 frequency simultaneously. Instead, these systems operate 1 frequency at a time, pulsing between operational frequencies rapidly.

The CROSSFIRE system does not produce "theoretical" multiple frequency output.  Some vendors of ultrasonic cleaning equipment claim to produce simultaneous multiple frequency output by mounting 40kHz transducers to a thick metal bar.  Zenith has tested these systems using simple aluminum foil tests, ultrasonic testing meters manufactured by others, and our Ultraprobe Testing Instrument.  All tests clearly indicate that these claims are completely false and misleading to purchasers of ultrasonic cleaning equipment.

Although this design does circumvent the Zenith patents for CROSSFIRE, there are several disadvantages to this equipment design. Firstly, if 2 operational frequencies are included, the parts being cleaned are exposed to each frequency for exactly of the total processing time. If the cleaning process is 10 minutes long, the parts actually receive only 5 minutes of ultrasonic exposure at each frequency. If greater-than-2 operational frequencies are installed, the exposure time for each frequency is further reduced. Secondly, the transducers will work at close to 95% efficiency and power for ONLY the 1 frequency which is activated at the transducer’s natural operating frequency. All other frequencies are providing only marginal power and efficiency. Thirdly, generators designed to power multiple ultrasonic frequencies may fail more often, and require a multitude of semiconductor chips and sensitive electronic components, making these systems significantly more costly and less reliable than a CROSSFIRE system.

The CROSSFIRE Multiple Frequency Ultrasonic Cleaning System is manufactured using robust industrial electronic components. The systems are also uniquely modulated to prevent downtime in the rare event of a failure.

Generators are are air cooled and individually fused for long, safe service life. Each generator also includes a Function Indicator Light to indicate the operation condition of each generator. Quick-disconnect fittings are also included on all cable junctions.

If your cleaning application deserves the fastest, most efficient, powerful cleaning effect while simultaneously minimizing damage to your parts, contact Zenith for a discussion on how CROSSFIRE can benefit your process.

For a downloadable PDF Brochure, click here.

Zenith Ultrasonics
85 Oak St.
Norwood, NJ  07648-0412
800-432-SONIC (7664)

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