CROSSFIRE: The Only True Multiple Frequency Ultrasonic
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
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
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 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
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 ½ 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
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
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,
85 Oak St.
Norwood, NJ 07648-0412