Introduction: Home Made Ultrasonic Cleaning Tank

Picture of Home Made Ultrasonic Cleaning Tank

I have constructed a 40KHz, 100W ultrasonic cleaning bath using a thick cooking pot and some off the shelf parts.
Two 40KHz transducers, part number SMBLTD45F40H, were attached to the bottom of a thick wall cooking pot using dual component Epoxy (Home Depot). It is important to mix the correct proportions so it will cure to a solid piece and not flexible as it would dampen the vibration. The ultrasonic generator used was also found at the same place (STEMINC) and it is part number SMUG100W40ND. This generator is 100W and each transducer is 70W when installed alone or 50W each when installed in parallel. You must connect two SMBLTD45F40H and the system cannot be turned ON until all connections are made and the generator is connected to the transducers ATTACHED TO THE TANK. If not, the generator will be damaged. It cost me not to pay attention to this detail!.
Connections are simple. The electrode between the two piezo rings on the transducer is the positive. So connect the positive electrodes from the transducers (in parallel) and connect to the positive output of the generator. Then connect the negative electrodes from the transducers (in parallel) and connect to the negative output of the generator.
In my build I used Glue, instead of having bolts on the bottom of the pan, You con also have bolts welded to the bottom of the reservoir. Depending on the thickness of the wall of the container you will need to check if it is feasible.


lalegría (author)2012-12-13

Agreed, it looks nice and way cheaper than a commercial sonicator. Have you tested its cleaning ability? What are you using for?

grenoble (author)lalegría2014-11-06

Thank you for your message.
We use to clean\degrease industrial parts.
The initial project that you see here has now evolved and we have 2 additional tanks with a lot more volume and space for longer parts.

amaliapranata (author)2014-11-06

Cool! What glue did u use to attach transducer to the "tank"? Thanks you.

grenoble (author)amaliapranata2014-11-06

Hi Amalia,

Thank you for your message.
I used Epoxy glue, two components, Araldite 2012.
You can see the specs on the link below. It is excellent for metal to metal or metal to anything rigid. It is IMPORTANT to mix it exactly as the instructions says. Otherwise, it will not cure to a glassy finish and will act as a shock absorbent layer and the performance of the transducer will not be optimum.


Foxtrot70 (author)2012-07-13

Excellent project!!! I have been wanting to build an Ultrasonic cleaner for some time since purchasing a manufactured unit is very costly.  Observation: Since you have the transducers epoxied to the pot they will be almost impossible to remove. My question: How do you change out a transducer if and when it goes bad? Solution: I notice in the specs that the transducer has a pre-tapped hole for an M10 mounting stud. I would opt for a mounting stud. This can be accomplished by drilling 2 - M10 holes in the pot. Next tap the holes, then thread from the inside, a stainless steel M10 cap screw, then braze or silver solder the cap screw from the outside. Take care to keep the fillet as small as possible so as not to impeed the tightening of the transducer flush to the pot otherwise some touch-up grinding with a mini-grinder or dremel tool will be required. Further, poor mechanical flush contact to the pot will damage the transducer and possibly the generator board. Last a mini-grinder or dremel tool to cut off the cap screw head on the inside of the pot to restore the smooth bottom.

steven morris (author)2017-10-18

can it be used to clean clocks

grenoble (author)steven morris2017-10-19

Hello Steven,
Thank you for your message.
Yes. You can use this ultrasonic system to clean clock parts. I don't know if you can put the whole clock inside of the reservoir because it may have certain delicate clock parts that may be damaged by ultrasonic waves. Clock shops normally use ultrasonic cleaning baths.

mabo1024 (author)2017-08-19

I am going to transform an old french frying tank see picture) into an ultrasonic cleaning tank.
The resistance to warm the oil can serve to warm the cleaning fluid, I just have to glue the transducers under the tank.
I ordered transducers and electronics at ali-express, as soon as they are delivered, I'll let you know how it went.
I found an epoxy glue called fluid steel that is boiling water resistant, but it also says "opvangen van trillingen"
Do you think it will do the job or will it absorb the vibrations so nothing goes into the cleaning fluid ?

opvangen (ww.)to collect ; to admit ; to receive ; to intercept ; to absorb ; to catch on way ; to bear ; to capture ; to accomodate ; to give shelter ; to take ; to catch ; to pick-up ; to pick up ; to compensate

Also, in order to have a very good glueing, would it be good idea to switch on the transducers for a short time, once the glue is applied and the transducers are pressed against the tank, to remove eventual air bubbles and to make a better connection between the tank and the transducer ?
On the site of a transducer manufacturer I read
Establish impedance control technology during gluing process to reduce the gluing impedance of oscillator and improve the electro-acoustic conversion efficiency.
But it is not clear to me what they mean by that.

mabo1024 (author)2017-08-09

Hi, I just found this, and I am interested to make one myself.

Would it be possible to glue the transducers to a metal plate and then submerge the top side of this plate into any recipient, for example in a bucket ?

grenoble (author)mabo10242017-08-17


You can do that but the transducer should be enclosed on a metal box to avoid short circuiting.

DrakeW4 (author)2017-04-18

I thought that you needed a mass on the small side of the transducer (it emits the ultrasonic wave in the middle, and I thought it would direct towards the easiest direct... or in the air in this case). Are you finding any issues with loss of efficiency?


grenoble (author)DrakeW42017-04-18

Normally this type of transducer vibrates expanding and contracting on its height so the surface where it is attached to will vibrate.
I don't see any loss and, I believe, that is the correct way to mount it. If you look on any setup on the web you will see that the transducers is attached to the wall of the tank.
We now have 2 more tanks with different frequencies and they were all made using the same principle.

atiluluyuce (author)2017-04-06


First thanks for your instructable. I want to ask a simple question about ultrasonic transducers. Is the little stud comes with the transducer have to contact the tank or is it some adjustment part when we decide to weld the transducer to the tank. Thanks for your help in advance.


grenoble (author)atiluluyuce2017-04-06

The stud is normally welded to the tank and then you screw the transducer to it. The stud needs to be completely perpendicular to the tank wall otherwise the transducer will not be flush with the surface thus not transferring the maximum power as it should.
I used Epoxy because the "tank" I used was inexpensive and the work involved in having the stud perpendicular to the tank was not worth when compared to the simplicity of the Epoxy. If a transducer stops working it is much easier to buy a new "tank" because of its cost.

atiluluyuce (author)grenoble2017-04-07

Thanks for your kind response. So, I don't have to use the stud since I'm planning to proceed with the epoxy solution.

mehran1376 (author)2017-04-06

home made ultrsonic cleaner sounds good.for this system that is 100 watts and 40khz with 220 input voltage and two 50 watts transducers which are connected to them,could i ask you the output voltage?

mehran1376 (author)2017-04-05

home made cleaner sound good.for this system that is 100watts and 40 khz with two transducers of 50 watts,could you tell me the output voltage when the input voltage is 220volt?thanks

mehran1376 (author)2017-04-05

it looks so good.but if we use transducers with 50 watts so could i ask you please to tell me the output voltage of generator?

grenoble (author)mehran13762017-04-05

In my case I used a 110V AC ultrasonic generator but they also have the same ultrasonic generator in 220V AC.

DanL1916 (author)2017-03-28

I am going to put together a cleaner but I have a question, my transducers have a bolt in the center is that glued down first and then the rest of the transducer??

jperez101 (author)2017-01-26

Would it mess up the transducers if you tacked or welded them to the pot?

rbusch (author)jperez1012017-03-17

if you weld the aluminum base to an object most likely it would. on the face of the transducer is a threaded hole in the center. this is meant to thread the transducer onto an object. they generally come with little studs that are the correct thread. weld the stud onto a stainless pot or whatever then thread the transducer onto the stud.

Afrowookie (author)2017-01-25

I want to do this project myself but have a couple of questions. How are the transducers mounted? By that I mean is the Epoxy sandwiched in between the transducer and pot, or is the epoxy just like the picture a ring around the Transducers.

Also with this setup how do you keep this pot upright without having the transducers touching the table/floor?

As for the parts, I have found that Beijing Ultrasonic sells two Transducers and a generator for $55. Not sure of shipping and the reputation of company, or even quality of their products, but for that price I am willing to find out.

GummyB (author)2016-12-31

dose it matter what side u mount to the pot ?

Q2 did u do the aulm foil test

any chance of a vid

OvercastF (author)2015-02-18

I've seen demonstrations of these remove rust and paint however the presenter said that each situation required a specific chemical. Perhaps he used something similar to CLR and paint thinner in rust / paint demos. I realize you are using it primarily for de greasing, but does it work at all against rust or paint without harsh chemicals? Reason I ask is that I've used phosphoric acid against rust, and if I were building an ultrasonic tank, I'd want to stop buying chemicals like that. Thanks

Superphil65 (author)OvercastF2016-12-13

Hi overcast.....i have a small ultrasonic cleaning tank i use for cleaning spent rifle cartridges...i use warm soapy water & it works fine....i don't know if i'd want to be using chemicals in the tube not knowing how they would react...

sumeerm (author)2014-12-15

Hello All,

I am working on making a ultrasonic cleaner machine for our printing parts cleaning.

I need help on the capacity of ultrasonic cleaner that will be required to be put in for a bigger machine.

Is there any relation ship between the tank volume and the transducer capacity.

I would be greatfull if some body can help me with this information.



Two years late, but maybe for anyone else who might be wondering the same thing. According to one industry expert, energy absorbed by tank walls has a greater effect in the smaller tank sizes, for example: 5-gallon tank= 250 watts RMS, 80-gallons= 2kW. I would recommend looking at commercially made tanks with the size you need, then finding out what they used for system wattage. But you will need to be careful if the particular manufacturer is using peak-power, or average power. The ultrasonic signal is an alternating waveform and in order to compare power between any two systems, the average or RMS power should be used.

Size of cavitation bubble determines the cleaning effectiveness. The larger the bubble is, the greater it's impact force when it collapses. Signal frequency relates to how far a molecule of cleaning solution is moved before the signal half-cycle allows it to move back, thus becoming a 'collapsed cavitation bubble'. System wattage relates to how well the cleaning solution is loaded in order to perform work, but it is when there is an absence of input energy when the actual cleaning action takes place. ie, on every half-cycle when the power signal hits zero amplitude. Generators operating at 25kHz work well for removing heavy paint layers from rugged parts like cast-iron. 37kHz is a good general-purpose frequency. 45kHz works better for more delicate parts, polished surfaces and soft base materials like what is found in carburetors

IgnacioB7 (author)2016-02-24

Hi, I need a Ultrasonic cleaning tank of 60x50x10 cm for cleaner PCB bigs, how many trasducer I need?

grenoble (author)IgnacioB72016-02-24

Hello Ignacio, Thank you for your message. If you are planning on working at 40KHz,  then you will need 8 transducers SMBLTD45F40H to have a good cleaning.
For 8 transducers, you can use their generator SMUG600W2068ND. It comes with a LED panel that allows for adjusting the power output and also has a timer function that you can set the time you need for the job and it will shut off the system when it is finished.

IgnacioB7 (author)grenoble2016-09-08

Ok, Thank you

ferreres (author)2016-08-18

did you have problems with the glued?

BikerBill789 (author)2016-07-02

Wow. I just stumbled across this post. It looks very tidy indeed. I guess if you don't have the time to custom build your own, you can always buy an off-the-shelf ultrasonic tank. They mainly fixed frequency of around 40Khz. In the UK try:

RobertR204 (author)2016-04-11

Nice idea to put together a DIY ultrasonic cleaner. Just one minor problem... for the cost involved I could buy at least 2 (perhaps 3 depending on the source) production off-the-shelf ultrasonic cleaners, already complete and ready to go out of the box. This is truly a project for the hobbyist and not for someone looking to save themselves a few bucks.

injuhneer (author)2016-02-15

The generator indicates it has an ASIC although I can't see it in the photo. I wonder what possibilities lie in that chip...

Restorasonics made it! (author)2016-02-12

This site has great deals on industrial ultrasonic cleaner

savareruhan (author)2015-12-23

Hello Dear,

I want to know how i made a transducer.

i add two potential load to the piezo but i don't know what potential is and when i add 0-50 to sides of piezo , does it mean voltage?

AzliL (author)2015-11-16

hi.. i love ur project and believe that it can be scaled bigger and smaller as one requires. one question though, where did u get the "generator" connected to the transducers? thanks ever so much!

wdanielbern (author)2015-10-03


wdanielbern (author)wdanielbern2015-10-03


jduffy54 (author)2012-11-22

stupid question: what does this do? specifically, how/what does it clean, and why is this a preferred method?

mattbeowulf (author)jduffy542013-07-27

Sorry for playing necromancer here, but was compelled to reply since nobody has answered your simple (not stupid!) question:

As you already know, this device cleans small objects! :-) Typically "small," anyway -- I don't know how large an object may be cleaned this way... but, it would be limited by the dimensions of the cleaning tank.
Anyway, ultrasonic means "sound waves, at a frequency above the range of human hearing or 20,000 Hertz." Super high-pitched. And the ultrasonic cleaner uses them to, well, CLEAN the dirt and stains off impermeable-type objects like jewelry and coins, touch free. As far as I know, THAT is why it's a preferred method in some cases, by the way. If you've ever collected coins OR jewelry, you've probably already seen the advantage, to a cleaning method that is totally non-abrasive.
I suppose I ought to elaborate on how that works, in case you're like me -- unsatisfied, until I know how functions! :-)

The ultrasonic emitter is basically just a little audio speaker, specially made and driven by dedicated circuitry which produces the signal. In the emitters used here, that is a 40kHz tone, TWICE the upper limit of our hearing. The signal is amplified and played out through the emitter -- it probably sounds horrific, if you are a bat...
"But Matt -- how can inaudible noises clean my jewelry??"
Good question! Try to recall being near some large, loud speakers, or anywhere that you could FEEL a sound. I'm sure you see what I'm getting at now! That" sound" is just pressure waves, and the ultrasonic cleaner uses them to "machine-gun" the molecules of dirt away, by transmitting them through the cleaning solution in the tank.

Hopefully that at least clears up the "how"...

JoshH22 (author)mattbeowulf2015-08-07

Great explanation!!! Just to expound, the "machine gun" process is called cavitation for the all my science homies in the house. Non-inertial cavitation to be more exact. The cleaning effect is actually a result of an implosion when the soundwave smashes into the object and creates a low pressure zone. And BTW, I love washing silverware in my ultrasonic cleaner *super lazy + super clean

mruhl1 (author)mattbeowulf2013-09-07

Thanks for a, frankly, perfect explanation Mr. Wulf. I have a couple of questions as I am trying to build one for my records (vinyl) as the price of a proprietary one limits me big time. A few questions as I'm not too up on electronics and engineering but I enjoy tinkering & learning, can get by and find my way around with a few cuts her and zaps there but I'm a bit dumb sometimes:
1) Does the tank need to be enclosed, i.e. is there a problem if the top is open to be able to spin the tune through?
2) Sort of leads on from first but seems a bit silly (in my thought process) as is sonic, but obviously there is electricity behind it; can I get a bolt from the bath itself, or only dodgy wiring on the way to the transducer etc? i.e. I take it that being a metal pot and being only sonically charged fluid this is not the case.
3) What voltage transducer do I need to make 40kHz as I only see the "Piezo" buzzer PCB transducer doowhacks sold per voltage, or am I looking at the wrong thing because trying to find in electronics shop catalogue - Altronics?

Thanks mate.

qlue (author)mruhl12013-09-28

The ultrasonic transducers used for cleaning tanks are a specialist item and are not likely to be found in your average hobbyist catalogues. There are several types sold on ebay though.
If properly designed and constructed, there should be very little risk of electric shock from the tank itself. However, any home made device has a risk of not complying with basic safety requirements. So do your research thoroughly before you start.
In use, you should not touch the tank in any way as ultrasonic energy generates heat. You should also not remain in the area for any length of time. Even though you can't 'hear' the ultrasound, it's still vibrating your eardrum and prolonged exposure will damage your hearing.

Ultrasonic transducers are rated by frequency and wattage. The item you saw in that catalogue is just a 'buzzer' that makes a 'beep' sound when a voltage is applied. (that's no use for this application)

I hope this has helped to answer your questions. :)

Jayson Capa (author)2015-08-06

do you have a video instruction of how to do this projec???

icydash (author)2015-07-25

This may be a dumb questions, but do you have to put the ultrasonic transducers outside the cooking pot? Could you place them in the cooking pot and not have to use as high a voltage or would it work better? I always see cooking baths with the ultrasonic transducer shooting ultrasound through a wall of the container and wonder why they don't just put it right in there (waterproofed, of course).

ThomasW17 (author)2015-06-05

How do you(or anyone) suspend your tank while the transducers vibrate?

From an efficiency perspective idk if the pot should be bolted to a surface or if I should set the pot on a few springs. to maximize movement.

akshay.sharma.96930013 (author)2015-02-20

Where is the how to do it process?

weeterbix (author)2015-02-19

Hi Ozzy,

Thanks for sharing the great product you made!

A few questions:

Have you made your dual frequency 40/20KHz tubs??

What are the dimensions of your larger 1000w tub?

For your larger tub that uses 1000 watts, you have two generators (guessing these?) running a total of four transducers? Which transducers did you you use, and where did you place them?

Thank you!

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