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.
lalegría1 year ago
Agreed, it looks nice and way cheaper than a commercial sonicator. Have you tested its cleaning ability? What are you using for?
Foxtrot702 years ago
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.
Ndirect1 year ago
This looks amazing! How long did this take you to complete? You've made it look so easy! Well done!

ultrasonic cleaner
grenoble (author)  Ndirect2 months ago

Hi Steve,

I am sorry for the "late" reply but I haven't been able to catch up on answering the questions here for long time. Today I am trying to do it.

After I received the generator and transducers it took only the time for the Epoxy to cure (real vitrification). I left curing for 5 days but to put the parts together didn't take mach time. I would say that the time I spent really working on the project was about 3 hours.
I had already bought the pan and wires.


How much was the overall cost of the materials that you built this equipment with?

grenoble (author)  justwondering1012 months ago
Thank you for your message.
It cost me $300.00 including shipping cost, pan, wires and has been working everyday for 2 years.
I didn't want to pay $800.00 for the same power output from brand names so I gave it a shot and it is paying off.
You can click on the links I have on the post to see the website I have bought the parts from. There you can see prices and etc.
I have added a cooling fan to blow air on the heat sink. It increases the life of the generator.
About 6 months ago I bought another set of parts and made another one. They have a new model for the generator which is smaller and will be easier to accommodate on a enclosure.
I am providing services to some local shops that outsource cleaning auto parts.
I am also playing with a new setup for a 20KHz cleaning tank. I don't know how effective it will be when compared to a 40KHz but I will put it together soon.
I have read that different frequencies clean different shapes of parts. Some frequencies can go deeper than others on crevices and small holes. This is good for very complicated parts. If I can offer this service I can get other type of customers.
I haven't been able to update the experiments here nor answer all the message. It has been 9 till who knows when I can close the shop. So, I will try to post the experiments with the 20KHz.
I am trying to make a hybrid tank. Meaning, 2 frequencies on the same tank.
The thickness of the tank is important if you are going to have high power. I have made a 20 gal tank with 1000W output and the wall is ~2.5mm thick. I have made it sourcing parts the same way I did for the first one. This one has 2 generator and I connected the generators and transducers in such a way that make the system redundant. If anything brakes I don't need to stop the work. It will only need more time to clean the parts until I replace the defective part.
I use it to clean large screens for a customer that has a silkscreen business.
CAMXposure2 months ago

what's all the hub of, bud?

I took a bowl of water and a corn skewer, glued the corn skewer to a magnet...

that's why

my point is- we want to see what you made!?!!

manderson656 months ago
Can you show me how you connected this to 110v
shortbus10 months ago
Cool, thanks for sharing. I will be building one soon.
jduffy541 year ago
stupid question: what does this do? specifically, how/what does it clean, and why is this a preferred method?
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"...
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 mruhl111 months ago
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. :)
eric m1 year ago
nice but the design needs a cooking pot? looks odd. how about thin stainless pan?

good work though!
sinnadyr1 year ago
Your links are all pointing to the same (wrong) place now, could you please update them?
How much did this project cost?
actionjksn1 year ago
I like the idea of making one but this looks like it's going to cost close to 300 dollars. They have one at Harbor Freight for 80 dollars that does a great job. And the components from it could probably be adapted to a larger container. Maybe you could even get two of them at 160 dollars and combine the transducers onto a larger container.
chesterjohn2 years ago
How do you stand it upright to use?

do you have more detailed instructions?