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Device enables small-scale processing of liquids

Hielscher Ultrasonicscontact supplier

UIP500hd ultrasonic processor

The UIP500hd ultrasonic processor from Hielscher Ultrasonics is an industrial-grade device designed for the small-scale processing of liquids.

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It can also be used for process development in bench-top scale before scale-up.

The UIP500hd operates at an ultrasonic frequency of 20kHz; ultrasonic waves at this frequency create an intense cavitation in liquids.

The cavitational effects can be used for manifold applications, such as emulsifying, dispersing, homogenising, cell disruption and extraction, de-agglomeration and degassing.

The UIP500hd can be used with a variety of accessories, including sonotrodes, boosters and flow cells.

For processing batches larger than 5 litres, the company generally recommends that the user sonicates using a flow cell reactor (flow mode) to achieve a higher processing consistency.

When used for the sonication of liquids in flow mode, the UIP500hd can typically process between 0.25 and 2.0 litres per minute, but the actual rate will depend on the application.

As with all of Hielscher's devices, the UIP500hd can be operated 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Therefore, this setup could process approximately 0.5m to 3m per day.

For higher production throughput, the company recommends using one of its more powerful industrial devices, such as the UIP1000hd, the UIP1500hd, the UIP2000hd, the UIP4000, the UIP10000 or the UIP16000.

The design of the UIP500hd is said to meet industrial requirements.

The IP65-grade transducer housing is resistant to splash water and dusty environments.

According to Hielscher, this is made possible thanks to the excellent energy efficiency in the conversion of electrical energy into mechanical vibrations.

As the energy loss, which can cause a heat-up in the transducer housing, is very low, no forced cooling such as compressed air or water is needed.

This means that more energy is transmitted into the liquid, resulting in a better sonication.

The overall energy efficiency of the sonication devices is approximately 80-90 per cent from the power plug into the liquid.

The transducer itself does not couple heat into the liquid via its horn or the sonotrode.

It only couples ultrasonic vibrations (mechanical energy).

However, the liquid will heat up as a result of the mechanical energy that is put into it.

As the sonotrode is immersed into the liquid, it will approach its ambient (liquid) temperature.

The transducer and the generator are connected by a 3m connection cable.

The transducer can be installed in demanding environments that involve dirt, dust and moisture, while the generator can be placed remotely in another area.

The optional PC control may be helpful if a test record is necessary or to optimise processes.

The UIP500hd can be operated at 500W continuously.

As with all of the company's devices, the UIP500hd is amplitude controlled.

This means that the magnitude of the mechanical ultrasonic vibrations (amplitude) at the front surface of the sonotrode or the horn will be constant under all load conditions.

The amplitude can be changed electronically from 50 per cent to 100 per cent at the front panel of the generator, but it can also be changed mechanically using booster horns.

Once set, the amplitude will be constant in air, as in water, oil, polymer, dispersions or emulsions, at any pressure.

For this reason, the UIP500hd can be safely operated in air, such as for spraying and nebulising applications.

This feature also gives the user full control over the most important sonication parameter: amplitude.

The amplitude of power-controlled devices will vary, giving the user neither an indication nor any control over the actual amplitude of sonication.

The power load of the device will vary with the material to be sonicated (viscosity, temperature and so on) and with the intensity of sonication (such as amplitude and pressure).

The maximum power load is 500W.

At all power levels of up to 500W, the UIP500hd can be operated continuously.

The UIP500hd comes with intelligent automatic frequency tuning.

When the device is switched on, the generator will sense the optimal operational frequency of the transducer-booster-sonotrode configuration.

It will then drive the transducer at this frequency.

This is claimed to improve the overall energy efficiency and reliability of Hielscher's ultrasonic devices.

During operation, the optimal working frequency may shift, as a result of sonotrode wear by cavitation pitting or as a result of length changes (such as by temperature variation during sonication), for example.

The automatic frequency tuning senses this shift and will adapt the driving frequency to it.

All the user needs to do is to switch the system on.

The generator will perform the frequency tuning automatically.

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