How to remove chrome plating using an ultrasonic cleaner

How to Remove Chrome Plating Using An Ultrasonic Cleaner

Another long, hard day at work, the chores are done and it’s time to unwind. The TV, or building that beautiful 1:48 Bugatti model you’ve been working on? The workshop, of course! It’s beginning to look good, but there’s tons of plastic parts with chrome plating that’s just not quite right. Few practical answers to this sticky problem, it seems. After all, you missed the Grand Prize at the Car Model Conference last year partly because of missing such details. There are many ways to do this – but none as efficient as using an ultrasonic cleaner unit.

Basically, just dump the parts inside an immersion basket with the right liquid; hit the start button and – presto! Shortly you take out a smoothly finished, plating-free part for you to rework, almost as easy as using as a kitchen food processor. Why is it so effective? The cleaner’s core is a generator/transducer unit that hums out a uniform field of ultrasonic waves when fed electricity. They excite the liquid at the chrome-plate surface uniformly and vigorously enough to vaporize it at a myriad contact points. A series of microbubbles rapidly cool and collapse, a process called cavitation, blowing the little solvent-loosened chrome plate bits off, into the bath. The microbubble field uniformly coats the surface, even the angles, crevices and corners so hard to reach; for complete, even, gentle yet rapid chrome plate stripping.

There’s some preparation – don’t forget to wipe the parts clean before dunking them in the degreaser soup. Trapped gas present in the solvent needs to be knocked out, since it reduces the ultrasonic cleaning efficiency, so use the auto degasser mode ten or more minutes before activating the unit. The choice of solvent is critical and depends on the particular material for removal. For chrome plate removal, the best choice is from a set of tough-task, super-clean degreaser solvents widely available off the shelf, and used otherwise specially for car tyre white sidewall cleaning.  See that you use gloves when handling this potent cleaner fluid, and immediately wash away any spilt on skin with water.

You will find it indispensable, for the ultrasonic cleaner also doubles up as a dust, dirt and grease cleaner for other model parts and your tools and widgets lying in apparent disarray in your workroom.  It makes for sparkling clean parts, tools, even jewellery, and it’s done in a jiffy.  It saves you time for other things – like mowing your lawn, or to chat with your spouse, who wonders what you see in tinkering away all weekend! Keep the other uses you have and your budget in mind too, so you choose the machine just right for you.

So here you are, benefiting from all that research that went into expensive ultrasonic cleaners for advanced biotech and medical labs – today available off the shelf, highly affordable, in any size you want. Now you know what the money that goes into those apparently costly research and development programs does for you. You’re all set to win that Grand Car Model prize this year!

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