S. Berliner, III's berliner-ultrasonics.org Ultrasonics Page 4 keywords = " ultrasonic ultrasound cavitat ultraschall sonde ultrasonique sonotrode acoustic sonic sound wave ultra liquid processing Ultrasonic Industry Association UIA bubble shock wave clean immersi vapor degreas weld join bond sew seal solder insert stak drill grind machin cut extru form spin sonochemi react accelerat pollut abat toxi waste treat beneficiat remediat particl dispers disrupt homogeniz emulsif dissol degas foam defoam sparg phaco phaeco lithotript liposuct prophyla history Narda microwave fusion propulsi fluid filtration home.att.net "
Updated:  29 Apr 2016; 12:45 ET
    [Created 28 May 2002;
original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

Update info on the top on ALL pages for your convenience.
URL http://berliner-ultrasonics.org/uson-4.html
(formerly http://home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/uson-4.html 
moved to this domain on 06 Mar 2010)

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"


also see
Keywords (Applications) Index

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Specializing in brainstorming and devil's disciplery for new products and
reverse engineering and product improvement for existing products.


Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology  

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Ultrasonics Page

PLEASE NOTE:  If some internal links refuse to work,
please click on Back and scroll down.

Ultrasonics Index

On the main Ultrasonics Page:

    Applications List.

    Probe-type Ultrasonic Processing Equipment.

    Quick Links to Major Ultrasonic Probe Manufacturers (moved to this page 10 Jul 2002).

    Brain Storming - bright ideas, pipe dreams, pie-in-the-sky?

On Ultrasonics Page A

        (A Layperson's Explanation of a Complex Letterhead).


On Ultrasonics Page 1:


(A Non-Technical Explanation of "Cold Boiling"
    moved from the preceding page 12 Feb 00).


    TUBULAR HORNS (Radial Radiators).

    CARE of TIPS (Radiating Faces).

On Ultrasonics Page 1A:


    Free Bubbling.

    Bubble Entrapment.

    Foaming and Aerosoling - moved 28 May 02 to this Page 4.


    Call for Contributions for Book.

On Ultrasonics Page 2 (the next page):

    More on Cavitation.


On Ultrasonics Page 3:



    Keywords (Applications) Index.

    What's New?

On Ultrasonics Page 4 (this page):

    Threshold of Cavitation.


    Foaming and Aerosoling - moved 28 May 02 from Page 1A
    and moved again to page 4a on 10 Oct 04.

    Ultrasonic Propulsion (Propulsive Force) - Moving Material - moved to page 4a on 10 Oct 04.

    Ultrasonic Fountains - Atomization, Nebulization, Humidification,
    Misting, Particle Creation and Sizing - moved to page 4a on 10 Oct 04.

    Ultrasonics and Nuclear Fusion.

    Boosters (Booster Horns).

    Quick Links to Major Ultrasonic Probe Manufacturers (moved to this page 10 Jul 2002).

On Ultrasonics Page 4a:   new.gif (10 Oct 04)

    Foaming and Aerosoling - moved 28 May 02 from Page 1A and moved again on 10 Oct 04 to Page 4a.

    Ultrasonic Propulsion (Propulsive Force) - Moving Material - moved on 10 Oct 04 to Page 4a.

    Ultrasonic Fountains - Atomization, Nebulization, Humidification,
    Misting, Particle Creation and Sizing - moved on 10 Oct 04 to Page 4a.

On Ultrasonics Page 5:

    Ultrasonic Whistles (Nozzles, Atomizers, Nebulizers).

On the Ultrasonic Cleaning Page:

    ULTRASONIC CLEANING {in process}.

    Immersible Transducers.

    What's New?


    ULTRASONICS GLOSSARY {in process}.

    Ultrasonic Bibliography Page 1 - Reference Books on Acoustics,
        Vibration, and Sound.
    Ultrasonic Bibliography Page 2 - Sonochemistry.
    Ultrasonic Bibliography Page 3 - Selected Articles.

You are invited to visit the ULTRASONIC INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION home page.

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS:  I am writing a book on "High-Intensity Ultrasonic Technology and Applications", on the practical application of power (high intensity) ultrasonics, the use of ultrasonic energy to change materials.  Contributions are welcome (see below).


Larry Crum's Cavitation Bubble

[image from University of Washington, Applied Physics Laboratory (Lawrence Crum, Ph.D.)
- bubble diameter approximately 1mm]


Threshold of Cavitation

The word "threshold" is used in several ways in regard to cavitation; we refer here to the most critical of these, that which affects the initiation, the onset, of cavitation.  As noted earlier, "Cavitation requires some discontinuity in the liquid, such as gas bubbles or dust motes, about which the bubble forms.  A theoretically pure liquid would require impractically high power levels to initiate cavitation."  This "initiator" could also be a sharp edge or projection on the radiating surface or even on an adjacent surface.  Normally, this is only of theoretical interest to one processing liquids with ultrasonics; however, with the wider availablity of probes and tanks with variable output power, especially those that are infinitely adjustable from no, or virtually no, amplitude, this now becomes a matter of practical importance.  On such machines, it is necessary to observe (visually or by the sizzling sound) the point at which full bubbling occurs; one must bring the amplitude up above that point, the threshold of cavitation, in order to process or clean.  Once beyond that point, the amplitude can be reduced somewhat without dropping out of cavitation.

The initiation of cavitation requires a situation where adjacent molecules of liquid are less tightly bonded bcause of the presence of a discontinuity (bubble, speck, point, or edge).  The threshold of cavitation is highly variable, being affected by the degree to which the liquid may have been previously degassed, by the temperature, pressure, and viscosity of the liquid, the types of discontinuities extant, and other parameters.  It is not the provenance of this short work to discuss the physics of the phenomenon, only to being it to your attention.

The ability of a transducer and generator (power supply) to operate at such low energy levels is a function of their design and the manufacturer of the equipment should be consulted before running the equipment at low output power levels unless such use is specifically allowed by the instructions given.


Dissolution (of samples, NOT of personalities!), as of tablets for quality control in pharmaceutical work, includes or overlaps many other ultrasonic operations.  Among these are disruption, homogenization, emulsification, and dispersion.  Dissolution can be used to enhance examination of samples in many other quality control areas, notably to dissolve coupons of polymers in solvents.  The great advantage to using ultrasonics is that the dissolution progresses far faster than by other means, such as by stirring, shaking or otherwise agitating, by heating, or by washing.  In coupon dissolution of plastic films, the author observed results ten or more times faster than previously tried methods, even as much as obtaining times in minutes that had taken the same number in hours.

There are three most common methods to dissolve tablets, coupons, or other samples.  In all cases, care must be taken to avoid igniting or inhaling solvents.

Ultrasonic Cleaners - The simplest and often cheapest method is to use a laboratory ultrasonic cleaner (bath).  The sample could be placed directly in the tank but then the entire contents of the tank must be removed and replaced for each sample; instead, each sample can be placed in a beaker or a well of a multi-well tray and then floated or held in the bath such that energy passes through the bottom of the beaker or well into the sample.  The drawback is that intensity is generally fairly low and repeatability is poor.

Ultrasonic Cup Horn - A more intense variation of the bath system is to use a Cup Horn, a bath driven by the convertor of a probe-type processor.  Intensity is fairly high and repeatability good but requires careful attention to physical placement of the sample vessel.

Ultrasonic Processor - The most intense method, in which an active probe tip is inserted into the sample vessel. Intensity is extremely high and repeatability excellent but the tip must be cleaned between samples (it can clean itself).

Among the many parameter variables to be considered are the vessel (thickness, configuration, material, and quality), liquid condition (surfactant coupler, temperature, depth, degassing, impurities, etc.); sample conditions (configuration and condition in vessel, particle size, density, solubility, etc.), cleaner bath (output frequency, amplitude, regulation, power capability, temperature variations, line voltage and frequency fluctuations, etc.); and so on and on.

    {to be expanded upon}

Foaming and Aerosoling (moved to page 4a on 10 Oct 04)

Ultrasonic Propulsion (Propulsive Force) - Moving Material.
    (moved to page 4a on 10 Oct 04)

Ultrasonic Fountains - Atomization, Nebulization, Humidification,
Misting, Particle Creation and Sizing

    (moved to page 4a on 10 Oct 04)

Ultrasonics and Nuclear Fusion

Back in 1989, Dr. Stanley Pons of the University of Utah and Professor Martin Fleischman of Southampton University in the UK claimed they found evidence of cold fusion at room temperature in a test tube; the general derision in the scientific community was loud and overwhelming (and probably unwarranted), but I felt they were on to something and that the incredible pressures and temperatures in the collapsing cavitation bubble might well induce fusion - not "cold", but still fusion, and offered to work with them to prove concept.  Nothing came of that, but, more recently, Drs. Rusi Taleyarkhan, a senior scientist in Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Engineering Science and Technology Division, and Richard T. Lahey Jr., the Edward Hood Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, et al, issued a press release (dated 04 Mar 2002) indicating that they may have done just that.

It will be interesting to follow the progress of this investigation.

However, at the 37th Annual Technical Symposium of the Ultrasonic Industry Association, on 07 Apr 2008, no less than Ken Suslick (Kenneth S. Suslick, Ph. D., Marvin T. Schmidt Professor of Chemistry; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology), who certainly knows his cavitation bubble, said he'd found no evidence of any fusion products.  Hmmm.

The primary references are (from Science's Website, "The report by R. P. Taleyarkhan et al. of observations of tritium decay and neutron emissions associated with the collapse of tiny bubbles in deuterated acetone and the possibility that those observations may have arisen from fusion reactions within the imploding bubbles"; the research article by Taleyarkhan et al., and three associated commentaries, a perspective by F. D. Becchetti describing the research and its significance; a news article by Charles Seife on some of the controversy stoked by the paper, and an editorial by Science's Editor in Chief, Donald Kennedy, on why Science decided that 'publication is the best option'.":

R. P. Taleyarkhan et al., Evidence for Nuclear Emissions During Acoustic Cavitation, Science 295, 1868 (2002) (in Research Articles)

F. Becchetti, Evidence for Nuclear Reactions in Imploding Bubbles, Science 295, 1850 (2002) (in Perspectives)

C. Seife, "Bubble Fusion" Paper Generates a Tempest in a Beaker, Science 295, 1808 (2002) (in News of the Week)

D. Kennedy, To Publish or Not to Publish, Science 295, 1793 (2002) (in Editorials)

The term "Bubble Fusion" seems to have caught on; it does help distance this process from "cold fusion".  How much of this hooraw is justified and how much is a bitter legacy from 1989 is an interesting question, but, clearly, the scientific community was (or feels it was) burned and is exercising extreme caution.  Unfortunately, any progress toward cold fusion is clouded in a morass of psychic and metaphysical nonsense and it is earnestly hoped that the newer work does not become so tainted.

I should be pleased to assist in this matter but probably do not have the credentials to be taken seriously (the fallout of not having taken advanced degrees).

Well, at long last comes partial vindication of Pons and Fleishman, and of my faith in the possibility; at the American Chemical Society's 237th National Meeting, a paper the topic was presented during a four-day symposium, "New Energy Technology," March 22-25 {2009}, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the first description of cold fusion, co-authored by analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss, Ph.D., of the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego, Calif.  The paper reported "compelling new scientific evidence for the existence of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR)", the process once called "cold fusion"; response was instantaneous and not all positive - here we go again!  Stay tuned.

Better yet (should I resist the temptation to say, "See; I told you so!"?), Roger Sherman Stringham presented a very simple, yet convincing (to me, at the very least) method of achieving fusion with cavitation (I'd call it hot fusion) before the A.C.S. in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2009.  His paper, entitled "WHEN BUBBLE CAVITATION BECOMES SONOFUSION - Remembering Fleischman and Pons", shows how he creates a plasma jet squeeze with 1.6MHz cavitation in D2O, resulting in production of net excess energy and helium.  In addition, Russ George is reported to have done similar work, as have others in Dr. Taleyarkhan's lab at Purdue (as of 18 Jan 2011).

O.K.  Go for it!  See; I told you so all along!

(Booster Horns)

Boosters (booster horns) are additional stages of mechanical amplification inserted between the front driver of a convertor (see Equipment and Terminology on main page) and the output horn:

Booster Horn
(17 Oct 2003 image by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The standard horn serves as such for a standard MICROTIP, as does the Upper Section for the Stepped MICROTIP.

Boosters are available at various positive and negative gain factors, commonly from 3:1 to 0.5:1.  A booster is, in effect, simply another horn inserted ahead of a regular horn to give the output tip (radiating face) greater amplitude:

Booster Usage
(17 Oct 2003 image by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

A positive-gain booster would not normally be used with a high-gain horn because the amplitude of the latter might well exceed its design limitations, causing the output horn to over-extend and fatigue and crack at the nodal point.  Rather, a booster would be used with a low-gain or negative-gain horn (such as used in the Cup Horn) to give higher amplitude on a larger diameter radiating face:

Booster with Low-Gain Horn
(17 Oct 2003 image by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

One exception might be when the tip of a high-gain horn is working against a very high static head.  However, do NOT use positive-gain booster horns without first consulting with the manufacturer of the ouput horn!

Quick Links to Major Ultrasonic Probe Manufacturers

For your convenience (and their benefit), I list here some of the top manufacturers of ultrasonic probes for changing materials (NOT sensing probes); this list is neither exclusive nor exhaustive but represents firms with which I have dealt closely and which I can wholeheartedly recommend:   rev.gif (29 Apr 2016)

    Qsonica, LLC.@
    53 Church Hill Road
    Newtown, Connecticut  06470
    Phone:  203-426-0101
    FAX:  203-426-7026
    e-mail:  info@sonicator.com

        Misonix SONICATOR®/MICROSONTM http://www.sonicator.com/site/index.aspx

@ - The Misonix (formerly Heat Systems) SONICATOR line of ultrasonic liquid processors is now manufactured by Qsonica, LLC.

    Sonics & Materials, Inc.
    53 Church Hill Road
    Newtown, Connecticut  06470
    Phone:  203-270-4600, 800-745-1105
    FAX:  203-270-4610
    e-mail:  info@sonicsandmaterials.com


    Branson Ultrasonics Corporation
        Precision Processing Division
    41 Eagle Road
    Danbury, Connecticut  06813-1961
    Phone:  203-796-0400
    FAX:  203-796-9813
    e-mail:  info@bransoncleaning.com


Miniature probe machines (even battery-operated) are available from:

    Sonaer Inc.
    145 Rome Street
    Farmingdale, New York  11735     Phone:  631-756-4780
    FAX:  631-756-4775
    e-mail:  info@sonozap.com

        SONOZAP Ultrasonic Processors, Atomizer Nozzles, and Nebulizers

Very-large-scale ultrasonic processors (including "Barbell" horns) are available from:

    Industrial Sonomechanics, LLC
    479 W 146 Street, Ground Floor
    New York, NY  10031, USA
    Tel: 1-646-580-HORN (4676)
    e-mail:  contact@sonomechanics.com

In addition to these processors, similar equipment is used for ULTRASONIC DRILLING and MILLING and the manufacturer of such equipment as a standard product line is:   revdlinks (29 Apr 2016)

    7500 Bluewater Road, NW
    Albuquerque, New Mexico  87121-1962
    Phone:  505-839-3535
    FAX:  505-839--3525
    e-mail:  contact@sonicmill.com

Ultrasonic defoaming equipment, based on the work of Prof. Juan Gallego-Juárez at CSIC, as well as airborne-ultrasonic power generators, are offered by:

    Pusonics S.L.
    C/ Pico Mulhacén, 34
    28500 Arganda del Rey     Madrid, Spain
    Phone:  +34918706882
    e-mail:  pusonics@pusonics.es

[There is no guarantee made whatsoever that these listings are
correct, complete, or current.]
(Tradenames are noted solely for information and remain the intellectual property of the manufacturer.)

Please note that a far-more detailed explanation of ultrasonic processing, as well as other technical literature, is available at no charge to consultation clients.  However, as what I believe to be a public service, I shall be adding more of my monographs on ultrasonics on this site; watch for them in the index.

You may wish to visit the main ULTRASONICS page, et seq., with more on ultrasonics, as well as the Ultrasonics Cleaning page {in process} and the Ultrasonics Glossary page {also in process}.

Those persons interested in SONOCHEMISTRY might wish to look at the sonochemistry pages of:

    Prof. Kenneth S. Suslick of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and

    Dr. Takahide Kimura at Shiga University in Japan.

prevpage.gif    frstpage.gif    nextpage.gif
To tour the Ultrasonics pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the main Ultrasonics Page (with full index) to Pages A, 1, 1A, 2, 3, and 4, Glossary Page, Cleaning Page, and Bibliography Pages 1, 2, 3, and 4 (see Index, above).

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