GUN Would an ultrasonic (jewelry) cleaner work on handgun parts?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by P-chan, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    Was thinking about this the other day - What would prevent someone from using a large ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machine to clean your gun? Would this work?

    If you're unfamiliar with this type of product,

    In an ultrasonic cleaner, the object to be cleaned is placed in a chamber containing a suitable ultrasound conducting fluid (an aqueous or organic solvent, depending on the application). In aqueous cleaners, the chemical added is a surfactant which breaks down the surface tension of the water base. An ultrasound generating transducer is built into the chamber, or may be lowered into the fluid. It is electronically activated to produce ultrasonic waves in the fluid. The main mechanism of cleaning action is by energy released from the creation and collapse of microscopic cavitation bubbles, which break up and lift off dirt and contaminants from the surface to be cleaned. The higher the frequency, the smaller the nodes between the cavitation points which allows for more precise cleaning. The bubbles created can be as hot as 10,000 degrees and 50,000 lbs per square inch, but are so small that cleaning and removal of dirt is the main result[citation needed].

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrasonic_cleaning

    Would this work? :eek3:
     
  2. Ebtromba

    Ebtromba Active Member

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    I'm a musician, and ultrasonic cleaning has been used for a few years now to clean trumpets, trombones and the like with great success (lots of ..."organic" material tends to build up in the bores of brass instruments). I reckon it could be used quite effectively to clean the bore of a badly fouled rifle or pistol barrel.
     
  3. Keesh

    Keesh New Member

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    A few people I know use it for cleaning suppressors :dunno:
     
  4. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

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    Yes, they do work, I know PDs that use a couple of them together and just run the entire arsenal through in a day. (and then they throw their personal weapons in :mamoru:)
     
  5. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    DO NOT clean aluminum in an ultrasonic cleaner.
     
  6. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    I imagine you'd get erosion of softer metals like aluminum over time, is that what you're talking about?
     
  7. Ebtromba

    Ebtromba Active Member

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    brass is very soft, I reckon softer than aluminum and it does just fine in an ultrasonic cleaner
     
  8. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    What firearm parts would be constructed from aluminum?
     
  9. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Frames among other things.

    Yes ultrasonic cleaners are used to clean guns. I don't know that you'd see much effect on leading and copper fouling but it should get all the nooks and crannies clean. it will also get all the lubrication out of those hard to get to areas too so be sure you relube well.
     
  10. AB13

    AB13 New Member

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    Brake cleaner and an air compressor to get into the nitty gritty places.
     
  11. no7fish

    no7fish New Member

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    I know plenty of people who use it for car parts, basicly the same sort of stuff. They are handy, take a lot of work out of stuff. I would love to have one for all kinda stuff, hadn't thought of guns though... I guess i've never had anything quite that stubborn.
     
  12. Camp OTE

    Camp OTE New Member

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    Can you please elaborate on this?
     
  13. DrewDown

    DrewDown OT Supporter

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    I used one at my old work to clean my HK P2000. Worked amazing. I just lubed everything as I pulled it out because I had heard stories of stuff flash rusting or something.
     
  14. reman

    reman New Member

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    I heard it's very bad for the finish on the metals.
     
  15. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    As someone stated above, it causes erosion in soft metals such as aluminum, brass, copper, etc.

    To be clear, erosion can still happen with other metals if the power is too high, and they're too close to the transducer radiating surface.
     
  16. Ebtromba

    Ebtromba Active Member

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    pretty old ass thread, but as I said months ago, ultrasonic cleaning does nothing to harm very delicate (and often priceless) brass musical instruments. cleans the shit out of them, and works great. mind you these are instruments with silver and sometimes gold plating, as well as various forms of lacquer finishes. and they come out just fine.

    previously the only way to give a horn a real thorough clean was with a chemical bath, often called an acid dip or chem clean. these work pretty well, and are still widely used, but the acid solution can be a little rough on the brass. the ultrasonic cleaning is even more thorough than a chem clean without this harshness.

    However, when ultrasonic cleaners first began to be on brass musical instruments, they wreaked absolute havoc on the solder joints that hold the pieces of brass instruments together. several trumpets were literally shook apart before an optimum calibration was found.

    cliffs: if my gay-ass silver-plated trumpets can stand up to an ultrasonic cleaning, your steel gun (baring some bizarre fuck up) will be just fuckin fine.
     
  17. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I had a customer who cleaned one of our fulcrum triggers (billet aluminum) with a ultrasonic cleaner and simple green. Not sure if it was the ultra sonic cleaner, the simple green, or both combined but it stripped off the mil spec hard anodizeing off the trigger. We did replace the trigger.

    So I would add becareful about anodized parts and ultrasonic cleaners
     
  18. Ebtromba

    Ebtromba Active Member

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    word. anodized aluminum or any aluminum whatsoever is not found on brass instruments anywhere, so I wouldn't know about it.
     
  19. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    Not being a ultrasonic cleaner athority or anything I suspect it might have more to do with the densitity of the metal than the hardness. People often clean gold jewlery with ultrasonic cleaners which we know is soft and dense.
     
  20. johnson

    johnson New Member

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  21. Tom93R1

    Tom93R1 Member

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    I have a very large (100 gallon or so) industrial ultrasonic cleaner I just used to clean up a couple old .22 rifles I am rebuilding. The parts look amazing! Lots of surface rust was taken off and most of the remaining bluing was left in tact. Ultraconics are generally heated and mine is about 160 degrees F so once you pull the parts out they dry almost instantly, no rusting. The cleaners used in these are usually very mild, as the ultrasonics do most of the work. Hard metal like steel work very well. Aluminum can be cleaned but just about any cleaner will discolor it if left in too long.
     
  22. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    http://www.coleparmer.com/techinfo/techinfo.asp?htmlfile=ultrasoniccleaner_faq.htm&ID=792

    How do I perform the "foil" test?
    Cut three small pieces of aluminum foil about 4" x 8" each. Fold each piece over a rod that you will use to suspend the foil in the tank. A clothes hanger works well. Your cleaner should be filled with an ultrasonic cleaning solution, degassed, and brought up to normal operating temperature. Suspend the first "square" in the center of the tank and the other two a couple of inches from each end of the tank. Make sure that the tank is filled to the fill line, and turn on the ultrasonics for about ten minutes. Remove the foil and inspect: All three pieces of aluminum foil should be perforated and wrinkled to about the same degree.

    That doesn't sound like a result I want on my aluminum parts, them again it could just be the foil thickness.
     
  23. nost

    nost New Member

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    they make ones designed for guns that ive heard good things about
     
  24. Tom93R1

    Tom93R1 Member

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    If you grab both ends of the foil and pull it will tear, your aluminum gun parts won't do that will they? Very different properties between foil and a solid chunk of aluminum. The foil test is just to verify that the ultrasonic cleaner is working properly.
     

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