A Note About Ultrasonic Cleaning

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  • #49063
    chris mabbott
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    • Topics Started: 119
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    While I was on my little road trip this past weekend, I had some time to go through one of de Carle’s publications i.e. “Practical Watch Adjusting”

    I came across an interesting paragraph on ultrasonic cleaning. He is in favor of Ultrasonic, as basically he states that it leaves zero residue (obviously depends on the type of cleaning solution) and that his main concern is cleanliness, irregardless of how it is achieved.

    The point he makes about the complete lack of residue after ultrasonic cleaning is this… The surface is so clean and free from residue that a drop of oil will spread and not remain as a drop. This is bad because we want the drop to stay in place, as a drop. Also that cleaning with the prescribed, conventional chemicals, Benzine etc, with leave a film that the droplet can adhere to, but the film may/will contaminate the oil

    To overcome this problem he recommends that ALL surfaces that have been ultrasonically cleaned MUST be treated with Stearic acid. I’m not exactly sure what this does, as he doesn’t explain it, he merely hints that it will somehow prevent the oil from spreading on too clean a surface?

    He also mentions Epilame treatment for parts, which can be applied in various ways but the method he seems fond of is the vapor type, where this liquid is heated and the parts are exposed to the vapors emanating from the liquid.

    He is a little vague in his explanation of these two techniques, as in being more specific as to the actual WHY and what effect it has, or a more detailed explanation as to the application process..

    Anyway, I thought it may be an interesting point to pass on as he states that for timing a watch, these techniques will improve the results of that endeavor.

    TOM= I would definitely recommend this book (ignore me if you already have it) It has a very interesting small but informative chapter on the jacot tool.. :geek: In fact I think Larry has one posted..

    #57910
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
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    Interesting, I clean my clocks in an ultrasonic tank and over time as one does I have had clocks come back for one reason or another and have not found there to be an issue with oil spreading if it is applied correctly. I am no scientist but I am pretty sure that most of the surfaces we oil in a watch are not perfectly smooth which in itself would help to keep the oil contained. Even water will form droplets on a smooth surface like glass so with oil being of thicker viscosity I would imagine it would do the same but to a greater extent. I have however heard of oil spreading and I am certain that I have also read that epilame has also caused problems in certain situations. I think certain issues can be over thought at times and all I would say is if you have not yet had an issue then carry on with whatever it is you do already. I would be interested to know what others think?

    #57911
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    The only surfaces I saw in a watch that looked smooth under high magnafication were jewel surfaces. Even polished pivots looked like a mountain range when highly magnified. Some chemicals that fume off can be very harmful over the long term and it is probably a good idea not to be too fanitical about this stuff.
    david

    #57912
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    @Chris Mabbott wrote:

    While I was on my little road trip this past weekend, I had some time to go through one of de Carle’s publications i.e. “Practical Watch Adjusting”

    I came across an interesting paragraph on ultrasonic cleaning. He is in favor of Ultrasonic, as basically he states that it leaves zero residue (obviously depends on the type of cleaning solution) and that his main concern is cleanliness, irregardless of how it is achieved.

    The point he makes about the complete lack of residue after ultrasonic cleaning is this… The surface is so clean and free from residue that a drop of oil will spread and not remain as a drop. This is bad because we want the drop to stay in place, as a drop. Also that cleaning with the prescribed, conventional chemicals, Benzine etc, with leave a film that the droplet can adhere to, but the film may/will contaminate the oil

    To overcome this problem he recommends that ALL surfaces that have been ultrasonically cleaned MUST be treated with Stearic acid. I’m not exactly sure what this does, as he doesn’t explain it, he merely hints that it will somehow prevent the oil from spreading on too clean a surface?

    He also mentions Epilame treatment for parts, which can be applied in various ways but the method he seems fond of is the vapor type, where this liquid is heated and the parts are exposed to the vapors emanating from the liquid.

    He is a little vague in his explanation of these two techniques, as in being more specific as to the actual WHY and what effect it has, or a more detailed explanation as to the application process..

    Anyway, I thought it may be an interesting point to pass on as he states that for timing a watch, these techniques will improve the results of that endeavor.

    TOM= I would definitely recommend this book (ignore me if you already have it) It has a very interesting small but informative chapter on the jacot tool.. :geek: In fact I think Larry has one posted..

    Chris:

    I actually have that book and I’ve gotten alot from it. If I remember correctly, I think I actually bought it from Larry about six months ago. It’s a great companion book to Practical Watch Repairing (to which de Carle references often) especially for the price. I would recommend this to anyone who has read de Carle’s other books.

    Thanks,
    Tom

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chris mabbottA Note About Ultrasonic Cleaning