The twenty-first century heralds the era of biotechnology and nanotechnology, electronics and ultrasound. The latest stands for an oscillatory motion in waves propagating particles of the medium and is characterised by a number of distinctive features compared with the vibrations of the audible range. In the ultrasonic frequency range it is relatively easy to obtain directional radiation; well to ultrasonic vibrations focusing, thereby increasing the intensity of ultrasonic oscillations in certain areas of exposure. For propagation in gases, liquids and solids ultrasound produces unique phenomena, many of which have found practical applications in various fields of science and technology. After all, the effect gave birth to the entire industry, with big players like Hilsonic, a UK-based business concentrating its efforts on ultrasonic cleaner devices and complex systems.
It’s now over a hundred years has passed since the application of ultrasonic vibrations. The first laboratory works on the study of ultrasound were performed by Russian physicist Lebedev at the end of XIX, and for the past hundred years the development and application of ultrasound technology involved in many prominent scientists in different countries.
During this time the asset of humanity there were dozens of highly effective, resource-saving and environmentally friendly ultrasonic technologies – hardening, tinning and soldering, preventing the formation of scale on heat transfer surfaces, drying heat-sensitive substances, extraction of animal and vegetable raw materials, dissolution, sterilization of liquids, a fine spray of drugs, heavy fuels, and the preparation of emulsions of ultrafine suspensions, dispersion dyes, polymers and metal welding, washing, cleaning parts without using flammable or toxic solvents.
The importance of the technology
In recent years, ultrasound starts playing an increasingly important role in a wide array of industries. A wealth of theoretical, as well as experimental researches in the area of ultrasonic cavitation and acoustic streaming, served as a springboard to the development of new technological processes occurring under the influence of ultrasound in the liquid phase. Recentl, even a new direction in chemistry is formed – chemistry ultrasound, allowing speeding up many chemical processes and gaining new substances. Scientific studies resulted in the foundation of totally new branches of acoustics – molecular acoustics, studying the molecular interaction of sound waves with matter.
Along with theoretical and experimental research in the field of ultrasound a lot of practical work was performed. Universal and special ultrasonic machines, plants operating under high static pressure, ultrasonic mechanised units for cleaning parts, generators with increased frequency and a new cooling system, the converters with a uniformly distributed field and numerous types of other equipment were produced. The production of automatic ultrasonic devices, which are included in the production lines to significantly improve productivity were manufactured as well.
Development and application of ultrasound technology now opens up new perspectives in the development of new substances and materials, giving the well-known materials and media of new properties (sterility, nano-sized, etc.) and therefore requires an understanding of the phenomena and processes taking place under the influence of ultrasound, opportunities new technologies and perspectives of their application.