Ultrasonic Sonotrodes, Flow Cells & Accessories
Ultrasonic sonotrodes are also known as ultrasonic tip, probe, horn or finger. Hielscher offers ultrasonic probes made from titanium, glass and ceramics and with many sizes (diameters) to match your process condition (e.g. process intensity, high temperatures, pharmaceutical grade etc.) optimally.
Choose the right sonotrode size: The diameter of a sonotrode is related to the liquid volume and the processing intensity. By the use of a sonotrode with a smaller surface area (smaller diameter), the ultrasound power is delivered more focussed and thereby more intense resulting in a high amplitude, whilst at sonotrodes with a larger surface the ultrasonic energy is transmitted over a larger area at a lower amplitude. Larger sonotrode diameters are used to process larger volumes, but offer a lower intensity.
With additionally available boosters, the ultrasonic output at bench-top and industrial sonotrodes can be either increased or decreased. Hielscher offers various booster sizes which allow for enlarged setting options of your ultrasonic processor.
For Ultrasonic Lab Devices
For Hielscher’s lab ultrasonicators is a broad range of ultrasonic horns, flow cells, reactors and accessories available. The ultrasonic device UP200St is a very versatile basic unit that can be turned from a common probe-type device (used for powerful direct sonication) with accessories such as the VialTweeter or TD_CupHorn into a reliable tool for intense indirect sonication.
For Bench-top & Industrial Ultrasonicators
For the ultrasonic processing of higher volumes in the bench-top and industrial scale, the industrial ultrasonicators with 500W to 16kW are equipped with so-called block sonotrodes and Cascatrodes™. The block sonotrodes are characterized by having a single horizontal surface area, that transmits the oscillation into the liquid. The Cascatrodes™ are ring sonotrodes that feature several rings in order to provide an enlarged horizontal surface area, which transmits the ultrasonic oscillation into the liquid.
For bench-top and industrial ultrasonicators, the output of ultrasonic energy via the probe can be increased or decreased by the use of a booster. The boosters can amplify or reduce the amplitude and are thereby an important tool to adjust the ultrasonic amplitude and intensity to the process requirements.
Ultrasonic Flow Cells
Ultrasonic flow-through reactor chambers are available for lab ultrasonicators as well as for industrial ultrasonic devices.
An ultrasonic reactor enables to sonicate the medium in a closed system – either in flow-through mode (single pass or recirculation) or for enclosed sonication in a chamber.
Using an ultrasonic flow-through system, is required when higher volume streams and/ or higher vicious material is sonicated. A continuous flow through system has several advantages over the batch-type processing:
- 1. By ultrasonic inline processing, the processing quality and capacity becomes significantly higher as all material is fed through the chamber into the cavitation zone. This results in a homogeneous liquid processing with highest quality output.
- 2. The continuous ultrasonication results in a very high processing uniformity as all the material passes the cavitational zone in the reactor chamber.
- 3. By adjusting the flow rate and thereby the retention time of the material in the cavitational „hot spot“, the temperature can be controlled and maintained. Flow-cells with cooling jacket and the optional installation of a heat exchanger help to maintain the required temperature.
- 4. The sonication process in a closed system ensures safety, e.g. when working with hazardous materials (such as volatile, biohazardous, infectious, or pathogenic samples).
By sonication via flow-through reactor, processing of high viscous liquids (up to 250.000cP) can be done easily. Hielscher flow cell reactors are made from stainless steel or glass and are equipped with cooling jacket to control the process temperature. All flow cell chambers are pressurizable. Hielscher’s industrial ultrasonic processors can easily handle liquids with high viscosities (e.g. peanut butter, honey, crude, cement paste). Various reactor sizes (volume) and geometries are available to match specific process requirements.
Direct vs Indirect Sonication
Direct sonication means that the ultrasound is directly coupled into the processing liquid. For direct sonication, probe-type ultrasonicators are used, where an ultrasonic horn/ sonotrode is immersed into the medium. The energy is transmitted via the sonotrode/ probe directly into the sample with high intensity so that the sample is processed intense and quickly.
The term of indirect sonication describes the coupling of the ultrasound waves via ultrasonic bath through the test tube’s wall into the sample liquid. As the ultrasonic waves have to travel through water bath and beaker wall the ultrasonic intensity that is finally coupled into the sample liquid is quite low. Furthermore, a common ultrasonic bath or ultrasonic cleaning tank supplies very low ultrasound power with very uneven and unsteady ultrasonic hot spot through the tank. Hielscher’s VialTweeter and CupHorn are accessories for indirect sonication that deliver highly focussed ultrasonic energy for an intense indirect sonication.
At indirect sonication the ultrasonic energy is transmitted via the wall of the sample tube or beaker into the medium. By indirect ultrasonication, cross-contamination, aerosolization and foaming of the sample can be avoided. Thereby, it is an ideal technique to sonicate pathogenic or sterile samples. Hielscher’s VialTweeter and the CupHorn are reliable tools for an intense indirect sonication.
The VialTweeter is a special block sonotrode for the simultaneous indirect sonication of up to 10 vials. Driven by the powerful 200W ultrasonicator UP200St, the VialTweeter couples up to 10 watts into each vial. The additionally attachable clamp VialPress allows to press larger test vessels to the front. Thereby, up to 5 larger vials can be sonicated indirectly at the same time.
An ultrasonic cup horn, such as the UP200St-TD_CupHorn, can be used for direct and indirect sonication. A cup horns working principle can be compared with an ultrasonic bath or cleaning tank but with a much more intense ultrasonic energy. The CupHorn functions as sonotrode that transmits the ultrasound waves into the sample. When the cup horn is filled with the sample, the ultrasonic energy is transferred directly into the sample medium. Alternatively, the cup horn can be filled with water and the test tube(s) will be placed into the water bath for indirect sonication. Either way, the UP200St-TD_CupHorn – driven by a 200 watts ultrasonic processor – provides powerful and reliable sonication.
We make customized accessories, too. This includes special sonotrodes or flow cells. Feel free to describe your particular requirements in the comments field in the form below.
Facts Worth Knowing
Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are often referred to as probe sonicator, sonic lyser, ultrasound disruptor, ultrasonic grinder, sono-ruptor, sonifier, sonic dismembrator, cell disrupter, ultrasonic disperser or dissolver. The different terms result from the various applications that can be fulfilled by sonication.