Ultrasonic cutting

It is no exaggeration to say that technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last few decades. Work that used to take hours to complete by hand can now be done literally in a few seconds, using tools such as ultrasonic cutters.

Ultrasonic cutting

Ultrasonic cutters are machines where the cutting blade or knife vibrates at a very high frequency. The vibration frequency is actually even higher than the frequency of sound that can be heard by the human ear. In humans, this is limited to frequencies in the range of approximately 16–20,000 Hz. Anything above 20,000 Hz is considered ultrasound. And it is at this frequency that ultrasonic cutters operate.

How does it all work?

It all starts with an ultrasonic generator. This receives energy from the network, or in this case from a battery, and converts it into a high-voltage and high-frequency signal. This means that, for example, it will convert 12 V to 1500 V and will emit that voltage at a certain frequency. For it to be an ultrasonic generator, it must emit the signal at a frequency of 20,000 Hz or more. The principle is therefore that at 20,000 Hz per second (and more) it turns off and on in rapid oscillations.

This signal then passes on to an ultrasonic transducer, which is one of the most important components in an ultrasonic cutter. The ultrasonic transducer acts as a kind of converter, and is designed to receive a high-frequency electrical signal and convert it into high-frequency mechanical movement. For this movement, it uses piezoelectric ceramic rings, which expand upon contact with electrical energy. In simple terms, if you send 20,000 electrical signals per second to an ultrasonic transducer, the transducer will make 20,000 micro-movements per second.

At the end of this process there is a booster that acts as an acoustic resonance enhancer. It is generally attached to a tip or blade. However, in this case we wanted to retain the design of a traditional knife, so we did without the booster and attached the blade directly to the transducer. 

Uses of ultrasonic cutters:

Ultrasonic cutters are most often used in industry and the food sector. They are generally large robotic machines / arms designed to quickly and easily cut foodstuffs or materials.

Advantages of ultrasonic cutters:

In general, the ultrasonic cutting process can be said to benefit industry and the food sector with minimal effort. The cuts it makes are precise and fast. Ultrasonic cutters can cut harder or brittle materials without distorting them with the minimum of waste. Another advantage is that the ultrasonic vibrations mean that materials adhere less to the blade, so it always remains clean.