Ultrasonic cleaning was developed around 1950 but we were interested in answering the question of the entire history, how it all started.
After browsing various sources, we could start as early as the 6th century BC. Around that time Pythagoras wrote mathematical properties on the theory of stringed instruments and acoustics – science of sound.
Around two millennia later, in 1794 Lazzaro Spallanzani discovered echolocation in bats. He demonstrated that bats hunted and navigated by inaudible sound, not vision.
In 1880 brothers Jacques and Pierre Curie advanced their knowledge of pyroelectricity. That is the electric potential generated by a material in response to a temperature change. They discovered piezoelectric effect, that was the scientific basis of the first transducer to generate and detect ultrasonic waves in the air and water.
20th century and technology
During the 1st World War in 1917, Paul Langevin applied ultrasound technology to detect submarines. After that, this technology was fashioned for different uses. From medical, pharmaceutical, military and general industries started using and developing ultrasound technology.
Many different industries benefit from the advancement of ultrasound technology. Ultrasonic devices can detect objects, measure distances, deep clean, aid in manufacturing and improve medical care and treatment. The uses continue to grow as progress i made in the fabrication of ultrasonic components, often providing a less invasive and lower-cost alternative.
Interesting and popular consumer application of ultrasonic ranging was Polaroid camera. This technology was considered the basis of a variety of ultrasonic products.
The origins of the moment when ultrasound was applied to cleaning technology are difficult to find. But around the 1950s first companies in the United states of America and UK developed some of the first ultrasonic cleaning systems in history.
First inexpensive home appliances came to market around 1970. More common uses of this process included sterilization of medical equipment, jewelry cleaning, decontamination of radioactive equipment, scouring of precision metal parts. Since the 1990s ultrasonic technology is developing rapidly. Modern ultrasonic systems can clean parts at a wider range of frequencies and with more precision. There you can choose frequencies for aggressive cleaning and delicate parts that need gentle cleaning.