Calibrate a Flow Meter for HPLC Pumping Systems

HPLC Flow Meter

Flow meters are used to measure flow rates in pipelines, for pumps at filling stations, on trucks delivering fuel oil for your furnace and myriad other applications.  While important in all cases, accuracy is especially critical when a flow meter is used in high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC ) pumping systems.  This post focuses on how to calibrate a flow meter used in HPLC pumping systems.

What’s Special about Calibrating a Flow Meter for HPLC Pumping Systems?

The answer in a few words: Instead of measuring flow rates in gallons per minute, flow meters for HPLC pump systems measure rates in fractions of milliliters per minute.

As described in our post on how a digital flow meter works  they are used to measure the accuracy of HPLC pumping systems in order to meet FDA and other regulations regarding installation qualification (IQ), operational qualification (OQ) and performance qualification (PQ) of … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cleaning with Flammable Solvents

ultrasonic cleaning using flammable solvent

Cleaning with flammable solvents requires extreme caution in any case but ultrasonic cleaning with flammable solvents requires specially designed equipment and procedures.  That’s because of the real danger of a fire or explosion if spilled solvent or vapors are ignited by sparks from internal electronics or external sources.  This post describes equipment to use and precautions to observe for ultrasonic cleaning with low flash point flammable solvents. 

But first, some explanations and relevant regulations.

What is a Flash Point?

Flammable solvents have different flashpoints. In brief, the lower the flashpoint the more flammable they are.  This is important when cleaning with flammable solvents.

Fortunately there is help.

The American Chemical Society publishes a table of common organic solvents that includes flash points.  Examples of low flash point volatile solvents are 1-propanol at 59⁰F (15⁰C), acetone at -4⁰F (-20⁰C)  and toluene at 39⁰F (4⁰C). 

Cleaning with Flammable Solvent Regulations

As a … Read the rest

HPLC Flow Meter Cleaning Tips

HPLC Liquid Flow Meter

Fast, accurate calibration of flow rates used in HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) pump systems can be compromised if HPLC flow meter cleaning recommendations are not followed. Technicians know that while GLP (good laboratory practices) call for annual flow meter recalibration by the manufacturer, improper use of these precision instruments can soon render them inaccurate if HPLC flow meter cleaning recommendations are not followed.

What HPLC Flow Meters Do

The role and importance of HPLC pump systems is described in a Process Instrumentation article that describes a digital HPLC flow meter, the advantage of this system, and specification recommendations to measure and maintain pump system accuracy.  Included are recommendations on flow meter cleaning.

This post focuses on the importance of digital HPLC flowmeter cleaning, how to do it, and the role of flow meter cleaning in maintaining accuracy.  We use as an example the FlowCal 5000 flow meter offered by … Read the rest

How to Select a Lab Freezer or Refrigerator

How to Choose a Lab Refrigerator or Freezer

Lab freezers and lab refrigerators have received increasing attention in the press because of their importance is storing vaccines between the time of manufacture and being injected into a patient’s arm.  As reported in Scientific American, lab freezers and lab refrigerators play a role in the “COVID Cold Chain.”  This post explains how to select a lab freezer or refrigerator for coronavirus vaccines and other temperature-critical products.

The Difference Between Lab Units and Household Units

A lab freezer or refrigerator is designed and constructed to meet much stricter standards than typically found in household or commercial units.  Vaccines, other pharmaceuticals, blood and plasma, for example, must be stored within tight temperature ranges to avoid loss of potency or spoilage. 

Important Points to Keep in Mind

Proper storage of these and other temperature-sensitive products is strictly governed  by organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and agencies such … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution Selection Tips

The ultrasonic cleaner solution you select plays a major role in successful ultrasonic cleaning operations. Ultrasonic cleaner solutions are available in a wide variety of formulations – each designed for specific cleaning tasks. These solutions are also referred to as cleaning chemistries and in some cases “soaps.” We’ll stick with ultrasonic cleaner solution in this post and provide you with tips on how to make the right selection.

How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution Works


Regardless of the chemistry, an ultrasonic cleaner solution works by a process called cavitation.  This is defined as the implosion of millions of microscopic vacuum bubbles in an ultrasonic cleaner’s tank filled with the solution.  Bubbles are created by generator-powered transducers vibrating at ultrasonic frequencies such as 37,000 cycles per second (37 kHz). 

When bubbles contact products to be cleaned they implode violently (but safely) against all wetted surfaces to blast loose and carry away contaminants.

Further details … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cleaner Uses

Elma Ultrasonic Cleaner for 3D Parts

An earlier Tovatech post on selecting an ultrasonic cleaner noted that the ultrasonic cleaner market is “expected to grow from USD 1.6 billion in 2019 to USD 2.2 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 6.5%.” Much of this growth is due to the many ultrasonic cleaner uses that have evolved over the years.   

In this post we provide you with an overview of selected ultrasonic cleaner uses starting with a brief discussion of the ultrasonic cleaner process and why it works so well.

A Brief on the Ultrasonic Cleaner Process

6 Best Uses for Ultrasonic Cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners use the power of cavitation – the violent implosion of billions of microscopic bubbles – to remove contaminants from any surface that can be safely immersed in biodegradable cleaning solutions formulated for specific cleaning tasks. 

Ultrasonic cavitation is created in an ultrasonic cleaner tank by generator-powered ultrasonic transducers bonded to the tank bottom. 

Vibrating at ultrasonic … Read the rest

How to Safely Use Acetone Cleaner in an Ultrasonic Bath

PubChem, an open chemistry database at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), defines acetone as a colorless, volatile, flammable organic solvent.  It is also called dimethyl ketone, 2-propanone, and beta-ketopropane.  As a low flash point solvent, acetone cleaner is widely used in manufacturing as a highly effective degreaser for residue-free removal of contaminants in an ultrasonic bath. 

Key cautions or “red alerts” for using an acetone cleaner include low flash point, volatility and flammability. This is why special precautions are required to safely use acetone cleaner in an ultrasonic bath to avoid potential fire and an explosion.  Here we describe equipment and procedures to follow when using acetone cleaner in an ultrasonic bath.… Read the rest

Medical Ultrasonic Cleaner Performance Validation


In its “Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities” the CDC notes “Ultrasonic cleaning removes soil by cavitation and implosion in which waves of acoustic energy are propagated in aqueous solutions to disrupt the bonds that hold particulate matter to surfaces.”

Sub-par performance of a medical ultrasonic cleaner could lead to trouble.  That’s because a number of factors can compromise the efficiency of these cleaners, leaving contaminants that might not be revealed by visual examination.   This is especially relevant when medical instruments and labware have complex, difficult-to clean configurations.  OK-Sonic™ medical ultrasonic cleaner performance validation strips provide added assurance that your ultrasonic cleaner is doing its job. … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cleaner Machine: 10 Top Tips for Selecting the Best

An ultrasonic cleaner machine is often first choice for cleaning or processing operations across a broad spectrum of industry.  This is borne out by a comprehensive marketsandmarkets report predicting that the market is “expected to grow from USD 1.6 billion in 2019 to USD 2.2 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period.”

Why is this?

Ultrasonic cleaner machines are unsurpassed when it comes to removing contaminants from virtually any hard surface that can be safely immersed in a cleaning solution. 

They are also widely used in the pharmaceutical and other processing industries as sonicator baths because of their ability to disperse, mix and dissolve samples. 

The challenge is specifying your ultrasonic cleaner; its accessories, cleaning solution formulations, and cleaning procedures to accomplish tasks in the most efficient manner.

Which is the purpose of this post.  But before digging into the 10 things you should know, … Read the rest

Choosing and Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Carburetors

Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner to Restore Carburetors

Fuel injection systems have replaced the carburetor but a Gili’s Automotive post states “While carburetors may not have a life in new vehicles today, chances are good that they’ll still be used for many years to come.”  That’s because “Carburetors, unlike fuel injection systems, are relatively straightforward when it comes to repairing them. Fuel injection requires sophisticated computers, but carburetors require only a screwdriver and a willingness to get one’s hands dirty.” Keeping carburetors clean is easy with an ultrasonic cleaner.

This post explains to shade tree and professional mechanics why ultrasonic cleaners for carburetors keep these vital assemblies (which were invented by Karl Benz in 1885) functioning. … Read the rest