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Ultrasonic Particle Removal Process Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019000D
Publication Date: 2003-Aug-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 23K

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A non-contact method and apparatus that uses acoustic waves to remove particles from a substrate.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Ultrasonic Particle Removal Process

This publication discloses a non-contact method and apparatus that uses acoustic waves to remove particles from a substrate.

In some industrial processes particles are applied to a substrate that has been coated with an adhesive substance. In such processes, a requirement frequently exists for the removal of particles that are not strongly or adhesively attached to a substrate or to other particles on the substrate. To fulfill its requirement, a mechanism must be provided to dislodge particles that are merely held by weak electrical or mechanical surface forces to the substrate, while not weakening the attachment of other particles that have been are strongly attached to the substrate.

The process being disclosed uses acoustic energy to dislodge weakly adhered particles. While not being bound by any theory, it is believed that the dominant mechanisms of particulate removal include airborne acoustic pressure variations disturbing the particles, as well as acoustic energy induced in the substrate, both of which cause stresses between the particles and substrate or other particles. The latter mechanism is believed to become dominant when the horn is in contact with the web.

The source of the acoustic energy can be placed to the topside of the substrate or to the backside (the topside being the side which holds the subject particles). In many convenient embodiments, the energy is applied to the backside of the substrate. The frequency of the acoustic energy can be sonic or ultrasonic, with ultrasonic energy at 20 kHz being particularly convenient. The acoustic source can be in direct contact with backside of the substrate, or merely adjacent to the substrate, depending on air transmission of the energy to the substrate. As the ordinary artisan will appreciate, the actual intensity of the energy delivered to th...