Insights from industry

Safe and Fast Particle Grinding to the Nano-Range

Comminution is  an essential part of any analytical, pharmaceutical or chemical laboratory where it plays an important role in sample homogenization, nanoparticle creation or simply to improve the reactivity of a solid sample. The PULVERISETTE 5 premium line is a planetary mill designed for the safe and rapid communication of both wet and dry hard samples.

AZoM spoke to Wolfgang Simon, Product Manager at FRITSCH, about the many features of  the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line and how he expects it to impact the industry.

How do planetary mills work? Why does this result in a superior comminution?

Planetary ball mills are perhaps the most commonly used ball mills in laboratories for the sample preparation of soft to hard, brittle and fibrous materials.

The name of this mill type derives from its unique kinematics: the grinding bowls, which are mounted on the rotating sun disk, rotate in the opposite direction around the centre of this disk. Due to this movement, the sample is very effectively and quickly comminuted by impact, shearing and friction forces resulting from ball-to-ball and ball-to-wall collisions.

With the planetary movement, the grinding bowl filling is subject not only to the force of gravity, as in the case with conventional ball mills, but centrifugal and Coriolis forces further increase the kinetic energy of the grinding parts up to 65 times the force of gravity. At high rotational speeds, the effect of these forces on the grinding parts and the material being ground produces great load intensity and grinding performance. The energy transmission density is roughly 10 times that of vibratory mills and 50 times of conventional ball mills.

The FRITSCH Planetary Mill PULVERISETTE 5 premium line

The FRITSCH Planetary Mill PULVERISETTE 5 premium line

Who was the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line designed with in mind?

The development of our Planetary Micro Mill PULVERISETTE 5 premium line was a quantum leap into the nano world.

Today this mill is the standard instrument in many laboratories around the world which conduct research with nanoscale materials. But the sample quantity is limited, that’s why many customers ask for a comparable instrument with a larger sample volume. The answer is the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line. With a 2.2 kW motor and grinding bowl rotational speed of 800 rpm now up to 450 ml sample material can be processed.

What types of grinding can be achieved using the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line?

The PULVERISETTE 5 premium line is especially suitable for the wet and dry grinding of hard and medium hard samples, but also soft and fibrous materials can be processed.

It’s ideal for sample preparation for all analytical instruments which require a fine, homogenous sample preparation. Above this, the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line is also found in research laboratories for new materials, especially the generation of nano scale samples.

Can the instrument be used for any other processes?

Yes, the instrument can also be used for mechanical alloying and mechanical activation. Another application is the mixing of different components in the grinding bowls.

How simple is the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line to use?

The patented clamping is unique for a planetary ball mill. The grinding bowl is simply inserted in the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line from the front into the holder. The ServoLOCK is activated with a single hand motion by pressing down the clamp.

The advantage: each grinding with always same conditions without screwing or other manual fastening. Above this, the mill offers the possibility to program SOP’s thus offering reproducible grindings at the push of a button. And with the optional software MillControl, the mill can be controlled via computer and the results can be saved in a data base.

What different variations of grinding bowls and balls are available with the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line? Why is supplying a wide range of these important?

We offer three different volumes for the grinding bowls (150 ml, 250 ml and 500 ml) in four different materials. These materials are: Zirconium oxide, hardened stainless steel, hardmetal tungsten carbide and agate. Depending on the physical and chemical properties of the sample, you need material with different hardness and different abrasion behavior.

For all materials we offer an element analysis so that the customer can see which element from abrasion might influence his following analysis. Furthermore, we offer grinding balls in different diameters, from 0,1 mm up to 20 mm. As a rule of thumb: the finer your initial sample is, the finer you must choose your grinding media. If you want to reach nano size you have to use the finest available grinding beads of 100 µm!

Grinding bowls and balls for Planetary Mill PULVERISETTE 5 premium line

Grinding bowls and balls for Planetary Mill PULVERISETTE 5 premium line

What makes the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line safe to operate?

There are actual several features which make the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line safe to operate: It starts with a safely guided insertion of the grinding bowls, which are simply inserted from the front into the holder and the correct positioning is automatically ensured by a practical guide.

Then the motor-driven grinding bowl clamping ServoLock is activated with a single hand motion by pressing down the clamp and the actual clamping is motor driven by the mill. This means that each grinding is performed under always the same conditions without screwing or manual fastening.

The bowls can opened be safely in the event of overpressure, because the overpressure is released by the ServoLOCK. Above this, is a reliable bowl detection ensured via a RFID chip and the mill does not start until both bowls are correctly inserted and it also prevents the setting of too high speeds depending on the bowl material used.

This guarantees constant, reliable results and makes an incorrect operation impossible.

The grinding bowl is inserted easily in the machine and only a single motion is required to close the clamp. Correct fastening is indicated by a green LED light.

In what application areas do the updated features of the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line really shine?

Grinding into the nano range. The demand for fine particles with a defined size distribution is constantly increasing, especially in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The production of fine particles down into the nanometer range can take place either via chemical synthesis, i.e. by generating the particles through crystallization (bottom-up) or via comminution of already existing coarse particles in a mill (top-down). However, even the particles obtained through crystallization are often too coarse and require subsequent processing in mills.

Why would you advise our readers to choose a FRITSCH product?

In three words: experience, reliability and exceptional service. Our laboratory instruments set the standard worldwide and provide efficient, reliable operation in industry and research.

Our service starts with assisting customers in finding the suitable laboratory instrument for their specific application. After a sale, we offer extensive technical support worldwide and attractive service contracts for our instruments, as well as certificates of quality.

Where can our readers find out more about the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line and FRITSCH?

Our product video shows the operation of the PULVERISETTE 5 premium line. Details about the mill can be of course found on our homepage, but you can meet us personally worldwide at large and small trade fairs and symposiums or by participating in our workshops.

The news section of our homepage features all our special events such as fairs, workshops and roadshows. If you want, you may also visit our headquarters just schedule an appointment.

About Wolfgang Simon

Wolfgang Simon

Wolfgang Simon studied Physics at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and graduated with a Diploma in Physics.

He joined Fritsch in 1994 as Product Specialist for the FRITSCH Laser Particle Sizer, then in 2006 he took on the role of General Sales Manager at FRITSCH GmbH.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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