How a Laboratory Crusher Works

A laboratory crusher is a device designed to forcefully reduce solid samples, such as rocks, to fine dust or powder in order for molecular analysis on them to be possible. The size of the substances’ particles must be reduced to micro scales for an accurate XRF analysis to take place. Therefore, the reduction of solid samples is a crucial process in the way samples are prepared for XRF analysis. The samples should also be dry and organic to begin with.

Geological samples are first treated in a laboratory crusher, and that makes it possible for them to be spectroscopically analyzed, so that the material properties of each sample could be discerned. The samples can also be analyzed as an extension of their wider environment, which allows researchers to extrapolate accurate data about a given ecological area having minimal invasiveness. Laboratory crushers are, therefore, crucial instruments in different environmental studies.

The following article explores the working principle of a laboratory crusher in more detail.

Laboratory Crusher Working Principle

The jaw crusher is the primary crusher used in conventional laboratories. It usually features a fixed plate and a mechanically-operated gyrating plate. The two are arranged in an angled funnel shape, with a wider feed opening at the top and a narrow discharge aperture at the bottom.

The rocking motion of the gyrating plate pushes the samples against the fixed plate, and that crushes the samples to the discharge point. This process can wear off the fixed plate significantly, as abrasive material will repeatedly be pressed against its static surface with great force.

The ROCKLABS BOYD Elite laboratory crusher combats the aforementioned issue with a double-acting jaw crusher design. It features dual-acting top and bottom jaws that are capable of holding a 5 kg sample. The jaws can crush a 50 mm sample into a 2 mm one in a single pass. It has improved efficiency highly, and is proven to reduce samples by 25 times their original size.

The two jaws of the ROCKLABS BOYD Elite gyrate at the same time, which improves the abrasion resistance with the help of high chrome iron plates. A larger model known as the BIG BOYD Crusher uses the same principle to process samples of up to 20 kg, reducing the size of samples from 150 mm to 10 mm in a single pass.

Specialized hydraulic laboratory crushers are designed to trim excess material and drill hollow cores into samples before the crushing process begins.

More adjustable specifications and additional equipment is incorporated in the laboratory crushers in order to allow the automation procedures and make more adjustable specifications available. The BOYD RSD Elite, for example, divides powdered samples from the crushing process by combining the double-acting jaw with a sample divider that rotates.

After the sample is pulverized and transported via a vibratory feed to the RSD module, it is split using either single or duplicate split processes. The BOYD Crusher can alternatively be combined with a linear sample divider (LSD), which improves automation of processes by allowing operators to pre-select sample weights and suitable splits for an improved degree of splitting accuracy. There are also other multiple dividing options available for a single pass.

The outcome of the improved accuracy of these laboratory crushers is the production of samples that are finely refined through multiple passes. That makes the product suitable for a subsequent XRF analysis.

Laboratory Crushers from XRF Scientific

XRF Scientific are experts in the manufacture and supply of specialized laboratory equipment to a broad range of academic and industrial applications. Dedicated to improve the scientific processes across the world, XRF develops and provides intuitive equipment that improves laboratory throughput and accuracy.

Outlining the Crushing Equipment Available from XRF Scientific

To accurately assess the x-ray fluorescent (XRF) properties of a dry, organic sample through XRF spectrometry, the sample must first be prepared for the analysis with a fusion flux of either lithium metaborate (LiBO2), lithium tetraborate (Li2B4O7), or a mixture of the two with suitable oxidizing additives. The homogeneity of these mixtures can have a significant impact on the accuracy of the results, which is why eutectic flux mixtures are prepared at varying ratios with distinct physiochemical structures.

Following eutectic mixture selection, the dry analyte must be reduced to a consistency that is suitable for fusion. The particular consistency is attained using crushing equipment.

As mentioned, agitating jaws and gyrating plates are normally used in laboratory crushing equipment to pulverize dry geological samples. After the pulverization, the granulated material is typically fed to a divider in order to separate the analyte into samples of distinct weight profiles. Samples of complex mineralogical compositions may require multiple pulverizing methodologies to accurately prepare a sample for fusion flux.

Laboratory Jaw Crushing Equipment

The ROCKLABS BOYD Elite is the world’s first double-acting jaw laboratory crusher for sample preparation. While conventional jaw crushing equipment reduces solid samples by gyrating a mechanical jaw against a fixed plate, the ROCKLABS BOYD Elite ensures maximum crushing efficiency by using high chrome iron plates with double action that gyrate at both the top and the bottom.

Sample Crusher and Divider

Crushing equipment can be integrated with dividers to streamline the sample preparation process. The BOYD RSD Elite combines the established crushing capacities of the product line with a vibrating feeder and a rotating sample divider.

The rotation is done at pre-defined speeds and can separate granulated solids in single or multiple splits. Linear sample dividers can also be equipped with ROCKLABS BOYD Elite crushing equipment, providing single-pass split of samples based on extremely precise sample weights.

Automated Crushing Equipment

Automated batch mills are critical for high throughput sample preparation environments, in which low intervention is the key for meeting required laboratory workflows. Multiple automated crushing equipment systems are available from XRF Scientific, including:

  • ABM3000, a fully-programmable sample grinder with an integrated wash cycle to reduce sample cross contamination;
  • AP200, a high-throughput, automated crushing system that is capable of processing up to 200 samples per day. Its dual-acting, crush-splitting tower, a continuous ring mill and a rotating sample divider allow for that intense process to happen;
  • AP300, a dual-system. It is used to process for processing blast hole, R.C, and drill core samples with robust grinding and separating apparatus;
  • AP1000R, an ultra-high throughput system for fully-automated processing of up to 800 samples per day, with an integrated cleaning system to negate intervention and vastly improve sample preparation workflow.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by XRF Scientific.

For more information on this source, please visit XRF Scientific.

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