Wet milling machines, including horizontal media mills, submersion-type basket media mills and high-shear dispersers, are used for the grinding of wet applications for particle size reduction.
Grinding and dispersion operations have advanced dramatically over the years. Initially, ball mills and attritors with large balls were used to process batches for long periods of time with operations running overnight or even several days. This method of production became inefficient and cumbersome as the demand for finer and finer particle sizes increased, resulting in the evolution of grinding media and dispersion process equipment in general.
As product requirements became more challenging, the need for more effective dispersion, grinding and milling equipment increased and the development of higher energy milling systems began. This initiated the trend toward the use of smaller grinding media, which created another challenge, the development of better media.
Smaller and smaller media became available to replace the large balls, but did not result in the desired improvements in efficiency at the slow speeds used in both ball mills and attritors. New mills were designed to impel the media at much higher velocities. Reductions in bead mass created other issues such as floating and hydraulic packing. Denser media were developed to resolved mass related concerns.
Benefits of Wet Milling Machines
The advent of the horizontal media mills allowed for the use of smaller, denser media for tougher dispersion and grinding applications. Since the media was evenly distributed throughout the mill chamber, fluidization became less of an issue. Additional milling equipment such as submersion-type basket mills created a convenient method for handling a wider variety of products and media types. Applications include various industries from paints and specialty chemicals to cosmetics and food products.
Advances in technology made the selection of media simpler and more product/application focused. Media development continued at a rapid pace providing mill users with various options for grinding media including glass, steel and ceramics (alumina, zirconium silicate and zirconium oxide).
When particle size reduction or wet grinding is required, wet milling equipment offers these benefits:
- Reduction of particle size
- Finer, even dispersions
- High shear performance
- More efficient operation
- Lower energy consumption
- Reduced production times
- Increased capacity and higher yields
- Ability to handle diverse viscosities
- Size of media can be adjusted for varying applications
- Safe for products with heat-sensitive, hazardous or contamination related issues
Custom Milling & Consulting, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of process equipment for the wet milling, mixing, grinding, blending and compounding of a wide variety of applications. The Supermill Plus™ Horizontal Media Mills and Batch (Basket) Mills utilize media mill technology for particle size reduction to submicron and nanometer ranges. The company also offers contract manufacturing and toll milling services for nanomaterials and ultra-fine particle size reduction utilizing the same technology found in their line of wet milling equipment. Equipment trials are available to determine the best solution prior to investing in capital equipment. CMC is committed to providing innovative wet milling technology to our customers for cleaner dispersions, finer particle sizes and highest product quality.