Accessorize your Scientific Homogenizer with an Analytical Mill

Particle size reduction on a laboratory scale is often required to formulate samples for further analysis.  While several techniques – such as using a mortar and pestle – can accomplish this, a faster, easier and cleaner technique is coupling an analytical mill grinding chamber to a scientific homogenizer.  Admittedly the sample size is smaller than using a standard pulverizing mill but small sample sizes are characteristic of process research accomplished by lab homogenizers.

A good example of a laboratory grinding chamber is the CAT AX 60 analytical mill designed to be coupled with a CAT X1000 or 1000D 1,000-watt homogenizer drive motor, the latter with digital speed readout.  Both feature electronically stabilized speed control from 4,000 to 33,000 rpm.

Operating a Laboratory Grinding Chamber

The AX 60 analytical mill is attached to the drive motor in much the same way as a standard rotor-stator homogenizer assembly.  It is a two-part unit fabricated of stainless steel.  The top portion of the assembly contains stainless steel or silicon carbide grinding blades the choice of which depends on the material being pulverized.  Grinding blades are rotated by the homogenizer drive motor.  The lower grind mill chamber holds up to 180 cc of the sample to be pulverized.  Top and bottom portions of the analytical mill are coupled then clamped together to provide a dust tight assembly.

To ensure stability during operation the drive motor should be securely affixed to a mounting stand.

Because the pulverizing mill generates heat a cooling system is incorporated in the design to circulate liquid nitrogen or chilled water.  The cooling medium passes through inlet and outlet ports built into both the top and the bottom portions of the grinding chamber assembly.

Procedures relating to grinding speed and duration should be clearly spelled out in your lab’s operating manual.  At the end of the pulverizing process the various components of the AX 60 analytical mill should be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned before embarking on another exercise.

How does your organization handle pulverizing small samples for further analysis?

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Bob Wilcox is a representative for CAT Scientific, the North American division of CAT-Ing.de.

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Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

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