Homogenizer Generator Specification Tips
These homogenizer generator specification tips are presented to help you make the right decision based on your particular requirements. Homogenizer generators, also called generator probes, come in the variety of sizes and configurations necessary to accomplish laboratory and pilot plant tasks such as cell disruption, emulsifying, dispersion, dissolving and mixing. As with any laboratory function these applications are performed more efficiently when the correct equipment is employed.
Homogenizer generators are powered by adjustable-speed drive motors. Drive motors offered by CAT Scientific are able to accommodate several generator probe configurations that can easily be switched out, thereby adding to their utility in labs and pilot plants.
Homogenizer Generator Components
Several components go into the configuration of a homogenizer generator.
- A tube fabricated of stainless steel is firmly attached to the drive motor housing. This tube may or may not have holes machined into its length that permit or restrict the circulation of samples within it. These are typically referred to as sealed or non-sealed tubes. The opposite end, or working end, of the tube has machined threads in the internal surface.
- A drive shaft is inserted in the tube. One end is inserted into the drive motor “chuck” similar to a drill bit and its drive pin clicked into place. The other end, or working end, has machined threads to accept the rotor. Drive shafts may be equipped with bearings or seals. Shaft seals are not to be confused with shaft bearings located at the top and bottom of rotating shaft in order to keep the rotor shaft centered in the shaft tube. Bearings are common to all homogenizer shafts.
- The rotor is attached by threading it to the drive shaft. Rotors consist of sharply machined teeth. The configuration of the rotor is designed to complement the design of
- The stator, which is screwed onto the working end of the drive shaft and suspended in the samples being processed.
How to Specify Homogenizer Generator Components
Tube length and diameter depend somewhat on the model of drive motor but more likely on what type of vessel you use for the homogenizing operation (test tube, beaker, flask…) and what you are homogenizing. They are available in various lengths and diameters.
Should the tube have ports in it? This depends on what you are processing. The purpose of ports in the tube is to circulate the sample to cool the rapidly rotating shaft and bearings. This circulation has nothing to do with the actual homogenizing process. If your sample contains abrasives that can damage the shaft and bearings select a sealed tube without ports.
Homogenizer generator drive shaft configurations can range from the relatively simple to highly complex configurations. For example, the bearing assembly at the bottom of the CAT G-20 and G-30 shaft consists of eleven components including springs, retaining and slip discs, O and slip rings, and ball bearings. Drive shaft configurations, therefore, are dependent on the equipment selected, in turn depending on what it is users intend to accomplish.
Help in Specifying Lab Homogenizer Generators
The generator assembly is the working end of a laboratory or pilot plant homogenizer. One of the basic considerations in selecting a dispersing tool application is the properties of the media being processed. Scientists at CAT Scientific broadly classify function as V for viscous or coarse samples, N for low viscosity materials, F for fine or aqueous materials and K for knife or cutting applications. These properties also impact the power requirements of the drive motor.
As noted above, rotors have sharply machined teeth that interact with compatibly sharply machined slots on the stator and are designed to perform specific tasks.
Rotor and stator configurations can be changed out – that is you can switch between V, N, F, and K functions for the same tube diameter using the tools provided with your equipment. This provides added versatility and functionality.
TLC for Lab Homogenizers
An investment in a lab homogenizer should be protected with thorough cleaning and maintenance. That’s because when operating homogenizers draw the material up through the base where the knife edged rotor violently propels it through the knife edges of the stators, thus performing the homogenizing action. The residuals from the process should quickly be removed.
At the end of the processing disassemble and clean the all components of the assembly to prevent samples from hardening on surfaces and potentially contaminating the next batch. For tips on maintenance see our article on how to clean homogenizers.