How to Use CAT Homogenizer Flow-Through Chambers
CAT Scientific homogenizers offer outstanding versatility as tools to homogenize, emulsify, disrupt, mix, blend, macerate and otherwise process materials to support R&D, pilot production and similar activities across a broad range of industries. Homogenizers consist of a generator assembly comprised of a slotted stator affixed to a compatible generator tube available in various lengths. The tube encases a compatible shaft (or axle) to which is attached a rotor that fits into and matches the function of the stator. The assembly is fitted into the homogenizer motor (or driver) that drives the axle and rotor at controllable speeds to 45,000 rpm. To provide stability during the homogenizing process the equipment is clamped to a mounting stand. The stand also supports beakers and flasks containing material being processed.
When the generator is put into a container and turned on the rotor draws material into the assembly and whips it through the stator slots thereby achieving homogenization. As the CAT homogenizer continues to operate all of the material in the container will pass through the rotor-stator assembly to be processed, the time depending on the size of the container and the objective of the homogenization activity. For a more detailed look at homogenization see our post Understanding Modular Homogenizer Systems.
Added Functionality with Homogenizer Flow-Through Chambers
Flow-through chambers are most simply defined as pumps that draw samples through an inlet tube to a generator assembly and dispense it either back into the same container or to another container via an outlet tube. By restricting the flow through the outlet, dwell time in the generator is increased for enhanced processing.
CAT Scientific flow-through homogenizer chambers can also be used for closed-loop processing by isolating the material from the environment, and by continually circulating material by directing the outlet tube into the same container.
The three flow-through chambers in the CAT Scientific DK line handle flow rates of up to 2,000, 3,000 or 5,000 liters/hour (528, 712 and 1230 gallons/hour). They are designed to work with specific rotor-stator assemblies
Configuring the CAT DK40 (5,000 liters/hour) Flow-Through Chamber
This unit is designed to pair with the CAT X1740 1500-watt homogenizing system driver that operates to 22,000 rpm. The mounting flange of the DK40 flow-through chamber is attached to a horizontal plate and accepts the X1740 motor flange so that the driver is firmly fixed in the horizontal position. Note that attaching the driver is the final step after assembling the chamber.
An axle sized to the DK40 system is inserted into the mounting flange and will snap into the driver.
The cooling-jacket-equipped flow-through chamber housing includes the sample outlet, the coolant inlet and outlet. Subassemblies include a chamber lid snugged against the mounting flange, a stator, rotor and inlet chamber lid. O-rings are fitted at appropriate locations. The chamber assembly is firmly attached to the mounting flange by means of wing nuts.
Attach and clip the inlet and outlet tubes, routing as needed. Attach coolant circulation tubes if the samples are affected by heat. Caution: This system is not self-priming. The inlet tube and flow-through chamber must be filled before the homogenizing process is initiated. Place the sample container at the same level as the chamber and be certain that the sample enters the chamber before turning the drive motor on.
Please refer to the Cat Scientific X1740 user manual for complete details on the DK40.
Configuring the DK 30 Flow-Through Chamber
Smaller in size and with capacities up to 2,000 and 3,000 liters per hour depending on the rotor-shaft configuration – CAT G20 for 2,000 and G30 for 3,000 liter processing – the CAT Scientific DK30 flow-through chamber operates in the vertical position with the drive motor clamped to the mounting stand. The stainless steel chamber has a bottom-mounted inlet and side-mounted outlet over which tubing is pushed in place and clamped. Material is drawn into the chamber by the internal rotor, spun through the stator and discharges via the outlet.
Maintaining CAT Homogenizer Flow-Through Chambers
After each use all CAT Scientific flow-through homogenizer chambers must be flushed out by pumping a suitable cleaning solvent through the mechanism to remove traces of material being processed before it dries on the mechanism components. Cleaning instructions are provided with manuals. We also invite you to view our post on Cleaning Tips for Homogenizers and Emulsifiers.