Modular Homogenizer Shaft Tubes: Sealed or Non-Sealed?

Several decisions must be made when setting up a laboratory or pilot plant homogenizing exercise. Drive motor speed and power along with the rotor-stator generator assembly are among the top considerations. But don’t overlook the modular homogenizer drive shaft tube to which the stator is attached and which encases the rotor shaft.

Drive shaft tubes are quite sophisticated – much more than a simple tube. In addition to shaft bearings designed to center the rotor shaft in the tube, and common to all designs, they can consist of a number of sub-assemblies such as ball bearings, springs, O-rings and other delicate components that are protected by shaft seals to keep out abrasive or aggressive media and specialized formulations that otherwise could lead to cross-contamination between samples.

The Function of Lab Homogenizer Shaft Tube Ports

By looking at a selection of our homogenizer shaft tubes you’ll note that some are equipped with one or two ports and some without ports. Ports enable media being processed to circulate through the tube, thereby performing a cooling function – not additional sample homogenizing. Ported tubes are used for standard emulsifying, dispersing, homogenizing, mixing, cell disruption, and similar processing. Ported tubes are fitted with upper and lower PTFE bearings and discs to center the rotating rotor shaft in the tube.

Sealed shaft tubes without ports are used when processing abrasive or adhesive type media that can render your investment in the mechanism useless. Port-less shaft tubes such as the T40/G40 tube shown in the above link are used when processing samples under pressure or in a vacuum, or with abrasive or adhesive media. As another example, the 20 mm diameter sealed homogenizer shaft, designed for processing up to 1,000 ml samples, has a two-part ceramic slip ring seal. This shaft is also used to operate the DK-30 flow-through chamber. Due to the large number of components that go into making these shaft tubes the seals are required for protection.

All CAT Scientific homogenizer shaft tubes are fabricated using corrosion resistant Type 304 nickel stainless steel. Components are easily disassembled for cleaning or swapping out compatible rotor-stator generators. They feature a quick-connect coupling that make them interchangeable. Instruction manuals provide complete instructions on the process of disassembly and reassembly using rotor and socket wrenches.

Two Lab Homogenizer Maintenance Tips
Never operate your homogenizer dry, as the quick heat build-up will damage or destroy shaft components such as bearings, discs and seals. This means that you also insert the generator into the sample before turning the unit on.

Establish a standard operating procedure to thoroughly clean homogenizer rotor-stator assemblies.

If you have questions on selecting and using CAT Scientific homogenizers please contact us for answers. We’ll provide all the help you need on selecting and using these versatile lab and pilot plant tools.
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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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