Understanding Laboratory Homogenizers

A lab homogenizer is often the tool of choice for researchers in pilot plant labs to develop procedures aimed at achieving the most efficient method of processing samples that later can be applied to full-scale production lines.  These versatile tools are fitted with what are called rotor-stator assemblies  powered by a drive motor, much in the way that a motor drives a hand-held or mounted power drill. The design of the laboratory homogenizer rotor-stator assembly is selected based on the particular task at hand, examples being

  • Mixing
  • Dispersing
  • Cell disrupting
  • Emulsifying
  • Particle reduction
  • and similar exercises.

Homogenizer Mixer Selection Tips

Motor power and mixing speed are the key criteria in selecting laboratory homogenizer drive units.  You can think in terms of selecting power drills. Power is expressed in watts and speed in revolutions per minute (RPM).  Sample viscosity and sample size are key selection considerations.  At the rotor-stator assembly end – think the “business end” of the lab homogenizer – a variety of configurations can be selected to perform tasks at hand.

Homogenizer Drive Motors
Lab homogenizer units range from 125-watt hand-held drives designed for samples to 1 liter in volume up to 1700-watt units handling samples from 10 to 20 liters in volume.  The larger and more powerful laboratory homogenizers should be attached to a mounting bracket to hold them firmly in the sample beaker.  CAT homogenizer-mixer speeds are variable, depending on models selected.  An example is the popular 1000-watt Unidrive X1000-D with speeds of 4,000 to 33,000 RPM and equipped with a digital display.

Rotor-Stator Assemblies
Rotor-stator assemblies – the “business end” of laboratory homogenizers – consist of a fixed (stationary) stator screwed onto a tubular shaft that is firmly attached to the drive motor housing.  The rotor is fitted into the drive motor by its own shaft passing through the stator tube and operates much the same as a drill bit.  Stators have slots and rotors have complimentary teeth, both sharply machined and designed for specific homogenizing tasks.

When powered up the rotor-stator assembly operates by the rotor drawing the sample up into the assembly where it is violently propelled through the stator slots.

These assemblies, depending on design, are what perform the homogenizing function such as mixing, shearing, tearing, dispersing, emulsifying, and cell disrupting.

Please contact us if you have questions or for help in selecting the equipment best suited to your tasks.

 

Posted in

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.

Leave a Comment