What is Deagglomeration?
Deagglomeration is a critical part of the dispersion process, helping to ensure a more uniform formulation in applications where one material is being dispersed or mixed into another. Deagglomeration equipment addresses the challenge of solid materials, such as powders, or solid/liquid blends, such as slurries, binding together and forming lumps.
These agglomerates, or lumps, can create a number of problems in a product, including:
- Settling, creating a less uniform and lower-quality product
- Undesirable textures for products that are meant to be completely smooth and lump-free
- Safety issues for applications such as pharmaceutical products, where materials must be as uniformly dispersed as possible
- Poor coverage and inconsistent viscosity for materials such as paints and inks.
For these reasons, the deagglomeration of powders and any other materials meant for dispersal should be a key part of the production process. There are two primary deagglomeration methods: dry milling and wet milling.
The wet milling technique involves adding one material to a liquid medium, which itself serves to break apart clumps by removing surface tension, in addition to a mechanical inertia process. It is commonly the preferred process, as it can operate more precisely, protect more fragile particles, and perform more quickly. See below for more benefits of wet milling for deagglomeration.
The Application Challenge
During processing, many solid/liquid blends develop lumps. Whether the lumps are inherent to the product or they form as agglomerates while mixing a powder into a liquid, lumps are typically undesirable in the final product and must be smoothed out.
High Shear Wet Milling Equipment
Quadro’s newer high shear wet mills excel at deagglomeration and wet milling by offering particle size reduction and deagglomeration capabilities beyond the limits of traditional rotor-stator mixers. They also enhance process scalability with better control and consistency over wetted-part machine tolerances.
The wet milling process is a safe and efficient alternative to dry milling. Unlike dry milling, wet milling does not cause dust to form, so elaborate technical solutions, such as dust removal systems, inert gas purging, and dedicated containment are not necessary.
High shear wet milling offers improved performance and efficiency over traditional alternatives such as media milling or colloid mills, including:
- more rapid deagglomeration
- greater size reduction
- reduced processing time
- increased output value per shift (in dollars)
- lower capital costs,
- and decreased maintenance.
In certain applications, high shear mixers perform as well as expensive high-pressure homogenizers, but with less energy, lower costs, and reduced maintenance.
From rapid deagglomeration to high shear wet milling, Quadro® has the equipment to help you get the job done faster and more efficiently, whether you’re in the personal care, pharmaceutical, food & beverage industry, or another sector that relies on these capabilities.