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New bead mill MicroMedia®P2 - nanogrinding with microbeads now also on commercial scale

05.05.2007 Following the successful launch of the new bead mill MicroMedia® P1, Bühler will present its newly developed MicroMedia® P2-C commercial-scale machine size as a full ceramic design at the European Coatings Show in Nürnberg on May 8 –10, 2007. The bead mill MicroMedia® has been especially designed for the reliable application of microbeads with diameters ranging from 300 microns down to 20 microns. The novel concept of energy introduction and the efficient grinding beads separating device allow for unusually high throughputs. This is a prerequisite for obtaining narrow particle size distributions in the submicron to nanometer range. Depending on the specific requirements of the dispersion to be processed, it is possible to select the operating parameters from anywhere between “soft dispersing” to “high energy grinding” with circumferential speeds of 5 to 20 meters per second. This permits extremely gentle dispersing without attacking the particle morphology. But the identical system can also be excellently used in intensive real grinding applications with average power densities inside the process chamber of up to 4 kilowatts per liter. Pilot size mills MicroMedia® P1 are now being used with outstanding results for the nanogrinding of small batches ranging from 2 to about 50 liters. Examples of successful applications in installations throughout the world include: high-transparency pigment dispersions, color filter concentrates, inkjet inks, functional ceramic dispersions.

The new production size MicroMedia® P2-C is equipped with a drive power up to 30 kilowatts. As all the dimensions and ratios relevant to the dispersing or grinding process have been kept constant, ideal conditions are obtained for a linear scale-up from the pilot size P1. In a wide range of operating parameters and adjusted product viscosities, recirculation throughputs of 1000 liters per hour and more can be achieved. To prevent any metallic contamination, the rotor and stator components are made as standard from a highly wear-resistant special ceramic material with excellent heat conductivity. Thanks to the resulting outstanding cooling efficiency, it is possible if required to process even formulations with thermally sensitive components into top quality grades utilizing microbeads with high power density in the process chamber.

The scale-up characteristics of the MicroMedia® P2-C, which sets a new standard in the industry, have been repeatedly and convincingly proved in the application test center of Buhler Mannheim. To demonstrate achievable product quality properties as well as the feasibility of scale-ups, machines of size MicroMedia® P1-C as well as the new MicroMedia® P2-C are available for conducting customer tests.

Nanogrinding of a high-transparency pigment dispersion, double normalized plot; linear scale-up from MM P1-C to MM P2-C, bead diameter 100 microns; recirculation throughputs of 180 and 1000 liters per hour, respectively; pressure 1.2 bar Nanogrinding of a high-transparency pigment dispersion, double normalized plot; linear scale-up from MM P1-C to MM P2-C, bead diameter 100 microns; recirculation throughputs of 180 and 1000 liters per hour, respectively; pressure 1.2 bar