Planeten-Kugelmühlen haben seit jeher einen festen Platz in der täglichen Laborpraxis zur Feinzerkleinerung unterschiedlichster Materialien. Neben dem Mischen und Zerkleinern hat sich in den letzten Jahren auch im mechanischen Legieren z.B. thermoelektrischer oder hochkoerzitiver Materialien ein weiteres Anwendungsgebiet ergeben.
Die Herstellung von Nanopartikeln, deren Größe im Bereich von 1 Mikron und kleiner liegt, ist in vielen technischen Bereichen immer mehr auf dem Vormarsch, denn sie ermöglichen die gezielte Veränderung von Materialeigenschaften.
Nanoteilchen, d.h. Partikel mit einem Durchmesser von weniger als 100 Nanometer, werden seit vielen Jahren von Wissenschaftlern erforscht. Zum einen lassen sie sich im „Bottom-up“ Verfahren aus Atomen oder Molekülen synthetisieren. Im “Top-Down“ Verfahren hingegen werden größere Partikel, z.B. mit Hilfe von Labormühlen, zerkleinert. Kleine Partikel weisen durch das extrem vergrößerte Verhältnis von Oberfläche zu Volumen erhöhte Oberflächenladungen auf, so dass die Partikel elektrostatisch zueinander gezogen werden. Daher können Nanopartikel nur durch Nassvermahlung (Kolloidvermahlung) erzeugt werden.
Representative sampling of large sample volumes is an integral part of the physical and chemical analysis of bulk goods and has a decisive influence on the quality of the results. Extraction of a sample from the bulk is not always carried out in a way to ensure representativeness. This is a widespread flaw in the quality control process with a negative impact on the subsequent analysis results. Therefore, more attention should be paid to the correct sampling procedure. Sample division is often considered as a labor-intensive process which not always leads to representative results. RETSCH provides some convenient solutions which help to improve working conditions and thereby the quality of the sampling process.
Modern analytical methods increase precision and push detection limits to make even the smallest traces of sample components detectable. Despite this development sample preparation, which is carried out prior to the actual analysis, is frequently neglected. Errors caused by lacking accuracy in sample preparation have a much bigger impact than errors made during analysis. Just like an iceberg which is mostly hidden under water, only a small part of the sum of errors is perceived whereas the major part of potential errors is not taken into account (fig. 1). One of the reasons may be the fact that sampling and sample preparation have always been done in a traditional way which has become a routine over the years and is no longer considered as having a critical influence on the subsequent analyses.
The biggest challenge when developing a high energy ball mill is controlling the temperature. The very high energy produced by ball milling leads to an extreme heat increase inside the grinding jars. RETSCH solved this problem by creating an innovative integrated water-cooling system. Grinding breaks for cooling, which are unavoidable in conventional ball mills even after only 30 minutes grinding at moderate speed, are usually not necessary when using the High Energy Ball Mill Emax.
How are nano particles produced? The “Bottom-Up” method synthesizes particles from atoms or molecules. The “Top-Down” method involves reducing the size of larger particles to nanoscale, for example with laboratory mills. Due to their significantly enlarged surface in relation to the volume, small particles are drawn to each other by their electrostatic charges. Nano particles are produced by colloidal grinding which involves dispersion of the particles in liquid to neutralize the surface charges. Both water and alcohol can be used as dispersion medium, depending on the sample material. Factors such as energy input and size reduction principle make ball mills the best choice for the production of nanoparticles.
Today, recycled glass is the most important resource for the glass industry. The processed glass can be reintroduced to the melting process any number of times and made into new products. In Germany, currently up to 95 % of recycled glass is used for producing glass, which has various advantages: energy saving, less consumption of primary raw materials (such as lime and silica sand) and the reduction of landfill costs for waste glass.
A faultless and comparable analysis is closely linked to an accurate sample handling. Only a sample representative of the initial material can provide meaningful analysis results. Rotating dividers and rotary tube dividers are an important means to ensure the representativeness of a sample and thus the reproducibility of the analysis. Correct sample handling consequently minimizes the probability of a production stop due to incorrect analysis results. Thus correct sample handling is the key to effective quality control.
Even if size reduction is carried out under ideal conditions, the mechanical stress which the sample material exerts on the surface of the grinding tool causes abrasion. However, it is possible to minimize this effect by selecting suitable mills and grinding tools. If the sample material needs to be ground to sizes below 100 microns, strong mechanical forces are required which increase abrasion.
The development of high-performance ceramics is determined by a large number of influencing factors. In addition to material-specific aspects, such as the chemical purity of the initial raw materials, particle size reproducibility and uniformity of particle morphology, production-specific factors also determine the final properties of ceramics.
The following situation is typical for many production plants: After a routine quality check, the production process is stopped or an already produced batch is suspended, because the analysis results were not within the relevant critical values. But does the tested product really deviate from the specifications? The quality control managers are convinced of this because modern analysis instruments provide results with very low tolerances. The sample in question was tested several times and the result was confirmed. The question is why the product does not match the specifications although the production parameters have not been changed in any way. The possibility that the tested product is indeed deficient cannot be excluded. However, it is often not the product itself which causes irregular analysis results but a lack of understanding of the steps which come before the analysis.
Particle size analysis and particle size distribution are important criteria for the quality control of bulk materials. In a running production process, the results of a quality check must be available quickly to allow for immediate adjustment of the production parameters. Depending on the expected particle size and sample volume, different sieving methods and sieving machines are suitable for analysis. The method used for particle size analysis is primarily determined by the fineness of the material to be sieved. For dry sieving of samples with particle sizes below 40 microns, air jet sieving is the method of choice.
Easy evaluation of dust content - Alpha Ceramics, Germany