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Achieving Perfect Nanoparticles with Ultrafine Grinding

Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field which has led to innovations across various industries: from cosmetics, textiles, and automobile to pharmaceutics, food, sports and medicine.

Nanotechnology deals with particles in a range from 1 to 100 nm, which possess special properties due to their size. In a recent White Paper from RETSCH – world leader in sample preparation equipment – they highlight key points about the “Top-Down” method of producing nanoparticles by precise grinding of larger particles and how the use of laboratory ball mills is key to achieving ultrafine particles.

This method entails three to four steps, depending on the sample material:

    The steps of colloidal grinding
  • Preliminary Grinding – for when the initial sample material is not the appropriate size for the colloidal process
  • Colloidal Grinding – addition of a suitable dispersant to the sample until a pasty consistency is achieved
  • Checking the Consistency – to make sure sample/dispersant ratio needs adjustments
  • Removal of Grinding Jar – this should be done carefully as temperature is known to rise greatly during the grinding process

The next natural step is to choose the correct instrument. According to the paper, factors such as energy input and size reduction principle make ball mills the best choice for the production of nanoparticles. However, there are other criteria one must consider when selecting a mill for their application:

  • Material of grinding tools
  • Grinding ball size & balls/sample/dispersant ratio
  • Grinding time
Instruments such as the the planetary ball mills, like the PM 100, PM 200 and PM 400, and the new high energy ball mill Emax from RETSCH, are identified in the white paper as being the most suitable instruments to perform such sample break-down.

The paper then takes the comparison a step further and even though both prove to be suitable for the job, the new high energy ball mill Emax from RETSCH, is identified as the leading instrument in the market for colloidal grindings down to the nanometre range, thanks to the instruments high speed and innovative water-cooling system.

Praise for the high energy ball mill Emax: The unique combination of impact, friction and circulating grinding jar movement results in ultrafine particle sizes in the shortest amount of time. With its new liquid cooling system, excess thermal energy is quickly discharged preventing the sample from overheating, even after long grinding times.

To learn more about the evaluation process undertaken and the benefits of colloidal grinding using ball mills in nanotechnology, make sure to download and read the white paper “Ultrafine Grinding with Laboratory Ball Mills”.

Should you like more information on the Retsch Planetary Ball Mills or the Emax High Energy Ball Mill, contact a member of our Sales Team today! We will help you find the most suitable ball mill for your application.

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