One of the most important characteristics of a jet milled product is the huge increase in surface area. When reduced to 5 microns, a 30 mesh product has 1,643,000 times more particles and the surface area is 118 times greater. This allows faster reaction times for chemicals, faster burn rates in solid fuel rockets (air to air missiles) more powerful explosives, stronger plastics and adhesives, and better pharmaceuticals.
The particle size is also important since very fine abrasives are used to polish lenses of all types so there are no scratches. If the polish is too coarse the lens will have scratches, and if it is too fine, processing time will increase. In the polishing industry, it is very important to have a very narrow particle size distribution for maximum productivity. The disks used on computer hard drives are polished with very precisely milled abrasives. Abrasives in toothpaste are another example; they must be aggressive but not enough to remove enamel.
Particle size is critical in titanium dioxide pigment because the greatest reflectivity of light (producing the brightest white) occurs when the particle size of the pigment approaches a precise relationship to the wavelength of visible light. Controlling particle size, then, is used to control product color and brilliance.
Cosmetics exhibit a silky smoothness when ground in the jet mill, which is a highly desirable property for facial cosmetics.
Pharmaceuticals for asthma patients need to pass deep into the lungs and medicines comprised of very fine particles travel deeper. The Micron-Master® mill will grind pharmaceutical powders fine enough to pass through a hypodermic needle. An increase in potency can be achieved with an increase in surface area so a lower dosage of the drug is required to do the same job.
Fillers and extenders such as clay and silica products are precisely milled for use in fine paper and plastic products. Coatings such as waxes and various polymers are jet milled to achieve special high gloss finishes on paper.
Jet milled pesticides, herbacides and other plant related products will cover much more surface area using less of the active ingredient thus reducing cost.
- Battery Applications [top]
- The Jet Pulverizer Company has developed a process solution for the emerging lithium-ion battery technology using the compounds Lithium Titanate Oxide (LiTiO3); aka LTO as well as Lithium Carbonate, Li2CO3; aka LCO. The beneficial properties of LTO & LCO are directly related to its size and purity. JP’s jet milling technology provides a distinct processing advantage using its dry, high-purity processing, with fine particle generation in the single digit micron average with an extremely tight distribution and near zero contamination.
- Specialty Coatings [top]
- A large company supplying specialty coatings for government aeronautical applications needed to have their (Epoxy Resin) granular powder reduced to 95% < 25 or better. The raw material was in the form of 1/16″ to 1/2″ chunks from their supplier and was pre-crushed at their facility then sent to us for jet milling. We were also asked to perform the pre-crushing prior to jet milling, which we were able to do. However, we took it one step further and fed their raw material in chunk form into our jet mill without pre-crushing and found that our mill could make specification without the pre-crushing, thus saving the customer the costs for the pre-crushing step. Finished product size results were 9.16 avg, 95% < 17.94, and 100% < 27.38, which far exceeded their best expectations.
- Unusually Fine Alumina [top]
- Various grades of alumina are regularly processed with particle size results ranging from 1.5 Avg to 3.5 Avg and top sizes ranging from 5 to 20 . One of our customers needed a special grade that required a much finer specification that the standard jet mill would have trouble reaching economically. Our Engineering Department took on the challenge, resulting in a new design improvement that consistently and economically produced particle sizes of 1.1 – 1.3 Avg with a top size of < 4.
- Moisture Sensitive Materials [top]
- Moisture sensitive materials obviously require dry air during the jet milling process which is easily accomplished with the use of an in-line dryer system. One product was particularly sensitive after jet milling with dry air and sitting for long periods of time. It was determined that the addition of a flow agent would extend the shelf life of the product without affecting product quality. This was accomplished by co-feeding the flow agent with the product at a specified percentage during the jet milling process, thus producing an evenly blended homogeneous material that eliminated the agglomeration problem with minimal additional cost.
- Processing Precious Metals [top]
- Minimizing losses during production is particularly important when processing precious metals and other valuable materials. While jet milling is inherently very efficient in minimizing losses, the control of setup, processing, packaging, and clean up, is an integral part of the milling system. Additional procedures were developed for various customers to even more extensively control and minimize losses to the degree that typical losses were reduced to 0.5 to 1%.