Ultrasonic Dispersion of Ceramic Slurries

  • Ultrasonic is a widely used technique for reliable and efficient dispersion and deagglomeration of ceramic particles.
  • Formulations of ceramic slurries must be properly mixed to obtain full wetting and dispersibility.
  • Ultrasonic shear forces enable for the processing of highly viscous slurries and composites on industrial scale.

Ultrasonic Formulating of Ceramics

Ceramic slurries are commonly compounded from numerous components such as ceramic powders, solvents, dispersants, binders, plasticizers, and other additives such as stabilizers and releasing agents. The preparation of slurries is commonly carried out in two stages: at first, the powders have to be deagglomerated and dispersed in the liquid medium using a dispersants; secondly, binders and plasticizers are added and the mixture must be blended evenly.
An effective wetting and deagglomeration of the powders is crucial to obtain well-dispersed slurries and to avoid powder clumps, so called fish-eyes. Ultrasonically generated high shear forces are the solution for effective and efficient particle hydration, disintegration, deagglomeration and dispersion. Ultrasonic homogenizers and dispersers outperform conventional agitators and mixers by reduced processing times, improved quality, product consistency and process efficiency.
Ultrasonic processors handle easily high viscosities, large volumes and abrasive materials. By the application of power ultrasound, particles can be uniformly reduced to nano size and integrated into high performance nanocomposites.

Sonication of Colloidal Slurries

The main advantages of ultrasonic particles processing include

  • highly uniform dispersion
  • nano particles
  • processing of abrasive materials
  • high viscosities (pastes, high particle loads)
  • time savings of up to 90%
  • full process control
  • completely linear scale-up
  • full reproducibility
  • aqueous and solvents (ATEX available)

Ultrasonic Dispersing Equipment

Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies reliable and effective ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to bench-top and industrial scale. The product range includes ultrasonicators for beaker and batch processing as well as for a sophisticated in-line treatment with ultrasonic flow cells. This gives you the possibility for the ultrasonic processing of smaller volumes in the R&D lab for feasibility and quality testingse.g. using the UP200Stto the commercial production of large volume streams (e.g. with UIP4000, UIP10000, UIP16000). A wide variety of our standard ultrasonicators and accessories has the suitable configuration ready. For special process requirements, Hielscher manufactures of course customized solutions to fulfill your needs. Our process lab, consulting service and toll manufacturing complete the range.

3 Steps to Successful Ultrasonic Processing: Feasibility- Optimization - Scale-up (Click to enlarge!)

Ultrasonic Process Consulting: Hielscher guides you from feasibility and optimization to commercial production!

Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment proves itself by simple operation:

  • batch and inline processing
  • high energy efficiency
  • installation in corrosive environments
  • retrofittable
  • easy and safe operation
  • no moving parts
  • no high speed rotary seals
  • low maintenance
  • robustness
  • full industrial grade
  • easy and fast cleaning
Power ultrasonics for milling, dispersing, emulsification and sonochemistry. (Click to enlarge!)

Ultrasonic Processing

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Power ultrasound is a proven technique to mill and disperse ceramic powders (Click to enlarge!)

Ultrasonically milled ceramic particles


  • Amendola, E.; Scamardella, A. M.; Petrarca, C.; Acierno, D. (2010): Epoxy Nanocomposites containing Ceramic Fillers for Electrical Applications.
  • Chartier, Thierry; Jorge, Eric; Boch, Phillipe (1991): Ultrasonic deagglomeration of AI2O3 and BaTiO3 for tape casting. Journal de Physique III, EDP Sciences 1/5, 1991. 689-695./li>
  • Ivanov, Roman; Hussainova, Irina; Aghayan, Marina; Petrov, Mihhail (2014): Graphene Coated Alumina Nanofibres as Zirconia Reinforcement. 9th International DAAAM Baltic Conference INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING 24-26 April 2014, Tallinn, Estonia.
  • Jorge, Eric; Chartier, Thierry; Boch, Phillipe (1990): Ultrasonic Dispersion of Ceramic Powders. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 73, 1990. 2552–2554./li>

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Ceramic materials are defined as inorganic crystalline material, compounded of a metal and a non-metal. They are solid, inert, brittle, hard, strong in compression, and weak in shearing and tension. They withstand chemical erosion of acidic or caustic environments and are highly temperature resistant. Due to these exceptional characteristics, ceramics are widely used for industrial applications such as coating, semiconductors, disks, and optical circuits. Common ceramic powders (cermats) include alumina, zirconium dioxide (zirconia), barium titanate, boron nitride, ferrite, magnesium diboride (MgB2), zinc oxide (ZnO), silicon carbide (SiC), silicon nitride, steatite, titanium carbide, and yttrium barium copper oxide (YBa2Cu3O7-x). Ultrasonication is a well proven technique for the reliable processing of ceramic slurries and composites.

Facts Worth Knowing

Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are often referred to as probe sonicator/ sonificator, sonic lyser, ultrasound disruptor, ultrasonic grinder, sono-ruptor, sonifier, sonic dismembrator, cell disrupter, ultrasonic disperser, emulsifier or dissolver. The different terms result from the various applications that can be fulfilled by sonication.

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