Ultrasonic High-Shear In-Line Mixers

High-shear ultrasonicators for inline mixing processes offer various advantages when compared to conventional colloid homogenizers. Using high-power ultrasound for mixing enables Hielscher ultrasonic high-shear mixers to produce uniformly dispersed colloidal suspensions and emulsions in the nano-range. Ultrasonic inline homogenizers can process any volume and viscosity and can even handle very abrasive particles.

High-Shear In-Line Mixing with Power Ultrasound

Inline homogenization of solid-liquid or liquid-liquid suspensions is a necessary application in the production of manifold materials and goods. Ultrasonic high-shear inline mixers are used in many industries including the manufacturing of paints, pigments & inks, polymers & composites, fuels, foods & beverages, nutritional supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics & personal care amongst others. Ultrasonic high-shear inline homogenizers are used for mixing, dispersing, deagglomerating, emulsifying, wetting, dissolving and micro-grinding of particles. A particular strength of ultrasonic high-shear inline mixers is the capability of reliable processing of nano-materials (e.g. nano-dispersions, nano-emulsions).

The video is demonstrating ultrasonic dispersion of red color using the UP400St with a S24d 22mm probe.

Ultrasonic Red Color Dispersion using the UP400St

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Ultrasonic high-shear inline homogenizers are used for industrial processing of paints, pigments, inks, foods & beverages as well as cosmetics

Ultrasonic high-shear inline mixers handle high volumes, high solid concentrations and abrasive particles.

How Does Ultrasonic High-Shear Mixing Work?

Ultrasonic high-shear mixing and homogenization is based on the working principle of acoustic cavitation. When liquids are sonicated at high intensities, the ultrasound waves propagate through the liquid medium and result in alternating high-pressure (compression) and low-pressure (rarefaction) cycles. High power ultrasonicators operate at a frequency of around. 20kHz. This means 20,000 vibrations per second. During the low-pressure cycle, high-intensity ultrasound waves create small vacuum bubbles in the liquid. When the cavitation bubble attains a size at which its cannot absorb any further energy, it collapses violently during a high-pressure cycle. This phenomenon of bubble implosion is known under the technical term “cavitation”. During the implosion very high temperatures (approx. 5,000K) and pressures (approx. 2,000atm) are reached locally. The implosion of the cavitation bubble also generates liquid jets of up to 280m/s velocity. (cf. Suslick 1998)
These highly intensive and disruptive forces provide sufficient energy to mill, deagglomerate and disperse particles in fluids and turn ultrasonic high-shear mixers into the processing technology par excellence. Therefore, they are used as fabrication and processing technique, especially in sectors where nanotechnology and nano-materials play a crucial role for performance and product quality.

Superior Process and Energy Efficiency with Ultrasonic Mixers

Hielscher Ultrasonics high-shear mixing reactor with ultrasonic probe (Cascatrode)Hielscher ultrasonic processors have an outstanding energy efficiency of >85%. This reduces operational electricity costs and results in higher processing performance. Kusters et al. (1994) resume in their study that ultrasonic fragmentation is equally efficient as conventional grinding.
By applying pressure and optimizing the ultrasonic process, the ultrasonic mixing technology often excels conventional mixing methods such as rotary blade mixers, high-pressure homognenizers or ball mills by far.
In another study, Pohl et al. (2004) compared the processing efficiency of ultrasonic dispersion of silica with other high-shear mixing methods, such as with an IKA Ultra-Turrax (rotor-stator-system). Pohl et al. compared the particle size reduction of Aerosil 90 (2%wt) in water using an Ultra-Turrax (rotor-stator-system) at various settings with that of a Hielscher ultrasonic high-shear mixer UIP1000hd with flow cell in continuous mode. The study of Pohl et al. concludes, that “at constant specific energy EV ultrasound is more effective than the rotor-stator-system” and that “the applied ultrasound frequency in the range from 20 kHz up to 30 kHz has no major effect on the dispersion process.”

Why Ultrasonic High-Shear Inline Mixers?

  • high efficiency
  • for micron- and nano-particles
  • continuous inline
  • for any volume
  • can process very high viscosities
  • can handle abrasive particles
  • without moving parts (no rotors, blades)
  • without milling media (no beads)
  • CIP (clean-in-place)
Ultrasonic wet-milling of calcium hydroxyapatite

Ultrasonic particle size reduction of calcium hydroxyapatite (30% solid concentration, 150Ws/g US)

Ultrasonic high-shear inline mixers can handle high solid concentrations, abrasive particles and are available for any volume.

UIP4000hdT, a 4000watts powerful industrial high-shear mixer for inline processing, e.g., wet-milling, dispersing, emulsifying and dissolving of colloidal suspensions.

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Where to Buy Your Ultrasonic High-Shear In-Line Mixer?

Hielscher Ultrasonics is your trusted partner when it comes to high-performance sonication processes, such as ultrasonic milling, dispersing, emulsification and dissolving. Hielscher’s ultrasonic high-shear inline mixers can deliver very high amplitudes. Amplitudes of up to 200µm can be easily continuously run in 24/7/365 operation. For even higher amplitudes, customized ultrasonic sonotrodes are available. A wide variety of ultrasonic inline reactor and further accessories allow for the ideal setup for your ultrasonic application (e.g., inline emulsification, particle size reduction, and homogenization).
Smart software, digital menu via touch display, automatic data recording, and browser remote control are features of Hielscher ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers that make the operation most user-friendly and simple. The clean-in-place (CIP) technology makes the use of ultrasonic high-shear mixer convenient. Robustness, reliability, simple installation and operation as well as low maintenance are additional features, which facilitate the daily working routine with Hielscher ultrasonicators.

Contact us now to learn more about how ultrasonic high-shear inline mixer can improve your processing of solid-liquid and liquid-liquid systems! Our well trained and long-term experienced team will be glad to assist you with more information about applications and prices.

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch Volume Flow Rate Recommended Devices
1 to 500mL 10 to 200mL/min UP100H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000hdT
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

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Ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers are used in lab, bench-top, pilot and industrial processing.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers for mixing applications, dispersion, emulsification and extraction on lab, pilot and industrial scale.

Literature / References

Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to industrial size.

High performance ultrasonics! Hielscher’s product range covers the full spectrum from the compact lab ultrasonicator over bench-top units to full-industrial ultrasonic systems.


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