AVEKA Group specializes in
particle processing technology
offering contract manufacturing and custom
research and development services

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Additional Particle Processing

Additional Particle Processing
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Additional Particle Processing
  To further accommodate our diverse customers, AVEKA offers several additional particle processing methods to suit a wide range of industries and applications. Our processes include centrifugation, classification, spherodization, emulsification, homogenizers, and microfluidization, as well as solvent processing, dry blending, and oil deodorization.

AVEKA operates multiple types of centrifuges, including several that are appropriate for flammable solvents, which are used to separate solid particulate from the liquid in which it is suspended. Materials are screened in order to reach a specific particle size, and we offer a range of equipment and sizes to screen everything from small samples to tons of materials.

Spherodization is used to improve the flow characteristics of powders or to make an imperfect coating more continuous; the process enables edges of a meltable particle to be rounded. To learn about our other particle processing services, including homogenizers, microfluidization, solvent processing, dry blending, and oil deodorization, please see below or contact AVEKA today.
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Additional Particle Processing Specifications:

General Capabilities Contract Manufacturing
Continuous Manufacturing
Toll Processing
Research And Development
Innovation and IP Development
Industry Focus Consumer Goods
Alternative Energy
Personal Care
Medical Device
Pet Care
Industry Standards ISO - 9001 - 2008
International Organization for Standardization

Like spray drying, centrifugation is a method for separating solid particulate from the liquid in which it is suspended.  The products of centrifugation are a clarified liquid and a solid wet cake typically containing between 40 and 80% solids by weight.

Typical uses for centrifugation equipment at AVEKA include the following:
1.    Removal of particles from a chemical bath after a surface treatment step.
2.    Removal of particles from a wash, rinse, or extraction liquid.
3.    Recovery of microcapsules from the encapsulation liquid in which they were formed.
4.    Scapling of unwanted “overs” from a colloidal dispersion.

AVEKA operates several types of centrifuges ranging in capacity from laboratory to production scale.  They include small-volume tube centrifuges as well as larger process centrifuges equipped with either solid bowls or perforated baskets.  Several of AVEKA's process centrifuges are rated for the processing of flammable solvents.

Screening/Classification In order to reach a specific particle size range many materials will need to be screened.  AVEKA has the capability to screen down to a few microns or to provide several size cuts.  We provide closed system screening to eliminate dust contamination.  We are able to utilize an Ultrasonic system to increase screening rates and do screen difficult materials.  Screening is commonly used in conjunctions with other processes to achieve a particle size range.
At AVEKA we have a range of equipment and sizes to screen small sample sizes to tons of materials
  • Sonic Sieves
  • Rotap Screening
  • Sweco Screening (60, 48, 36, 18 inch models)
  • Sweco Turbo Screening (18 inch models)
Spheroidization Spheroidization allows edges of a meltable particle to be rounded. This is used to improve the flow characteristics of powders or to make an imperfect coating more continuous. The particles are rapidly passed through an intensely heated area.   The outside material melts, flows, and, as it cools, forms a smooth surface. If there are small meltable particles on the outside of the core material, these will melt and flow to provide a better coating. If the core is thermoplastic, it softens and allows the coating particles to become more strongly adhered.
Emulsification The process of emulsification consists of combining two immiscible liquids (such as oil and water) and creating fine droplets of one liquid (typically sub micron in diameter) dispersed into the other liquid.  Emulsions are thermodynamically unstable and, thus, do not form spontaneously.   The process to emulsify makes use of energetic mixing techniques to finely subdivide the liquids in to smaller and smaller droplets forming an emulsion. 

Energy input through shaking, stirring, homogenization, micofluidization, or spray processes is needed to initially form an emulsion.  Common examples include Milk (oil in water, O/W emulsions) and cosmetic hand creams (water in oil, W/O emulsions).

Emulsions tend to have a cloudy appearance, because the many dispersed droplets scatter the visible light, which passes through.

One such process to make emulsions is to use a high speed rotor stator mixing (Silverson type) process in batch or continuous mode.

Formulation work is critical to understand, as over time, emulsions tend to revert to the stable state of the individual phases comprising the emulsion. The common observation of the separation of oil and water in vinaigrette is an example of an unstable emulsion.

The addition of surfactants, surface active molecules with carefully designed hydrophilic and lipophillic (HLB ratio) portions are needed to stabilize emulsions droplets and prevent flocculation, coacervation and emulsion breaking.

AVEKA has analytical tools such as particle size analysis, complex rheology, zeta potential metrology and microscopy to fully characterize emulsions. 

AVEKA has expertise in aspects of emulsion formulation, food emulsions, and in emulsion making using a variety of processes.  AVEKA has laboratory, pilot and production scale equipment to prepare high quality, robust emulsions. 
Homogenizers A Homogenizer is a piece of processing equipment used for the preparation of fine emulsions and fine dispersions.  Such a process can be used with various materials such as organic pigments, lake pigments, plant material, food oils, hydrocolloids, and agrichemicals.  Many different homogenizer types are available.  One such platform used at AVEKA is a Gaulin homogenizer.  This process makes use of a special high pressure pump (up to 6000 psi) and forces a liquid stream through special valves that open and close a narrow slit (openings) leading to extremely high shear, high velocities and emulsification/deagglomeration.

AVEKA has laboratory scale, inline mixing options, and production scale (hundreds of pounds an hour flow rate) homogenization capabilities.   AVEKA has analytical tools such as particle size analysis, complex rheology, zeta potential metrology and microscopy to fully characterize dispersions and emulsions made with homogenization techniques. 
Microfluidization High pressure processing is used to make fine emulsions and fine particle dispersions.  This process can be utilized to generate ultra fine nanoscale materials.  Using a pump a starting pre emulsion or millbase is pressurized to 6000-25000 psi and forced through a series of fixed small orifices and nozzles contained in interaction chambers.  The emulsion droplets or suspended particles experience extremely high shear forces and explosive expansion forces causing micro cavitations which reduce the particle sizes dramatically.

The added surfactant/dispersant packages stabilize the formed emulsions.  Typical particle sizes for this type of processing are 0.05 – 0.5 microns.

AVEKA has a laboratory scale Microfluidizer M110C and a Pilot production model M220 EH. This type of size reduction is sometimes referred to as medialess milling as it makes use of shear forces to deagglomerate (not grinding media) which can often lead to no measurable levels of cross contamination during processing.  Industries like semiconductor, battery technology, inkjet, high tech ceramics, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries can benefit from this processing platform.  AVEKA's broad expertise in dispersion processing, formulation, high pressure processing, and analytical particle measurement techniques give our customers a unique innovative advantage.
Solvent Processing AVEKA has adapted several of the processes to be safe for solvent processing.  This ranges from spray drying, dispersion milling, centrifugation, to analytical characterization.  In order to maintain a safe environment, AVEKA has in place proper solvent handling and safety protocol.

Along with several pieces of explosion proof equipment, AVEKA also offers a Class 1 Division 1 walk in hood.
Dry Blending Dry blending is a process by which a particulate ingredient(s) is mixed with other particulate ingredients to form a well-mixed dry product.  Temperature control of the blend is possible.  It is also possible to effectively add a small, controlled amount of liquid to a blend using some of AVEKA's trade secret techniques.  AVEKA has blenders on multiple scales, from lab-scale to production scale. AVEKA employs v-blenders, paddle blenders, ribbon blenders, zig-zag blenders, and others. 

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