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

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CapabilitiesEncapsulation / Microencapsulation ServicesParticle / Micro Bead MakingParticle Coating & Particle Surface ModificationParticle DispersionsParticle Grinding & MillingParticle Spray DryingParticle DryingCharacterization ServicesParticle Food ProcessingAdditional Particle ProcessingPortfolioView Our Portfolio Printable PagePrintable Page Email This PageEmail This Page

Particle Dispersions Services

Particle Dispersions

MicroMediaTM , Annular Mill for Nano Processing - Courtesy of Bühler

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Particle Dispersions
  Specializing in bead milling, high-pressure processing, and high shear mixing methods, AVEKA produces nano particle dispersions for over 12 different industries, from aerospace and micro-electronics to manufacturing and medical device applications. With the research and development infrastructure and production capabilities to formulate, design, and produce a colloidal or nano particle dispersion to meet our clients' diverse market needs, we work with both liquid and emulsion dispersions. We use a variety of methods to optimize and characterize dispersion formulations. To learn more about our particle dispersions and how we can meet your liquid and emulsion dispersion needs, please contact AVEKA.
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Particle Dispersions Specifications:

General Capabilities Contract Manufacturing
Continuous Manufacturing
Toll Processing
Research And Development
Innovation and IP Development
Consulting
Industry Focus Consumer Goods
Industrial
Alternative Energy
Aerospace
Micro-Electronics
Personal Care
Cosmetic
Manufacturing
Medical Device
Food
Pet Care
Nutraceutical
Industry Standards ISO - 9001 - 2008
International Organization for Standardization
Dispersion Processing at AVEKA, Inc AVEKA Inc. has interacted closely with Bühler Inc., and has an operating dispersion laboratory test center focused on grinding and dispersion using bead milling technology.  This infrastructure enables AVEKA partners to offer customers an even wider range of process equipment and services and even more expert capabilities.  The dispersion processing center enhances AVEKA's research service and contract manufacturing offerings by providing access to state-of-the-art dispersion technology and media mills.  A "Dispersion Processing Services for High-Performance Materials" brochure is available that highlights AVEKA Inc.'s service offerings for dispersion development and contract manufacturing.

AVEKA has the research and development infrastructure and production capabilities to formulate, design, and produce a colloidal or nanoparticle dispersion to meet your market needs. The optimized parameters of interest might include: particle size distribution, high % solids, color, opacity, stability, proper rheology, etc. Critical to successful dispersion processing is the control and manipulation of the interparticle forces generated between particles in this sub micron size range. High quality dispersions typically possess high stability with a long shelf life, resist sedimentation, high solids content and possess the proper rheology.

Choosing the correct surfactants and dispersants and the proper process to make dispersions is a core competency of AVEKA. Several technology platforms useful in the processing and scale up of high quality dispersions are available, including: high energy bead milling, high pressure processing, microfluidization, homogenization, high shear mixing, wet ball milling, dry ball milling, pigment surface treatment technologies and compounding.  AVEKA has a full range of analytical tools to measure and understand the behavior of dispersions (particle size measurement, particle charge by zeta potential measurement, complex rheology, surface area, etc).

Many dispersions are water-based, although AVEKA has the capability to prepare solvent-based and/or 100% curable dispersions. AVEKA has developed stable dispersions of inks, agriculture additives, polishing solutions, high tech slurries for electronic markets, carbon particles, nanoparticulate materials for alternative energy applications, cosmetic lotions, ceramic slurries and more.

Dispersions are divided into two types: solid in liquid and liquid in liquid (called emulsions). Each of these systems are used throughout a wide range of industries. The solid in liquid dispersion is one in which the solids are suspended in the fluid. These dispersions are created for a wide variety of applications with some of the most common uses being specialty coatings, ink, microabrasives, ceramics and cosmetics. An emulsion is a homogenized mixture of two or more immiscible liquids. Droplets of one of the liquids will be suspended in the other. A common example of this is milk. Current state-of-the-art applications include enhanced oil recovery and drug delivery. For our customers, we have also generated triple emulsions of water in oil in water and /or solids suspended in oil, which is then emulsified in water.
Characterization Many state-of-the-art methods are used to characterize and optimize dispersion formulations, including the ones listed below. Additional information about these methods is provided on our Characterization Services web page
  • Particle size distribution of 3 nm – 3 mm (Static and Dynamic laser light scattering, SEM microscopy)
  • Particle shape and morphology (digital light microscope with image analysis)
  • Zeta Potential:  Measures the particle charge on the surface of a particle critical to adsorption and stabilization phenomena. 
  • Complex Rheology - Accurately determines the effectiveness of the stabilization package used to manipulate and control the interparticle forces present in a emulsion or dispersions.
  • Surface area – BET analysis, smaller particles lead to enormous surface area with significant implications on behavior, uses and control.
Methods of Making Dispersions AVEKA has three primary methods of generating dispersions: bead milling, high pressure processing and high shear mixing. Each of these has specific strengths and can be employed to make an ultra-fine dispersion of most any material, including pigments, ceramics, foodstuff, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and even polymers.

State-of-the-art bead milling is often the best choice for preparing and scaling up high quality dispersions. Bead milling employs high density, high strength grinding media and a high-speed rotating shaft enclosed in a grinding chamber. A starting millbase suspension is pumped through the grinding chamber to allow for size reduction and deagglomeration.  In the grinding chamber, the grinding media are energized and travel at high speeds constantly colliding with the dispersed materials. The high kinetic energy generated during this process allows materials to be deagglomerated often reducing the average size from 100 microns to sub micron within minutes. Eventually particle comminution is possible. Typical final parameters for dispersions processed in this manner are particle size from 0.05 to 5 microns, % solids of 15-75 wt%, and a viscosity from 50 -10,000 cp.

High pressure processing is used to make fine emulsions and to generate ultra-fine colloidal dispersions as well. This method is often called medialess milling as there is no high energy impaction and grinding. Using a pump, the starting millbase suspension is pressurized to 5000-25000 psi and forced through a series of small orifices and nozzles. The dispersion experiences extremely high shear forces and explosive expansion forces causing micro cavitations, which render the materials into ultra-fine particles or emulsions. Typical particle sizes for this type of processing range from 0.05 to 5 micron.

High shear mixing is the least energetic method of dispersing particles. This batch method is commonly used to break apart loose agglomerates (e.g. soft materials like those commonly found in pigments and foodstuff). The process steps are to introduce dry powers or oils initially into a batch of water to create pre suspensions/emulsions. This process often uses a Cowles blade dissolver or a high-speed rotor-stator type of mixing head (Silverson). Most often, this method is used as a first step premix preparation process prior to high energy bead milling and high pressure processing. Alternately, this method is used at the end of a process to add additional ingredients, dispersants, defoamers, co-solvents, rheological additives or other special ingredients critical for the end application.
Dispersions Processing and Development Equipment Available at AVEKA, Inc.
  • Buhler K8 laboratory Bead Mill 
  • Buhler K60 production size conical Bead Mill
  • Buhler MicroMedia® Agitated Bead Mill
  • Buhler SuperFlow® 12 Solvent-Rated Pilot Perl Mill
  • Hockmeyer basket Bead Mill
  • Ball Mills (dry and wet)
  • Ross multi shaft mixiers
  • Sigma Mixers, Extruders for high viscosity compounding
  • Microfluidizers, 110C and 220 EH (High Pressure Processing)
  • Dispermat Lab Scale Media Mill
  • Dispermat Cowles Dissolver
  • Silverson rotor stator mixers
  • Gaulin Homogenizer, high pressure process for emulsion making
  • Ultrasonic horn and baths
  • Single Screw Extruder, Buss Co-Kneader

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