Popular Types of Industrial Mixers

Industrial mixers can be found throughout an array of industries. These powerful devices play a vitally important role in food production, pharmaceutical development, mineral refining, and many other important areas. As the name implies, industrial mixers are commonly used to mix large amounts of ingredients in a wide range of high viscosities. Additionally, these mixers vary in size and shape depending on the industry. If you’re interested in investing in an industrial mixer, take care to brush up on some of the most popular types.

Direct Drive Mixers
Direct drive mixers are commonly used to mix low-viscosity liquids. With this type of mixer, the motor shaft and the mixer shaft are able to match one another’s speeds. This is often done by using a resilient coupling to connect both shafts. While highly adept at mixing, direct drive mixers leave something to be desired with regard to pumping efficiency.

Sanitary Mixers
Commonly found in food production facilities and pharmaceutical plants, sanitary mixers contain high-end industrial mixing blades and are used in environments with corrosive conditions. Being composed of stainless steel, these mixers are very easy to clean and perform surface treatments on. To guard against contamination, sanitary mixers have airtight seals that are nearly impossible to penetrate.

Drum Mixers
True to their name, drum mixers are used to mix — and agitate — drums of ingredients. These mixers are largely characterized by their folding drum impellers, which provide the shaft and impeller with a comfortable entryway into the drums. Drum mixers are a common sight at many industrial chemical plants.

Corporate laboratories, food production facilities and manufacturing plants are just a few of the places you’re liable to find industrial mixers. However, the type of mixer you’ll need largely depends on the type of product(s) you wish to create. Before shelling out the money for an industrial mixer, make sure to learn about your options.

What to Consider When Selecting the Right Grinding Media

Many different factors should be considered when shopping around for the right grinding media. Depending on the ingredients you hope to grind, selecting an unsuitable media can have far-reaching consequences. Conversely, making an informed decision will pave the way for efficient, hassle-free grinds. The next time you find yourself in the market for new grinding media, remember to consider the following factors.

Hardness Levels 
When shopping around for zirconia balls or other types of grinding media, you’ll need to take overall abrasiveness into account. For example, if you put highly-abrasive media into a grinding chamber that isn’t equally abrasive, you’re looking at a recipe for disaster. Not only will the media not be properly ground, there’s a good chance it will cause lasting damage to your chamber.

When purchasing grinding media in bulk, uniformity is very important. In other words, buy your media from suppliers with a reputation for selling perfectly-spherical, evenly-sized pieces. All too often, bulk orders of grinding media are rife with pieces that are undersized, oversized and woefully misshapen. This can lead to problematic grinds, as well as chamber damage. Although a few out-of-place pieces are to be expected, the vast majority of each order should conform to your desired measurements.

No grinding media is impervious to damage, and eventually, all media needs to be replaced. That said, purchasing grinding media with a long lifespan may help your financial bottom line. Even if you initially wind up spending more than you had anticipated, exceptionally durable media can help you save more in the long run.

When choosing a suitable grinding media, it pays to know what you’re looking for. Provided you know which qualities to keep an eye out for, you should have no difficulty selecting media that perfectly meets your needs.


Why Norstone, Inc. Is the Perfect Place to Buy Lab Mixer Equipment

There’s no shortage of places from which to purchase lab mixers and related equipment. Since these items are used throughout a variety of corporate, government-run, and private laboratories, their wide availability should come as no surprise. However, the fact that such equipment is easy to come across doesn’t mean every distributor is equally capable of meeting your needs. Anyone on the hunt for a great place to buy high-quality lab equipment can end their search at Norstone Inc.

Incredible Selection of Mixer Accessories
The first thing you’ll notice when visiting Norstone’s online store is our incredible selection of accessories for laboratory mixers. Whether you’re in the market for new blades, beads, or linings, you’ll have no problem finding what you need. Norstone’s expansive array of industrial dispersing blades and commercial mixing blades are priced to own and available in a seemingly endless assortment of definitions.

Heavily Discounted Lab Equipment
Although mixer accessories are Norstone’s specialty, we are far from a one-trick pony. In addition to the aforementioned accessories, Norstone is home to a wide selection of filling machines, labelers, tank presses, and workbenches. In many respects, Nortstone, Inc. is a convenient one-stop shopping destination for all things lab-related. 

Hassle-Free Quotes
Labs that prefer to buy in bulk are sure to appreciate the ease with which they can obtain quotes from Norstone, Inc. Simply swing by the “Req. Quote” page on the company’s online store and provide some basic information, then sit back and wait for your quote. Most quotes are processed within 24 hours, but if you need even more expedience, just place a call to Norstone’s home office. 

Keeping a laboratory well-supplied is no simple undertaking. Even in smaller-scale labs, new equipment constantly needs to be purchased and old equipment constantly needs to be replaced. Fortunately, you can keep your lab up to snuff without breaking the bank by shopping at Norstone, Inc.

3 Popular Types of Grinding Media

Ball mills are used throughout a variety of industries and serve a fascinating assortment of purposes. Operating on the principle of impact and attrition, these efficient devices are particularly popular in the field of mineral dressing. Before using a ball mill to grind and/or blend materials, you’ll need to select a suitable grinding media. The exact media you’ll need varies depending on the materials you’re working with, so if you’re relatively new to ball mills, it pays to become acquainted with some of the most popular types of grinding media.

Alumina Oxide Balls
In recent years, alumina oxide balls have risen to prominence in the world of ball milling. Their enviable degree of abrasion and corrosion resistance and ability to withstand incredibly high temperatures has made these balls one of the most sought-after varieties of grinding media.

Porcelain Balls
Porcelain balls are arguably the most popular type of grinding media — and for good reason! Because of their incredible density, porcelain balls seldom incur chips or cracks during the grinding process. Although they tend to be a little pricier than many of their contemporaries, the amount of use you’ll get out of porcelain balls is well worth the additional expense.

Flint Pebbles
Despite being the oldest variety of grinding media, flint pebbles continue to be extremely popular. While not quite as durable as porcelain balls, these resilient little pebbles can be used in conjunction with most types of linings and are affordable on even the tightest budget. Additionally, flint pebbles are renowned for their consistently low rate of material contamination.

Even the highest-quality ball mill is only as good as its grinding media. That being the case, make sure to do your homework before selecting the proper media for each job you undertake. Choosing grinding media that’s ill-suited to the materials you’re working with can damage your mill and result in wasted materials.


Ceramic Grinding Media and More, Pt. 2

Norstone, Inc. is here to ensure that you are using the right media for your current product and process. Keep reading to learn more about the grinding media available at NorstoneInc.com.

Alloy and Steel Materials
Other grinding media materials include high density balls like 52100 chrome alloy, carbon steel, stainless steel, and forged balls. Various sizes and shapes of metal grinding media can help with diverse types of projects. For example, the hardness, shape, polish and microcrystalline structure of grinding media can determine how a specific type works on different types of raw materials. These types of grinding media can also last a long time in production.

Natural Materials
Most natural abrasives have been replaced by synthetic or composite materials over the years but some processes still use things like flint pebbles, sand, agate, or certain types of natural silicates. These materials can be good in terms of chemical compatibility and costs.

Always evaluate the composition and type of grinding media to be used in industrial processes. Talk to Norstone Inc. about how to get what you need at the best possible price, and about ceramic grinding media or similar materials that will last a long time in producing specific results day after day.


Ceramic Grinding Media and More, Pt. 1

If you’re in need of grinding media, look to Norstone Inc. for comprehensive solutions for grinding, deburring, polishing, or otherwise manipulating materials for industrial and enterprise purposes. The key is to think about the specific functionality of different types of grinding media to get the products you need for specific processes, and to make sure that what you buy will help you to get results over a long period of time.

Ceramic grinding media is another type of item that can help with particle size reduction or provide smooth surfaces and finished, polished results. Ceramics such as alumina, steatite, mullite, zirconia, tungsten carbide and silicon nitride can also be rather durable and less expensive to produce than some other types of grinding media. Zirconias are more expensive but last the longest and are stabilized with magnesium, Yttria or ceria.  Many are available in various shapes such as balls, satellites, cylinders, rods and naturals.

Nylon, Polyurethane, and Synthetic Grinding Media
One way to accomplish different processing goals is to go with certain types of synthetic materials. Look at density and size for polystyrene, polyurethane, polycarbonate, or nylon balls or cylinders.  These synthetics make a good grinding media because they do not wear the equipment. As a polishing media It may also be helpful to look at how well some of these synthetics will stand up to pressure and still remain gentle.

Different types of silicates are also another choice for grinding media. A variety of bead sizes and formulations provides versatility. Natural silicates such as sand are available as well as various forms of glass and zirconia silicates.

Choosing the Right Grinding Media

Choosing the right grinding media to ensure reliable, consistent performance for your bulk material preparation can be a challenge. When choosing, be sure to consider the following factors:

Sphericity: When grinding media that is perfectly spherical is used in your mill, all gaps that form between them will be the same size. Once the media is no longer spherical, the force of the fluid or powder is not exerted equally; this can cause media to “tumble” in the mill, leading to some gaps being large and some small. The liquid or powder vehicle in the premix then naturally flows more through the large gaps. The shear force is not high enough to do any deagglomeration, and mill efficiency suffers.

Size: As most of the work in a grinding mill such as a ball mill, horizontal mill, vertical mill is done by squeezing the material through the gaps between the media, we can assume that the more gaps, the more effective the milling. In order to increase the number of gaps, you will need to increase the number of beads or cylinders. However, to maintain the amount of media that is loaded, the only option is to decrease the size of the media – for example, the diameter of the beads.

Density: In a media or bead mill, denser media accelerates at a slower rate than less dense media so the velocity has to be increased by increasing the speed of the agitator or the mill itself. It also loses energy more slowly once energized. The media will impact and impinge the grinding shell wall and sink energy to the mill wall before being drawn into the recumbent flow of the mill. This causes grinding shell wear and puts undue stress on the mill cooling system if the correct media is not selected.

Media Surface: Irregular surfaces on grinding media can have an additive effect on the milling process, caused by surface cavitation as the fluid under process is forced around the bead. This causes accelerated mill wear because of the increased abrasion on the irregular surfaces and also causes accelerated wear on the media itself.

What are Polymers?

Did you know that polymers are in countless different household objects that are used every day? The term “polymer” is very vague, however – it can refer to one of many different substances and can come in countless different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. However, most chemists can agree that a polymer can be defined as a chemical composed of a series of repeating units. Some are natural such as wool, silk and proteins, while others are artificial such as nylon and polyester.

Polymers are generated through a process called polymerization, where smaller molecules called monomers chemically combine to form a larger network of molecules. This larger network needs to include at least one hundred monomer molecules in order to be considered a polymer. There are two different types of polymerization processes: condensation polymerization, where each step of polymerization is joined by the formation of a simple molecule (i.e. water), and addition polymerization, which uses catalysts that can have a major influence on the chemical properties of the polymer.

Plastics are one of the most well-known examples of polymers. They come in two forms: thermoplastics and thermosets.  Thermoplastics (like polyethylene blades) will melt when applied with heat, and then harden as they cool. They can be melted and remelted for reuse. Thermosets (like polyurethane blades) include molecules that are linked as they are heated which is a curing process.  Once this reaction takes place they cannot be melted and reused again.

Zirconia Balls: More Valuable than Diamonds?

“Diamonds are Forever”. You may know the saying from a book and movie series based on a certain well-dressed man with a proclivity for espionage. Perhaps you’re familiar with variants of the phrase uttered in jewelry commercials. Even textbooks everyday applications make note of the everlasting strength and beauty of the gem. When diamonds are not being used in jewelry, they are often the go to when a powerful and virtually indestructible tool or blade is needed.

You may be familiar with zirconia from the jewelry world, as it as often used as a cost-efficient substitute for diamonds due to some of its similar properties, including appearance, hardness and durability. A jeweler, scientist, or someone with a discerning eye can point out the differences in short order; however, the low cost of zirconia makes it popular. When used in other forms, zirconia is a popular and useful material. Zirconia balls are one of the most popular media in grinding mills for ceramics due to their high density, efficiency in high temperatures and resistance to rust and corrosion. There are a few variations of zirconia, with one of the most sought after being “YTZP” known for its toughness. That toughness comes from fortifying zirconia with the element, Yttria.

To learn more about zirconia, YTZP and other grinding media, contact us directly by calling 484-684-6986.

Welcome to Norstone, Inc.!


Welcome to the blog of Norstone, Inc.!  Here at Norstone, we offer a wide spread of mixing, dispersing, de-agglomerating, agitating and milling blades, equipment, and media. We take great pride in our product quality and dedication to superior customer service.  Our tools and materials are used in a wide array of industries, such as mining, mineral processing, particle reduction industries and even more.  Whether you need steel or polyurethane mixing blades, or beads made from zirconia, alumina, polystyrene and other materials, we are the company to go. We make it easy and comfortable for you by working with you over the phone to ensure that you get the best service possible and the right product for your business’s need.

Here on our blog, you’ll find information on some of our products, the thought behind them, perhaps even some fun science facts! Our main goal is customer satisfaction. It is the basic, but ever-important principle behind everything that we do at Norstone, Inc. We are very receptive to constructive criticism, and we hope you share with us the way we share with you! Be sure to stay tuned to this blog for more from us. Thank you for being a Norstone customer.