May 11, 2015
3D Ball Mill Capable of Efficient Pulverization and Mixing with High-speed 3D Motion Using Proprietary Configuration
Nagao System developed the 3D Ball Mill, a unique ball mill that has rotation axes along both the vertical and horizontal axes.
A ball mill is a device used to create an even finer powder material by inserting the sample (powder) into a container together with hard balls made of material such as ceramic and then rotating the contents to smash them together. A conventional ball mill is a rotating ball mill that has a tubular container and rotates in one direction.
Nagao System has designed a ball mill in which the container, which is located at the intersection of the X and Y axes, is rotated in three dimensions using these two axes. This action enables the contents to be pulverized at over twice the efficiency compared to conventional machines.
"There probably are not any other ball mills with high-speed 3D motion. Previously for 3D motion, a motor with separate X and Y axes was needed. By using a bevel gear made up of a hollow shaft and rubber contact, we invented a unique 3D rotation design that is configured to independently rotate along the X and Y axes at speeds ranging from low speed to ultra high speed."
"We spun about 50 g of approximately 100-micron powder with 1 kg of zirconia balls. The powder came out fine enough that it can enter between the fingerprint ridges. In addition, the heat generated was less than 5℃, and this method was proven to also have low operating power requirements of less than 100 W."
Because the 3D ball mill container moves in its entirety, heat is dispersed making it difficult to reach high temperatures, thus this is favorable for pulverizing as well as distributing and mixing material not particularly resistant to heat such as organic material. In addition, the center of the container develops a pseudo microgravity state, so Nagao System is also considering applications that utilize this characteristic.
"What previously did not mix well together will now mix uniformly. As for what will happen moving forward, our dream just keep growing. Dry powders that until now could only be ground down to the micron level have the potential to go from the nano level to the molecular level. A quasi microgravity state occurs at the intersection of the X and Y axes, so space materials such as alloys, compounds, and proteins can also be created. We may also be able to make new materials and drugs."
Nagao System proposes the use of its 3D motion technology for what are known as urban mines to utilize large volumes of materials discarded as trash, and for methods to remove radioactive material including cesium.
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