ConCor Technology can be used in a diverse range of application areas from processing liquid/liquid emulsions for foodstuffs through to processing hard ceramic particles.



The staff at PDL have over 100 years experience between them working in nanotechnology and size reduction technologies in fields as diverse as carbon nanotube production through to pigments.



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ConCor Operation

ConCor technology is unique in that it can operate in two different modes to apply energy to the particles to effect sizereduction or de-agglomeration via direct mechanical stressing or fluid stressing.

Direct stressing of the agglomerates themselves is the best method of de-agglomeration, but the stress needs to be applied by a consistent means of crushing rather than random collisions (which is what occurs in media mills, for example). The energy application used in ball and bead milling – impact mechanical stressing – is an imprecise technique that also leads to contamination, as the beads used are worn down and fragments are introduced into the final product.

Fluid stressing techniques (i.e. applying stress indirectly to the agglomerates through a carrier fluid) at theoretically desirable levels require power inputs that could potentially result in unmanageable temperature rises at the process rates required for industrial processing, which in turn leads to damaged or denatured products. Fluid stressing is therefore probably best applied cyclically with intermediate cooling in place, or as a final stage in processing.

The ConCor mill operates in both direct and indirect stressing modes, offering greater flexibility in particle size and agglomerate reduction. This flexibility allows ConCor to process very hard materials, as well as very soft or even liquid/liquid systems or emulsions.

When processing a powder, the first stage is to create a slurry using, typically, a high shear mixer. The ConCor is then used to break down any large agglomerates using direct stress (which crushes them together) resulting in de-agglomeration.

Once the large, relatively weakly bonded agglomerates have been broken down, the ConCor is switched to the indirect stressing mode which in effect “pulls” the smaller aggregates apart as the shear stress is transferred from the liquid to the aggregated particles.

The figure below shows the particle size distributions from a commercial zinc oxide dispersion in water. The red distribution was measured following initial wetting and mixing in a high shear mixer and clearly shows agglomeration centred around a diameter of 2.5μm.

Following two passes through the ConCor mill in direct mode, and a pass in indirect mode, the blue distribution was produced. This is a stable de-agglomerated dispersion at a median particle size of 66nm, with a very tight distribution (100% particles < 110nm).

Figure 1 - ZnO distributions



Operating ConCor in its indirect stressing mode imparts significant further energy into the system. The difference between direct crushing and indirect stressing can be seen in the graph below, which shows the particle size distributions of two oil/water emulsions, one (blue) produced with direct stressing, and the second (red) produced by indirect stressing (both single passes through the ConCor mill).

It can be clearly seen that there is a significant size reduction in the emulsion droplets with the increased energy imparted through fluid stressing. High throughput rates, low residence times and efficient heat extraction/cooling stop the product de-naturing.

A very tight particle size distribution is produced, which results in a very stable emulsion (i.e. no creaming). When applied to emulsions with lower dispersed material volumes, it is possible to create very stable emulsions without the need for chemical stabilisation.


Figure 2 - Oil Emulsions

For more information on ConCor and how Primary Dispersions Ltd can help you with your emulsion or dispersion manufacturing please give Steve Devine, CTO, a call on +44 (0) 1642 438205.

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