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What is a homogenizer?

April 2, 2013

batch homogenizer

A homogenizer is a machine that we do not usually happen to come across in our day to day existence but would not possibly be able to survive without thanks to today’s lifestyle and the needs and wants associated with it. This machine is responsible for the production of toothpaste, hair and shower gels, certain face washes, creams, shampoos, ointments, vaccines, oral rehydration compounds, and so on and so forth. These products that span a huge variety of uses, belong to a single category of suspended state fluids known as emulsions.

The difference between a chemical compound and an emulsion is that a compound is a totally new substance formed when the parent ingredients react chemically under set atmospheric conditions; it therefore has properties that are totally different from that of the parent elements. An emulsion on the contrary is just a physical combination of multiple elements, and particles of the elements exist in their natural undisturbed state and are only blended with each other due to induced agitation. Emulsions find widespread applications when the properties of several substances are desired without running the risk of a mutual reaction that could change the properties of the resultant mix.

Since an emulsion is defined by the particles that are dispersed against each other, any additional impurity can change the essence of the mixture. It is therefore imperative that any seepage of impurities such as dust or even microbes is not allowed to pollute the mixing area. The emulsifying process is thus a delicate one, and requires a heavy duty yet smart, programmable and efficient system.

The most crucial step in creating a stable emulsion is achieving the finest possible size of the droplets of the particles involved. For this, very high values of shear force are required, which in turn succeeds in agitating the particles to the required extent and finally blending them together to form the desired emulsion. A droplet diameter ranging from 2 to 5 microns is fairly fine, though even 0.5 microns is quite easily achievable with the machines that are available in the market today.

The internet is quite crowded with offers on homogenizers and accessory units. Even though the initial capital required is on the higher side of affordable, the low maintenance and operating costs together with the huge demand for the finished product finally end up making it a fairly profitable investment at the very least.

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