All homogenizers work to disrupt molecular bonds so that two substances can be thoroughly mixed together. The force used to facilitate such mixtures varies; the most basic way to separate different types of homogenizers is by labeling them either mechanical (those using physical forces such as agitation, stirring, shearing and/or impact to break covalent bonds), high pressure (those using pressure) or ultrasonic (those using sonic sound waves and cavitation). There are drawbacks and advantages to each type of homogenizer depending on your application and resources. In this post, we consider the greatest benefits to using an ultrasonic mixer (also known as a sonicator) for your homogenizing needs.
Ultrasonic Mixers are Versatile
All homogenizers can effectively mix liquids, and some can mix samples of a solid with a liquid; ultrasonic mixers do both. When ultrasonic waves are applied to a liquid medium, a cycle of alternating high and low pressure eventually creates vacuum bubbles. These bubbles grow and merge together, ultimately reaching a size that collapses and sends a shock wave through the mixture (i.e., cavitation). The effect of these shock waves, as well as the vibrating tip of the ultrasonic mixer itself, disrupts surrounding covalent bonds of a sample, making an ultrasonic mixer a valuable piece of equipment capable of dissolving a wide range of materials (even gummy bears!).
Ultrasonic Mixers are Easily Controlled
Many variables impact how well a homogenizer does its job. These include size, concentration and temperature of the sample; the shape, speed, amplitude, intensity, pressure and duration of the “agitator;” and the temperature, viscosity and volume of the medium (as well as the type of container that holds it). While these factors can be difficult to adjust when using other types of homogenizers, they are easily manipulated when using an ultrasonic mixer. Indeed, technicians, scientists and manufacturers can easily adjust any or all of these elements in order to enable light or vigorous agitation (i.e., homogenizing) based on the need at hand.
Ultrasonic Mixers Have Fewer Parts
It might not seem like a huge advantage, but having fewer parts means ultrasonic mixers are less difficult to clean and less challenging to repair. Consisting of only a power source, a converter (which transforms electrical energy into mechanical motion) and a probe, a sonicator doesn’t have much to maintain. There is little frictional wear of parts and no intricate parts to clean.
Want to Learn More?
Ultrasonic mixers are just one type of homogenizer. If you need assistance choosing a homogenizer that meets the requirements of your own application(s) and makes the most of your own resources, contact our team at BEE International. Our proprietary and patented equipment addresses a wide range of functions at a reasonable range of costs. Not only do our homogenizers create a tight distribution of small particles, they always scale up and reproduce reliable results. Whether used inline or for batch processing, our homogenizers can be trusted to deliver the finest quality emulsions and dispersions available time after time.