Mechanical Milling vs. Jet Milling: Learn the Difference

Powder processing as it pertains to material micronization and particle size reduction requires the use of quality micronization equipment. Equipment capable of pulverizing any number of materials in an efficient and timely manner.

As you know, there are many types of milling devices out there, which can make the search process for your next milling device somewhat difficult.

Whether you’re using your pulverizer machine to grind down metal, glass, rocks or cement, you’ll have to do your research on the varying milling machines on the market today.

Here, we’ll be taking a closer look at mechanical milling versus jet milling in an effort to highlight their pros and cons, which hopefully you can use to make an informed purchase.

Mechanical Milling

One of the more commonly used milling techniques is known as mechanical milling, which generally requires a high-powered motor rotating some type of milling surface.

Mechanical milling aims to reduce the particle sizes of material by physically breaking the structure of a material by overcoming the materials own interior bonding forces.

Types of mechanical mills include hammer mills, ball mills, pin mills and roller mills.

This variety of mechanical machinery can be used to effectively pulverize powders, but comes with a host of limitations and disadvantages.

First and foremost mechanical milling will not allow for reducing particles to the smaller sizes. Mechanical mills are by nature limited when participle sizes of less than 50 microns is required.

Mechanical milling machines also produce a large amount of friction, as they are designed to reduce a materials particle size through constant impacts against a solid surface.

The friction generated by mechanical mills presents two distinct disadvantages.  The first is heat.  Heat sensitive materials very often will not work well in mechanical mills.

Additionally, the friction generated by mechanical mills causes the devices to suffer from excessive wear, which reduces the effectiveness of the mill and increases the chance of product contamination.

Lastly Mechanical mills tend to be difficult to clean.  The many surfaces and intricate parts that are often used in these types of mills make proper cleaning to be a challenge.

Jet Milling

While a mechanical mill requires many moving parts with varying chambers for pulverization and classification, a jet micronizing mill relies mainly on a single chamber to pulverize and classify the material thoroughly.

Unlike mechanical milling, many jet mills involve no moving parts any sort and instead relies on air, gas or steam jets to break up the particles.

These high-velocity jets are used to drive the material around the grinding chamber, creating collisions between particles of the process material.

Once the desired particle size has been reached, particles are then funneled out of a chamber and conveyed to a collection system.

This makes the milling process incredibly efficient for the operator, as the user is able to easily customize the size of the particles resulting in a final product that meets your specific needs.

A well designed micronizing mill should efficiently pulverize particles and automatically classify them according to specifically determined settings.

As mentioned before, jet mills have no moving parts which significantly reduces the potential for wear.  This unique design also allows for thorough cleaning of the equipment up to and including sanitization.

No moving parts also means no heat generation.  Therefore the jet mill is uniquely equipped to handle softer powders and even the most heat sensitive of materials.

In order to find the best micronizing mill for you, we recommend that you speak with a professional who has experience in designing and operating a variety of mills.

For help with your specific milling requirements, desired budget and mill preferences please contact us today.