The EZD in selb is an interdisciplinary center, that was established to undertake development work in the ”production and characterization of dispersions”. The EZD has supplemented its fleet of machines with an Eirich evactherm® dispersion mixer.
The R&D areas cover the entire spectrum, from additive production to dispersion to non-destructive testing. Activities relating to dispersion (formulation, analysis and dispersion techniques) are now exclusively bundled at Selb. The relevant services are offered for a wide range of sectors and applications, such as paint and coatings, nanocomposites, adhesives and matrices for fiber-reinforced composites. The laboratory facility needed for this is accordingly equipped for a wide range of tasks. Recently, this equipment has been supplemented with EIRICH processing technology: a 1-liter vacuum mixer with an EX-protection finish, 4 kW drive power, with an accompanying condenser, vacuum pump retort and fully-automatic touch-panel controller.
The dry pre-mix of different raw materials and also dry dispersion can be performed using the EIRICH mixer. By adding water or solvents the plastic phase is initiated, in which the mix is wetted, homogenized and dispersed with high power input. The desired solid content or the desired viscosity is then established by adding further liquid. Both low-viscosity and high-viscosity dispersions can thus be produced within a short time – often in less than 15 minutes. Alternatively, it is of course possible to manufacture in the conventional manner with a receiving fluid and adding the solids, as is customary with dissolvers. However, the best and most economical results in industrial use can be achieved by employing the dry mixing – kneading – dispersion mode.
Using Evactherm® vacuum technology brings further advantages for the EZD. Dry mixing achieves significantly better loosening of agglomerates; eliminating the buffering air significantly increases the power input; and shearing forces can be introduced into the product with greater efficiency. Kneading and dispersion under vacuum ensures bubble-free suspensions, e.g. for downstream coating processes. Naturally, it is also possible to work under inert gas, or to heat and cool the product using ultra-efficient evaporation cooling.