01 May 2010
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Nano level mixing – seeing is believing

In the arena of high technology and high performance materials the uniform dispersal of nano-sized particles in substrates such as resin is often extremely difficult work.

Delegates at last year's Nano Forum held at the London Hilton in Park Lane were treated to demonstrations of non-invasive planetary mixing with a variety of materials being processes by the Thinky nano-level mixer from Intertronics. The mixer operates on a planetary principle and does not trap air so bubbles are not created. There are no mixing blades or equivalent so the Thinky eliminates extreme stress peaks within the material that could otherwise damage fragile nano-particles.

The mixers on test were the ARV-310 and its larger capacity sibling the ARV-5000 and both utilise proven Thinky planetary mixing technology with the added advantage of a vacuum environment. Their powerful 400g acceleration enables uniform mixing as well as simultaneous dispersion and deaerating for highly active nano-sized particles such as carbon nano-tubes or particles in epoxy or silicone, nano-ceramic in water, nano-fibres in polymer, nano-gold balls, yag phosphor in silicone, or for organic materials.

Peter Swanson, managing director at Intertronics explained: "The Thinky ARV units are addressing the really difficult mixing problems in laboratories around the world. Their bi-directional action does not enfold air while the new vacuum environment facility removes existing air or other gases. A good example is carbon nano-tube dispersion in epoxy where compared to hand mixing the Thinky process led to better than halving resistivity in the final material."

Paul Gay


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