Planetary Ball Mills

how a planetary ball mill works

Torrey Hills Technologies, LLC is the leading supplier of Planetary Ball Mills to the major process industries. Many products including adhesives, pharmaceuticals, foods, chemicals, electronics, plastics, pigments, and battery compounds are manufactured in our ball mills. Our Planetary Ball Mills are widely used in small batch high efficiency mixing. They are used in research institutions, universities and even industrial production for mixing, homogenization and dispersion up to 0.1Ám. Our customers are in the mining, agriculture, metallurgy, electrical, electronics, materials, chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and nuclear industries.

The planetary ball mill performs mixing by continually revolving the large plate and rotating the containers concurrently. Both the plate revolution (centrifugal) speed and container rotation (planetary) speed are independently adjustable. This unique mixing capability allows the operator to design precise solutions for mixing various systems. To further improve the mixing efficiency, grinding media can be added into the containers. Our machines are built in such a way that the strict weight balancing is not required. Our machines run very quietly with noise = 70 (dB). Ball Mill Jars and Balls are sold separately.

Advantages of THT Planetary Ball Mills
  • Efficient grinding for superior results up to 0.1µm
  • Adjustable speed ratios
  • Grinding jar volumes from 50ml to 5L in 8 different materials
  • Reliable for continuous use
  • No strict weight balancing required

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can planetary ball mill grind particles to smaller than 0.1 micron?

Yes, the size of particle can be smaller than 0.1um. We have customers using our planetary ball mills grinding particles to submicrons.

2. How to tell the size distribution of the particles?

The particle size distribution will be in microns. You can use a Beckman Coulter Light Scattering instrument to determine the particle size distribution. If you use Scanning Electron Microscope, you will be able to see the very small primary particle size less than 0.1um.

3. Will particles tend to agglomerate when they gets to 1um range? How to prevent agglomeration?

Yes, when the particle size gets to 1um range, the particles tend to agglomerate. One way to reduce the agglomeration is to use surfactants or polymer like PVA during ball milling.

4. For processing gypsum, a very soft material, what kind of jars and balls do you recommend?

We will recommend stainless steel jars and balls for processing gypsum.

5. What is the maximum filling level of the jar?

The filling level of the jar is very important for successful grinding. Generally a jar filling should not exceed 60% of the jar volume. The remaining 40% volume is necessary for the free movement of balls.

6. What size and how many balls would you recommend for the ND4L? Also what is the smallest particle size the ND4L can mill down to?

Our ball mills always come with a free standard set of balls, including 1000 Ø6mm balls, 200 Ø10mm balls, and 3 Ø20mm balls for EACH 1000ml jar. They do the basic job of filling each jar to about 1/2 of its volume. Sometimes, customers want to try different combinations of grind media and we recommend, as other manufacturers like Retsch and Fritsch would, 1500 Ø6mm balls, 200 Ø10mm balls, 90 Ø15mm balls, 35 Ø20mm balls, 10 Ø30mm balls, and 4 Ø40mm balls for each jar.

The smallest particle size our ND4L model can mill down to is 0.1µm. However, the final fineness varies greatly with different materials. The actual grinding result depends on mill speed, ball size, material, and grinding time. You will be able to find the best combination after a couple of tries.

7. How to choose the right jar material?

The general rule is the jar must be harder than the material being milled. Most times stainless steel is sufficient, if the material can react with metal, then agate is good. Otherwise, zirconia is common.

8. Is it necessary to use zirconia jars with zirconia beads?

It depends on why you are using zirconia beads as the grinding media. If the purpose is to avoid metal contamination, you should use zirconia, alumina, or agate jars. If the purpose is to use the hardness of zirconia to break up materials, stainless steel jars are fine. Although zirconia is much harder than stainless steel, these beads won't damage the jars.  


planetary ball mill testimonials

"We find that the Three Roll Mill Hewlett Packard purchased from them works very well with our printing ink applications. Furthermore, their mixing equipment produces solid results.

Equally impressive is their customer support. Their sales staff and technical support staff are willing to provide hands-on training, very adoptive to customer requests. They are also dedicated, prompt, and friendly. A delight to work with.

With our ongoing experience with Torrey Hills Technologies, it’s with pleasure to recommend Torrey Hills Technologies for mixing equipment needs. We are a happy customer of Torrey Hills Technologies’ equipment. " --- Alexey Kabalnov, R&D Chemist, Hewlett Packard Corp. (CLICK HERE to read entire letter)

"When Lexington Precision entered the Medical compound business we decided to purchase a three roll mill from Torrey Hills Technologies. The three roll mill has lived up to all promises in regards to quality and performance at a great price. In addition working with Bill and Kim was a pleasure. They have provided service with perfect balance of professionalism, knowledge and fun. I am confident Torrey Hills will continue to provide this top level of service as our business continues to grow. "
--- Chris Poirier, Mixing/Materials Manager, Lexington Precision. (CLICK HERE to read entire letter)

"The three roll mill of Torrey Hills Technologies offers comparable performance with unbelievable price. Although our people are new to this type of application, they've grasped the task without additional on site education during operation. We are pleased with the end product."
--- E.J. Golightly, President , One Stroke Inks, Inc.

"Torrey Hills Technologies is committed to service. They stand behind their product 100 percent. When we had a problem they responded quickly and with no reluctance until we were totally satisfied. It has truly been a pleasure to work with them. With support like this we, at Indigo Science, can focus on solving problems for our customers."
--- Mr. Dave Wallace, President, Indigo Science LLC, Newark, NJ

"Although Torrey Hills Technologies is located in the United States, and Graphic Systems is located in New Zealand. There was no issue in doing business even though we are so far apart. They make it easy to buy from them."
--- Mr. Des Crossley, Managing Director, Graphic Systems Ltd, New Zealand

"Space Micro is a pioneer in providing radiation hardened materials by design solutions for advanced electronic systems and microelectronics. Our products are designed to deliver the ultimate in performance, innovation, and quality for our high-reliability applications. Among all, quality is one thing that we insist on. The excellent performance of Torrey Hills Planetary Ball Mill enables our research to meet and exceed the provisions of the industry specifications and standards. We found their product user-friendly, precise in processing powders, even efficient on small volumes, and repeatable in results. We are pleased with the quality and value of Torrey Hills Planetary Ball Mill."
--- Carl Edwards, Director of Advanced Materials, Space Micro, Inc.

"Very good company to do business with. Looking forward to using the three roll mill. Thanks!"
--- Mr. J Stannard, Hanover, MA.

"Nice mill - fantastic price. Ken was a pleasure to deal with!"
--- Dr. Fisher from a fuel cell company in Boston, MA.

"The whole structure (lab model) was built with solid cast iron. It is heavy and quiet. We are very happy that we went with Ken and saved over $6000. "
--- A happy customer in San Diego, CA