CCOMC at Rutgers University and the Use of a Three Roll Mill in Dispersing Ceramic Powders into Polymers

April 17, 2018

Professor Haber of Rutgers University recently contacted THT for more information about the difference between our T50 and T65 three roll mill models. The Ceramic, Composite and Optical Materials Center (CCOMC) at Rutgers started an additive manufacturing program where they blend ceramic powders with photo polymers, and wanted a lab-scale three roll mill for this dispersion. CCOMC specifically needed a mill best suited to breakdown agglomerates in a slurry that is ~2000-4000cps, as well as accommodating a volume of 200ml to 1 liter, and for use with many different materials.

CCOMC’s focus revolves around studying the entire spectrum of materials R&D from building blocks at the molecular level to dense ceramics and composite materials with tailored microstructures. With an emphasis on quality, the Center’s goal is to help meet the ever-increasing demand for higher performance ceramic, composite and optical materials that can be readily processed for desirable end applications. This includes armor, wear and erosion resistant parts, heat engine components, heat exchanger components, cutting tools, and more. A three roll mill allows for applications that require consistent particle synthesis; a three roll mill is capable of mixing and blending materials at a microscopic level.

Boasting a small footprint (approximately the size of an opened laptop computer) and weighing only ~40lbs, our T50 three roll mill is designed to handle low volume; it’s motor is not as robust as the T65 three roll mill, and it doesn’t have a cooling capability. In comparison, the T65 model is approximately the size of a microwave, and weighs about 165lbs. T65 rollers also have blind holes to inject cooling or heating liquids inside, to cool or heat the rollers.

When blending ceramic powder, THT recommended that the CCOMC use alumina rollers since ceramics tend to be abrasive. However, given that the Center has a multi-material lab, THT also recommended ceramic rollers due to their versatility. Rutgers decided to purchase both the T50 and T65 three roll mill models for maximum benefit and productivity. Due to specially designed THT cleaning tools, the CCOMC is able to easily blend alumina powder one day, and zirconia the next.