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Planetary Ball Mill
Planetary Ball Mill
Planetary Ball Mill

Planetary Ball Mill

Pellet Press Die Sets
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Our Benchtop Planetary Ball Mill can be used to rapidly reduce particle size (to sub micrometer diaemter), mix and homogenize you powders before pressing. High Energy Ball Mills have many uses in the materials lab and are typically used to quickly create well ground powders. Features include:

  • For high uniformity and repeatability
  • Grinding possible down to 100 nm
  • Ideal for both wet or dry grinding 
  • Manual and Automatic programs on LED display
  • Speed control up to 1100 rpm
  • Up to 4 sample 100 ml stainless steel jars running simulatously
  • Programmable interval and pause times
  • Reverse spin funciton to reduce clumping
  • Single Phase, CE Certiffied, 110V 50/60Hz, US plug
  • 70lb (32kg) weight (Suitable for benchtop)
  • Comes with either 4x stainless steel or agate milling jars and griding media

Introduction to Ball Mill Grinding

Planetary ball mills are powerful and efficient tools used in the powder processing industry. They are versatile machines that can be used for a wide range of applications such as mixing, homogenizing, grinding, and mechanical alloying. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using a planetary ball mill, its working principle, and the functions of its key components. We will also cover the amount of powder and grinding media required, as well as the difference between dry and wet grinding, types of solvents used, and the options and benefits of using different jar and media materials.

Benefits of a Planetary Ball Mill

  • Efficient grinding: Planetary ball mills are designed to grind materials to extremely fine particle sizes, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • Uniform mixing and homogenization: The high-energy milling action of planetary ball mills allows for uniform mixing and homogenization of powders, making them ideal for preparing samples for analysis.
  • Versatility: Planetary ball mills can be used for a wide range of applications, including mixing, homogenizing, grinding, and mechanical alloying.
  • Reduced contamination: The sealed jars of planetary ball mills prevent contamination of the samples by outside materials, making them suitable for preparing sensitive samples.
  • High throughput: Planetary ball mills can process large volumes of material in a short amount of time, making them suitable for industrial-scale production.

Working Principle of a Planetary Ball Mill

A planetary ball mill consists of a rotating sun wheel and several rotating grinding jars. The sun wheel, which is driven by a motor, rotates around its own axis at a high speed. The grinding jars, which are arranged around the sun wheel, also rotate around their own axis at a high speed, but in the opposite direction to the sun wheel.

How does a Planetary Ball Milling differ from Single access Ball Milling?

In the plaetary ball mill, a sun wheel of a planetary ball mill rotates around its own axis at a high speed, the 4 milling jars are cetered off this access so and the jars rotate twice for each spin of the sun wheel. (Think about the spin of the Earth on it's access and the separate rotation of the planet around the sun). This constant changing of direction imparts significant kinetic energy to the grinding media inside the jars and the powder is ground between the grinding media and the walls of the jar. In short, it's a much higher energy , faster and efficient process than just spinning the drum and letting gravity do the work.

Amount of Powder and Grinding Media Required

The amount of powder that can be processed in a planetary ball mill depends on the volume of the grinding jars. Typically, the maximum sample volume that can be processed in a single run ranges from 10 to 250 ml per container. The amount of grinding media required also depends on the size of the jars and the size of the sample. Typically, the ratio of grinding media to sample is 1:1, and if solvent is being used the 1:1:1 ratio is typical.

Dry Ball Milling vs. Wet Ball Milling

Dry grinding is done without the presence of a solvent medium such as ethanol, once the powders get close to 5 micron and under in size they tend to clump up when dry to to electrostatic charges building up on the prtcile surfaces from constant grinding, If you need to go lower in size than this, it is typicaly to add some liquid, such as IPA or ethanol typically in the ratio of 1:1:1 of powder, grinding media and solvent this creates a wet slurry during grinding, After griding the slurry can be powdered out and excess in the cups washed out with the same solvent so little is lost. Then the solvent is evaporated e.g. under a fume hood then drying oven, 

Options and Benefits of Jar and Media Materials

Planetary ball mills can be fitted with jars and grinding media made of different materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. SNylon:

Stainless steel:

Stainless steel jars and grinding media are durable and suitable for many applications. However, they are not suitable for hard materials or samples that are sensitive to metal contamination.


Agate is a very hard stone (Mohs 9), so is an excellent choice for hard ceramics and oxide materials. Grinding in Agate is fast with fewer impurities.

Planetary Ball Mill Operating Procedure

To ensure the safe and efficient operation of a planetary ball mill, it is important to follow a set of operating procedures. Here is a basic operating procedure for a planetary ball mill:

  1. Turn on the power: Ensure that the power switch is turned on and the voltage setting is correct.
  2. Load the sample: Open the grinding jar and add the sample material, making sure not to exceed 1/3 volume of the jar
  3. Add grinding media: Add the of grinding media to the jar in a 1:1 ratio with the powder. If solvent is being used then add in 1:1:1 ratio powder, grinding media and solvent
  4. Close the jar: Securely tighten the lid of the grinding jar.
  5. Set the parameters: Set the required parameters such as rotation speed, time, and direction.
  6. Start the milling process: Press the start button to begin the milling process.
  7. Monitor the process: Observe the grinding process and adjust the parameters as needed.
  8. Stop the milling process: Once the desired particle size has been achieved, stop the milling process and remove the grinding jar.
  9. Unload the sample: Carefully remove the sample material from the grinding jar and transfer it to a separate container
  10. If wet grinding then rinse remaining powder out with same solvent and add to powder slurry for drying
  11. Clean the equipment thoroughly to prevent contamination.