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Technical knowledge

Ceramic digital ink-jet ink grinding technology

Ceramic digital ink-jet ink grinding technology

  • May 26,2020.

Ceramic digital ink-jet ink grinding technology

Ceramic digital ink-jet ink grinding

1 - The grinding of ceramic ink

The particle fineness and particle size distribution of ceramic ink are mainly achieved by the grinding of bead mill. Due to the small particle fineness and narrow particle size distribution of ceramic ink, not all types of bead mills can meet the requirements. Currently, there are two main types of bead mills for ceramic inks in the industry, peg grinding bead mill and turbine bead mill.

LEIMIX Peg grinding system of Nano Mill

FIG.1 LEIMIX Peg grinding system of Nano Mill

To achieve submicron (a few tenths of a micron) fineness and optimized particle size distribution, the grinding mode of large flow circulation and high energy density must be adopted.

The relationship between grinding times per unit time and particle fineness and particle size distribution

FIG.2 The relationship between grinding times per unit time and particle fineness and particle size distribution

To meet this grinding mode, the flow rate of the bead mill should be large enough, such as the 25-liter peg bead mill, which can reach 1500-2000 L/h when grinding ceramic ink.  And the energy density inside the chamber of the bead mill also need to be large, for example, the installed power of 25-liter peg bead mill is 37KW, while that of the 30-liter disk bead mill is 18.5kw.

Ceramic ink should avoid metal contamination as far as possible. The ink contact part of the bead mill used for ceramic ink production are made of ceramic, the grinding system is made of zirconia or silicon nitride, and the grinding chamber is made of silicon carbide ceramics.

2 - PHN series bead mill and their use in ceramic inks

A few years ago, PUHLER Group has developed PHN series bead mill for nanomaterials. After the ceramic ink came into the market, the PUHLER Group made a targeted transformation to the PHN series bead mill, making it quickly adapt to the grinding of the ceramic ink.

PHN series is a peg grinding system of nano mill, which is specially used for wet grinding with high energy density and large flow rate, to produce ultra-fine submicron and nanometer materials.

2.1 The PHN series peg grinding system of nano mill has the following characteristics:


Adopted the OCS (Open Canister Separation System), and the separation sieve in the system has super large flow area. Since the rotor in the OCS (Open Canister Separation System) can effectively block the grinding beads at the periphery of the stirring rotor, there is almost no grinding media around the sieve, so that the material can be smoothly in and out of the grinding chamber. A large flow circulation grinding mode is realized.


PUHLER PHN series peg bead mill has the characteristic of large power and specific energy, which is, in the grinding chamber of the bead mill, there is a large energy density per unit volume, so that even if the material stays in the grinding chamber for a short time, it also can get full grinding.


PUHLER PHN series bead mills have the grinding system with the same structure and principle no matter the volume size of the bead mill or the installed power. Therefore, the data obtained from the laboratory bead mill PHN 0.5, such as the particle size, particle size distribution and output, can be copied or amplified to the production bead mill as PHN 6, PHN 10, PHN 25, PHN 60, PHN 150 and PHN 300.

2.2 The main configuration of the bead mill used for grinding ceramic ink is as follows:

*Grinding System

Toughened zirconia (good fracture toughness and wear resistance)

*Grinding Chamber

Silicon carbide ceramics (Excellent wear resistance and cooling performance)

Since the ceramic ink contact parts in the grinding chamber are made of ceramic, which avoids metal pollution during the ceramic ink grinding process, and is also adapt to the grinding of the solvent-based solid-liquid two-phase system.

*Installed Power






















*Operation Mode

Linear speed is adjustable by frequency conversion within the range of 8-15m/s.

*Feed Pump

The feed pump for ceramic ink PHN series bead mill is diaphragm pump. The flow of the diaphragm pump should be large enough to meet the needs of large flow circulation grinding.

*Cooling Water Unit

During the grinding process, the grinding temperature of the ceramic ink should not be too high. If the temperature is too high, the solvent will evaporate easily, and the performance of ceramic ink will also change. Therefore, the cooling water unit is necessary for ceramic ink grinding.

*Pre-dispersing Tank

The pre-dispersing tank used for grinding ceramic ink should not be too large, otherwise will affect the gradation distribution of ceramic ink material particles. For PHN series bead mill, in the grinding of ceramic inks, the configured pre-dispersing tank volume is between 5 and 10 times the volume of the grinding chamber of the bead mill.

*Output of Ceramic Ink

The output of ceramic ink grinded by bead mill varies greatly due to the different types of ceramic ink. The common colors of ceramic inks are red, yellow, black, brown, and cyan. For PHN25 CA peg bead mill, the production capacity of yellow, black and red ink is about 20-25kg/h when feeding material fineness is 5-10 microns, and the production capacity of brown and cyan ink is 8-12kg/h. Based on the production capacity of PHN 25CA, the production capacity of other PHN series peg bead mill is roughly proportional to the volume of the corresponding grinding chamber.

2.3 Some customers of PUHLER PHN SuperMaxZeta series bead mill in ceramicink industry

Domestic customers: Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta, Beijing, Shandong and other places

Overseas customers: India, Italy, Brazil, and other countries

2.4 Improvement of PUHLER PHN SuperMaxZeta peg grinding system of nano mill

In order to better serve ceramic ink customers, PUHLER has been constantly improving the PHN series bead mills. The main directions of improvement are:

*Material of grinding system

It is hoped that through the introduction of different materials, the bead mill will be more wear-resistant, or the cost of the bead mill can be reduced, or both.

*Preparation of larger Bead Mill

The use of large bead mill can effectively reduce the cost of investment, operation and management. At present, PUHLER has sold 5 pcs of PHN 300CA in other industries. The appearance of the equipment is shown in FIG 3 as below:

PHN SuperMaxZeta 300

FIG.3 PHN SuperMaxZeta 300

*R&D of new bead mill

PUHLER Group has developed Maxxmill Nano Mill with new structure and super large flow rate. From the current trial of ceramic ink, it has a promising prospect. This type of bead mill can grind the material finer and output is larger. It adopt automatic switching dual cylinder material system.

Maxxmill Largemill 460 Automatic switching system

FIG.4 Maxxmill Largemill 460 Automatic switching system

3 - Conclusion

Ceramic digital printing technology has made great progress in the ceramic surface decoration industry. This process is still developing. Digital printing technology may print more types of materials such as ceramics, metals and organics printed on ceramics, to have more decorative effects or make ceramic tiles have more functions, like pressure-sensitive, gas-sensitive and sound-sensitive functions . In this process, the bead mill used for fine grinding will also play a certain role. I would like to work with all of you, to contribute to the application of digital printing technology in the ceramic industry.

© Copyright: 2020 PUHLER (Guangdong)Smart Nano Technology Co.,Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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