One of the most important considerations for Sonic when custom building a Sonolator high pressure homogenizer system is the chemical compatibility of elastomers within the high pressure pumps and inline homogenizer unit itself. Standard elastomers often include: Buna, Viton, EPDM and Teflon or a Teflon blend. Sonic will help define the best elastomers to use given a customer’s application, however, the client may have a more extensive knowledge of the formula and potential compatibility issues.
For any high-pressure homogenizer system, we recommend using a chemical compatibility chart to assist in the design and specification stage of the project. Addressing these issues early on can be crucial. There is nothing worse than commissioning a new system and having it run beautifully for a week or two followed by failure of O-rings and gaskets. All the hope and promise of the first couple of weeks of operation are replaced with elastomer evaluation work and scrambling for replacement parts. While maintenance staff usually receive a crash course in rebuilding pumps and replacing gaskets, this is no way to kick-off a new system for your operations.
There are many compatibility charts available on the internet. At Sonic, we like to use one of our partner’s (CAT Pumps) compatibility chart. The CAT Pump chart lists compatibility for elastomers, plastics and metals. While all of these are important, many clients have already dealt with metal compatibility. And since there are only a limited number of plastics within the Sonolator homogenizer systems, the weak link is usualy elastomers.
Sonic addresses compatibility issues and other specific mixing or blending details early on in the system design process. This helps avoid potential pitfalls along the way. A smooth start-up and operation will help the new project flourish and meet operational goals.