One question we receive time and again, when customers are evaluating the Sonolator Homogenizer is, “What is its primary controlling factor”? The answer is pressure, pressure, and pressure!
The most important parameter in measuring the amount of “mixing energy” or intensity of mixing within homogenizer is pump-to-orifice pressure. The equipment is operated between 150 – 5,000 PSI. Either changing the size of the orifice or the flow of material through the orifice can vary this pressure. For example, when the area of the orifice is smaller or the flow is accelerated the pressure increases.
When pressure is increased, the cavitational forces increase. Fluid acceleration, change of direction and cavitation are the three forces used by any mixing device to mix fluid. These three forces often reach levels unattainable with other mixing devices. Cavitation within the Sonolator occurs at ultrasonic levels and cavitation levels achieved will vary directly with pressure.
Every industry application or product will have a specific pressure at which it is most effectively homogenized, and once that pressure is determined, repeating and maintaining that pressure will return consistent results/homogenization. Not only are the results repeatable, but the system can be scaled seamlessly.
The relationship between orifice area, pressure and flow is expressed with the formula:
Q = 30A √P
Q = Gallons per minute throughput of a water-like material; at the desired pressure (PSI) as approximated from pump curves.
A = Area of the orifice, in square inches, as marked on the face of the orifice.
P = Desired pump-to-orifice pressure, in PSI.
30 or K = Viscosity and pump slip constant
Once the best pressure is known to create the desired product characteristics, maintaining this pressure at any flow rate and any given orifice size will produce the same product results.