One question which arises time and again when evaluating the Sonolator Homogenizer is, “What is the primary controlling factor of the Sonolator Homogenizer?” The answer is pressure, pressure, and pressure!
The most important parameter in measuring the amount of “mixing energy” or intensity of mixing within the Sonolator Homogenizer is pump-to-orifice pressure. The Sonolator Homogenizer 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 in the Sonolator Homogenizer the cavitational forces increase. Fluid acceleration, change of direction and cavitation are the three forces used by any mixing device to mix fluid. Within the Sonolator Homogenizer these three forces often reach levels unattainable with other devices. Cavitation within the Sonolator occurs at ultrasonic levels and cavitation levels achieved will vary directly with pressure. Hence, pressure, pressure and pressure are the primary control factor for operation of the Sonolator Homogenizer.
Every industry application or product will have a specific pressure at which it is most effectively homogenized, and once that pressure is determined, then repeating and maintaining that pressure will repeat the results/homogenization. Not only are the results repeatable, but also the system can be scaled seamlessly. Below is the orifice calculation formula.
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
In conclusion, once the best pressure is known to create the desired product characteristics, then maintaining this pressure at any flow rate and any given orifice size will produce the same product results. Pressure, pressure and pressure is the answer to homogenization with the Sonolator Homogenizer.
Image above: Flow pattern of water exiting Sonolator Homogenizer orifice at 300 PSI