Mixing and degassing of materials such as precious metal pastes, pharmaceuticals or optical adhesives is generally a two-part process taking a very significant amount of time, especially when product pot life can be measured in minutes – but adhesives specialists Intertronics have changed all that with the introduction of the Thinky ARE-250. This patented benchtop planetary mixer is proven in Japan and the US with many thousands installed in laboratories and electronics manufacturing facilities. The Thinky technology is now available CE marked – says Peter Swanson, MD at Intertronics – “the ARE-250 mixes, disperses and degasses down to micron level without a vacuum and in the customer’s own pot. It is ideal for expensive material mixes such as filled epoxies for die attach and for materials of variable viscosities.”
It mixes, disperses and degasses materials in seconds to minutes, in a sealed or lid-less container such as a jar, beaker, syringe barrel, or cartridge. The non-contact mixing principle makes it possible for formulation of compounds from very small amounts such as 0.5ml to production quantities of 310g.
The Thinky ARE-250 Mixer allows for the process of mixing and bubble removal to be carried out simultaneously. It is also a conditioning mixer. It can be used for the mixing and/or bubble removal of not only epoxy but also silicones, conductive pastes, medicines, chemical materials etc. Indeed, the ARE-250 may be used to formulate and mix adhesives, sealants, molding compounds, lubricants, slurries, coatings, inks, paints, abrasives, bio chemicals, cements, medical compounds, cosmetics/personal care materials, detergents, conductive pastes, dental materials, foods, construction materials or any other materials which are hard-to-mix, hard-to-degass, or hard-to-wet.
Typical applications include epoxies and polyurethanes, especially where optical clarity or thermal conductivity must be maintained (by eliminating bubbles). The benefits of the ARE-250 can especially be seen in time critical situations such as two-part polyurethane with an isocyarate component and a pot life of around 10 minutes – single process mix and degassing relieves the pressure on the operative and the process by ensuring the adhesive is workable for maximum possible time. The whole mixing/degassing can be done in a much reduced time frame of seconds to minutes dependant on materials.
ARE-250 mixes gold leaf particles, glass micro-spheres, aluminium oxides and nano-particles and provides 5 program memories, each with 5 process profiles available. These are operator determined and programmed in for instant access. It is found for example that some materials benefit from multiple mixing/degassing/mixing/degassing cycles with different timing and spin speeds at each stage.
Simplicity of operation is further enhanced by the 12 standard holding fixtures to fit standard syringe sizes so that mixed material may be applied immediately – to allow for viscosity critical mixes one fixture allows pre-freezing and there is also one which allows pre-heating before mixing.
The Thinky ARE-250 Mixer works by revolving and rotating the container in a planetary manner at various speeds with both overall and planetary rotational speeds independently pre-programmable. Centrifugal force presses the material outwards to the inner wall of the container. Other forces cause the material to move downwards in a spiraling direction along the slope of container wall. The material then moves back to the centre of the container and up to the top. As a result, material circulation from top to the bottom generates kneading effects, forcing trapped air out of the material.
This ensures no cross-contamination between batches, no damage to material from rollers, mixing blades or propellers and no unit cleaning between batches, as well as allowing re-mixing of separated materials to prolong shelf life. Consequently, process cycles may be reduced, lowering costs and improving yield rates. The whole non-contact programmable approach greatly improves consistancy of quality and improves formulation irrespective of operator skill levels.
Thinky Mixer series is used in leading Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Electronics, LCD, Semiconductors, Precision instruments, Adhesive & Sealants, Film, Plastics, Chemicals, Medicals, Foods, Paining & Coatings, Battery (Fuel Cell), Vision systems, Optical, Pulp & Papers, Constructions, Nano technology researchings, and many fields and industries. Further information regarding Intertronics’ products can be found at www.intertronics.co.uk.
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