Homogenizer Project - Another Step Forward

For clarity I am editing some portions.Please note that I have to know which rotary tool will be used and that there are 2 different sizes. My bad.

A little over 2 years ago I purchased and began using homogenizing equipment for e juice making. Shortly thereafter I set out to design a high shear rotor/stator “disperser” or “generator” as they are called that would perform homogenizing functions of the commercially available devices but be specifically optimized and limited to DIY ejuice purposes. Cost reduction for the ejuice mixing community was one of many goals. A large part of the concept was that the device be powered by ordinary rotary tools. The above photo is of my device attached to a Dremel Model 4000, a current model.

Kindly note that “homogenizing” is a blanket term that is the result of several possible functions such as emulsification, particle reduction, disintegration etc. using a “rotor” turning at very high speed within a “stator” tube which thereby “shears” and “disperses” the desired materials. The material is pulled up into the stator tube, sheared, and dispersed under very high pressure through ports in the stator. These mechanical forces create a homogeneous vape ready mixture. (more below)

High shear devices are nothing new and for more than 70 years have been used for processing food, beverage, cosmetic, medical, pharmaceutical, lubricant and a nearly endless list of other chemicals for commercial/industrial purposes. Dumb me, I thought homogenization was something done to milk and dairy products. I had no idea that the materials for the tires on my car were processed by a high shear device; or the flavoring materials for a coca cola; or ____ (fill in the blank and you will most likely be correct).

So I began development and testing which was interrupted by several things; vape bans and political uncertainty, machine breakdowns, frustrations with material sourcing, design problems and changes,etc. Many here are aware that I sent out devices for “beta testing” with some VC members. As expected, minor problems surfaced that I did not anticipate and design and material changes were made. I am grateful for the assistance and evaluations. I did not want to distribute these until I had high confidence in them. I am now ready to offer these devices on an extremely limited basis with first priority to VC members and hopefully I can limit this to staying within the DIY mixing communities. As stated, these are made for ejuice purposes and I do not know how they would function for other substances. For liquids the devices work very well and I believe compare favorably with high end devices on the market at about 1/5 of the normal cost. However, I ask that this endeavor be considered for what it is rather than an attempt to mass market a product. Put simply, I don’t have those capabilities or desires.

I am a retired ‘old school’ craftsman using manually operated machinery which in no way can be considered capable of mass production. It is capable of precision work which is what these are; precision instruments turning at very high speeds with very close tolerances. I began my working career in a tool and die shop in 1968 and moved on to many other things. I am simply an old man/hobbyist puttering around my workshop and wanting to share the benefits of using one of these devices for DIY.

I’m having camera/photography issues but pics of the devices and descriptions of the, design concepts, benefits and operations will follow soon.

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DESIGN

There are several lab sized models on the market which use modified rotary tools to power their homogenizer generators. All have made their own proprietary housings which will only work with their devices . For example see

https://www.amazon.com/PRO-Scientific-Bio-Gen-Handheld-Homogenizer/dp/B004123OQ0/ref=sr_1_6?crid=22TFNCSE3LCWK&dchild=1&keywords=pro+scientific+homogenizer&qid=1592521674&s=industrial&sprefix=PRO+Scientific+homogen%2Cindustrial%2C242&sr=1-6

There are several others and most are good quality. I own one of Pro Scientific’s larger models which has worked flawlessly for over 2 years. The same generator fits both.

https://www.amazon.com/PRO-Scientific-PRO-01-01250-Handheld-Homogenizer/dp/B004123OSS/ref=sr_1_7?crid=22TFNCSE3LCWK&dchild=1&keywords=pro+scientific+homogenizer&qid=1592522466&s=industrial&sprefix=PRO+Scientific+homogen%2Cindustrial%2C242&sr=1-7

I wanted a larger generator which lists retail at over $1300. Out came the drawing board. Why pay that when I could make it. That set this project in motion. LOL.

I set out to design a housing which would screw onto the threads of most ordinary rotary tools and hold different generators also of my design. I chose Delrin, same as our drip tips, for the housing. It threads onto the rotary tool’s plastic threads and is internally bored to hold various components.

However, attempting to make a universal housing caused difficulties due to length differences. My generators are now limited for use with 3 rotary tools: Late model Dremel, Black & Decker RTX, and a Chinese dremel clone that I found to have good power and be well made. (Tacklife) Each of the 3 models require one different part so I need to know which rotary tool the generator will be used with.

When the units are first received everything on the spindle must be removed
.

A drive adapter which will turn the drive shaft and rotor is then screwed on the metal spindle threads until it seats:

The generator consists of the following:

Lower half of drive, (white pointy Delrin)
Stator housing and tube
Upper bearing. washer and circlip
lower bearing inside stator tube
thumbscrew
drive shaft
rotor

For ease of operation it is made to simply insert into the housing and be locked in place with the thumbscrew.

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Disassembly is done by inserting something (small screwdriver, allen key etc.) through the stator ports and using the drive adapter to screw/unscrew the drive shaft from the rotor. The drive shaft must be removed/inserted from the top. Very simple. Cleaning method will be in another post.

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Two sizes of generators are available.

The smaller one will fit inside most bottles we use and is good for testers and quantities up to at least 120 mls. Personally I mix lots of 20-30 and 60 ml quantities in the bottles for convenience.

The larger size will fit 120 ml Boston Rounds and up. My design target was 240 mls but beta testers have made 500 ml quantities.

I will be glad to answer any questions. All comments are welcome and appreciated. PM me here for pricing and availability.

Also please note that this public post serves as proof of concept as of this date. (legal mumbo jumbo)

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My very best wishes to you, and that it becomes everything that you wish it to be.
Good luck.

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For anyone reading this thread and hearing about this for the first time: I was a fortunate beta tester of this product. I have done my own personal comparison testing as well as testing among others that I mix for. I am confident in saying that every mix I compared between traditional time steeping and instant homogenization with this device have been indistinguishable from each other. It’s quite amazing to be able to create a ‘mature’ e-juice in seconds. Quite a fantastic device, this is.

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I’ve written quite a lot and several long and I think very good discussions on homogenizer usages are contained in other threads. Nevertheless the reason these mechanical forces eliminate most if not all of the time factors involved with traditional DIY mixing can be summarized fairly quickly and easily:

VG IS THE OBSTACLE.

The flavor concentrates we use are comprised of chemicals and occasionally extracts which offer seemingly infinite numbers of possible combinations; all different. Just yesterday I posted in another thread how FlavourArt dilutes their flavor bases “about 80 times” to make their concentrates. The owner goes on to show how these flavor bases or “flavor materials” are diluted in an “expensive mixer” (homogenizer) with “PG” and “water” and “maybe some other” final ingredients.

On the subject of PG vs VG for making concentrates:

“Because there is a chemical reason. VG is a poor solvent for flavor material. Flavor materials are mainly (apolas? unknown term to me) which means they are not water logging. So you need a solvent as PG which is safe, which is clean, and that can keep all the flavor material dissolved properly. If you do the same flavor and you use VG instead PG as a solvent, the flavor is going to separate all the time.” ( Massimo Mancini-owner- Flavourart)

Our flavor materials, too many to quantify or assign some “steep” rule, are suspended in solvents and additives intended to be dissolved in the VG. The time method ‘works’ to varying degrees. When done properly and at the right temperature stirring works much better. A high shear mixer can even mix oil and water and they will stay suspended (emulsified).

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Searching the intertubes will yield discussions about homogenization of e-juice that go back years, so this concept is neither foreign nor quackery. Those older discussions explain that high shear mixing does indeed lead to instantly mature mixes, just as it is explained here. The difference between then and now is that until now there has been no budget-friendly way for the home DIY mixer to obtain such a device. And thus, time steeping has remained ‘king’.

Until now. The king is dead. Long live the king!!

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Homogenization is the real deal and thanks so much to @Guitarded for the brilliant idea and execution.

@SmilingOgre did a great video on mixing with a homogenizer but searched and searched here and haven’t found it yet.

Maybe we start a new thread on how people are using it or should we post it here?

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Yes.

I know where the video is but would rather he post it if he wants. He made two.

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Really? Do you think anyone is using it do something other than mix e-juice? :full_moon_with_face:

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Oh sure, the evil clown taunts me again…and you wonder why you give me nightmares :wink:

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Absolutely! Even with the original beta unit I received, the reality of the ability to achieve a homogenous mix was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt!

I couldn’t agree more!
His choice of using a commonly available, and reasonably priced device (high-speed, hand-held rotary tools) to power his creation was brilliant!

And this is going to be a game changer for those fortunate enough to get one and take the time to use it as designed/intended!

I wouldn’t go that far… lol
Even the USC method (with properly applied heat levels) beats the “put it in a dark cubby and forget it” method. Because even then (again, with proper methodology, and durations
[depending on the flavors one’s working with]), time waiting can still be reduced by 60-75%.
Unfortunately, some folks just refuse to adjust their mindset, as well as do empirical testing on their own to learn something that goes against the commonly repeated rhetoric by some…

Regardless, even as nice as using a USC has been in my experience, the homogenizer designed by @Guitarded is another HUGE step forward in the process, and easily leaves the USC method in it’s wake. There’s just NO competition for the results of using a Homogenizer!

I consider myself fortunate to have been able to help test things out, and witness the excellence in design firsthand.

Thank you again Dan for allowing me to be a part of this! I’m extremely grateful bud.

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The one I made and posted on ELR was full of jabs at the naysayers of homogenizing and some political jabs as well. I think it would be better to make a new one that was more serious and used the GT homogenizer. I’ll go ahead with that here shortly.

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Yes, it was a masterful skewering as could only be done by our inimitable Ogre and funny as hell to boot. But, sleeping dogs… :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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One thing that is somewhat absent from this thread is the use of heat for homogenization purposes. Allusions to difficulties with “naysayers” stem from persistent condemnations and declarations of various otherwise undefined “harms” claimed by the use of heat is a source of frustration to me. Discussions elsewhere are dominated by these undefined “harms” and “only one way” declarations which IMO can be very detrimental to the new mixer. Does that mean they need a homogenizer? No. For example, Phil Fish developed a method which greatly accelerated time factors with the use of controlled heating and intermittent shaking. As above @Sprkslfly has used heat and ultrasonics for a long time. There are 2 types of homogenizers…high shear (mechanical) and ultrasonic. The ultrasonic units are much more powerful than he was using though there is no doubt that they work.

While it is necessary to preheat VG for use with a high shear mixer, years of experience and testing shows that regardless of the method whether it be shaking, stirring, using alcohol and/or water or other additives to ‘thin’ or combination of methods, a homogeneous mix is the goal. From one of my first posts on this subject:

VG is viscous and heavy and as above is not a good solvent for dissolving flavor materials. It is textbook chemistry that as temperature increases, most chemicals become more SOLVENT, (soluble) thus our flavor materials penetrate the VG.

As Fish commented once…compelling

I recommend 60C/140F. The danger zone is IMO at 160F.

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More clarification. Grain alcohol can reach its boiling point (173.1 F-78.37 C at sea level) this low depending on atmospheric pressure. Without an exhaust hood this can be dangerous.

Most of our flavor concentrates were developed as food flavorings and are used for cooking, baking, beverages etc. My wife has decades in the restaurant business.

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All I can say is I’m totally blown away, I have zero knowledge or experience using Homogenizers (I have a 1 gallon paint shaker jerry rigged up for bottles down to 10ml) but from what I see here this is amazing, possibly ground breaking for DIY mixing. :tada:

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Thanks. Ask any question and I’ll do my best to answer. I’ve done a lot of work with lots of trial and error using control testing methods. The following video is by Silverson which is the original inventor and world leader in these devices. This explains how they work;

Videos

While there are a lot of people producing them they all work on the same principles but naturally some are better than others. Mine are small lab sized where I worked on increasing the flow through or throughput and I concentrated on liquid to liquid mixing rather than solids or fibers and powders.

There are several video’s on their website and I think all worthwhile watching.

They are a game changer for ejuice mixing and my main goal was to get these out among the mixing communities and let people judge for themselves. From the beginning the mixing time drove me nuts.

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