3 roll mill or homogeniser for zinc oxide dispersion


Does anybody have a good opinion on whether a 3 roll mill or a high shear honogenizing mixer would be better for getting good dispersion of non-nano uncoated zinc oxide in an oil base for a zinc based sunscreen.

Bothe methods have been suggested, I am just looking for another, possibly better informed opinion.



  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    I only have experience with 3 roll mills for ointments and thicker creams with for example zinc oxide. These mills aren't well suited for more liquid products since these are likely to drip from the rolls and down onto the bench or splatter everywhere depending on the speed of the rolls.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    It all depends on the percentage of ZnO you're trying to incorporate.  If it's on the order of 20% to 25% ZnO in an oil base, then a homogenizer will be your best option, although for this my recommendation would be an overhead stirrer.

    If you are trying to create a ZnO pre-mix with 40% or more ZnO, then you're going to need a 3 roll mill.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Three Roll Mill should be able to process liquid like material if you set the roller gaps really small, say around 20um.
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