Homogenizer specs question for amateur home use

helenhelenhelenhelen Member
edited April 15 in General
I've been working with chemists and labs to develop a line for a while, but would like to have a play around with emulsion-making at home concurrently to get a feel for the effects of different materials. It wouldn't be for making cosmetics to sell. I don't mind spending a bit of money on a homogenizer as it's costing me a huge amount anyway for the chemists' time, but don't want to spend thousands as it may not end up being used that much!

Would something like the following with the 12G head be suitable for making a cosmetic cream? I'd only be making small amounts, around 100ml each time. The main things I'm not sure about are if the 12G head is an appropriate size and if the 12G head can handle the viscosity of a cosmetic cream.

I also saw the Misceo range (https://www.misceo-cosmetics.com/gb/5-misceo-250) which looks identical to the affordable Dynamix kitchen range (it's the same company) apart from the colours and stand. But even the entry level Misceo and Dynamix says they are for 1-4 litres which is too much for me.

Thanks for any advice.

Comments

  • AgateAgate Member
    I can't comment on that specific homogenizer, though if the 1000mPas maximum viscosity is true I would also be concerned.
    I've been looking for a similar homogenizer myself, and am currently most interested in this one: https://www.amazon.de/Homogenisator-Hochgeschwindigkeits-Dispersions-justierbarer-intelligenter-Laborspender-Homogenisierungsmischer-Zelldispersion/dp/B07ZFT57CK/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=&linkCode=w00&linkId=&creativeASIN=B07ZFT57CK Several people in a German forum bought it this year and have had success with it. Some reported successfully homogenizing cosmetic creams and lotions up to 150ml, but it can start from as low as 5ml. One person did notice that theirs didn't have the grounding wire soldered to anything, so you do get what you pay for. Another person recently had some sort of motor/electronic failure after a few uses, but the seller has offered to send a replacement free of charge.
  • Agate said:
    I can't comment on that specific homogenizer, though if the 1000mPas maximum viscosity is true I would also be concerned.
    I've been looking for a similar homogenizer myself, and am currently most interested in this one: https://www.amazon.de/Homogenisator-Hochgeschwindigkeits-Dispersions-justierbarer-intelligenter-Laborspender-Homogenisierungsmischer-Zelldispersion/dp/B07ZFT57CK/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=&linkCode=w00&linkId=&creativeASIN=B07ZFT57CK Several people in a German forum bought it this year and have had success with it. Some reported successfully homogenizing cosmetic creams and lotions up to 150ml, but it can start from as low as 5ml. One person did notice that theirs didn't have the grounding wire soldered to anything, so you do get what you pay for. Another person recently had some sort of motor/electronic failure after a few uses, but the seller has offered to send a replacement free of charge.
    Hi @Agate, thanks for your comment. I’ve seen that type of machine as well on eBay and Amazon for very low cost. But as you mention, you get what you pay for.. it looks like it wouldn’t last long before malfunctioning.. and it’s a big hunk of metal and plastic that would end up wastefully being discarded.
  • @Agate The other thing that put me off those homogenizers is that they can only be used for less than 5 minutes continuously to protect the motor.. ideally only for 2-3 minutes before resting before starting again. Sounds like the motor would fail in no time!
  • AgateAgate Member
    edited April 15
    I definitely understand your reservations about purchasing an item which has a high probability of becoming a wasteful paperweight.
    One more option I just came across, after thinking I'd already seen every possibility: https://www.usefulstuff.de/product-page/EmullgieraufsatzOcis (For the keyword search, it's the OCIS homogenizing attachment for a Dremel motor). It's manufactured in Luxembourg and is meant to last ten years according to the website.
    If Google translate isn't conclusive for you I'm happy to translate parts.
    As for the limited continuous run time, which a lot of those devices have, I've found this which may be helpful:

    What is the maximum continuous period of time that I can run the Ultra-Turrax® T 25?

    The motor is rated for 100% on time, but where you'll run into issues is the teflon bearing inside the dispersing element. That will eventually overheat, depending on the speed used and both the substances and volumes being homogenized. That said, most substances will achieve their minimum achievable particle size in a matter of seconds or minutes so it shouldn't be a problem.

    If you're running the Ultra-Turrax for longer than that, you're probably either running it for longer than necessary or using the incorrect instrument for the application. If you want something which can be used continuously for an in-line process, this is not the correct instrument; this is for batch processes only. If want to ensure that an already homogenized substance stays mixed after homogenization, you should homogenize with the Ultra-Turrax first then utilize an overhead stirrer to prevent sedimentation or separation.

    https://homogenizers.net/products/ultra-turrax-t-25

  • helenhelenhelenhelen Member
    edited April 15

    Agate said:
    One more option I just came across, after thinking I'd already seen every possibility: https://www.usefulstuff.de/product-page/EmullgieraufsatzOcis (For the keyword search, it's the OCIS homogenizing attachment for a Dremel motor). It's manufactured in Luxembourg and is meant to last ten years according to the website.
    @Agate Ooh that Dremel + OCIS attachment might be just what I need. Thanks! The people in this Facebook post seem pretty pleased with it - https://bit.ly/3bbT9x1

    The length of the OCIS attachment is a bit short but might be ok for the very small batches I am looking to make.

    If all fails, at least the Dremel is useful in itself.

    I will be looking into the two recommended Dremel models tonight.. the cordless option is obviously more convenient, but how long can it run continuously before losing power?

    Regarding your findings on continuous run time, while it's true a long run time shouldn't be required, it's still disconcerting if the motor can get damaged so quickly/easily!
  • AgateAgate Member
    edited April 15
    @helenhelen It does seem to be very well received! A modular, serviceable solution from a small manufacturer is right up my street as well.
    As much as I like the idea of the cordless option, I'd personally go for corded. Short battery life (some say only 5-30 minutes) seems to be a common complaint in the 1 star reviews. https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/tools/8220-12vmax-high-performance-cordless?bvroute=Review/73952217 In general I've had such bad experiences with rechargeable devices losing performance that I've sworn to buying the corded option when possible. At least the Dremel does have the option to replace the battery or even keep several charged ones on hand. In order to avoid messing around with the cable I'll probably use a lab stand with one or two of those three-fingered clamps.
    I have a Bamix blender here which also does around 20'000 RPM for a maximum of five minutes. It seemed short to me initially, until I found out that most kitchen blenders are only rated for 30 seconds at a time! No wonder I melted the plastic gears of the predecessor.... The Bamix on the other hand is known to last for 20+ years, so a five-minute run time in and of itself doesn't need to be an indicator of poor quality, though I agree it is probably a bad sign with a lot of devices. I do wonder how they build high end devices to run continuously.
    Does anyone know whether something like the OCIS/Dremel setup would scale to a Silverson down the road? Should it be okay because they both use a rotor/stator head, or could this setup lead to headaches when scaling? One potential issue I could see is that the Dremel doesn't indicate the RPM, but then I'm not sure if the optimum RPM wouldn't need to be found for the larger device anyway?
  • @Agate I was all ready to order the OCIS, but it seems they don't deliver to the UK! I have emailed them to ask why.. it seems strange as they deliver to most other European countries.

    If I can't get hold of the OCIS head, I may just end up getting the cheap, "will probably break after one go", homogenizer from Amazon/eBay...

    I'm not sure if you've come across the BioSpec Tissue Tearor (https://biospec.com/product/tissue-tearor) which is apparently just a Dremel with a rotor stator head. I even saw a review somewhere where a disgruntled customer said the drive even had a Dremel logo on it!

    I'm baffled as to why it's so hard to find a homogenizer for small batch cosmetic creams that doesn't cost £1500 upwards. There seems to be a market for it...
  • @helenhelen, this isn’t a popular opinion but if it’s just for you, I don’t think you need to waste money on homogenizer. I am all for good lab equipment and own a couple of pieces myself but you can make almost everything with a stick blender. I make w/si Emulsions with bosch stick blender. I would say that an overhead stirrer is an essential piece. You can get high shear from a stick blender. Also depending on what you make you might not want wasting expensive materials. Homogenizer creates a lot of waste (you will need to make larger batch and half of it will stay on the homogenizer’s head).
  • @helenhelen, this isn’t a popular opinion but if it’s just for you, I don’t think you need to waste money on homogenizer. I am all for good lab equipment and own a couple of pieces myself but you can make almost everything with a stick blender. I make w/si Emulsions with bosch stick blender. I would say that an overhead stirrer is an essential piece. You can get high shear from a stick blender. Also depending on what you make you might not want wasting expensive materials. Homogenizer creates a lot of waste (you will need to make larger batch and half of it will stay on the homogenizer’s head).
    @ngarayeva001 Yeah I saw a lot of comments on other threads saying the same.. but the naive, consumer side of me always wants a new toy to play with! It's also such a drop in the ocean in terms of the costs I've racked up so far asking chemists to try this and that, that I'd really like to do a little bit of experimenting myself with somewhat appropriate equipment. I have a stick blender that is used for cooking, but it's probably too big for the small samples I'd be making.

    @Agate I've ordered the OCIS and Dremel 4000 so will let you know how I get on.
  • AgateAgate Member
    edited April 16
    It's true I can manage with my bamix and emulsifying attachment right now. However, I have seen that the consistency with a rotor/stator homogenizer can get quite a lot thicker, so I do think it makes sense to get a small homogenizer if the plan is to scale to a bigger one in future.
    @helenhelen Looking forward to reading about your experience with it!
  • Please share your experience. It’s a nice toy indeed and I totally understand it. I bought double heat plate with magnetic stirrer that I didn’t need and who knows maybe I also get a homogenizer one day :) 
  • helenhelenhelenhelen Member
    edited April 17
    ngarayeva001 said: I bought double heat plate with magnetic stirrer that I didn’t need and who knows maybe I also get a homogenizer one day :) 
    Hehe I stopped myself from buying a double heat plate magnetic stirrer, or even a single heat plate magnetic stirrer! I decided I would try to make do with my sous vide stick in a pan of water. I have yet to see whether the setup will work...
  • @Agate @ngarayeva001 Just a quick update on the OCIS - I used it today for the first time and it worked perfectly. The workmanship is amazing and the item is very satisfying to put together and use! I definitely recommend it. Thanks @Agate for providing me with the idea in the first place!
  • AgateAgate Member
    @helenhelen Glad to hear you're happy with it! :)
  • @helenhelen I wish you to create many cool formulas with it. If you haven't made w/o before, now you don't have reasons not to try :)
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