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  • Inexpensive Overhead Stirrer, Homogenizer Recommendations

    Posted by thebrain on March 25, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Can anyone recommend a basic, inexpensive (<$500 USD) overhead stirrer and homogenizer for hobbiest use? I have a stick blender, which is great when I need high shear for emulsions, but it’s not so good when I need to apply constant mixing for 30-60 minutes, nor when I need to mix surfactants and bubbly things slowly.

    I know I should be looking for torque ratings, but most of the equipment listed on eBay doesn’t include it. This one looks pretty good for the money:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Electric-overhead-stirrer-mixer-variable-speed-100W-New-/261666124906?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cec84346a

    But it’s no-name, so I have no idea if the thing is going to blow up in a week. Much of the name brand stuff seems awfully expensive for such low wattage motors. Suggestions are appreciated, thanks!

    perspicacious replied 9 years, 1 month ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • belassi

    Member
    March 25, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Sometimes I think a good solution would be to buy something like this on EBay and have a local engineering company fab an adjustable stand for it and fit a 3-jaw chuck for impellers. Add a variable DC power supply and a stainless bowl, and you’ve got a pretty good mixer.

  • MakingSkincare

    Member
    March 25, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Why would you need to mix for so long as 30-60 minutes continuously? 

    Overhead lab stirrers only go up to 2,000 rpm.  They are fine for cool down stirring, however. I doubt whether that ebay stirrer can handle viscous emulsions or large quantities.  
    Stick blenders have a much higher tip speed which will create a finer emulsion.  

    You could mount a commercial catering big stick blender on some kind of makeshift stand?
  • MarkBroussard

    Member
    March 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    This is a handy little workhorse homogenizer that works great for lab-scale formulation development:

    I had a machinist build a custom head for it that works just like the Silverson Emulsor Screen … works beautifully!
  • thebrain

    Member
    March 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    The BioSpec BioHomogenizer is a bit pricey. It’s only rated at 100W output for intermittent use. Would that be good enough for up to 1000ml cosmetics, including viscous emulsions? Is it really much better than a stick blender?

    How about an overhead stirrer recommendation? I’d like to keep it under $500 if possible.

  • ozgirl

    Member
    March 25, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Have you considered a second hand overhead stirrer? You can often pick up good brand names at cheaper prices if a laboratory is shutting down and they are selling off the equipment. Where are you located? Someone might be able to suggest some traders that sell used lab equipment.

    If you are looking at no name products compare the specifications with a well known brand like IKA.

  • MarkBroussard

    Member
    March 25, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Yes, the Biospec works for batches up to 2 liters.

  • Bobzchemist

    Member
    March 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    LabX is great for used equipment, as is Ebay. 

    I’d suggest that a used name-brand stirrer is better than an cheaply-made new stirrer..
  • MakingSkincare

    Member
    March 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Yes, I agree a name brand is advisable.  I’ve compared some overhead stirrers in this post - https://chemistscorner.com/cosmeticsciencetalk/discussion/95/industrial-mixer-for-small-scale-manufacturer-emulsions

  • Bobzchemist

    Member
    March 26, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Don’t forget Craigslist for lab equipment either

  • perspicacious

    Member
    April 28, 2015 at 6:57 pm
    I am preparing to purchase one of the Biospec homogenizers. You mentioned having a machinist to fabricate a custom head for the one you bought. Would it be possible for me to have the contact info for that machinist? I would like to have the same thing fabricated for my unit.
  • perspicacious

    Member
    April 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I didn’t want to leave this hanging with my last post appearing as though Mark didn’t reply. We have been communicating by private messaging and Mark has been quite gracious in his response.

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