A variety of industries utilize particle size reduction equipment for particle management. Size reduction of bulk solid materials is necessary for processing products, enhancing and improving the material's performance properties, or meeting particular processing requirements. Depending on the material that needs processing, particle size reduction equipment varies. In large part, a material's properties will determine which particle size reduction equipment to use.  

Particle size reduction is an age-old process that reduces larger solids or bulk material masses into smaller uniform-sized particles using specially designed equipment to crush, grind, and-or pulverize the bulk material for further processing. In the past, stone mills were used to reduce material size; today's technological advances in equipment can render virtually any sized material to the desired particle size—coarse, granular, or powder. 

Because there are many particle size-reduction requirements, the method chosen relates to the desired properties of the material being processed and the desired finished product characteristics. How a material breaks down is determined by its properties. Different processing equipment is necessary to process various materials —moist, dry, sticky, soft, loose, hard, abrasive, etc.

Particle size reduction of material is instrumental to particle management in dry bulk processing industries—agriculture, chemical, mineral, animal feed, food processing, pharmaceutical, and bakeries. It is also vital to a range of industrial bulk solid material processing from spices, paints and pigments, sugar, coatings, rubber, paper and pulp, and plastics to wood, cosmetics, cement, ceramic, soap and detergent resins, fertilizer, tobacco, metals, asphalt, extracts, and dairy products.

Choosing the appropriate particle size reduction equipment depends on the raw material processed and desired end product. Prater Industries offers various particle size reduction equipment to meet companies' industrial processing needs large and small. Our products are designed to provide versatile and innovative solutions to the most challenging material handling requirements. 

Prater markets five particle size reduction products—lump breakers, full-screen hammer mills, mega hammer mills, fine grinders, and air classifying mills—all of which provide the highest-quality processing and ensure efficiency and overall performance. 

The Break Down of Particle Size Reduction Equipment and How It Works

Lump Breakers

Lump breakers, also referred to as lump crushers, are a type of particle size reduction equipment used to break up compacted or agglomerated material for processing. For example, bagged powders stacked on pallets can form into lumps or solid blocks. 

Lump breakers solve material processing problems that arise from transportation and shipping, production, or prolonged storage. In particle reduction of material, lump breakers can provide a gentle granulation, coarse size reduction, or any solid bulk material alteration. They are used to process any aggregate or bulk solid prone to being compacted into lumps and agglomerations that need to be reduced to a consistent size.

Full-Screen Hammer Mills

Industrial hammer mills are employed in particle reduction applications for the uniform size reduction of aggregate, raw material. Repeated blows accomplish particle reduction with swinging hammers mounted to a rotating shaft with the mill chamber. Prater's Full-Screen technology enhances the uniformity of an end product and provides greater equipment productivity. The system is designed to distribute material across the entire available screen area for consistent size reduction. The result is optimal throughput capacity with minimal power requirements

Mega Hammer Mills

Prater's Mega Mill is a particular type of hammer mill designed to address processing needs that run between hammer mills and fine grinders. A cost-effective workhorse, the Mega Mill offers fine grinding than most hammermills and higher output. Like the Full-Screen Mill, it provides uniform grinding of a product while requiring less airflow than conventional hammer mills. Its unique and distinctive cantilevered design offers unparalleled access for cleaning and routine maintenance

Fine Grinders

Prater Fine Grinders are designed to reduce dry, free-flowing materials into fine mesh sizes. Precision built with fixed blades that impact particles in close tolerance to a screen frame, the Fine Grinder is capable of delivering a very uniform particle size distribution. Fine grinding a material will result in a higher surface area to volume ratio that can increase a product’s reactivity, absorption rate, sweetening power or color intensity in a variety of applications. They are well suited for heat-sensitive materials like resins and sugar.

Air Classifying Mills

Similar to a Fine Grinder, Prater's Air Classifying Mill combines a fine grinding impact wheel with an internal air classifier that creates an efficient, all-in-one particle reduction solution where even finer micronizing is required. The Prater Air Classifying Mill offers the combination of two-stage closed circuit grinding with internal air classification. Particle size reduction takes place in three distinct stages:

  • an initial, primary grinding stage for raw material input
  • size based particle separation or classification
  • Secondary grinding stage for partially reduced particles

This unique capability can outperform single-stage air classifier mills. It is ideal for handling difficult to grind products and those products requiring a narrow particle distribution.