We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Manufacturing

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Is Jet Milling?

By Ray Hawk
Updated: May 17, 2024

Jet milling is a process of using highly compressed air or other gasses, usually in a vortex motion, to impact fine particles against each other in a chamber. This gradually reduces them in size, resulting in powders that have particle size dimensions as small as one micron across, or 50-100 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Fluid energy milling is another common term for the process, and it is often employed in the propellant and explosives creation industries, with some systems able to grind rocket propellant fuel down to a two micron particle size at a rate of 500 pounds (227 kilograms) per hour.

Milling machines that employ jet milling processes are also widely used to create polymer powders for the plastics industry, adhesives, cosmetics, paint and ink compounds, pharmaceuticals, and more. Due to the fine nature of size control and variety of output products produced, jet milling equipment can be expensive. Commercial units sold in India can be set to produce anywhere from 22 pounds (10 kilograms) to 1,587 pounds (720 kilograms) per hour.

The basic function of a jet milling machine is rather easy to understand. A feed funnel is used to pour unprocessed material into a compressed intake gas tube that channels it into a cylindrical grinding chamber. The air or compressed gas in the chamber is accelerated into a vortex, with centrifugal force driving smaller particles to the center as impacts occur, and larger ones to the perimeter. As the particles reach a chosen size, they are removed from the center of the vortex through an exit pipe.

The benefits of jet milling are broad, covering advanced materials processing across a range of industries from metallurgy to synthetic chemicals and food processing. There are, however, also challenges to be overcome in the control of particle size and energy efficiency of jet milling machines. Output particle size can affect everything from how a chocolate tastes that contains jet milling products, to drug absorption, toner quality for printing, the durability of tools with ceramic edges, and more.

Milling materials by jet milling continues to grow in industry, however, as it is the primary method of producing materials with particle sizes ranging from 1-10 microns. It also offers advantages over ball or hammer mills in that it results in zero product contamination, and the heating effect of milled products in typical ball and hammer mills is avoided. The Joules Thompson cooling effect of air exiting a jet mill keeps the product at around 200° Fahrenheit (93° Celsius), which is the same temperature as that of the interior grinding chamber.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Share
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.