What Is Particle Size Reduction & How Does It Play a Part in Everyday Life?

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Deb Shechter
Oct 3, 2016
min read
What Is Particle Size Reduction & How Does It Play a Part in Everyday Life?

Particle size reduction refers to the process of adding energy to a material in order to reduce the average particle size. We know that manufacturing industries utilize particle size reduction, but did you know that it happens every day in your own life too?

Let’s begin with your morning coffee. Before you can enjoy a delicious cup of java, you need to grind the coffee beans first. In a coffee grinder, the beans are ground down into much smaller particles, thereby increasing the surface area. We do this so that the water which percolates through the coffee can extract all those delicious, aromatic compounds (as well as the much needed caffeine!)

Next, you get into your car and drive to work. Your car is made predominantly from steel, which is made from iron ore mined from the ground. One of the first steps in this process, after removing the rocks from the earth, is comminution (size reduction) so that the valuable materials can be separated out.

Large Pieces + Energy = Smaller Pieces  

At lunchtime, you go down to the cafeteria and order a salad. Luckily for you, the chef knows a thing or two about particle size reduction. If not, you would have received an entire head of lettuce on your plate, along with a whole tomato and cucumber!

When you’re done, you toss your used napkin into the trash. Waste management companies make use of particle size reduction equipment like shredders and compactors to break down or crush waste into smaller pieces.

Later when you head home, you make yourself a sandwich. Your bread was baked with flour, which was made (or milled) by crushing the grain into smaller pieces. Lastly, just before bed, you wash your face and apply your face cream, which has probably been manufactured using a homogenizer.

Homogenization, you guessed it, is a kind of particle size reduction. It uses mechanical force to break down particles or droplets in a liquid into smaller and more uniform sizes. Once the face cream has been homogenized, it is less likely to separate out, thereby improving the aesthetic and prolonging the shelf life.

Interested in learning more about particle size reduction and how to make the process more efficient? Contact us.

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