Improvised Ball Mill

A short about The Wondrous Mechanical Maurits™, which was intended to grind down chemicals and mix them together

One of the problems I had was the effort required to make the rocket fuel mix, it took hours of grinding with a mortar and pestle, which just wont do
Introducing, the ball mill “Mechanical Maurits™”

The Wondrous Mechanical Maurits™

Its a crude design, here are the ingredients (all laying around in my home workplace)

  • 2 Scraps of wood
  • 2 Long Screws
  • A DC motor
  • CD Drive Casing
  • Elastic Bands
  • 12V 1A Power Supply
  • Glass Jar
  • Marbles
  • Duct Tape

As you can probably tell it is quite improvised
But it works very well (not really, not at all)
Here are some videos

Empty Test Run
Slow Start
Mixing Finely Powdered Rocket Fuel

As intended it grinds the chemicals to a fine powder, and is also capable of mixing it together, due to glass not sparking which could ignite the fuel
Still, care should be taken, such as not leaving it alone with active pyrotechnical compounds being ground
The name “Mechanical Maurits™” originated from my classmate and friend Maurits who thus far has helped me tremendously in grinding the powder fine using a mortar and pestle, huge thanks to him for that

The way a ball mill works is a cylindrical container gets spun around with some form of heavy, non sparking balls inside
when the container spins, the medium inside constantly falls over itself, when powder is placed in with them, this results in constant bashing and mixing, resulting in a very fine powder if run for long enough, this can last from 1 to 6 hours, depending on the state the powder was before and the desired fineness of the powder

There are still some problems with this design however

Rubber “Powder”

Due to the friction of the rubber band on the motor and constant shaking of the jar, the rubber band(s) are quickly degrading, leaving behind a small pile of rubber shavings

Due to this and other problems (namely efficiency, usability and safety) I still need to make a better version, but for now this is much better than grinding the powders myself

Version 2.0 will hopefully have a Switch for the motor, a more sturdy case, a plastic container instead of glass, and a better belt and suspension system to reduce wear

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