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Introduction to ISM

WHAT IS ISM?

ISM is a research & development, equipment design and process consulting firm, specializing in high-power ultrasonic technology for liquid treatment. Our mission is to help businesses optimize their ultrasound-assisted processes and implement them in commercial-scale production. ISM offers bench and commercial-scale ultrasonic liquid processors, also called ultrasonic homogenizers, ultrasonic mixers, sonochemical reactors or ultrasonic wet milling systems, able to provide unprecedented processing rates and product quality. Application examples include the production of nanoemulsions, liposomes, nanocrystals and wax nanoparticles for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, ink, paint, coating, wood treatment, metalworking, nanocomposite, pesticide, and fuel industries. In addition, we are actively involved in wastewater purification, plant oil extraction, production of biofuels, crude oil desulphurization, liquid degassing, cell disruption, polymer and epoxy processing, and more.

ISM's Commercial-Scale High-Intensity Ultrasound

ISM is a high-intensity industrial ultrasound company. High-intensity (high-amplitude) ultrasound is still mainly thought of as a laboratory technique, incapable of being efficiently implemented in commercial production. The reason for this reputation is that in order for most ultrasound-assisted processes to be efficient, it is necessary to generate ultrasonic amplitudes of at least 70 - 100 microns. Several ultrasound companies offer laboratory processors able to produce such amplitudes. However, these companies' industrial ultrasonic processors cannot generate amplitudes greater than about 25 microns, irrespective of the specified system power. The difference between ultrasonic cavitation generated at the amplitudes of 30 and 100 microns is substantial, as shown in the video on the left.

One analogy of a high-power, low-amplitude approach would be trying to cook eggs in a large container, in which the water can only be warmed, but not boiled (analogy of low amplitude). The total power deposition into the process of warming a lot of water can be very high, but the desired effect will not be achieved. The proper procedure for the industrial imlementation of this process would be to maximize the system power capacity, but only under the condition that the boiling temperture of water can actually be reached (analogy of high amplitude).

The fact that conventional ultrasonic technology does not permit increasing ultrasonic processor sizes to the industrial scale without drastically lowering ultrasonic amplitudes is the reason why scale-up has always led to unavoidable reduction of cavitation intensities and significant losses in product quality.

ISM's ultrasonic processors are free from this limitation. With the use of our patented Barbell Horn Ultrasonic Technology (BHUT), we are able to generate extremely high ultrasonic cavitation intensities at any scale, directly implementing laboratory accomplishments in a production environment.

AN ACTIVE R&D FIRM

ISM constantly conducts research and development, aimed at improving its ultrasonic technology and optimizing it for different applications. Examples of our R&D activities are presented below:

Transducer-FBH AssemblyCurrently we are in the final stages of developing a specialized water-cooled piezoelectric transducer, capable of providing an unprecedented combination of output characteristics – power capacity up to 5 kW, ultrasonic amplitude up to 30 microns (without an ultrasonic horn) and output end diameter of 60 mm. This transducer will be designed to work in combination with Barbell horns, which will then be able to produce extremely high amplitudes and ultrasonic cavitation intensities in large volumes of liquid. The abovementioned features will be achieved by incorporating piezoelectric rings into a Full-wave Barbell Horn (FBH) structure, thereby producing a transducer/Barbell horn hybrid.

An extremely powerful Half-wave Barbell horn with an Opening (HBHO) will be constructed and tested in conjunction with this transducer. HBHO has a larger output surface than any other Barbell horn of similar diameter and can provide very high ultrasonic amplitudes. The device will be designed to create “acoustic focusing” by umbrella-like expansion-contraction of its output section, potentially resulting in fundamentally new sonochemical and sonophysical effects.

ISM is also engaged in active research in multiple areas of ultrasonic technology application. Examples of our ongoing projects include: designing ultrasonic nano-particle production processes for pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, improving the properties of formaldehyde-free adhesives used in MDF and particle board production, developing the process of simultaneous extraction and transesterification of microalgal oil for inexpensive biofuel synthesis, optimizing metalworking fluid formulations, creating highly UV resistant pigment nano-dispersions used in paints, coatings, sunscreens and printer inks, investigating methods to make superior-quality wax emulsions, designing ways to efficiently degas liquids, and studying the effects of high-intensity ultrasound on molten resins.


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