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Topic: Loosen clumped salt using sound?  (Read 3323 times)

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Offline zeek1029

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Loosen clumped salt using sound?
« on: May 27, 2015, 08:54:15 PM »
As will soon become obvious, I'm not a scientist. A highschool Physics class represents the extent of my education in this field, so please forgive my ignorance.

The gist of what I am wanting to do is loosen clumped salt (sodium chloride) using sound. In case it's relevant - the salt must remain dry, and the temperature must remain around room temperature.

My questions are:

1. Where is this on the spectrum between ("Every highschool physics student does this experiement.") and ("That's impossible!")?

2. Are there any specific search terms which I can use to further research this? Apparently I don't have enough of the vocabulary, because I cannot find anything.

3. Can this be done using basic equipment which I can rig up, or would it require the purchase of specific equipement?

4. Is the "resonance frequency" of salt relevant here (similar to shattering a glass using sound)? Is that value even known?

Just to clarify, I've seen other threads discussing methods for breaking salt into it's base elements, or extracting Hydrogen. I am NOT interested in these things. I simply want to loosen up / break apart salt crystals. Thanks in advance for any responses.

Offline Borek

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Offline zeek1029

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Re: Loosen clumped salt using sound?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2015, 01:58:05 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonication

I thought that this would work, but I'm not able to find any application of this technology on dry material. It appears that this is done only on liquids. Unfortunately, as I stated above, "the salt must remain dry." This is definitely a move in the right direction though. Thank you for the link - it's very informative.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 02:14:30 PM by zeek1029 »

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Loosen clumped salt using sound?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2015, 04:03:55 PM »
Its hard to follow your application.  You have sodium chloride, granular, in bulk, and its clumped.  I assume its clumped because its moist with water.  Now you have to keep it dry -- but isn't that obvious?  If you add more water, it'll dissolve.  So you apply ultrasound.  That's a pretty nebulous concept -- do you mean a sonication chamber, because that needs water to conduct the sound, like wise a ultrasonic lance, of the type used to disrupt living cells.  How "un-clumped" do you need?  For that matter, what is clumped and non-clumped, empirically?  Would the salt not un-clump if just shaken vigorously, without ultrasonic vibration, just plain old, somehow less than ultrasonic, vibration?
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline zeek1029

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Re: Loosen clumped salt using sound?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 01:27:24 AM »
Its hard to follow your application...

Arkcon, point taken. Please bear with me, because while I'm doing a terrible job of communicating here, this is very important to me. I am working with salt (nothing special, just common salt) which has been melted in a kiln, and thus hardened into clumps (for lack of a better word). It looks like melted ice cream, and is very hard. I manually break-up this salt into pieces similar to small rocks, then manually grind those into powder using a mortar and pestle.

I need to convert this previously melted salt into very fine powder, but I'm not able to get the particles small enough. I do get a powder, but I need the particles to be as small as possible. Ideally I would reduce the salt to a pile of loose molecules. I realize that I'll never attain that, but I'm wanting to know what methods and equipment are used in labs today for this sort of thing - when the smallest/finest particles (powder/dust) are required.

In other words, if a chemist had a spoon of salt, and wanted to break those crystals down to the smallest particles (finest powder) possible - like on a microscopic scale, how would he or she go about it?

I thought that the answer would involve sound/resonance, thus my original post. I am now coming to understand that sound is for liquids (or particles in liquids), and is likely not what I am looking for.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 01:44:50 AM by zeek1029 »

Offline Borek

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Offline zeek1029

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Re: Loosen clumped salt using sound?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 11:18:22 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_mill

That's it!!! That's exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

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