Hammermills are size reduction tools appropriate for the grinding, shredding, and crushing of many different kinds of materials. Small scale hammermill processes involve the shredding and grinding of lightweight, soft materials, like paper and grains.
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Applications of Hammermills
Because the variety of materials processed by size reduction equipment is so wide, an equally wide variety of equipment is necessary to accommodate them. Stone crushers, jaw crushers, grinding mills, and all kinds of other grinding and pulverizing equipment are essential to the preparation of minerals, metals, and other materials in advance of mixing, refining, alloying, and other processes.
Hammermills, in particular, are size reduction tools used in industrial waste disposal, raw material processing, and many other operations. They can turn paper into pulp and grains into flour. On larger, more industrial scales, they can be used for the crushing and shredding of large appliances and even automobiles in advance of recycling or disposal.
On a conceptual level, hammermills are among the simplest size reduction tool designs. Every hammermill, whether large or small, features a cylinder with inlets and outlets for grinding material, a motor, and grinding hammers on a rotating rod. They are operated in different ways, depending on the size of the machine and its applications. Smaller hammermills, like those used to shred paper, can be operated by using wall outlet electricity. Large hammermills, like those used in waste management, often use multiple diesel engines as a power source.
How Hammermills Work
The process begins when the material intended for grinding is loaded into the cylinder. This can be done automatically through a combination of conveyor belts and hoppers, or it can be done manually, as is the case in small scale hammermill operation. Once loaded, the motor causes the rod in the mill to rotate, causing the hammers to rotate as well. When the rotating hammers come into contact with the materials, it grinds and shreds them.
Once sufficiently ground, the materials fall through specially shaped holes built into the cylinder. They pass through the holes and into collection areas. The cylinder can then be reloaded, and the process repeats itself. This process can be continuous, in the case of automated hammermills, or it can be performed in batches. This usually depends on the scale of the operation.