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Wisconsin Pyrotechnic Arts Guild

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Ball Mills

Ball mills are used to grind various chemicals and black powder compositions.  Grinding of pyro black powder type compositions can be very dangerous and should only be done with the proper experience and safety precautions.

The "Sponenburgh" Ball Mill

mill1.jpg (25591 bytes) This ball mill was made from a design by Lloyd Sponenburgh.  It's a very efficient ball mill and each 1 gallon jar can mill 1Kg of black powder in 3 hours.  Lloyd  has a very good book called "Ball Milling Theory and Practice for the Amateur Pyrotechnicain" and is available form various sources such as American Fireworks News or Skylighter.
mill2.jpg (26842 bytes) The ball mill is powered  by a standard electric motor.  Power is fed from the motor to the roller shaft with a belt.
mill3.jpg (25159 bytes) The Jars are made from 6 inch PVC, a PVC end cap and a PVC reducer.  A rubber test cap is used to seal up the jar.
mill4.jpg (28031 bytes) Grinding media is commonly 3/4 inch lead cylinders or balls for a jar of this size.

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