What is a Universal Mill?

Malcolm Tatum

Universal mills are milling devices that are used to grind a wide range of substances into a desirable texture. Mills of this type may be used with different types of grain or other foods such as coffee. A universal mill may also be used to grind chemicals for use in the creation of products like cosmetics, fertilizers, or cleaning supplies.

Coffee made with beans ground in a universal mill.
Coffee made with beans ground in a universal mill.

While the designs will vary somewhat, a basic universal mill will make use of rollers that break down substances as they are run through the rolls. Typically, the device will use of a series of horizontal and vertical rolls that help to produce a more uniform texture. Simple hand operated mills may be used in the home to grind coffee or herbs, while large industrial milling equipment is often used in manufacturing settings to mass produce various goods that are sold directly to the public or sold to other manufacturers for use in the creation of their own product lines.

The ideal behind a universal mill is to pulverize or break down some type of material into smaller pieces that are more or less uniform. Many mills can be reset so that different textures are achieved, depending on what materials are being run through the process. For example, a coffee mill may be set to a very fine texture, creating ground coffee that has an almost powdery texture, or set to something a little coarser in nature. The same is true when grinding wheat and other grains into flours, or even creating some sort of fertilizer product.

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When it comes to the creation of cosmetics, a universal mill can be used to break down a number of different ingredients into fine powders that are then combined to form the specific product. Some of the ingredients used in creating lipsticks, eyeliners, and even various types of facial makeup may be run through a universal mill as part of the preparation process. Powders such as talc are another example of a product created using the milling process. Even some deodorant products are created by first grinding ingredients before combining them into what will become finished products.

There is even universal mill equipment that can be used in the creation of plastics or some type of resins. The grinding makes it possible to mix equal quantities of different types of plastic to create the ideal veneer on plastic products. This same general approach can be used in creating fine milled metal materials that can be mixed into paints and other materials to create a covering coat that provides both color and a small amount of metallic sheen to the finished product. Just about every industry that includes the manufacture of some type of goods will employ a universal mill in some phase of the manufacturing process.

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