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An introduction to mixing technology

May 21, 2013

This article will cover the basics of industrial mixing technologies, including the differences in brief between mixing and stirring, continuous mixers and their counterparts, static and active mixers, kneading and the thickening process. All of which are only possible by mixing technology.

The differences between mixing and stirring

Mixing usually refers to the action performed when the components are either mainly solids, thickened liquids or a combination of the two, whereas stirring is often reserved for describing the combining of liquids with each other or with gases but the two words are often used in an interchangeable manner.

Continuous mixers and their counterparts

Continuous mixers are ones that mix for longer periods of time than their counterparts and are used primarily for combining low thickness liquids. Their counterparts, which are known as discontinuous mixers are the majority in industrial mixers, mixing certain products in particular quantities for a set amount of time depending on the bowl size.

Static and Active Mixers

Static mixers are a good example of continuous mixer systems, which mixes the products by using the hydrodynamic energy (liquids in motion which creates energy) of a fluid (which is made up of a gas and liquid combination) passing through a canal with fixed fixtures. Active or dynamic mixers are structures with moving (hence the name) paddles, stirring instruments or moving containers.

Kneading

This is used when a highly sticky mixing product is being distorted by regular energies during the combining procedure. Mixer companies may use a planetary mixer (a mixer that has a static bowl and a rotating paddle that cleans the sides of the bowl as it mixes) for this procedure with a stirring or blending tool attached to it such as a shearing frame.

Homogenizer

These are mixers that aim to increase the thickness of an ingredient or end product through mixing and are gear rim dissolving mechanisms consisting of a fast revolving rotor and a static rotary system (stator) which both have incisions. Usually both the rotor and the stator have many encapsulated gear rims.

Fluid being added is sucked by an axis into the dispersal head and then is hastened in a centrifugal manner by the rotors activity. When the fluid passes through the incisions of the rotor and the stator it is being sped up numerously in a peripheral and radial method and then decelerated. This brings around a high speed shear energy and unstable flow velocities which instigates the globule breaking up.

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