High shear mixing is a process that involves the complete blending of substances or fluids that have difficulty mixing together under normal condition. In effect, this process helps achieve a perfectly mixed compound, whether or not the substances are easy to blend all together.
Manufacturers utilize high shear mixers if they need to combine various solid, fluid, or gaseous ingredients to manufacture their products. Shear mixers are of different types; the most common of which are batch, ultra-high, and in-line shear mixers.
How does high shear mixer work?
This blending machine utilizes the application of shear strain, which is a fluid dynamics process that involves the combination of difficult-to-mix components. The shear strain phenomenon happens when two fluid-like matter move within each other at various speeds. In effect, it creates a point of deformation within their contact area.
High shear mixing tools utilize a series of top-speed impellers that rotate in a stationary manner to blend a single component material introduced to another at varying speeds.
Important parts of high shear mixers
High shear mixing tools possess two important components; these impellers or high-speed rotors, and stators. The latter are actually immovable, but work hand-in-hand with impellers to ensure effective mixing.
These two components develop a shear, or an angle-shaped deformation, at the ingredients that put inside the mixer. The shear basically creates adjacent planes and an opening at the center.
Such configuration permits totally different substances, like gases, liquids, and granules or other solids to blend together.
High shear mixing versus manual mixing
Without the use of high shear mixers, materials will not be mixed easily if done in a manual manner. Mixtures that do not blend easily are called immiscible mixtures. A good example of immiscible mixture is an oil-and-water compound.
Many incompatible combinations of solids, liquids, and gases must be mixed together in many industries. It is because their compounds are vital compounds in numerous chemical and industrial operations.
Even with the inability of manual mixing to produce these combinations, manufacturers are able to obtain them with the use of high shear mixing process. High shear mixing tools are commonly utilized to come up with a complete mixture of immiscible ingredients. These devices deal with a specific fluid dynamics mechanism called shear stress, wherein two forms of materials that move at different speeds contact each other.
This type of mixing phenomenon involves the deformation of material flows to combine them vigorously at the shear plane. In high shear mixers, this shear effect is achieved using a high-speed impeller that rotates in a static housing, also known as a stator.
Components that are introduced in the stator’s chamber will experience high-speed rotating velocities at its exterior edge. Velocities at the center, on the other hand, will be much less. The different speed causes the shear stress to mix materials, whether solid, liquid, or gases, in an effective manner. The resulting mixes of these components are called fluids (for fluids), lyosols (fluids and gas), and suspensions (solid and fluids).