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New technologies for instant wetting of powders

April 14, 2013

One of the most difficult parts of mixing can be wetting powders. No matter which type of industrial mixer is used the powder can stay on the surface of the liquid without mixing in at all. This is true even with the strong, swift agitation. There are three main mixer types that have been used for this process.

One of the best ways to add powders has been by using an open vessel which has a propeller. The turbine gently stirs the batch. This motion forms a vortex which pulls the powders on into the liquid. This has been the preference for many industries as it is simple as well as cost effective. While this mixer technically works it also causes many particles to become airborne. This can be a hazard for lab workers. It also pulls air into the mix which can add applications later on to remove the air.

Many have opted to use a high speed disperser for mixing. It uses a shorter cycle to disperse ingredients. The agitation is more forceful than the turbine and the shear is much higher. The problem once again with this typed of mixer is that it entraps air in the batch and also does a fair amount of dusting. There is also quite a bit of foaming with this technique.

To achieve a finer dispersion many have turned to using a high shear homogenizer. It operates a lot faster and pulls ingredients right into a zone of high shear. However, actually dispersing the powders throughout the batch can be greatly slowed by its technique, especially if the powders are light in weight.

These three types of mixers have been the most popular choices. However there is a new solid liquid injection system which is more efficient. It combines solids with liquids most efficiently. It is equipped with vacuum which pulls powder right into the high shear zone and then doses it with a full liquid stream. The forceful drawing of the powder into the liquid stream instantaneously combines the two. It does the entire operation in much less time and prevents dusting. Dust does not have a chance to escape because it is mixed with the liquid in a closed system.

The best way to find out if the new solid liquid injection system is functional for your lab is to test it. Set up a time to test it using your own procedure and ingredients. Make a batch using the same measures. This will give you an idea of its function and benefits. Then try it on site in your lab. That is the best way to know that it is a wise investment for your production line.

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