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What is a shear mixer?

September 7, 2013

Maybe you have heard this terminology somewhere recently or perhaps you keep hearing it around and you want to know exactly what a shear mixer is. This article will explain to you everything you need to know about shear mixers and what they do in a nice small and digestible way.

A shear mixer is commonly known in the industry as a high-shear mixer. This is a mixer that disperses or conveys one part or one ingredient (it can be a gas, a liquid or a solid) into a main continuous phase (liquid) which it would usually be immiscible (not forming a thickened mixture with when combined) with. Then a rotor along with a static rotor (or stator as it is officially known as), or it could be done by a collection of rotors and static rotors, is utilised either in the tank holding the substances to be mixed or in the pipe which the solutions will pass through to produce shear.

The main uses for these high-shear mixers are to create:

Emulsions – This is a mix of several kinds of liquids that usually will not bond or create a thickened mixture.

Lyosols – This is when gas is distributed into liquid

Granular Products

Suspensions – A suspension is a term in the science of chemistry and it refers to a heterogeneous combination that possesses solid particles big enough for sedimentation (stay out of the solution from which they are incorporated with and swept along in its flow then come to rest beside a barrier).

These are used in the adhesives, food, plastics, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics businesses for thickening of solutions, particle size reduction, forced bonding of liquids (emulsification) and distribution.

You can also find several types of high-shear mixers, these are listed below:

Batch high-shear mixers – can mix a great amount of any given material and is fed via an opening at the top into the mixing tank which houses the mixer on a revolving shaft at the bottom.

Inline high-shear mixers – This is a rotor-stator assortment contained inside a casing with an inlet at one point and an exit on the opposite side, the rotor is being driven through a seal.

Inline powder induction – this is similar to the above type of high-shear mixer but the difference is this can have powder introduced to it giving it more flexibility and capability plus it is quite portable.

High-shear granulators – This involves a batch or inline high-shear as well as a fluid-bed dryer. The purpose is to process any solid material down to the require particle size.

Ultra-high-shear inline mixers – similar to the high-shear inline mixer but on a greater scale involving more parts and can process a bigger batch at one time.

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