Glass, Cements, Ceramics and Metals
The rapid development of technical ceramics and ceramic-based composites is pushing manufacturers to seek new and improved methods of production. Mixing has a direct correlation to the performance, strength and durability of specialty ceramics and composites. Different products vary in the ways they are handled, formed and finished, but at the heart of the process is the mixing procedure, which commonly takes place in planetary-style mixers.
Known worldwide for heavy-duty robust construction, superior design, high quality materials, and fine craftsmanship, the complete line of Ross Planetary Mixers and Vacuum Blender/Dryers are widely used in the manufacture of glass, ceramics and metal applications.
- Ceramic Formulations - Metal or ceramic Injection molding is a process used for forming intricate parts in a wide variety of alloys, steels, carbides and ceramic compounds. The process begins by making a mixture of a desired metal or ceramic powder with a binding agent such as a polymer, wax or resin. The resulting mixture is usually a viscous paste at elevated temperatures that will solidify when cooled. This metal or ceramic paste is injected into a mold where it takes a desired shape before being ejected. The binder is carefully stripped off from the part, leaving a skeleton of metal or ceramic powder which is then heated to melt strong bonds between adjacent particles. The accuracy and strength of injection molded pieces rely on the quality of the molding compound mixture. If dispersion quality is poor, the resulting part could be warped, weak or not formed correctly. Ross Planetary Mixers are highly successful at producing good dispersions with high viscosity, high density molding compounds. Heat is evenly applied to these compounds by hot oil recirculating through the jacketed mix can.
- Energetics and Propellants - Ross Planetary Mixers and Vertical Blenders are popular choices for mixing and drying of energetics and propellant formulations. Discharge is fairly simple on the V-Blender as it is designed for complete discharge. Ross offers features such as solvent-resistant elastomers, lock-wired hardware in the product zone, tight clearances between stirrers and mix can, elaborate explosion-proof local and remote PLC controls, intrinsically safe vacuum/pressure transducer, grounding straps and explosion-proof camera and light assembly, among others.
- Enamel and Enamel Mediums - used for decorating of ceramics and glass products and for automotive glass applications. Traditional mixing utilizes single shaft Cowles blades or combinations of dispersers and anchors. Due to difficulty encountered in achieving the proper dispersion in a reasonable amount of time, Ross customers tried the PowerMix and found very good results.
- Epoxy and Glass Bead Molding Compounds - epoxy and glass spheres are easily mixed and dried in a Ross Double Planetary Mixer. These compounds are used for a variety of vacuum form molds.
- Glass Powder Compounds - free-flowing glass powders, colorants and solid wax polymers are heated and mixed in a jacketed Ross Double Planetary Mixer. The dry blend is ultimately mixed into a binder and pressed to form a solid glass body. In the dry batching process of fine glassware, the advantages of using a Ross Ribbon Blender manifest in fast mixing, low head room and dust-tight construction (or vacuum, if required).
- Molten Metal Slurries - Ross is a reliable supplier to major players in the metals industry, many of whom demand very special mixer features for their sensitive products. One such application is the processing of molten metals which required temperatures upwards of 350F, double mechanicals seals for all agitators with complete seal support system, extra head space in the mix can, interchangeable dispersers and rotor/stators and Type Z gas-purged control panel.
- Brazing Slurries - Aluminum, copper, silver, nickel and other alloy-based brazing and soldering pastes are used in the metal and electronics industries. Customers formerly using single planetary mixers to mix the powder metals and vehicles noticed a tremendous amount of air incorporated into each batch. This air can manifest in voids in the finished filled syringes that are used in the application of brazing and soldering pastes. Vacuum-rated Ross Double and Hybrid Planetary Mixers are proven more successful at making void-free product and also at processing the binders that are later used in the manufacture of metal pastes and brazing materials. Ross Discharge Systems are also appropriate for clean and quick extrusion of these products after vacuum mixing.
- Tungsten Carbide Powders - The Ross Double Planetary Mixer is extremely successful in blending a slurry of these extremely dense materials, then vacuum drying the batch to form a light, fluffy powder.
- Water-based Castable Cements - used in the glass and aluminum casting industries. Ross Planetary Vacuum Mixers produce high quality cements with zero porosity.
- Recommended Blending & Drying Equipment for Ceramic Powders and Slurries
Ceramic powders that need to be mixed with other solids or coated with a liquid prior to drying are efficiently processed in a Vertical Blender/Dryer.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Metal Powders
Elemental metal or alloy powders are mixed with additives such as graphite and dry lubricant to reduce friction. Evenly distributed lubricant particles make the compacted part easier to eject and less prone to cracks.
- Recommended Mixing Equipment for Ceramic Injection Molding Feedstock
Mixing is an integral part of the CIM process. Fine ceramic powders must be mixed thoroughly with thermoplastic binders, along with additives, to produce a homogeneous feedstock.
- Large-scale vacuum drying in a
This bulletin discusses the benefits of large-scale drying in Vertical Blender/Dryers.
- Blending and drying high density powders
Consider the benefits of blending and drying dense powders in a double planetary mixer..
- Design considerations for
This bulletin discusses some factors to consider when selecting and specifying tumble blenders.
- Ultra-high shear mixing of
Batch and inline ultra-high shear rotor/stator mixers can effectively disperse nanoparticles into liquid. Advantages include short processing times and volume flexibility, as well as easier maintenance and lower capital cost compared to traditional milling equipment and high pressure homogenizers.
- Blending abrasive solids
Solid blends containing abrasive particles may be processed in a ribbon blender, vertical cone screw blender or tumble blender. The advantages and disadvantages of these blender designs are discussed in this bulletin, as well as some strategies for combating abrasive wear.
- Use of powder induction mixing technology can significantly reduce raw material costs.
An efficient mixing system with powder induction capability enables manufacturers to optimize raw material costs in two ways: by allowing them to source and handle ingredients in dry form rather than the more expensive liquid form; and by maximizing yield of all powder components.
- Vertical blender/dryers deliver high drying rates with negligible risk of product attrition.
Vertical blender/dryers designed for vacuum operation offer a better alternative to non-agitated dryers such as ovens and tray dryers, delivering significantly higher drying rates per unit heating area. Vertical blender/dryers can also handle a variety of feed forms including slurries and pastes which other types of agitated dryers cannot accommodate. Finally, the gentle mixing action supplied by a vertical blender/dryer minimizes product attrition which is a concern in some applications.