The Importance of Mixer Testing and Selection
If you haven't tested a variety of mixers during the last few years, forget all the rules you used to rely on to distinguish one mixer fromanother. According to the old rulebook, mixers fell into neat categories accordingto their capabilities and the requirements of your application. Once you identified the viscosity of your materials, for example, the shear required and the target particle or droplet size, you could quickly narrow your equipment choices to one ortwo likely candidates. Well, those days are over. During the recent past, profound advances in design and engineering have made mixers in most categories ("categories" such as rotor/stator High Shear Mixers, Double Planetary Mixers, and Multi-shaft Mixer hybrids) far more versatile than they were before.
- New agitator designs have emerged.
- New technology has allowed us to combine dissimilar agitators more effectively for better control of flow, heat transferand shear.
- New auxiliary devices have evolved, too, that have revolutionized such mixing functions as powder induction, wetting out, and dispersion.
The result of this burst of innovation is that the capabilities of these familiar mixers now overlapfar more than ever before. Today we often encounter applications for which two, three or even four different types of mixers can conceivably provide an optimal tool to achieve your process goals. What will this mean for you the next time you need to specify a mixer? Terrific gains in production, end-product quality and cost-efficiency may be possible - but only if you play by the new rules of mixer specification!