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High Speed Mixers for Paints, Inks & Coatings

Abstract

This white paper provides an overview of the different types of high speed mixers utilized in the manufacture of paints, inks and coatings. These machines accomplish a range of processing objectives which sometimes overlap. The recommendations discussed in this paper are geared towards proper mixer selection based on Ross’ experience as a provider of specialty mixing equipment to the coatings industry for over 170 years.

Introduction

Regulatory requirements in the past few of decades have prompted the coatings industry to move its focus from conventional low-solid, solventbased formulations to waterborne systems, high-solids coatings, energycurable inks and other low-VOC technologies. This important environmentally-responsible shift coincided with exciting developments of new functionalities as a response to changing customer needs. Now faced with a growing demand for specialty and high value-added coatings, manufacturers are taking a closer look at their processing methods, particularly the mixing and milling steps. The question “What can we do better?” is asked more earnestly as coatings producers strive to improve performance and compliance while managing costs.

Infused with thermochromic, fluorescent, color-shifting, rust-inhibiting or other novel properties, modern paints, inks and coatings may contain unique combinations of innovative raw materials but at heart they remain to be formulations that rely on good mixing. The degree of mixing and dispersion applied to a certain product invariably affects its color, gloss, conductivity, stability, adhesion properties, curing rate, weatherability and other performance characteristics. Thus, it only makes good business to optimize one’s mixing procedures. The fact is even traditional products and well-established processes can benefit from a strategic reassessment of the mixing operation.

As illustrated in the following sections, various dispersion tools are employed in the production of paints, inks and coatings. Some of these technologies are relatively new solutions to age-old processing issues. Mixer selection is based on a number of factors including viscosity profile, shear requirement, order of addition and throughput.