– Nathan Bosquez, Masters of Science – Chemical Engineering
Continuous mixing is a common industrial process presented to Bepex however, customers often approach us needing to identify which technology is right for their application. Most materials can be mixed in either of continuous mixers Bepex offers, but the ease of operation and properties of the final product will be drastically different. In order to determine the technology to best fit the application, we look at the desired qualities and characteristics of the mixed final product. Typically, the most important factor when determining which mixer is required depends on the consistency of the mixed product; i.e. solids mixing, solid-liquid mixing to produce a paste, suspended solids and/or liquids mixing, etc… Bepex has a complete line of continuous mixing systems for your unique application. In this post we will discuss the benefits of the Turbulizer vs. the Extrud-O-Mix.
The Turbulizer is a horizontal, high shear paddle mixer with adjustable paddles to allow for varied retention times (2-30 seconds) and mix intensities as well as adjustable paddle-to-housing clearance. These short residence times ensure the Turbulizer operates with a low material working volume, resulting in a high capacity machine that requires minimal floor space and reduced head room for installation. A thin layer of material in this paddle mixer promotes efficient indirect heat transfer in jacked models and a self-cleaning effect eliminates lost product on start-up and shut-down. The high speed paddle tips offer homogenous mixing ideal for dry powder mixing or slurry mixing. The mixing and dispersion efficiency of the Turbulizer is clearly demonstrated in coating applications. Where hard to wet proteins can be instantized with the addition of less than 1% surfactant. Or in a similar process calcium carbonate materials can be insulated or effectively rendered insoluble with a coating of less than 1% stearate powder.
An Extrud-O-Mix is a low pressure mixing extruder that bridges the gap between mixing or blending and agglomeration equipment. Powders and liquids are combined to generate uniform, free-flowing, dust free pellets of low to medium density and strength for size ranges of 0.8-10 mm. However, the technology also excels at combining dry powders with liquid streams to produce a paste or a dough suitable for extrusion. Paste-like creams or fillings can be produced as well as pellets from low melting point powders or flakes. The application list becomes very diverse with the efficient continuous mixing, adjustable shear input, and heat transfer available in the housing and/or rotor of the machine. Rows of hammers or flights arranged in a spiral pattern intermesh with stationary anvils attached to the housing providing a continuous kneading or mulling on materials ranging from light pastes to heavy doughs. The amount of shear or mixing intensity can be increased by replacing stationary anvils with internal intermediate orifice plates which result in more restriction and conveyance. Optional hard-facing can be applied to the rotor, body, and end orifice plate to limit wear and abrasion.