Blending Technology: The 3 Main Types of Blenders

As with just about everything else, mixing equipment has come a long way from its meager beginnings. In fact, the blender is available in a wide array of options, sizes and uses. However, mixing equipment can generally be divided into three main types; blenders, agitators and heavy-duty mixers.

Blenders – Mixing Equipment for Solid, Solid Blending
For blender technology, there is a wide array of bulk solid blending equipment for both consumer and industrial operation. Blenders are separated into three classifications, depending on their mixing mechanism:

• Convection Blenders: Paddle Blender, Ribbon Blender, Vertical Screw Blender
• Tumblr Blenders: V-Blenders, Double Cone Blender, Octagonal Blender
• Fluidization Mixers/Blenders: Double Paddle Mixer, Plow Mixer

Agitators – Mixing Equipment for Liquid, Liquid Gas Mixing
Agitators are pieces of mixing equipment that feature rotating impellers. This gives the mixer the ability to blend miscible liquids, dispersing or contacting immiscible liquids, transferring heat in agitated liquid, dispersing gas to a liquid, as well as various other functions. The impellers of agitators are either radial or axial, which is determined by the angle of the impeller blade to the impeller rotation.

• Radial Impellers: An agitator with a radial impeller means the blade of the impeller is parallel to the impeller’s axis. Because of this, the impeller will discharge the flow along the radius in a very distinct pattern. Examples of radial impeller agitators are Paddle, Flat Blade Turbine and Anchor.
• Axial Impellers: This type of agitator has an impeller blade that makes less than a 90-degree angle with the impeller rotation. This causes the flow to run along the impeller axis, parallel to the shaft of the impeller. Examples of axial impellers include Pitched Blade Turbine and Marine Propellers.

Heavy-Duty Mixers – Mixers for Pasty, Vicious Materials
The other two categories of mixing equipment uses a mixing regime where turbulence dominates, such as liquid agitators. When you need to mix high viscosity materials, however, you need a piece of mixing equipment where viscous drag forces dominate. Because of this, mixing materials that have a non-Newtonian behavior will require the use of a heavy-duty mixer, such as:

• Planetary Mixers
• Double Arm Mixers
• Triple and Dual Shaft Mixers

Operating heavy-duty mixers can be done in one continuous job or in batches. This will depend on several factors, including the quality of the product, capacity of production, type of heavy-duty mixer and the before and after equipment used.