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Dispelling Myths Surrounding Industrial Mixer Technology

Published on 24 April 2018

Facts Myths written on a chalkboard.jpeg

I'm sure that you will have heard people in the powder handling industry being disparaging towards tumble- blending, saying that it doesn't work and that any product containing a liquid is out of scope.  In this blog we add a counter to that debate and have a test facility and NIR ((near infra-red spectroscopy) that proves tumble blending works with your materials.

There’s more to it than spinning a box

Container-based blending might at first sight seem to be not particularly efficient.  How will materials blend if the vessel just rotates round and round?  Well with a Matcon system, the geometry of the container (IBC) and the Cone Valve within the IBC work in harmony with the asymmetrical spin axis of the industrial mixer to enhance the randomising blending action of the powder material within the container.  These features deliver ‘macro blending’ (groups of particles changing place) through shear and convection and also ‘micro blending’ (individual particles changing place) through diffusion.

The primary mixing actions are from transient fluidised beds occurring as slip planes within the powder mass creating shearing forces and promoting diffusion. 

Let me see it in action

At our Centre of Excellence Test Facility in the UK, we have created an IBC with a ‘window’ so that the powder mass can be observed during the blending process.  As the IBC rotates, we have been able to witness the powder mass cascading during rotation which is distributing particles over a fresh surface providing diffusion mixing.  The rectangular geometry of the Matcon IBC enhances the shear forces.  As the IBC industrial mixer rotates a cross-sectional area greater

A working IBC industrial mixer

than the square of the container is created, increasing the horizontal plane.  As more energy is applied to the industrial mixer with rotation speed the greater the effect.

More concrete proof

We also offer NIR (near infra-red spectroscopy) to establish that tumble blending works with your materials.  It reduces the need for invasive sampling techniques, which can be prone to error. In addition, NIR is able to give real-time results as the blender is in motion, pointing to the exact moment when the materials become mixed.  This helps to optimise blend times, which are useful to understand so that you might save time back in the factory that will help to either reduce the number of shifts needed to produce the output or can increase the site’s capacity. 

To help guide you towards making an informed decision we have a free checklist for you to use.

Selecting the right blender for your industrial mixing  Download our free infographic to help you make the right choice.  Click here to access the free guide.
Posted by Kathryn Perry
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Topics: Blending, industrial mixer, Materials Handling