If you’re looking into mixing machines, you might be looking into the various types and come across one called a high shear mixing machine. Your research might give you an overview of what it is with technical terminology that’s hard to understand. Though it might sound like something your business process might find useful.
How does it work, though? How does a high shear mixer work and how can you make the most of the functions? If you’ll give us a moment, we can give you an idea of the details. With our help, you’ll understand what this can do and whether or not you want or need one for your production process.
What is A High Shear Mixer?
As a particular type of industrial mix machine, a high shear machine is designed to disperse one ingredient into a continuous liquid form. The rotor in the tank is used to create shear in the chamber, resulting in an emulsion of the liquid contained. However, it can also be used in the creation of suspensions and granular products. A high shear machine is a flexible industrial product, with a variety of uses.
A high shear emulsion mixer machine is an efficient way to combine ingredients or elements that would be mutually insoluble otherwise. These devices rely on a high tangential speed coupled with a high-frequency mechanical effect. In simple terms, the higher the speed of the rotor’s rotation, the stronger the momentum. The stronger the momentum, the greater the effect on the solid-liquid-gas action of the ingredients.
The end result of this is a complete, emulsified product. These are designed to deal with specific liquids.
The Basic Procedure
When it’s fired up, the machine goes through a procedure. This is a consistent one in the broad strokes, though specific models might allow you to modify the details. However, the general step by step of a high shear machine’s workings is the same across the board.
The mixer begins with being immersed in two materials, the ingredients that you want to mix into a single product. The rotation of the rotor or impeller is pushed to high-speed, creating a suction force. This draws the solid and liquid parts of the mixture to specific areas of the chamber, where you’ll find the blades.
As the centrifugal force is generated, the materials are driven out a part called the work head and through the blades. There, they’ll be milled and dispersed evenly. This process continues until all solid material has been milled and dispersed in this manner, allowing it to mix with the liquid evenly. The result is a new substance, with different viscosity.
Throughout this process, you’ll find there is little turbulence at the top of the chamber. There is also no splashing, resulting in no wasted material.
Details of Note
It should be noted that not all liquids increase their viscosity with a high shear rate. Some lose it as they are mixed, while others like water are unaffected by the shear rate in the mixing machine. Fortunately, this is not always a limitation, especially in modern mixer designs.
Modern mixers of this variety have a degree of adaptability that makes them useful in the production of various industries. The most common component to be changed is the work heads. These can be changed, letting the machine be used in other forms of mixing. This can be an economical way to handle the production of items that require a lower shear rate or behave differently under high centrifugal force.
Batch vs Inline
Batch mixers of this type need the materials fed into the mixing tank. This allows the machine to mix double the amount of ingredients with the same level of power used. In contrast, inline mixers are only able to work on a single batch at a time.
Inline high shear mixers have rotors designed to handle a continuous flow of components coming into the main vessel. In models that are ultra high shear, the material gets passed through several blade arrangements to subject everything to a greater force. These granulators will push the contents into a fluid bed dryer. This can result in creating particles that you can then granulate and dry.
Where These Are Used
A machine of this nature first saw use in the rubber industry, as a core part of the production process. However, this is not the only place where it can be used. You’ll see these machines used for making chemicals, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, plastics, and food products.
High shear mixers are also used in the bleaching step of paper pulp. They are also used for preparing granular products and generating emulsion for creating sauces and dressings. It is also used in the production of creams, gels, dyes, waxes, and various toiletries.
A high shear mixer can be very useful. Depending on the product you’re making, it is a crucial part of the manufacturing process. If you understand what they’re used for and what you can do with it, your mixer is going to be a valuable asset for your company.