Fluid Mixing v/s Solid Mixing

Fluid Mixing v/s Solid Mixing

How do fluid mixers differ from solid mixers?

Industrial applications involve mixing of solids to solids (free flowing solids and pasty materials), solids to liquids, solids to gas (reactions), liquids to liquids, and liquids to gas. Fluid mixing is generally associated with liquid – liquid mixing and liquid-gas mixing. Though mixing of solids to some extent resembles the mixing of low-viscosity liquids, there are significant differences between the two processes. These are as follows:

• Fluid mixing depends on the creation of flow currents, which transport unmixed material to the mixing zone adjacent to the impeller. In heavy pastes or masses of particulate solids there are no such currents are possible and mixing is accomplished by other means.
• Power required for mixing of dry solids and viscous pastes is higher than that consumed in blending of liquids.
• In fluid mixing, a “well-mixed” product usually means a truly homogenous liquid phase. In mixing pastes and powders the product often consists of two or more easily identifiable phases, each of which may contain individual particles of considerable size. From a “well-mixed” product of this kind, small random samples will differ markedly in composition.

As a result, there are several differences in the design, construction and operation of fluid mixing equipment as compared to solid mixers. Fluid mixing equipment are termed as liquid agitators. Solid mixing equipment are commonly referred to as mixers and blenders. While fluid mixing technology has been extensively studied and understood, solid mixing is more complex. The understanding of solid mixing, and the design of solid mixers continues to be art rather than a science.

To read more on Differences between Liquid Mixing and Solid Blending, click here.

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