Ribbon blenders are versatile and customizable pieces of equipment. The best mixer for your application will depend on what you plan to use it for. Consider these four aspects when choosing a mixer.
1. Size and Volume
The amount of material you plan to mix will be the main determinant of the size and volume ribbon mixer you need. The speed you plan to mix at will also play a role. For some applications, a large mixer will be the best choice. For others, several small mixers may be more appropriate. For optimum efficiency, the mixer should be filled to its swept volume. The mixer length should not be more than 2.5 times the agitator diameter. You will also need to consider the length, height, volume and width of the vessel and the agitator size when customizing your mixer.
2. Materials and Finish
Mixers can be made of mild and stainless steel. The appropriate materials will depend on the ingredients being mixed and what those materials will be used for. Stainless steel is a good choice for mixers that will be used for mixing food and for corrosive materials. The exterior of the mixer may be constructed of painted mild steel. If you plan to work with corrosive or abrasive materials, you may want to have the interior lined with material that will resist damage from these materials. Commonly used materials include industrial enamel or epoxy paint, weld finishes, food-grade stainless steel and ceramic or UHMW plastic.
3. Ribbon or Agitator Type
Different types of agitators are better for different materials and applications. Factors you should consider when choosing an agitator type are the degree of shear, the friability and whether you need single or double ribbons. If you are mixing dense or viscous materials, the agitator may require more shear. Materials that are easily broken require a more gentle agitator, such as a paddle mixer. Double agitators can increase the mixing speed.
20 RPMs is the standard operating speed for most mixers. However, mixers with wide ribbons or dual agitators require more power. A mixer used with medium-density materials and a single agitator needs about 10 horsepower per ton of material being mixed.
Customizing your mixer to meet the particular needs of your application will allow you to get the best performance out of your equipment. Take these four aspects into consideration when choosing the right mixer for your job.