Continuous (or Through) Mixing – The Concept
An Aran continuous mixer (or through mixer) is quite different in operation from a batch mixer and other continuous or pug mixers. A batch mixer is called upon firstly to uniformly disperse disparate ingredients from different zones of the mixer and then to finely divide them into a homogeneous mass.
We call the former macro mixing and the latter micro mixing – the time taken depends upon the size of the batch and the frequency of mixing interactions in different batch mixer types.
Through mixers work on the presumption that the ingredients are all correctly proportioned one to the other by the metering system before they enter the mixer and are in effect “ribbon fed”. The through mixer has only a modest task of macro mixing and can devote most of the mixing effort to micro mixing.
Minimum Mixing Time is a common constraint applied to batch mixers to ensure adequate macro and micro mixing.
Retention time in a through mixer is a function of mixer speed, material type, the number of mixing elements and the way in which they interact.
A higher speed mixer with a shorter transit time may produce a superior result to a slower mixer with a longer transit time – mixing effectiveness is a result of the number and nature of the mixing interactions.
Aran designers have studied these interactions and collated results to deliver mixer designs which are optimized for the materials to be mixed. Aran “High Intensity” mixers have greater power, run faster, mix more intensely and have greater output for their size than other mixers.