What is High Shear Mixing
Ordinary agitation-type mixers essentially rely on mechanical stirring to blend two or more substances. Most of these inherently “low shear” devices are capable of reliably performing simple mixing jobs well. Yet their effectiveness largely depends on the viscosity and certain other properties of the ingredients to be mixed. Agitation-type mixers are good at blending liquids of similar viscosities, for example, but they may struggle to adequately and uniformly blend more challenging ingredients.
When the job calls for mixing liquids of varying viscosities — or the goal is homogenization, emulsification, dispersion, carefully controlled particle size reduction, reaction acceleration or solubilization — agitation-type mixers may prove inadequate for the job. These workhorse machines are inherently inferior to high shear mixer machines for many of the more demanding tasks.
High shear mixers are essential pieces of equipment used by industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals to food, fine chemicals, cosmetics, personal care products and more. Often operating at exceptionally high velocities, high shear mixers are used to achieve homogenization when conventional rotor-stator mills are not up to the task. For example, any application requiring submicron homogenizing, high shear wet milling or suspension micronization can be achieved more efficiently with a high velocity, high shear homogenizer.
The reason is simple: High shear mixers deliver far more shear energy than agitation-type mixers. The significant increase in shear power generated during high shear mixing provides the energy needed to achieve difficult emulsification, homogenization, etc. Even better, high shear mixers are usually able to complete a given job in less time. And, of course, shorter process times can translate into significant savings when you consider that greater yields may be achieved using less energy.
Any process that involves homogenization is best achieved with a high shear mixer. That’s because homogenization can only be attained when particles — whether liquid globules or solids — reach a uniform size.
Particle Size Reduction
Tightly controlled particle size reduction is often crucial to the success of a given process. High shear mixers excel at this particular task. For instance, solid raw materials are often introduced in pre-micronized form, but these particles may re-agglomerate during storage or processing. High shear mixers are adept at deagglomeration and can be adapted to achieve precise particle sizes that fall within narrowly defined ranges.
Tighter particle size distributions mean more of your solid particles will fall within the desired size range, ensuring consistency, uniformity and optimal performance of your final product. Depending on the machine used, you can expect to achieve micron or sub-micron particle sizes with minimal effort, relatively quickly. In some instances, making the switch to a high shear mixer can help you realize substantial process time savings.
Quadro Liquids is the industry leader in high-efficiency, single-pass processing. We pride ourselves on our dedication to innovation, superior products and excellent service. For more information about our high shear mixers contact us here. One of our knowledgeable customer support representatives will contact you shortly. You can also read our Industrial High Shear Mixer FAQs to learn more about our effective, reliable equipment.