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High Shear Mixing FAQs

Published on Apr 7, 2021 3:04:42 PM

Facts Myths written on a chalkboard

How does a High Shear Mixer Work?

When a force pushes part of an object in one direction, and another part of the object in the opposite direction within the same parallel plane, this is known as shear. A high shear mixer uses a rotor, rotating at high speeds, to direct material outwards towards a stationary stator and thus shear the material.  Variable rotor speeds provide the ability to uniquely tailor the amount of shear energy for each application. This technique can be used to mix a liquid, solid or gas into a liquid with which it ordinarily would not easily mix. High-shear mixing can be used for homogenization, dispersion, emulsification or particle size reduction.

What’s the difference between a high-shear mixer and a high pressure homogenizer?

High shear mixers rely on rotor/stator shearing action, whereas high pressure homogenizers utilize high amounts of energy to form pressure differentials to homogenize or size reduce ingredients. High speed, high shear rotor/stator mixers are able to close the gap between traditional rotor/stator mixers and high pressure homogenizers into submicron size reduction.

What are inline High Shear Mixers and how are they different than batch mixers?

An inline high shear mixer features an inlet feeding ingredients perpendicularly into the shearing zone, and an outlet discharging product axially.  Unlike a batch mixer, an inline high shear mixer feeds and outputs material in a continuous stream and material is often perfectly hydrated, emulsified, or homogenized in a single pass. Batch mixers, by comparison, require ingredients to be mixed for longer periods of time in a tank, and 100% dispersion is rarely achieved lowering product yields and wasting valuable ingredients.

Inline high-shear mixers offer a few advantages over batch mixers. They allow for a more controlled mixing environment, they’re less bulky, they allow for continuous inline mixing and they can produce results within a fraction of the time.

What are practical applications of High Shear Mixers?

Examples of applications high shear mixers are typically used for:

  • Liquid-liquid emulsification and homogenization
  • Varying viscosities liquid-liquid mixing
  • Solid-liquid suspension
  • Powder-liquid dispersion
  • Particle size reduction

What are some of the everyday consumer goods that can be created using High Shear Mixing?

Hundreds – if not thousands – of consumer products require the mixing or dispersion of liquid or solid compounds. Salad dressings, paints, cosmetics, detergents, shampoos, ointments and toothpaste, for example, are products where high-shear mixing is used to create a consistent quality product. High shear mixers excel at dispersing difficult to wet powders and rheology modifiers.

Do laboratory models of High Shear Mixers exist?

Yes – in fact, using a laboratory high shear mixer is a practical way for those with liquid processing needs to test the technology with different applications. It’s also a quick, convenient way for your R&D department to evaluate processing strategies and formulations before scaling up to production capacities.

What is the cost of a High Shear Mixer?

Like any capital expense, your investment in a high shear mixing unit will depend on your processing application and processing needs. However, by purchasing an inline high shear mixer, you can expect a high return on investment by shortening your production time, improving yields, increasing capacities, using less energy and reducing associated manufacturing and maintenance costs.

Which type of High Shear Mixer is right for my needs?

The processing experts at Quadro Liquids can help you determine which high shear mixer is best suited for your application.  Whether you are looking at inline mixing or batch mixing solutions, powder dispersion or liquid-liquid mixing, we can help you find a solution to your critical application. Contact us today!

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Posted by Matt Baumber
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Topics: High Shear Mixers