Blending is a common industrial process meant to mix one or more substances to homogenize them. It can be done with many different substances for many different reasons. Here are four types of industrial blending and mixing.
1. Multi-phase Blending
Multi-phase blending is a process used to mix combinations of gases, liquids and solids, rather than just two different phases. This type of blending is useful because it’s typically performed in a single step, typicall fermentation or another type of chemical reaction. It also requires the most specialized industrial mixer, because the type of mixer you employ depends on the specific properties of the phases of the matter you’re blending.
2. Liquid-gas Mixing
The most common reason for blending liquids and gases is to cause mass transfer. Mass transfer is the process of moving substances or removing volatile components of substances. Because of this, physical mixing is a popular blending method, as the physical act of mixing the two phases is the best method for facilitating that mass transfer. However, chemical mixing is also used, especially if the reaction occurs quickly.
3. Liquid-solid Mixing
Liquid-solid mixing is typically employed either to break up and dissolve solids or suspend solids in liquids. This is also probably the most common type of mixing done in non-industrial settings, as it’s seen in a variety of cooking and baking techniques, such as stirring pancake mix and water to create a smooth pancake batter. In industrial processing, a good example of liquid-solid mixing is the process of creating concrete. Dissolving solids tends to be relatively easy compared to suspending solids, because this requires the liquid suspension to be denser than the solids suspended in it.
4. Solid-gas Mixing
Also called fluidization, solid-gas mixing is most commonly employed for two situations: mixing solid particles with gas reactants or transferring particulates and powders between places. This method is also well-suited to the use of physical mixing. Many physical mixing methods, such as the cyclone method, can be adapted to either mix the solids and gases or separate them, depending on how the blender is configured, how it’s used and what needs to be done with your substances.
Depending on the components of your mixture, you may use heat, chemical reactions or physical mixing methods such as pumping and stirring to blend them. The type of blending method you require will determine the best type of mixer to use.