For chemical or process engineers that need immediate feedback and real-time insight into how powdered materials mix together as part of feasibility studies, GEMCO now offers a fully transparent, double cone, tumble blender in nominal working capacities of 16 and 32 quarts. The lab mixer is a scaled down version of a full production unit with similar PLC controls.
Unlike traditional stainless steel tumble mixers that conceal the contents as they are blended, the clear acrylic double cone blender shell provides a continuous, 360-degree view of the contents as they are mixed. Changes can happen in seconds, and the clear shell allows engineers to see how and when those changes occur in real-time.
This provides invaluable R&D insight into how the raw ingredients or powders mix together, while allowing observation of key factors such as color dispersion or flowability in real-time.
“Getting a look at how powders are actually behaving inside the mixer with your own eyes just is not possible with typical stainless-steel units,” said Casey Muench Bickhardt, president of GEMCO. “While we also offer stainless steel units, the option of having a transparent shell provides chemical or process engineers the ability to get immediate, real-time feedback.”
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To facilitate produce changeovers, inspection of blended contents or cleaning, the top half of the clear acrylic shell is removable by hand and without tools, so researchers do not need to wait for assistance from maintenance to open the unit.
Like the company’s larger production units, the lab tumble mixer provides macro blending by rotating the shaped vessel, allowing the material bed to fall away from the vessel’s walls. The mixer moves at a precise speed, with the vessel wall at an exact angle, so that the material cascades over itself. There is no additional force from paddles, plows, or spiral ribbons – just gravity.
To enhance powder movement and mixing, an optional agitator is also available to blend in minor trace amounts of ingredients, or difficult ingredients. The combination of macro and micro mixing produces a better powder distribution. While macro mixing occurs, micro mixing (if needed) simultaneously moves the bed of material using agitator blades located in the mixing zone center of the vessel, where fine processing in the material transpires. Together, the macro and micro mixing evenly expose each particle to six times more active blending per revolution than traditional mixers.
An easy-to-use operator touch screen provides researchers valuable input based on the rotational speeds of the mixer and the rotational speeds of the agitator, which allows researchers to control the energy put into the product.
For systems with agitators, batches of less than 95% of working capacity and no lower than 50% of working capacity may be run with the use of an optional cover insert scoop that lifts the material off the bottom and drops it on the agitator for effective small batch blends.
The lab mixer also provides the optional ability to add liquids either with a standard gravity feed or an airless liquid injection system for greater control.
GEMCO, Middlesex, NJ 800-654-3626 okgemco.com