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Definition: Mixing may be defined as an operation in

which two or more components, in a separate or roughly
mixed condition, are treated so that each particle lies as
nearly as possible in contact with a particle of each of the
other ingredients.

Objectives of mixing
1.Simple physical mixture: simply the production of a blend of two
or more miscible liquids or two or more uniformly divided solids.
degree of mixing must commonly be of a high order, as many
such mixtures are dilutions of a potent substance (e.g. small
amount of steroid mixed in large amount of inert diluents)
correct dosage must be ensured

2. Physical change:Mixing may aim at producing a change that is

the solution of a soluble substance
lower efficiency of mixing will often be acceptable

3. Dispersion: dispersion of two immiscible liquids to form

an emulsion or the dispersion of a solid in a liquid to give
a suspension or paste.
Usually good mixing is required to ensure stability.
4. Promotion of reaction: Mixing will usually encourage
(and control at the same time) a chemical reaction, so
ensuring uniform products.
products or processes where accurate adjustment to pH
is required and the degree of mixing will depend on the

Positive mixtures: are formed from materials such as
gases and miscible liquids, where irreversible mixing would
take place, by diffusion, without the expenditure of energy
provided time is unlimited.
such materials do not present any problems in mixing.
Negative mixtures: Suspensions of solids in liquids are
examples of negative mixtures
require work for their formation, and the components of
which will separate unless work is continually expended on
Negative mixtures are more difficult to form and a higher
degree of mixing efficiency is required.

Neutral mixtures: Neutral mixtures are static in their

the components having no tendency to mix
spontaneously, nor do they segregate when mixed.
e.g. Pastes, ointments and mixed powders.


Solids mixing proceeds by a combination of one or more of
the following mechanisms:
1.Convective mixing: A relatively large mass of material is
moved from one part of the powder bed to another this is
called convection.
Depending on the type of mixer employed, convective
mixing can occur by an inversion of the powder bed, by
means of blades or paddles, or by means of a revolving
screw etc.

2. Shear mixing
In this type, forces of attraction are broken down so that
each particle moves on its own between regions of
different components and parallel to their surface
When shear occurs between regions of different
composition and parallel to their interface, it reduces the
scale of segregation by thinning the dissimilar layers.
Shear occur in a direction normal to the interface of such
layers is also effective since it too reduces the scale of
using agitator arm or a blast of air.

3. Diffusive mixing
Mixing by diffusion is said to occur when random
motion of particles within a particle bed causes them to
change position relative to one another.
Such as exchange of positions by single particles result
in reduction of the intensity of segregation.
Diffusive mixing occurs at the interfaces of dissimilar
regions that are undergoing shear and therefore results
from shear mixing.

Solid-solid mixing steps

In the solid- solid mixing operation four steps are
1.Expansion of the bed of solid
2.Application of three dimensional shear forces to the powder bed
3.Mix long enough to permit true randomization of particle
4. no segregation after mixing

Methods of solid-solid mixing

The powders may be mixed by following methods:
4.Geometric dilution

Classification of mixers :
a) Batch Type mixers

V-cone blender or twin shell blender
Double cone blender
Tumbling blender with agitator mixing blade
Ribbon blender
Sigma blade mixer
Planetary mixer
Fluidized mixer

b) Continuous Type mixers


Barrel type continuous mixer

Zigzag type

Based on flow properties

1: free flowing solids
V cone blender
Double cone blender
2.Cohesive solids
Sigma blender
Planetary blender


In tumbling mixers, rotation of the vessel imparts

movement to the materials by tilting the powder until the
angle of the surface exceeds the angle of repose when
the surface layers of the particles go into a slide.

A common type of mixer consists of a container of

one of several geometrical forms, which is mounted so
that it can be rotated about an axis. The resulting
tumbling motion is accentuated by means of baffles or
simply by virtue of the shape of the container.

The efficiency of tumbling mixers is highly depended on

the speed of rotation.
If the rotation speed is too slow
does not produce
desired tumbling or cascading motion nor does it
generate rapid shear rates.
If the rotation speed is too high produce centrifugal
force sufficient to hold the powder to the
sides of the
mixer and thereby reduce efficiency.
If the rotation speed is optimum
depends on the
size, shape, r.p.m. Commonly in the range of 30 to 100

Agitator mixers
Agitator mixer for powders can take a similar form to
paddle mixers for liquids, but their efficiency is low.
Planetary motion mixers are effective, but special design
are to be preferred.
This type of mixers employs a stationary container to
hold the material and brings about mixing by means of
moving screws, paddles or blades.
Use: Since the mixers do not depend entirely on gravity
as do the tumblers, it is useful in mixing wet solids,
sticky pastes etc.
The high shear force effectively break up lumps or

1. Bulk transport the movement of a relatively large portion of
the material being mixed from one location in the system to
another constitutes bulk transport.
accomplished by means of paddles, revolving blades
2. Turbulent Mixing--the phenomenon of turbulent mixing is a
direct result of turbulent fluid flow, which is characterized by a
random fluctuation of the fluid velocity at any given point with in
the system.
fluid velocity at a given instant may be expressed as the vector
sum of its components in the x, y, and z directions.

3. Laminar mixing: two dissimilar liquids are mixed through

laminar flow,
the shear that is generated stretches the interface between
Suitable for liquids which require moderate mixing

4. Molecular diffusion- primary mechanism responsible for

mixing at the molecular level is diffusion resulting from the
thermal motion of the molecules.

Mixing Apparatus for fluids

A Container and
A Mixing Device or

Mixing equipments for liquid-liquid mixing

The mixing apparatus consist a container (tank) and a
mixing device. A mixing device is called impeller, which
is mounted with the help of shaft. The shaft is driven by
a motor. Three main types of impeller are used namely-




The propellers are small impellers that produce an

longitudinal movement of liquids.

For liquids of low viscosity simple flat paddles are used
and the emphasis is on radial and tangential
Paddles for more viscous liquids generally have a
number of blades, often shaped to fit closely to the
surface of the vessel, avoiding dead spot and
deposited solids.
An alternative design for the more viscous range of
liquids is the planetary motion mixer, which has a
smaller paddle that rotates on its own axis, but travels
also, in circular path round the mixing vessel.

Shaker Mixers
Mixers in this category cause the container material to be
agitated, either in an oscillatory or a rotatory movement.
Oscillatory movement: applied to small scale
rotatory movement: applied to large vessels

The mixing operation has 2 requirements:

1.Localized mixing, sufficient to apply shear to the particles
of the fluid.
2.A general movement, sufficient to take all parts of the
bulk of the material through the shearing zone and to
ensure that a uniform final product is obtained.
For readily miscible liquids flow alone is sufficient.
For two immiscible liquids to produce an emulsion shear
force is essential.
The movement of the liquid at any point in the vessel will
have three velocity components and the complete flow
pattern will depend upon variations in these three
components in different parts of the vessel.

Excessive radial movement, especially if solids are

present, will take materials to the container wall, when
they fall to the bottom and may rotate as a mass
beneath the impeller.
If the tangential component is dominant, a vortex forms
and may deepen until it reaches the impeller, when
aeration occurs.
If the longitudinal component is inadequate, liquids and
solids may rotate in layers without mixing, even when
rotation is rapid and
in the presence of vortexing.