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Impeller power requirements in liquid mixing

6.2.1. Introduction According to experimental studies, the power requirements of impeller during the mixing of Newtonian mixtures depends upon the impeller and the tank sizes, the impeller rotational speed, the liquid density and viscosity:
P = f ( n, d , w, h, , D, H , , )


where P n d w h


impeller power requirement, W impeller rotational speed, 1/s impeller diameter, m impeller width, m impeller distance from the bottom of the tank, m baffle width, m tank diameter, m liquid depth, m liquid density, kg/m3 liquid viscosity, Pa.s

White and Brenner in 1934 obtained the following relation between the power requirement and the independent variables:
2 P * d n w h d H = A d 5n3 d d d D D c e f i a j



P = Eu Euler number, d n3

d 2 n

= Re Reynolds number,

The values of constant A and exponents have to be defined by experimental studies. Two equipments are geometrically similar if the ratios of their main sizes are the same. If the power requirement is measured using the same impeller type in tanks, which have different sizes, but are geometrically similar, using liquids with different densities and viscosities, the measured points have to lie on the same curve in an Eu-Re diagram:

Eu = A Re a


The value of constant A depends upon the impeller type and the geometric ratios of the equipment. 1

In Figure 6.2-1. and 6.2-2. Eu-Re curves can be seen. There are three different flow regions. anchor impeller helical ribbon impeller



Figure 6.2-1. Eu-Re curves of anchor and helical ribbon impeller

with baffles without baffles

Figure 6.2-2. Eu-Re curve of dick turbine impeller


Laminar region: In a log-log diagram the Eu-Re curve is a straight line with slope -1. A Eu = (6.2-4) Re
The power requirement:

P = Ad 3 n 2
In the laminar region, the frictional forces are determinant.


b) c)

Transitional region: The relation between Eu and Re cannot be written in an algebraic formula. Turbulent region: Re > 104. In equation (6.2-3), the exponent of Re is 0 in case of using tank with baffles; in case of using tank without baffles, the exponent is a small negative number (a = -0,3...-0,1).

6.2.2. The equipment The power requirement of the impeller is measured using a driving motor with rotatable housing (Figure 6.2-3.). The axis of the driving motor is arranged perpendicularly. The housing of the motor is allowed to rotate freely on minimum friction ball bearings attached to its upper and lower ends. The electrical terminals of the motor dip into channels filled with mercury thus they do not hinder the movement of the motor housing. Beam and scales are attached to the housing of the motor through an arm. The length of this arm is denoted by k. The poise of the beam and scale is denoted by a pointer in front of a scale. The rotational speed of the motor and the impeller can be changed perpetually using a toroid transformer. The actual rotational speed can be measured at the top of the motor axis using a photoelectric instrument. The time of one rotation (ts) is displayed in ms, the rotational speed is its invert. The motor housing has an arrest equipment which hinders the rotation of the housing. This arrest equipment can be opened only during the weight measurement. During the motor turning on and off and during the fast change of the rotational speed, the arrest equipment has to be closed!



D w=0,1D



(number of blades)

IMPELLER: centrifugal impeller with flat blades, in lower suction position

Figure 6.2-3. Sketch of the measuring equipment 4

The main sizes of the mixing equipments and the allowed range of measurement (i.e. the allowed weights to be placed on the beam and scale!):



mm 180,8 297

mm 500 464

mm 250 185

mm 250 251

mm 220 400

Range of measurement, g 100500 2002000

Small tank Big tank

480 788

6.2.3. Instructions for the experiments The experiment is performed in two tanks with different sizes (100 and 500 dm3), and are geometrically similar, using water. Before the start of measurement 1. Check the liquid level. It has to be equal to the diameter of the tank (H = D). If it differs, let the surplus out at the bottom of the tank, or fill with water from a tap. 2. Measure the liquid temperature in the tanks (TF). 3. Open the arrest equipment and determine the balance position of the beam and scale (the so-called zero-point). Then close the arrest equipment. During the experiment the beam and scale have to be positioned to this zero-point using weights. 4. Check that the toroid transformer is in 0 position. Start of measurement 1. Charge the power supply using the button on the wall. 2. Charge the photoelectric instrument measuring the time of one rotation. The instrument continuously measures the time of one rotation, therefore it overflows quickly when the impeller is not rotating. Turn on the instrument only when the impeller is rotating. 3. Start the rotation of the impeller (using the toroid transformer) and measure 8-10 points in the range of measurement: determine the weight necessary to balance of the beam and scale at different rotational speed. Write the measured data in the report.

Note: there are two possibilities to perform the experiment: determine the weight necessary to balance of the beam and scale at a given rotational speed determine the rotational speed necessary to balance of the beam and scale at a given weight (placed on the beam and scale)

The two methods are equivalent; however, the latter is easier to be performed. 6.2.4. Calculation of the power requirement Newtons third principle (which states that any action is opposed by an equal opposite reaction) forms the basis of operation of this instrument. The rotating agitator imparts a mechanical force which is opposed by the liquid. The liquid in turn produces a torque on the agitator which is transmitted through the drive shaft of the motor. This reaction torque tends to cause the housing of the motor to rotate in the opposite direction to the agitators rotation. The rotation of the motor housing is hindered with proper opposite force (F), or opposite torque (Fk). The power requirement of the impeller (P) can be calculated based on the torque and on the angular speed of impeller (): P = Fk (6.2-6) where r F = 1 mg force at the connection point of the leverage k and the beam and r2 scale, N k leverage of force F (i.e. the distance between the motor axis and the rotational point of the beam and scale), m = 2n impeller angular speed, 1/s m weight placed on the beam and scale, kg n impeller rotational speed, 1/s r1 and r2 lengths of scale arms, m g = 9.81 gravity acceleration, m/s2

The liquid is water. Its physical data (, ) on the measured temperature can be determined using the tables attached to the measuring equipment (Perry: Chemical Engineer Handbook). Investigate the truth of the two statements in the introduction: the Eu-Re relation is the same at geometrically similar equipments, in turbulent region, Eu is constant, does not depends upon Re (a = 0) in case of tank with baffles.

Table of data Liquid temperature, TF= C, impeller type:

Main sizes of the equipment: d= r1 = mm, mm, D= r2 = mm, mm, k= mm,

serial number 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

ts ms

m g

n 1/s