Blenders and mixers are used to thoroughly combine any type of liquid or solid during the manufacturing process; they are usually large tanks or vats with motorized blades or paddles that rotate on a stationary shaft or remain stationary themselves. Stainless steel is most commonly used, especially within the food and beverage industry because of the metal’s sanitary and hygienic properties.
Other potential materials include aluminum, steel or cast iron. Because most consumable products contain various ingredients that have been mixed through this industrial process, blenders are widely used across many industries. Nearly all types of consumables or products that come into direct contact with people including beverages, pills and drugs, toothpaste, foods, petroleum products and many other products must be processed by blenders and mixers.
Blenders are also used frequently in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural, pulp and paper, automotive, water treatment, adhesive and sealant industries.
Industrial blenders are generally composed of mixing blades, ribbons, impellers or propellers that are driven by a rotor-stator, a single rotor or a twin rotor. Certain applications require specific types of industrial blenders in order to achieve the appropriate consistency or end-product. Cost effectiveness and efficiency are often the most important considerations.
Blenders have become more powerful, more efficient and more varied. Blades are machined to mix faster while the motors that power them are smaller and use less fuel than older models. Certain designs maximize certain benefits and the variety of blender shapes, sizes and abilities continues to expand.
Some of the many types of industrial blenders include ribbon blenders, paddle blenders, vacuum blenders and dryers and agitators. Ribbon blenders are horizontal blenders containing two helical blades, one inside the other, pushing the contents of the mixer both inwards and outwards for thorough shearing mixing action; typically used at full capacity to mix dry or powdered ingredients, ribbon blenders may blend wet ingredients as well.
Paddle blenders are similar, moving dry or powdered ingredients laterally and radially with paddles radiating from a horizontal screw. Vacuum mixers and dryers can have horizontal or vertical construction and use a combination of low internal heat and vacuum pressure to blend the mixture while removing moisture. Another very common type of mixer and therefore blender is an agitator with a single or double impeller to mix products with high viscosities.