Mixing Mechanics: Mixing and specifying
What is mixing? What are you trying to accomplish when you mix? Where do you start? These are some of the questions you ask when approaching a new mixing situation. A lot of factors are involved in determining the best mixer to use, the most efficient batch size and mixing time, and how your material's particle size distribution, bulk density, and shape will affect your mixing. If you mix many different formulations, you quickly realize that your mixer isn't optimum for each, so you have to work within your equipment's limits.
Colleges and universities really don't teach mixing. You generally have to learn on the job and by trial and error. This is the first in a series of columns that will provide information to increase your understanding of mixing and productivity. The columns will explore the thought processes you go through as you approach mixing and will aim to help you minimize mixing variables so that you can produce more consistent batch-to-batch products and so that you'll have fewer variables to consider in correcting problem batches.