Predicting, diagnosing, and solving mixture segregation problems
Keeping a dry bulk material mixture together from the blender to the final package isn't always easy. This article covers segregation fundamentals, then explains how to predict a new mixture's segregation potential, how to diagnose mixture segregation problems in an existing handling system, and how to remedy the problems.
Problems stemming from particle segregation in dry bulk material mixtures during handling can be extremely costly and in some cases can even pose serious safety risks. Customer complaints in reaction to taste variations in a powder drink mix, too much or too little bleach in a box of powder detergent, or an unpredictable amount of leavening agent in a cake mix can kill a product. Tablet-to-tablet variation in the amount of the active ingredient in a pharmaceutical drug batch can mean scrapping the batch or, worse, delaying a new drug's launch, costing millions of dollars. Even more serious, a runaway reaction caused by chemistry variations in the feed to a reactor can create hazardous conditions in your plant.