Agglomeration Advisor: Using the pin mixer for agglomeration
Just about any material normally pelletized in disc or drum pelletizers by tumble-growth action with liquid added can be conditioned and pelletized in a pin mixer. Documented examples include coal, coke, clay, fertilizer, herbicide, cement, limestone, gypsum, and fly ash. Typical agglomeration applications include preconditioning, prewetting and dedusting, premixing, predensifying, and preagglomeration (for example, as a first step before pelletizing -- or balling -- in a disc pelletizer).
In a glossary of agglomeration terms published in Powder and Bulk Engineering's February 2000 issue, a pin mixer is described as "a stationary-shell [horizontal] mixing and granulating machine with a single-shaft pin agitator for blending, preconditioning, granulating, and pelletizing." The pins extending from the agitator shaft add high-shear energy to the tumble mixing. The pin mixer may have one or several feed entries, one or multiple liquid ports, carbon steel or stainless steel construction, rubber or plastic inner shell liners, and other special features.