Fluid mixing is a common application needed for many fluid processing operations. Selecting the right mixer is just as important as which type of pump and system configurations are utilized. Your application may vary from requiring more vigorous agitation to only a gentler mixing motion. Some operations may even need a mixer with variable mixing speeds and capabilities.
Unless you need a completely stationary mixer installed permanently in one place, a portable mixer is often the best solution. It will offer increased mobility and application flexibility. A good portable mixer can often serve many purposes for different fluid blending or mixing objectives. Before you purchase the most affordable portable mixer you can find, there are several key factors to consider. Here are seven tips to help you select the right portable mixer for your fluid mixing application:
1. Select the Ideal Portable Mixer Type
There are multiple types of portable mixers. These include lab and pail mixers, drum mixers, and tote-tank mixers. Lab and pail mixers are commonly used for smaller mixing applications. Larger mixing applications may require drum or tote-tank mixers, which can manage larger fluid volumes.
2. Consider the Motor Drive System
Most portable mixers will have a gear-driven system that is most efficient at speeds between 320-420 RPM. Direct-drive motors may manage speeds up to 1,750 RPM. You can also customize your portable mixer with a variable-speed drive (VSD) or air motor for enhanced variable-speed control.
3. Use the Proper Mounting Configuration
The specific application helps determine the proper mounting configuration for a portable mixer. You may require a C-clamp mount, flange mount, or angle riser. Understanding the differences between these mounting techniques will help optimize your portable mixer’s performance and efficiency.
4. Use the Right Propeller
Again, the application and mixing speeds will help you determine the type and size of propeller used in your portable mixer. There are three common types with different pitch angles for pumping rates relative to the drive power:
• Marine Prop (1.0 Pitch)
• Square Pitch
• Super Pitch
5. Determine the Shaft Length
The positioning of the mixer’s propellers will help you calculate the ideal shaft length. Generally, the propellers should be positioned somewhere between one and two propeller diameters from the bottom of the tank. The positioning may vary when mixing solids-bearing products or slurries as compared to standard fluids.
6. Calculate the Mixer Agitation Rate
Each mixing application will require a specific agitation rate to achieve the best results. These rates are generally measured in gallons per minute (GPM) of the fluid being pumped. Agitation rates can be anywhere from mild (1/2 to 1 tank turnover per minute) to violent (more than 3 tank turns per minute). Liquid viscosity can also affect the mixer’s agitation rate. It’s important to mix with the proper agitation rate in order to protect your process materials and the equipment itself.
7. Position the Shaft and Prop at the Right Angle
The angle at which you position the shaft and prop will make a significant difference when mixing different materials and volumes. Understand your application and the capabilities of the portable mixer to determine the best angle to use when mixing certain fluids or slurries. For example, some slurries may require an angle of 15-20 degrees off the centerline of the tank to achieve the desired mixing results.
These are some of the best tips to consider for selecting a portable mixer for your fluid processing operation. To learn more about the best mixers on the market and for help in selecting the right one for your specific application, contact DXP Pacific today.