Why Is Powder Mixing so Difficult?
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The purpose of this webinar is to help engineers and scientists recognize problems with powder mixing. Some problems are easily solved with simple adjustments to fill level or blend time. Other problems involve the effects of certain design features of the mixing equipment. Most powder processing problems are because the physical processes of mixing are not well understood.
The basic objective of the course is learning how to make the best use of existing powder mixers. All opportunities should be explored and any improvements made to existing equipment before considering other types of mixers. Changing mixers will always create some new problems. An unbiased description of different types of powder mixing equipment is useful, but evaluation and testing of different mixing equipment is always recommended.
Understanding powder properties does not necessarily predict mixing success, but powder properties may explain why problems exist. All powder mixers will work, but only for certain types of powders and applications.
- The differences between liquid and powder mixing
- Answers to the most common questions about powder mixing:
- How long do I need to blend?
- How do I know if I have a uniform blend?
- How should I use the blender I have?
- Would a different type of blender work better?
- Some common problems with powder mixers:
- The mixer is overfilled
- Blending runs too long
- Wrong type of mixer
- More about some common types of powder mixers:
- Tumble blenders
- Horizontal blenders
- Rotating screw blenders
- High intensity blenders
- Engineers, scientists, and technicians who do powder mixing in process applications will learn about some difficulties with powder mixing.
- People who have problems with powder mixing will learn about common problems and ways to improve mixing.
- Engineers, and scientists who have new responsibilities for mixing processes or those who have existing process problems.
- Technical people who are familiar with only one or two types of powder mixers may learn about other types of mixers that would work better for their processes.
Dave S. Dickey, Ph.D.
David Dickey started his own consulting business called MixTech, Inc. in 1998. Since then he has done independent consulting work to solve process and mechanical problems with various types of mixing equipment. Several companies have had him write specifications for new mixers or evaluate existing mixers. He teaches short courses on liquid mixing, powder blending, mixing scale-up, and advanced mixing through the Department of Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has also served as an expert witness in important litigation cases involving mixing equipment.
Before starting his consulting business he had more than thirty years experience with manufacturers of various types mixing equipment, including almost fifteen years experience with Chemineer, a major manufacturer of fluid agitation equipment in Dayton, OH. He coauthored articles in the Refresher Series on Liquid Agitation that they published in Chemical Engineering magazine in 1975 and 1976. As Technical Director for Chemineer, he did customer seminars, developed mixer design procedures for new processes, aided in customer lab tests with scale-up to process size mixers, and helped develop their successful HE-3 hydrofoil impeller. During other parts of his career at Chemineer he managed technical sales and product engineering.
David also worked for Patterson-Kelley in East Stroudsburg, PA, an important manufacturer of dry-solids mixers and other chemical process equipment. He designed and marketed pilot plant reactors and systems for American Reactor Corporation. He also worked for Robbins & Myers with technical and management responsibility for their Prochem Mixers division. His diversity of experience has helped him understand the importance of mixing to the overall success of many chemical and biological processes.
David Dickey received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana, Il. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Because of his long involvement with process equipment, he has developed a practical background in many disciplines of mechanical engineering. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and is a past president of the North American Mixing Forum (NAMF). He is also a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He has authored or coauthored more than thirty technical publications on various aspects of mixing.
Chemical Engineering magazine
Scott Jenkins has been an editor at Chemical Engineering since 2009. Prior to joining CE, Scott worked in various capacities as a science journalist and communications specialist, reporting and writing on a variety of sectors, including chemical processing, biotechnology, pharmaceutical manufacturing and research policy. He also has industry experience as a quality assurance chemist and research experience as a synthetic organic chemist. Scott holds a bachelor's degree from Colgate University, and a master's degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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