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Facts at your Fingertips: Solids-blending processes

By Dept. editor: Scott Jenkins |

Mixing and blending of bulk solids is common in pharmaceutical and food manufacturing, specialty chemicals, explosives, fertilizers, glass and ceramics, detergents and resin industries. This column provides information on batch versus continuous blending mechanisms. Batch versus continuous Batch blending processes typically consist of three sequential steps: weighing and loading blend components; mixing; and discharge of the blended product. In a batch blender, solids motion is confined only by the vessel, and directional changes are frequent. The retention time in a batch blender is carefully controlled, while for a continuous blender, this is generally not the case. Blending cycles can take from a few seconds with high-intensity units to 30 min or more where additional processing, such as heating or cooling, may be involved. Blender discharge may be rapid or take substantial time, particularly if the blender is used as a surge vessel to feed a downstream process. In a continuous blending process, weighing, loading, blending and discharge steps occur continuously and simultaneously. Blending occurs during transport of the material from the in-feed point toward the mixer outlet. Unlike batch blenders, where product retention time…
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