An introduction to static mixers
Static mixers, or inline mixers as they’re often called, are used in a variety of industry sectors, such as wastewater, oil and gas refinery or polymer manufacture. Essentially, they mix materials together, generally fluids, but they can also be used for gases too.
History of static mixers
The design for the first static, or motionless, mixer was filed in the mid 1960s. The name is derived from the fact that the outside of the mixer remains static, while the parts inside move to facilitate the mixing process.
The elements inside mixers can vary from a helical to flat plate design and baffles within the elements are used to speed up the mixing process. The number of baffles will vary depending on the design.
Benefits of static mixers
Static mixers are highly efficient pieces of equipment. They provide a high quality of mix in the shortest period of time, making them cost-effective too, as they use less energy.
Because they have fewer moving parts than a dynamic mixer, they require less maintenance as there are a limited number of things that can go wrong. This, in turn, will minimise downtime.
Although static mixers themselves are precision engineered pieces, they are reasonably easy to install and most models can be quite compact, cutting back on the amount of space required. Companies such as https://www.statiflo.com/ produce inline static mixers which can be installed in some of the tightest spaces.
If you’re looking for a supplier of static mixers, it’s always worth checking that they are ISO 9000 certified. According to the International Organization for Standardization, this indicates that a supplier is committed to providing high-quality products and services and consistently improving their quality management processes.
For industries such as the pharmaceutical and food preparation sectors, where eliminating the risk of product contamination is vital, static mixers can be completely sealed within pipe structures, with injector sites added as required.
Most mixers come in a range of sizes, from as little as 4 millimetres in diameter right up to 4 metres, and can be constructed from a variety of materials, although generally they are metal or plastic. As adding heat can be vital in some mixing processes, many mixers have a heat jacket added, which allows for the safe and constant transfer of heat.