New technology mixes without stirring

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Liquid, Viscosity, Mixer

A new method of mixing and heat exchange for highly viscous liquids
without the use of traditional stirrers, has been developed by
Australian scientists.

Developers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations (CSIRO) in Melbourne claim the RAMeX is twice as effective as traditional mixers and uses about five times less energy. The RAMeX makes the performance improvements because it operates without the use of stirrers, impellers and plates. Guy Metcalfe and Murray Rudman, developers of the RAMex said advanced mathematic simulations were used in the development of the prototype, which following successful trials, is now ready for commercialisation. "Trials have shown the RAMeX now provides a single solution to the task of mixing and temperature control in highly viscous fluids, used for example in food processing, polymer processing and in the mixing of explosives,"​ Metcalfe said Trials revealed the potential to revolutionise traditional mixing technology, according to the developers. During trials, the RAMeX produced homogenous heating or cooling through a smaller heat exchange unit at a faster rate than can be matched by typical mixers using shell-in- tube (jackets) or annular (tube-in-tube) heat exchangers. Suitable for batch mixing and in-line continuous mixing, the simple design of the RAMeX removes the need for internal baffles and plates that are used in static mixers that generate large pressure drops and energy use. These efficiencies are expected result in about five times less energy being used compared to traditional mixing, the developers claim. The other advantages of the new processing technology are in the improved mixing, the low shear effective mixing, reduced stagnant regions of the mix, and ease of cleaning, claim the developers. The developers also expect the mixer and heating technology to have a smaller footprint and to be less expensive to manufacture than most current mixers. Metcalfe and Rudman said the RAMeX would be suitable for a range of applications including diary industry, cosmetics manufacturing and sugar making.

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