Laboratory Mixer: The Ultimate Guide

Probably, you might know about the laboratory mixer, or maybe not.

Well, I will assume you have some interest in knowing about the laboratory mixer.

In this guide, we will take you through the most significant information about the laboratory mixer.

It will include the different types, and benefits of using the laboratory mixer.

Apart from that you will go through the knowledge on the parts, designs and working principles of the laboratory mixer.

Let’s find out more about it.

What is Laboratory Mixer?

A laboratory mixer is an assembly of different systems for vigorously agitating and mixing different samples.

Implying, by using a laboratory mixer you will get a suitable mixture for your applications.

Types of laboratory mixer

Types of laboratory mixer                     

Despite the fact that there are many laboratory mixers in the market, magnetic stirrers are the most common.

You will learn more about the different types of stirrers later on in this guide.

The stirrers may have strong magnets that allow the magnetic bar inside the tube to stir the liquid.

The speed of stirring also varies depending on the type of stirrer that you have.

Apart from that, most of them have microprocessors with turn knobs.

The turn knobs allow for quick, precise, and easy adjustments while maintaining constant temperature and speed.

You will learn more about the parts of the laboratory mixer later on in this guide.

At the moment let us look at some of the benefits of the laboratory mixer.

Benefits of Lab Mixers

In any laboratory, it is important to have equipment that will assist you in specific functions.

It will save you enough time among other key benefits.

In this section, we are going to look at some of the key benefits of using a laboratory mixer.

Lab mixer

 Lab mixer

Some of them include:

· High Cleanliness Standards

Sanitation and cleanliness are among the most important factors in any laboratory.

For that reason, it is important to use air driven laboratory mixer to maintain high standards of cleanliness.

· Thorough Mixing

Before moving to a later stage of production.

Most of the ingredients have to go through a thorough process of mixing.

Using a laboratory mixer will assist in getting a uniform mixture.

· Improvement in Efficiency

Using a laboratory mixer will improve and streamline the efficiency of your operations.

Time is money and the more you save time, the more money you will save and maximize profit.

· Maximum Flexibility

The flexibility of the machine will allow you to develop different types of products.

The products can either be emulsions, suspensions, lyosols and granular products among others.

· Straightforward Scale Up

Scaling up the laboratory mixer is a very simple process.

the simplicity in scaling up also shows the ease in the mode of operation.

· Representative Results

You are sure of getting a representative result from all types of mixtures.

This will include results from the smallest of quantities of products.

· Safety

Using a laboratory mixer will guarantee the safety of the user from dangerous and corrosive elements.

It is also safer to use as you are sure of no contamination.

With that in mind, let us proceed to the types of laboratory mixer systems.

Types of Laboratory Mixer Systems

Due to the complexity in mixing, you will see different types of laboratory mixers.

Certain types of solutions require specific types of laboratory mixers.

In this section, we are going to look at some of the laboratory mixer systems available.

1. High Shear Lab Mixing Machine

High shear lab mixing machine transports or disperses different phases of ingredients into a continuous phase.

It concentrates the mixing process in ingredients that would normally be immiscible.

 High shear mixer

 Lab high shear mixer

The machine employs the use of different parts such as the rotor, stator, to obtain a uniform mixture.

You can use it to create suspensions, emulsions, granular products, and lyosols.

It is a common equipment in the chemical, adhesive, food, cosmetic, plastic and pharmaceutical industries.

2. Multi-functional Laboratory Mixer

You can use a multi-functional laboratory mixture to perform the following activities:

Muilti functional laboratory mixer

Multi-functional laboratory mixer – Photo courtesy: ARMFIELD

· Mixing

The multifunctional laboratory mixer will assist in combining and putting together of different substances.

The end result of the combination will be a uniform mixture.

· Homogenizing

You can use this machine to blend diverse elements to form a uniform mixture.

It will assist in making a uniform solution of two non-soluble liquids or elements.

· Dissolving

You will use the machine to incorporate a solid to form a uniform mixture in a liquid.

In the end, you will be able to achieve a consistent solution.

· Disintegrating

The machine can also assist you in breaking different elements into very small units.

The elements will lose strength and cohesion and gradually collapse into smaller parts.

· Emulsifying

You can use the machine to mix different types of immiscible liquids to form an emulsion.

The machine will assist in emulsifying liquids of diverse thickness.

3. Vortex Mixer

You can also refer to it as a vortexer.

It is a very simple device that you can use to mix small vials of liquids in a laboratory.

Vortex mixer

Vortex mixer

You can use it for:

i. Suspension of cells in a microbiology or cell culture laboratory

ii. Mixing reagents of assays in analytical or biochemical laboratory

It has an electric motor and a drive shaft with a vertical orientation.

4. Magnetic Stirrers

You can also identify it as a magnetic mixer.

It employs the use of a magnetic field to spin a stir bar and make a uniform mixture.

You can use it in a hermetical vessel with a complete seal without using complicated rotary seals.

Magnetic stirrer

Magnetic stirrer

Magnetic stirrers are a common machine because it is more efficient and quitter.

Lack of moving external part also prevent any damages on the other parts of the device.

5. Ribbon mixer

Ribbon mixers or blenders have horizontal U-shapes troughs with a special ribbon agitator.

The ribbon agitator also has outer and inner helical agitators.

As the inner ribbon moves the material in one direction, the outer ribbon will move it to the opposite direction.

Ribbon mixer

 Ribbon mixer

The ribbons move at a specific speed that will ensure a thorough and uniform mixture.

6. Laboratory Conical Mixer

You can use this type of mixer to mix different elements such as fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Remember, you can practically use it for homogenizing bulk solids and powders that are sensitive in nature.

Laboratory conical mixer

Laboratory conical mixer

It is a gentle mixer with very minimal power consumption.

After looking at the different types of laboratory mixer systems.

Let us proceed to the different designs of lab mixers available in the market.

Lab Mixer Designs in the Market

When it comes to the designs of the laboratory mixers, you can choose from a wide variety.

Different manufacturers have come up with different designs of laboratory mixers.

These mixers are suitable for small scale mixing.

They rely on pneumatic or electric motors with gear reduced or direct drive speed ranges.

Mixing shafts with interchangeable and removable impellers will provide versatility to the different designs.

Laboratory mixer designs

Laboratory mixer designs

In this section, you will learn about the diverse designs of the laboratory mixers with their benefits and shortcomings.

Let us dive right in.

· Electric Rod & Ring Drive Head Stirrers

It is a type of lab mixer with an electric drive head and stainless steel material.

Also, it has a dispersion blade from reducing particle size and dispersing the ingredients.

It is light in weight and you can move it from one place to another easily.

It will, however, limit you to specific mixing applications.

· Air Rod & Ring Drive Head Stirrers

The design of a lab mixer has an air drive head that operates the mixing head.

It also has a ring drive head that will help in driving the stirrers.

It is portable and has a rod stand to support the drive head stirrers.

The air rod does not provide enough power for other vigorous applications.

· Rod and Ring Drive Head/Standard Packages

This package has an air drive head with a stainless steel shaft.

The drive head is light in weight and allows for the proper functionality of the mixer.

You do not need to have an electric power source to operate this machine.

· Lift Mixers

The lift mixer design depends on electricity for its operations.

It has a drive head that you can life and place in stirring the pan.

It allows you to use containers of up to 5 gallons for your mixing applications.

It is common in the food industry especially for mixing the dough.

It saves on the time you might use in the manual stirring of the mixture.

It is also small and portable allowing you to operate it on a benchtop.

· Roller Mills

It consists of a gallon and two quart cans for milling and blending small batches of paint, adhesives, and ink

. It uses grinding media such as metal balls to grind particle 100 times the particle size you desire.

It features an overload protection unit and has a maximum capacity of up to 12 pounds.

It also has a continuous duty 1/75 HP fan cool motor.

· Shakers

These are one gallon gyroscopic shakers for use with a wide variety of materials.

It depends on electricity for a source of power.

It also has a gear drive and you can either choose to use the one with the lowest or highest noise level.

The gears eliminate the need of having pulleys, replacement belts, and friction drives.

It features a timer with a one-step clamping system.

· Gear Drive Air Stirrer and Package

It consists of an air drive head, stainless steel shaft, and a bladed propeller.

The air drive head has a lightweight and has the variable speed for mixing different solvents and flammable materials.

It, therefore, reduces the risk of causing flames in case of any faults.

It has a rod and a ring that will allow you to mount drive head on a stamp with a C clamp.

The air motor also provides for flexibility of the device.

It is not suitable for use with electricity as it might cause flames.

· Air Stirrer with Chuck

Since it air driven, it offers less risk of causing flames instead of electrically driven mixers.

It features a rod and ring bracket for mounting of the drive heads.

It provides maximum agitation when you apply it with enough energy.

The gast air motor helps in improving its reliability and mixing flexibility.

Despite the different designs, the laboratory mixers have different parts that make it whole.

Let us look at some of the parts that make up the laboratory mixer.

Parts of Lab Mixer Machines

The lab mixer depends on different parts to assist in the mixing process of the device.

In this section, you are going to learn about some of the major parts of a lab mixer.

Vortex mixer

 

Mixing chamber

i. Impeller which is the rotating part of the lab mixer to assist in the movement of ingredients.

ii. Canister Wall allows you to inject the fluids into the mixer.

iii. Mixing paddle is the agitator that will allow you to mix, blend and condition the ingredients properly.

iv. Chopping knife are the dispersing and mixing blades for particle size dispersion and reduction.

v. Stirring Pansis the container where you will place the ingredients you intend to mix.

vi. Printer that will be printing all the parameters during the process of operation.

vii. PLC program controller that will control and record all the data during the mixing process. It also controls the speed of the chopping knives and stirring oar. Apart from that, it meets the technical requirements of granulation.

viii. Rubber wheels that can rotate through 360 degrees allows you to move and maneuver the mixing machine.

ix. Video displays that will show you the progress of the mixing Process

x. Intrinsically Safe (IS)

xi. Motor Unit that will drive the moving parts of the lab mixer. It allows the free movement of the machine parts.

xii. Electric Rise and Fall Stand is the part of the lab mixer that you can adjust to fit the height you need. It is an automatic stand that draws its power from an electric source.

xiii. Bench Stand is the main base where the whole lab mixer apparatus stands. It gives the lab mixer the right stability for normal operations.

After having a clear grasp of the parts, let us look at the working principles of the lab mixer.

Working Principle of Laboratory Mixer

Please note that this will depend on the design and configuration of the laboratory mixer.

You can discuss the following:

· Dry Powder Batch Lab Mixer

The dry powder batch lab mixer is the benchmark in the technology of mixing.

Manufacturers have different designs of the dry powder batch mixer that perform different functions.

In this case, we are going to look at the twin shaft batch mixer.

This machine has special features that will meet the mixing and drying requirements of different applications.

Since the machine is automatic, you will have very little input.

The machine moves the whole mixture in a 3D spiral motion.

All you have to do is measure different elements that you intend to mix and dry.

Make sure that they are of the right quantity and allow the machine to proceed.

Program the machine from the control panel set the speed and time you require for the mixture.

As this continues, there is another action in the turbulent zone.

In this section, there are two mixing cycles that overlap one another.

The energy from the machine will optimally convert into an intense movement of the whole mixture.

Through the sophisticated mechanism of mixing and the three dimensional movement, the speed is often very low.

This is in comparison to the intensive mixture or single shaft.

Despite the slow motion or speed, the machine is capable of producing a great mixing effect.

It also preserves and maintains the grain structure of the mixing ingredient.

You can fit the machine with agitators along the troughs longitudinal side.

This will reduce and disintegrate the undesired agglomerations.

The twin shaft mixer will allow you to fill it to a greater extent in comparison to other types.

This feature makes the twin shaft mixer more compact for a higher throughput rate.

The DMX is the most suitable equipment for a new plant because of small dimensions.

It also allows for better residue discharge through the airtight discharge door wings.

· High Shear Lab Stator Mixing Principle

The benefits of the high shear lab stator over conventional agitators come from multistage mixing action.

The materials in use come from special work head designs.

You will realize that the work head is the heart of all the laboratory mixers.

 High shear lab mixer

 High shear lab mixer

Let’s have a step by step look at how it works.

First things first, you have to power on the machine.

After that, you can measure and place the necessary ingredients before setting the machine from the control panel.

Stage One:

The rotor blades, moving or rotating at very high speed will exert a very powerful suction.

The suction will draw the ingredients of liquids and solids upwards from the bottom of the container.

The mixture of liquids and solids will move up into the center of the work head.

Stage Two:

The centrifugal force of the machine will drive the material towards the edge of the work head.

The machine will subject the ingredients to a milling action between the rotor blade ends and stator inner wall.

Stage Three:

Intense hydraulic shear will follow as the materials move out at high velocity.

The materials will move through the perforations in the stator.

After that, the material will circulate in the main body of the mixture.

Stage Four:

In this stage, the materials from the head move radially at very high speed to the periphery of mixing vessels.

As this continuous, your supply of fresh ingredients will continue.

It will allow the work head to continuously draw more materials to maintain the cycle of mixing.

The horizontal radial suction and expulsion sets up a circulation pattern that will minimize aeration.

Aeration is often a result of disturbance of the surface of the liquid.

From the periphery of the mixing vessel, you can now collect the mixture and proceed to other processes.

· Single Shaft Lab Mixer Equipment

You will use the single shaft lab mixer to have an intense mixture of moist or dry fine materials.

The machine is suitable for continuous and intense mixing processes, especially for the fine aggregates.

You can use it to have a continuous mixture of dry, paste-like, pumpable or moist mixtures.

You can have a guarantee of consistent high quality of mixture because of:

i. Mixer inlet design

ii. Arrangement and shape of the mixing tools

iii. Selection of a speed that is appropriate

Since it is an automatic machine, you will have very small input in the process.

You can set the machine and place the ingredients in the right place.

After that, the ingredients will accelerate forcefully by the mixing tools.

The machine will cause very high turbulence from the energy it produces throughout the entire volume.

Any form of agglomeration of the materials will break down through sheer force.

This will eliminate the need for having additional agitators.

Through the following steps, you are capable of achieving homogenous mixtures in a short period.

Apart from that, the machine has a self-cleaning rubber trough.

The rubber jacket has a pulsating motion will prevent the hard materials from caking on the walls of the trough.

It will also help in the reduction of energy consumption and protect the tools from tear and wear.

· Twin Shaft Laboratory Mixer Equipment

Twin shaft mixer

 Twin shaft mixer

You can use this machine for intense mixing of moist or dry minerals.

It is a powerful machine that you can use to mix different types of materials especially those with coarse aggregates.

It is suitable for the production of mineral mixtures, landfill liners, RCC, lean concrete, dry mixtures and heavy concrete.

In this case, you will place the ingredients and set the machine after powering on.

The machine relies on the following properties to ensure intense horizontal and vertical 3D mixing motion:

i. Counter-rotating motion of the two mixing shafts

ii. Inclination of the mixing tools

The hardening of materials along the walls of the trough will ensure protection against tear and wear.

The ingredients will move into the mixing stage where the mixing tool will thoroughly mix them to a perfect mixture.

It will discharge the whole mixture from the mixing trough through an outlet.

You can collect the mixture after feeding the machine with more ingredients as the process continuous.

I believe you are fully aware of the different working principles of different machines.

As we proceed, we will take you through the factors to consider when buying a laboratory mixer.

Factors to Consider when Buying Mixer for Laboratory

The availability of many manufacturers gives you the freedom to have a variety of mixers to choose from.

There are, however, some machines that are not reliable.

Laboratory high shear mixer

 Laboratory high shear mixer

In case you are purchasing a laboratory mixture, here are some of the factors that you need to consider.

· Brand and Model

Different models and brands are available for you to choose from in the market.

However, there are certain models that are more reliable and stronger than others.

These models might have better technology and performance for your mixing applications.

You should go for a model that can serve you better and longer with minimal need of maintenance.

· Laboratory Mixing Technology

Advancements in technology present a wide variety of mixing technology in the market.

This gives you the chance to choose from the most advanced and easy to use technology for your mixer.

Here, this type of technology might be expensive but it will prove worthy in the mixing application.

· Capacity

You need to ask yourself “What is the maximum capacity of my project?”

Note that volume may vary according to the sample that you are working on.

You should consider the thickest and largest capacity of your applications.

The capacity will also affect the type of stirrer that you will need for your applications.

· Efficiency

The greater the efficiency of the machine, the higher the rate of mixing and production.

You can determine the efficiency of a machine by looking at the speed range, reliability, and durability among others.

Choose a machine that is very efficient and will match your value for money.

· Quality compliance – CGMP, CE, EN standards, etc.

The machine has to be of the highest quality that different quality compliance organizations will approve.

Some of the quality standards that you need to look at include:

i. CGMP is an initial for current good manufacturing practices. They are regulations that the FDA enforces to ensure that the laboratory mixers are of good quality. It ensures the machine has the proper design, control, and monitoring of manufacturing facilities and processes.

ii. CE is a mark of quality that will ensure conformity of the machine to safety, health, and environmental protection. It is a declaration from the manufacturers within the European Economic Area ensuring the products meet quality directives.

iii. EN ensures that the laboratory mixer conforms to the European Norms of standard quality. There is a very l0ng list of EN standards that your manufacturer has to comply with.

· Material

You should look for a laboratory mixer with materials that are durable and can last longer.

Apart from that, the material should not react to the ingredients that you intend to mix.

You can go for a mixer with a variety of tools for different materials.

In this case, you can change the tools according to the materials and ingredients you intend to mix.

· Purpose

Why do you need a laboratory mixer?

Is it for mixing chemicals or corrosive substances?

These questions should determine the type of laboratory mixer you need.

You will have to choose a good laboratory mixer that will suit your purpose.

· Mixing speed

As much as you are considering the purpose, you should also look at the mixing speed.

There are certain processes that require slow mixing speed while others require faster mixing speed.

In this case, you should go for a mixer that allows you to adjust the mixing speed.

· Additional functionality

There are laboratory mixers that can perform more than just mixing the ingredients.

You can search for this type of machine that will allow you to perform other functions.

It will be a great reward for the value of your money as you will get more than your expectations.

As we proceed, you will learn about the requirements that a user should have to operate a laboratory mixer.

Let us find out more.

User Requirement Specification for Lab Mixers

In many cases, you will need to have special training to operate the lab mixers.

However, the operations are not as complex as you might imagine.

URSURS

In this section, you will learn the specifications that you should know or have before operating a lab mixer.

The user requirement specifications will ensure:

i. Installation qualification for the installation process

ii. Operation qualification for the functionality of the equipment

iii. Product or performance qualification for the operability of the equipment

In many cases, you will have to prepare the user requirement specifications.

It will allow you the luxury of having equipment that you can properly operate.

The manufacturer will, therefore, come up with a special design of equipment that will fit your requirement specifications.

Some of the factors that you can include in the custom user requirement specifications include:

i. Intended use

ii. Capacity and space availability

iii. Cleaning requirements and accuracy of instrument

iv. Equipment specific requirements.

Apart from that, you can also purchase an equipment and learn about the user requirements.

Most of the manufacturers usually have a manual for the equipment.

This manual will guide you on the specific user requirements of the machine.

Let us see some of the main applications of the laboratory mixer.

Applications of Lab Mixer Equipment

You can use the laboratory mixer in a number of applications.

You should note that the application will determine the type of machine that you intend to use.

Some of the applications that require a lab mixer are as follows:

Mixing powder

· Detergent manufacturing industry

To make a detergent, you need to mix a number of different varieties of ingredients.

You can achieve this by doing a test in the laboratory using a lab mixer.

After that, you can proceed with the same formulae and produce the detergents in large scale.

· Pharmaceutical industry

Pharmaceuticals also come as a result of mixing different types of ingredients.

The combination of these ingredients will make drugs that will cure certain diseases.

With the help of a lab mixer, you can thoroughly mix these ingredients to achieve a uniform pharmaceutical solution.

· Building material manufacturing industry

Building material such as cement requires thorough mixing to achieve a good concentrate.

The ingredients of the mixture have to be perfect so as to make a permanent and concrete solution.

The laboratory mixer assists in making a sample that you can replicate for large scale production.

· Mining industry

In the mining industry, there is the need for using a laboratory mixer.

You can use special mixers such as the twin shaft laboratory mixer.

It is a special machine that will allow you to mix the minerals in the mining industry.

· Food processing industry

As sensitive as it is, you need to have a laboratory mixer that can assist you in making a good food solution.

You can find a lab mixer in use in the juice industry where the mixer mixes different fruits.

Apart from that, you can use it to achieve a whole meal mixture.

· Chemical manufacturing industry

Chemicals are very sensitive and you need to have a mixer to assist in mixing different solutions.

The mixer will protect you from the corrosive nature of the chemicals making it safe to use.

To achieve uniform mixtures of the chemicals, you need to use specific types of mixers.

· Cosmetics manufacturing industry

To achieve a uniform combination of cosmetic materials, you need to use a lab mixer.

Cosmetic industries depend on the lab mixer to do mix samples of their ingredients.

Successful integration of the samples to make cosmetics will lead to the large scale production of the products.

Conclusion

At this stage, your ability to purchase and operate a laboratory mixer is top notch.

I believe it is time for you to clear the doubts clouding your judgment and venture into your ambitions.

Call your supplier, discuss the terms and conditions of your requirements.

Do not forget to negotiate a good price with the right terms.

For questions and inquiries on laboratory mixers, you can talk to us today.

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