Mixers & Blenders

Mixing and blending of dry bulk materials

Mixing and blending dry bulk materials is an important processing step in many industries. When processing dry materials, the mixing quality plays a central role.

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The mixing of solids is the oldest and most frequently performed chemical operation. With the increasing automation of engineering processes in all material transformation sectors, applying scientific principles to such operations is of increasing importance. Solid mixing refers to blending at least one solid component with another, whereby the particulate components differ in at least one of their characteristics.

The mixing process can be seen in diagrammatic form as an overlap of dispersion and convection. These are the two main mechanisms of solids mixing, and the movement of the particulate solids is a requirement of both mechanisms.

Dispersion means the utterly unexpected change of the individual particles in the mix. The frequency of the changing movement of both particles is related to the number of particles of the other ingredients. On the other hand, the convection mechanism causes a movement of large groups of particles relative to each other, also known as macromixing.

Powder mixing is critical for the quality and performance of a wide range of products in many processes in the paper, rubber, food, plastics, and pharmaceutical industries. The product produced through powder mixing is considered finished with three essential features: homogeneity, flow, and sampling.

Most powders are cohesive; many pair up spontaneously when exposed to a moist or damp atmosphere. Agitation of the powder often results in the migration of particles of a smaller size downwards and larger ones upwards. There are standard and non-standard mixing devices; the standard ones include drum tumblers and Turbula mixers, while the non-standard devices are often called static mixers. Static mixers disable segregation, save energy, and affect particle migration.

In pharmaceutical manufacturing of solid dosage formulations (capsules or tablets), small amounts of a powdered active drug are gently blended with excipients, such as cellulose, lactose, starch, sugar, and lubricants.

With food products, many powder-form consumer products result from custom mixed batches; consider cake mix, ice tea, and dry seasonings. Many chemical process industries (CPI) processes involve mixing or blending specialty chemicals, fertilizers, explosives, glass or ceramics, detergents, and resin compounds.


There are three primary mechanisms of mixing: convection, shear, and diffusion.

  • Convective mixing involves the gross movement of particles through the mixer either by a force action or by gentle tumbling under rotational effects.
  • The shear mechanism of mixing involves thoroughly incorporating material passing along forced slip planes in a mixer.
  • Diffusion is a slow mixing and blending mechanism and will pace a blending process in specific tumbling mixers.

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As continued research and development races to meet the growing demand for sustainable adhesives, manufacturers must also push the mixing processing industry innovations.

Planetary Mixing

Multi-shaft mixers are most commonly used for dispersing solid raw materials into a liquid vehicle. They offer a combination of both shear agitation that can be fine-tuned throughout the batching process.

High-Speed Powder Injection

One area of improvement in the preparation of lower forceful formulations is the method of raw material addition. This may be accomplished by new-generation high-shear mixers equipped with a built-in powder injection mechanism.

Continuous Improvement

These are just a few examples of recent innovations in the mixing and blending industry. Many more innovations will surface in the future to create more solventless, bio-based, renewable, recyclable, and non-toxic adhesives. While pain points persist, like cost, raw material availability, the performance difference between petrochemical-based manufacturers and their mixing counterparts can boost their will to improve sustainability by periodically reviewing their current mixing equipment and procedures.

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Experts for Mixers & Blenders

Carrie Hartford is the Technical Sales Manager and Senior Project Engineer in Jenike & Johanson’s office in California. For 15 years, she has been solving challenging bulk material flow related problems around the world. Typical projects include the analysis and design of bins, hoppers, feeders, and transfer chutes. From 2012 – 2014, she opened and established an engineering office and laboratory facilities in Perth, Western Australia. Internationally she publishes and presents technical papers, participates in conferences, and presents numerous short courses in the field of bulk solids flow. Carrie has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MBA from Azusa Pacific University in California. She is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of California.
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Matthew Bailey – Technical Lead

Matthew is a mechanical engineer holding an honours degree from the Auckland University of Technology and has been responsible for BFM® Global’s product development, testing and compliance programme for almost 5 years. Matt’s experience is centered on the powder handling industry with a specific focus on flexible connectors, and all the compliance requirements around them. From food to pharmaceutical and all industries in between, Matt works with our Distributor partners, end users and OEMs from Europe, Asia and the Americas to solve application challenges. He regularly attends industry tradeshows around the world and understands the complex requirements of each different market.
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Aristidis Melios is the General Manager at Vraykos & Associates Mechanical Ltd. He holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from National Technical University of Athens, and has more than 30 years of experience in design, engineering and manufacturing of bulk materials handling systems in food industry in Greece and Balkans area. Mr Melios is an expert in managing industrial projects that concern mechanical or pneumatic conveying, weighing & dosing, mixing, dedusting, screening and storaging of food bulk products. He has the experience needed to create a cost efficient turn-key solution for every bulk materials industry. The last years leads the Vraykos company engineering team with success, inserting new ideas and technologies in the field of bulk materials handling systems.
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Sunny Nwadinma is the Senior Applications Engineer at Kason Corporation. He covers product lines of circular fluidized-bed dryers, coolers and moisturizers, circular vibratory and centrifugal sifters, and static sieve screeners. He studied Engineering Technology at Essex Community College and studied Mechanical Engineering and Science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He holds certificates from the Dale Carnegie course on fluidized-bed technology from the University of Wisconsin, and the Effective Facilitator Course offered by the Leadership Strategies Institute.
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Arie Srugo was born in 1960 to the late Yaakov Srugo, who established his first factory for the production of industrial machinery in 1954 in Argentina.Ltd. “. In the mid-1970s, the factory was moved to the southern town of Netivot. Arie Srugo was employed in the factory as a salesman from the age of 16 and “pumped” into it the knowledge regarding machines for industry from an early age. In 1981, after his release from regular service in the army, Arie Srugo joined the company and was appointed its VP of Marketing. As part of his role as VP of Marketing and as CEO of the company, Arie Srugo has accumulated vast knowledge regarding industrial equipment in general and mixing equipment in particular. The company under his management began to export its machines all over the world and gained a great reputation among the companies in Israel. As part of his extensive activity in the field, Arie Srugo engaged in consulting, characterization, process planning, and adaptation of various industrial equipment to the company’s many customers. In addition, the company engaged in the planning and management of entire projects that the PerMix company undertook. Here in fact began to accumulate vast knowledge and experience in the field of planning and management of projects in the field of process for industry. PerMix, headed by Arie Srugo, has also managed projects abroad in various and varied fields. Throughout PerMix’s years of operation, the company has grown from primarily manufacturing under OEM contracts, building some of the largest brands in the industry, to complete, turn-key processing lines under the PerMix name.
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Chuck Johnson is the director of sales at National Bulk Equipment, located in Holland, Michigan. His professional experience includes over 25 years in the design, engineering, & sales of bulk material handling equipment & systems. Johnson holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.
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Andreas Schlenker is Senior Sales Manager for scattering applications at IPCO Germany GmbH. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from the Fachhochschule Esslingen and has more than 20 years of experience in the design, engineering and marketing of scattering equipment. He has worked for IPCO since 2001 and is the specialist for the handling of bulk materials in the flooring, composite, automotive, non-woven, textile, recycling, electronic, filter, food, furniture, and wallpaper industries. Over the years he has accumulated a lot of experience with worldwide projects involving individual scattering units, complete process solutions involving IPCO’s ThermoPress technology and customized process solutions.
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More than 30 years’ experience in development and realisation projects as a project manager for feed, aqua feed and petfood. Working at Dinnissen for 20 years as account manager in feed, aqua feed and petfood division. Specialist in developing major projects with added value focussing on pneumatic conveying, mixing, drying, grinding and coating with liquid and powder systems.
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George Bougioukas, Plant Manager of Acmon systems has over a 20 years of experience in plant process design for both mechanical and automation engineering in a wide range of industrial sectors. He has gained a unique knowhow of cross-cutting technologies and applications bringing the organization to reach a new industrial value chain era. George’s expertise includes applications ranging from reception and storage of raw materials, pneumatic and mechanical conveying, sieving, weighing and dosing, mixing, up to bagging and final product dispatch. Behind George there is a dedicated team of engineers who like him are constantly striving to improve design and performance of all plants Acmon systems has been delivering all around the globe for the last 30years on a turnkey basis.
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Kemutec B.V. was founded a few years ago, to enable dedicated service to Kemutec customers on the mainland of Europe. Johan Lucas, who is responsible for the Sales & Business Development of Kemutec in the Benelux, started his career 30 years ago as product manager of Kemutec. During these decades he created a long track record of projects and joint process developments in the Confectionary, Spices, Flavours, Dairy, Cereals and Bakery Ingredients. In addition to Beverages, Detergent, Pharmaceutical and the Chemical Industry with elements like feasibility studies, conceptual design, system integration, etcetera – delivering advice, components, systems or total solutions. Due to his cooperation with many leading suppliers, he developed expertise in Powder Process & Handling technologies such as sieving, classifying, breaking, crushing, milling, conveying, mixing/blending, feed/dosing & weighing. Johan’s specific knowledge in powder process applications includes crushing/de-agglomeration after dryers/spray towers, QA at filling & emptying – small/big bags, dry/wet cleaning – hygienic design, trouble-free feeding of liquid processes – dissolving & filtration. Johan enjoys a challenge to solve any kind of powder process problem. Contact him on +31 (0) 653 86 77 06, Johan.Lucas@schenckprocess.com
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