The development of high performance technical products requires the application of increasingly complex formulations.
The number of ingredients used in a formula has little importance. The form, phase, concentration and difficulty of homogenisation are the key factors. The mixing technology selected will depend on these parameters. The specifications, expected performances of the finished product and deployment limitations require the use of advanced technologies, particularly for ceramics, nanoparticles or compounds containing long fibres and additives.
The sensitivity of the products to temperature and shear as well as the complexity of use (abrasion, corrosion, etc.) represent limitations. Advanced technologies can be used to adapt to each situation thanks to their design and modular arrangement.
To give one example, one type of technology is especially suitable for promoting the introduction of large quantities of small, low-density, solids (e.g. pyrogenic silica-based premix before polymerisation). Re-using and recycling production waste, previously integrated in a simple environmental policy, used to be considered as a synonym for finished products of a lower quality than those from traditional sectors.
This is no longer the target. Effective waste re-use systems are used to recycle complex waste (metal particles, plastic flakes), which is used to produce luxury finished products after homogenisation and purification by devolatilisation.
Slow mixing – a source of optimisation.
What Samir Ben Lakhal – Process engineer – has to say
The UCP process offers two key advantages for treating viscous formulations.
The approach is more based on torque than speed. This parameter has a significant effect on energy and maintenance savings. With technical ceramics, it was found that savings in terms of electrical consumption represent over 50%. Savings were also generated thanks to lighter maintenance due to the slower wear of parts. Total savings exceed 200,000 euros per year for the industrial operator.
In many cases, the UCP can then significantly reduce the percentage of binder in a recipe or maximise the proportion of a value element. Regardless of the purpose, the UCP opens up the road to the precise preparation of recipes in order to obtain ever more satisfactory results with substantial economic benefits. The increased proportion of active ingredients in a matrix has proved particularly pertinent for one customer, to replace a far more complex and expensive production method.
Thematic folder : Mixing when facing new industrial priorities White
How can mixing, which is simply defined as the work of viscous products, relate to the industrial priorities of today and the future?
The following pages provide an overview of this viewpoint.