Industrial services must be constantly updated in their environmental, economic and regulatory context. Over and beyond updates, efficiency must be integrated as a parameter. What resources can the company use to optimise formulations?
Formulations are currently optimised in two ways:
- via the formulation itself, by selecting ingredients, the recipe.
- how the formula is produced
This reflects two priorities: industrialisation and performance. In this case, mixing opens up a new range of options in terms of manufacturing processes in order to cover these new situations. Innovative mixing solutions can be used not only to create original formulations, but also to increase the content of elements with high added value while satisfying limitations in terms of production performance.
Let us consider two aspects: original formulations and the increase in solid content.
1/ Original formulations
To what extent can mixing allow new products to be deployed?
Mixing allows products which were previously unknown or immiscible to be mixed together and allows a certain degree of plasticity or a new texture to be achieved (wood + plastic, toothpaste + microbeads). Resources currently exist and allow us to work on this basis. Let us take a few examples.
Working cellulose fibres
Incorporating fibres requires the use of complex processes such as vacuum impregnation, pressurised casting, etc. and the viscosity of the matrices in which these fibres are integrated must be low enough for handling in convention processes. This conflicting requirement makes the use of an advanced mixing technology appropriate, allowing new formulations with high fibre content and more viscous matrices to be considered.
Reducing additives and binders
With technical ceramics, the value material (solid) is suspended in a liquid, and other minority adjuvants such as plasticisers, dispersing agents, porogenic agents, etc. are added.
Use of suspension is required for the formatting technology of the end product.
A major priority for mixing performance involves reducing the proportion of binder and additives, while maintaining plasticity and simplifying debinding, with an optimal quality of mixing.
Improving material transfers and intense shear makes it possible to reduce the use of these compounds.
2/ Increasing solid content
As is the case for ceramics, the encapsulation of aromas or active ingredients in organic matrices traditionally required the use of low viscosities, and therefore relatively low value elements. By using continuous mixing equipment especially designed for this purpose, a whole new range of options opens up for the production of such materials.
In fact, these technologies do not require low viscosities, quite the opposite! It is therefore possible to access solid concentrations which are far higher than those achieved using traditional processes, with processes which are easy to implement and with well above average cleanability!
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.