News | Bulk Material Processing Industry

Using Section 179 Tax Deductions to Offset the Cost of Capital Equipment

There’s no better time than now to purchase the capital equipment you know you will need before the end of the year. By taking advantage of the Section 179 Deduction and Bonus Depreciation you will enjoy significant savings from your equipment purchases. This is a use-it-or-lose it write off that ends December 31, 2017, so get off the hump and place your orders now to ensure delivery before the end of the year.

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Using High Shear Mixers to Manufacture Ceramic Proppants for Hydraulic Fracturing

High shear mixers manufactured by Lancaster Products are currently in use within several different ceramic proppant manufacturing plants worldwide. Our mixers successfully meet the stringent specifications demanded by both the proppant manufacturers and end users at fracking operations across the globe.

The hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” industry ebbs and flows in an indirectly proportional relationship the price of crude oil, but the reality is that it continues to be an important and growing industry. As with any highly competitive industry, the best way to maintain profitability is to improve efficiencies in both processes and equipment. One of the products consumed in high amounts are eco-friendly ceramic proppants which are introduced under high pressure into the fractured subsurface to “prop” open fractures and allow oil and gas to flow through the fractures. Enhancements in the characteristics of ceramic proppants significantly improve the efficiencies of fracking operations and therefore play a critical role in the profitability of the fracking industry.

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Fertilizer Manufacturing Using High Shear Mixers

Over the years, we have worked with several fertilizer manufacturers in helping them meet their required specifications to produce safe and effective fertilizer for mass consumption. These requirements have ranged from mix-only processing of sulfur to a pelletized, shelf-ready end product made from organic ingredients. In all cases, our high shear mixers outperformed alternative solutions and/or improved efficiencies from existing processes.

Fertilizer manufacturing is a process by which raw materials/nutrients, often in powder form, are mixed and agitated with a binder until pelletized for easier spreading with minimal dust dispersion. The pellets must be a homogeneous mix of nutrients to ensure maximum effectiveness without over/under saturation when applied. Furthermore, the size of the pellets will vary based on its intended application. For example, fertilizer for commercial agricultural fields will not necessarily be the same size as that used on golf course greens.

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Unique Design Flexibilities of Counter-Current Rotating Pan Mixers

Counter-current rotating pan mixers incorporate a Rotor as the primary agitator in the mixing process (shown in the figure below). As discussed in a previous blog post (What is a Counter-Current High Shear Mixer?), global material transport within the pan (mixing vessel) is facilitated through the rotation of the pan itself, which also has the added benefit of producing more homogenous mixes with higher yields. Because the rotor is not needed for global material transport, it can be custom-configured in shape and speed as well as rotational direction to suit a variety of applications. It can change speed and direction at will if so needed. It also allows for fast liquid distribution without the use of atomizing nozzles.

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What Is A Counter-Current High Shear Mixer?

Most technical books on mixing equipment rarely include information about Counter-Current High Shear Mixers. Yet, these mixers have been successfully satisfying industrial mixing needs for over half a century. So, how are they different from, and in many ways superior to, other mixer designs?

To best understand the benefits of a counter-current high shear mixer we’ll use the common home kitchen mixer for comparison, as both types of mixers share key components such as an agitator and a vessel where the mixing occurs. In kitchen mixers the agitator is mounted to a motor and the vessel remains locked in place and the rotational axis of the agitator may be fixed or move in an orbit. After mixing our ingredients for some time, we stop the agitator and scrape the bowl to get the unmixed materials near or adhering to the walls to where the agitator runs for better dispersion. We re-start the agitator to finish the mixing step before transferring the wet cake mix to a baking tray, again scraping with a spatula to make sure all the mix is transferred.

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Beneficial Use of Fly Ash/Coal Ash in the Utility Industry

Costs to dispose of coal combustion products (CCP), including fly ash and boiler slag, continue to rise in the utility sector, but there are many financial and environmental benefits to converting this waste into marketable end-use products.

Enhanced EPA regulations imposed on power plants require various levels of on-site air pollution control to make air emissions cleaner. What comes out of the air, however, goes into the solid waste, which is costly to dispose of and contributes significantly to landfills. Several other facets must be factored into disposal costs such as transportation and regulatory requirements. It is for these reasons that a growing number of utility companies are turning this costly by-product into a source of revenue.

Fly ash and bottom ash can be used to produce road base materials, manufactured aggregates, flowable fills, structural fills, and embankments. Coal ash is also used to replace natural materials in the production of portland cement. Other applications for CCPs include wallboard manufacturing, roofing tiles and shingles. CCPs are also used for waste stabilization, snow and ice control, soil modification, as mineral fillers, in agriculture and mining and for very specialized uses. For example some CCPs have properties suitable for metal castings in the aerospace and automotive….

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Particle Enlargement With Lancaster Products High Shear Mixers

There are many industrial applications that require the enlargement of powder/particles for handling. Some objectives may be: enhancing flow properties, recycling, de-dusting, densifying, freezing ingredient distribution, improving mold filling properties, etc.

Size-enlargement is more commonly referred to as agglomerating, pelletizing, granulating and briquetting. This article deals with particle enlargement generally through a snowballing mechanism (pan/disc), with some shear action (high shear mixers), but without the application of high pressure or extrusion.

Most powders with the ability to fuse, or slightly dissolve in the presence of a liquid, can be granulated quite easily. Others may be coaxed to form granules by the introduction of some suitable binders. The binders may act as a medium for the solid particles to adhere to each other, some may form a matrix to capture the particles, and others may involve chemical reactions to achieve the objective…..

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Quality Parts and Service – Ensuring Maximum Performance of your Lancaster Mixer

Lancaster Products has been the industry leader for mixing and material handling solutions for more than 30 years. Because Lancaster Products are built to last, our commitment to our customers extends well beyond the warranty period. We place an emphasis on keeping our customer’s machines running well with our factory genuine spare parts and maintenance services.

Lancaster Products Genuine Parts
The failure of component parts can cause costly disruptions and delay production schedules. Lancaster Products provides a full array of factory genuine replacement parts specifically designed and specified for the Lancaster Machine. All Lancaster Products parts must pass stringent quality requirements to ensure high performance standards. Using Lancaster Products genuine spare parts and services avoids problems such as premature failure and lower performance that might be experienced with a third-party part.

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Effect of Mixing Intensity on Mixing time

Industrial mixers are often considered the heart of a processing facility. While we at Lancaster Products are diligent in our up-front materials processing sampling, it is not enough to simply confirm that the required physical specifications of the materials are met.

When choosing an industrial mixer one must understand that there are a significant number of factors that need be taken into consideration such as yield rates, cost per yield, mixing time, mixing intensity, etc. It is critical that machine builders have a complete understanding of the entire process to recommend the right mixer to maximize the overall processing workflow

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Use of High Shear Mixers for Refractory Applications

Refractories are important to high temperature manufacturing for their thermal insulation properties and are commonly used to protect personnel and equipment.  They are critical to industries such as glass, ceramic, and metallurgy. In general, refractories are used for temperatures in excess of 2,000°F, for applications such as the melting of glass or metal, or the curing of ceramic wares.

Alumina (neutral) and magnesite (chemically basic) represent two common ingredients used in the production of refractories, which involves a mixing step which is critical to the quality and cost of the final product. Mixing is critical because raw materials can be vastly different in physical characteristics, such as particle size (from powdery to 1/4” granular) and bulk density (35 pcf for graphite to 100+ pcf for minerals).

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