News | Bulk Material Processing Industry

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.

read more

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.

read more

Beneficial Use of Coal Combustion Products 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….

read more

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…..

read more

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.

read more

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

read more

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).

read more

Perfecting Mixing and Pelletizing in the Lancaster Products Laboratory

Quality products start with quality materials. Lancaster Mixers improve material processing and  achieve better results than conventional mixing or pelletizing machines in a single machine and process.   Exploring how to  achieve better material results starts in the Lancaster Products laboratory.   Whether our customers are looking to improve an existing process, or define a new method for processing materials, the high shear mix design for producing the end product is iterative.  It starts as a proof of concept, and scales up to a production mixer run along the way refining the optimal mix program.  Many Lancaster customers consider the process through a K-series high shear mixer the secret catalyst to make their products extraordinary and give them an advantage in an ever more competitive marketplace.

Buying a key piece of equipment without knowing exactly how it will perform is a risky proposition, so Lancaster Products will work hand-in-hand with clients to establish a level of comfort with the K series mixer before ever committing to a purchase order.  For a small investment in time and money, Lancaster Products provides a complete scope of testing services. This important activity allows our customers to hit the ground running with an established mix design and knowledge on mixer operation.

read more

Advantages of Pelletizing in a Lancaster Mixer

FIGURE A illustrates combined action of the pan rotating clockwise while the off-center mixing tool assemblies rotate counter-clockwise.
FIGURE B illustrates the path of travel created by the tools as the pan completes one revolution. Multiplied in terms of RPM, this mixing action becomes very intensive.

We are often met with skepticism when informing prospective customers that Lancaster Products’ high shear “mixers” can actually pelletize materials more efficiently than the “pelletizers” they either currently use or are considering for use in their materials processing applications. It’s always interesting to see the expressions on people’s faces not only when we demonstrate the pelletizing capabilities of our mixers, but also the improved yields and reduced processing times of our mixers vs. standard pelletizers. In fact, because our mixers are so commonly used to pelletize, some customers refer to Lancaster Mixers as “Pellixers”. So, what are the difference between mixers and pelletizers and how can a Lancaster Mixer actually work better than a pelletizer?

It’s important to point out that, true to their name, our high shear mixers can and are used very successfully in mixing-only applications. In fact, for applications where strict homogeneous mixtures are specified, there is no better solution on the market than a high shear mixer from Lancaster Products. Extrusion-type pelletizers, on the other hand cannot be used to mix products. Disc or pan-type mixers transform raw materials into pellets by imparting a snowball effect where pellets are ‘layered’ rather than ‘mixed’ together. This action does not necessarily satisfy strict specifications for homogeneity.

read more

Pelletizing Carbon Black Using High Shear Mixers

Everyone remembers from grade school that if you mix a bunch of colors together you get black.  But in the world of manufacturing and mass production making products black isn’t so simple.  Black pigments that satisfy specified requirements must be used to achieve the desired color, and when it comes to making black pigments, there’s no better place to start than the residual by-product of refineries appropriately known as “Carbon Black”.

Challenge: In its raw form, carbon black is a very fine powder, so fine that it has liquid-like properties which makes it difficult to handle when transporting between and within facilities.  It is also classified as a Group 2B carcinogen and becomes airborne easily when in its raw, powder form.

Background: Carbon black is a waste product generated in large volumes by petroleum refineries around the world.  Rather than dispose of it, refineries will opt to sell it to materials processors who process it so it can be incorporated into pigments and fillers with a wide variety of uses, particularly in the steel, rubber, and plastics industries.

Converting carbon black powder to a pelletized form significantly reduces the risk of releasing carcinogens into the air when handling.  The pellets are also much easier to store and transport due to the lower flow rate of pellets vs. powder.

read more