Mixing Terminology

A fundamental mixing process which aims to rapidly create an intimate mixture of two or more components which may be liquid/solid or liquid/liquid and can be difficult to combine.
Products may be dilutions, pastes, creams, emulsions or suspensions. Choice of equipment depends on the process specification and properties of component materials, for example ease of wetting and/or tendency to aerate or produce foam.
An emulsion is a homogeneous combination of two or more liquids that are otherwise immiscible – for example, oil and water. A Greaves High Shear Mixer can produce a smooth and stable oil-in-water emulsion in minutes. It achieves this by imparting high energy to break the surface tension between the components. The oil part of the mix is rapidly ”broken” into very small droplets which become suspended in the water-based component of the emulsion.
This term applies to any process that creates and maintains a smooth and stable mixture regardless of the volume being processed. For inherently less stable mixtures, conventional agitation or stirring may not achieve this objective. The solution in such circumstances is often the use of a Greaves High Shear mixer.

This term is used to describe a mixing process that is effective creating a solution or suspension of powders that are known to be very difficult to disperse or dissolve in water or other solvent. Incomplete ‘wetting-out’ can lead to formation of agglomerates at the fluid surface that become even more difficult to combine.

Typical applications might include Methyl Cellulose, Carboxy-Methyl Cellulose, Locust Bean Gums, Starch Ethers and Esters, Alginates and Crystal Gums for thickening and stabilising foodstuffs.

The most effective solution to this problem is use of a Greaves High Shear mixer.

This is the process of blending concentrated solutions, dispersions or emulsions with additional water or other solvent to create a less concentrated, stable mix. Often for distribution to end users/customers.

Where suspended solid materials are prone to separate or “settle out” it is desirable to re-stabilise the mix for storage, distribution or further processing. Depending on the product, the vessel type and stage of process/distribution, several options may be appropriate. For example an IBC mixer may be most suitable pre- or post- shipment .

An issue which is particularly prevalent with viscous fluids and those with a tendency to foam is the incorporation of air during mixing processes. This problem can be managed by processing under vacuum and/or adding anti-foaming agents.