High Shear Mixing FAQs

Q: When would you choose an In-Line mixer over a static mixer?

A: Static mixers are simple low shear devices which comprise a section of pipe fitted with baffles that divert and disrupt the flow of liquid as it is pumped through the pipeline. The baffles are most commonly a series of fixed elements in a helical configuration, which produce both radial and axial flow, ideal for heat transfer or blending liquids of like viscosity. As the name suggests, static mixers have no moving parts and need an auxiliary pump to generate the required flow through the pipeline.

Static mixers can be very effective for simple in-line blending tasks, such as liquid/liquid blending or dispersing gases into liquids, normally on a continuous basis. However they are generally not suitable for more demanding duties, for example blending liquids of widely different viscosity, creating fine emulsions or suspensions, disintegrating and dissolving solids, incorporating powders or where two materials react together on contact.

For these applications a high shear mixer is required. Silverson offers a range of high shear In-Line mixers with self-pumping capacities of up to 50,000 gallons per hour; in most cases, a Silverson In-Line mixer can replace both the static mixer and the auxiliary feed pump, offering a dramatic improvement in product quality and process efficiency. Where a greater degree of particle or globule size reduction is required in a single pass, a Silverson In-Line mixer can be added to the line after a static mixer so that they work in conjunction with each other; the static mixer creates a coarse premix, which then passes into the In-Line mixer and is subjected to intense high shear, resulting in a homogeneous product with a fine particle or globule size.