A. C. Rios, P. J. Gramann, T. A. Osswald, M. del P. Noriega, O. A. Estrada
June 6, 2013
The rhomboidal mixing section is becoming very popular among processors to provide distributive mixing. Currently, several different designs are used but the details of the flow behavior and mixing efficiency is not well understood. This information is needed to be able to design and find the most efficient rhomboid geometry. In this investigation nine different geometries with various pitches (helix of rhomboids) were analyzed using a 3-dimensional boundary element method (BEM). The geometries were compared according to mixing efficiency, pressure and energy consumption. The results were compared to experiments performed with a conventional single screw extruder that was fitted with three different rhomboidal mixing sections. The investigation led to the conclusion that the most effective distributive mixing sections were those with neutral rhomboids (pine-apple mixer). However, the neutral rhomboidal mixing section consumes the most pressure in the extruder. It was also concluded that rhomboidal mixing sections deform the material by shear, making them poor dispersive mixing sections.