Reduce potential hazards to a minimum in advance of the mixing process

Dust explosions can pose a severe risk in mixing, says Karl Hendrik Schluckebier, Product Manager at Zeppelin Systems. He also explains why a good and fast cleaning of mixers is so important.

Karl Hendrik Schluckebier Image source: Zeppelin Systems

Zeppelin Systems specialises in plant engineering for the handling of high-quality bulk materials. With over 70 years of experience in process engineering and extensive knowledge in handling countless raw materials, Zeppelin Systems offers complete and reliable solutions. The company supports its customers from plant design through implementation and provides all services from a single source with innovative processes as well as clever automation solutions and full range of service.

In addition, Zeppelin Systems develops and manufactures its own components for key plant functions, which are also used in third-party plants. In addition to process components such as airlocks, filters and diverters, these also include mixers, such as the container mixer CMQ (pictured left), a flexible system for a wide range of applications with minimised cleaning requirements.

How can dust explosion occur during mixing and how does the container mixer respond to the requirements of dust explosive materials?

Karl Hendrik Schluckebier: Even everyday products such as flour, plastics or additives can generate a dust explosion if they come into contact with heat and oxygen in a certain concentration as a dust-air mixture. It is therefore important to reduce potential hazards to a minimum in advance of the mixing process. The patented container mixer CMQ from Zeppelin Systems, with its additional ATEX equipment with monitored grounding, proves that it can meet the requirements of dust-explosive substances and offers the user the highest level of safety.

In addition to safety standards, good dispersion is also particularly important, what kind of performance does the container mixer provide here?

Schluckebier: The mixing tool ensures fast material movement as well as good dispersion while keeping mixing resistance low. This protects the products and can reduce the temperature rise to a minimum, for example to less than 2 degrees Celsius per minute for a powder coating mixture.

Another advantage of the mixing arm is its airfoil shape. It causes a high suction effect on the material. This results in a high lifting force and optimum formation of the mixing drum for faster mixing. Thus, the user obtains his desired mixing result within three to four minutes.

Why is good and fast cleaning of the mixer so important and how does the product design of the CMQ help?

Schluckebier: If deposits collect on the mixing head, mixing tool or in the mixing container, adulteration can occur in subsequent mixes, rendering the mix unusable for further use. Compared to conventional container mixers, Zeppelin Systems has optimised these critical components to simplify the cleaning process many times over and save valuable time.

For example, the mixing head of the  container mixer CMQ is designed in such a way that – unlike conventional, usually trough-shaped mixing heads – it consists of a flat plate, which makes cleaning very easy and fast. Also, the large distance from the mixing tool to the bottom of the mixer makes it much more accessible and thus easier to clean. The shape and polished surface of the CMQ’s mixing tool also minimises deposits. At only 17 kilograms for a 1,000-liter mixer, the tool is very light, allowing users to disassemble and replace it very quickly and easily.

With all these measures, the operation of the mixer reduces cleaning time by up to 80 percent. This not only increases productivity, but also machine availability, saving five-figure sums per year.

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