Static Mixers Accomplish What Motorized Mixers Can’t
Not all mixers are equipped with motors. This is lucky, because there are some situations in which the use of a power mixer is not appropriate. In these cases, appropriately-named mixers called static mixers are used. Static mixers are what they sound like: mixers that are static. Specifically, what this means is that instead of using a moving rotor, auger, paddles or other rotating or spinning equipment, a static mixer features a tube or pipe through which materials are passed, and within that pipe is a permanent set of obstacles that cause objects that pass over them to be mixed with each other. The objects are passed through the tube either by gravity or through artificially generated pressurization.
If you were to look at an industrial static mixer, it might not be immediately apparent what you were seeing. Some varieties can look like nothing more than simple metal tubes. In order to demonstrate the means by which static mixers are used to mix things, their manufacturers often fabricate sample mixers for use at trade shows and expositions that feature clear tube walls; this exposes the layout of the inner mixing tools. The mixing tools within the tube are connected to the tube wall and can be arranged in all manner of patterns. Some static mixers feature mixing tools that are arranged in waffle patterns, while others feature simple, finned protrusions that creature turbulence in the flow of materials passing over them. This turbulence is what causes the flow of materials to become homogenized.
Static mixers can be used for mixing applications in many different kinds of industrial contexts. Just a few of the contexts in which static mixers are applied include wastewater treatment processes in sewage plants, chemical processing in research settings and the desalting of crude oil during the refining process. While they may seem simple compared to motorized mixers, static mixers are important tools for industry.