The influence of operational parameters and feed preparation in a convective batch ribbon powder mixer
Sin Tung Yeow, Asnawi Shahar, Norashikin Abdul Aziz, Mohd Shamsul Anuar, Yus Aniza Yusof, Farah Saleena Taip
Department of Process and Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
Purpose: To investigate the effect of feed preparation characteristics and operational parameters on mixing homogeneity in a convective batch ribbon mixer.
Methods: Lactose 100M, lactose 200M, ascorbic acid, and zinc oxide powders were used for the mixing study. Operational parameters studied were rotational speed and mixing time. The feed preparations studied were the use of preblending and the particle size of the feed materials. The blends of ascorbic acid, zinc oxide, and lactose were prepared with preblending and without preblending, prior to mixing at different blender rotation speeds and mixing times. Chemical tests were performed to measure the homogeneity of the ascorbic acid in the model mixture.
Results: With preblending, a mixture with lactose 200M achieved the required homogeneity in a shorter period of time at a lower rotational speed.
Conclusion: The results indicated that the homogeneity of the mixtures was influenced by the blender rotation speed and mixing time. Better mixing can be obtained with higher rotation speeds and longer mixing time. It was also observed that preblending and smaller feed particle size achieved the required homogeneity in a shorter period of time at a lower rotational speed. These results illustrate that using binders with a smaller particle size and a preblending technique improves the mixing process in a convective batch ribbon powder mixer. However, prolonged periods of high-speed mixing will lead to mixture segregation.
Keywords: powder blending, ascorbic acid, rotational speed, particle size, preblending