Pneumatic blending offers numerous advantages over mechanical mixing. It incorporates a series of controlled compressed gas (or air) pulses into the bottom of a conical hopper to mix dissimilar materials into a homogeneous blend. As the compressed gas expands back to atmospheric pressure, it drives the material at the bottom of the bin upward through the material bed above, causing the blending action.
Pneumatic blending provides some very specific benefits. It is extremely gentle, with virtually no shear generated. Thus, it’s commonly used to handle friable products such as sugar or methyl cellulose. It’s also a good choice for spray-dried or agglomerated products, such as kaolin clay or aspirin starch that could otherwise be degraded by the blending action. With easily aerated ingredients, a pneumatic blender’s cycle is much shorter than that of a comparable mechanical mixer.
Common design locates pneumatic blenders at the bottom of dense-phase pressure transporters. This combines the blending and transfer into a single piece of equipment, so no additional floor space is needed for the blender. You can blend very large batches right in the transporter, saving time required to transfer and mix in small batches. Finally, combining pneumatic blending with low-velocity dense-phase transfer ensures that the product will not be “un-blended” from the pneumatic transfer process after blending.
Maintenance and cleaning are both minimized with the use of a pneumatic blender. There are no moving parts in contact with the material to agitate and wear out. This also means less cleaning, as the material does not touch any moving or complex parts. Also, blending cone and aeration valve assemblies are accessible from outside the vessel, making service and cleaning quick and easy.
See our equipment and learn more about the benefits of pneumatic blending. Visit Nol-Tec at booth 3163.
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