Effect of mixer geometry and operating conditions on flow mixing of shear thinning fluids with yield stress



Flow mixing of a non-Newtonian fluid in a stirred tank equipped with a side-entry impeller was observed using particle image velocimetry (PIV). The effects of some geometrical parameters including the mixer shape and impeller type and position on the flow pattern were studied on velocity fields obtained at different locations inside the mixing domain. The different flow structures revealed that the ratio of inertial and viscous forces largely defines the flow pattern. Dead zones were observed inside the tank due to the rheological properties of the fluid. The size of the dynamic regions and the average velocity near the impeller were enhanced by increasing the suction area. Likewise, large pitch ratios were found to improve the active mixing zone and the axial discharge. Curves for the power and pumping numbers are reported for different axial flow impellers. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 1156–1167, 2014