We are often met with skepticism when informing prospective customers that Lancaster Products’ high shear “mixers” can actually pelletize materials more efficiently than the “pelletizers” they either currently use or are considering for use in their materials processing applications. It’s always interesting to see the expressions on people’s faces not only when we demonstrate the pelletizing capabilities of our mixers, but also the improved yields and reduced processing times of our mixers vs. standard pelletizers. In fact, because our mixers are so commonly used to pelletize, some customers refer to Lancaster Mixers as “Pellixers”. So, what are the difference between mixers and pelletizers and how can a Lancaster Mixer actually work better than a pelletizer?

It’s important to point out that, true to their name, our high shear mixers can and are used very successfully in mixing-only applications. In fact, for applications where strict homogeneous mixtures are specified, there is no better solution on the market than a high shear mixer from Lancaster Products. Extrusion-type pelletizers, on the other hand cannot be used to mix products. Disc or pan-type mixers transform raw materials into pellets by imparting a snowball effect where pellets are ‘layered’ rather than ‘mixed’ together. This action does not necessarily satisfy strict specifications for homogeneity.

Our high shear mixers are ideal in processes that require both mixing and pelletizing because both actions are satisfied in one process inside one machine. When using extrusion or pan type pelletizers, ancillary equipment such as mixers and conveyors must also be purchased to accommodate the mixing and transportation of materials into the pelletizer. This not only adds cost to the equipment purchase price, but often increases the footprint and requires more man-hours to maintain, service, and operate the equipment.

Two of the primary requirements in almost all pelletizing processes are to generate pellets that are homogeneous in both size and material composition. The counter-current mixing action of our high shear mixers imparts direct energy into the mixing process, where an equilibrium of force is maintained across every particle in the mixture being agitated.

Lastly, our high shear mixers use independently driven tooling, which allows for changing of speeds of each component and interchangeable tooling. This affords customers greater versatility in satisfying capabilities such as types of materials processed, yield types (mixtures, pellets, conglomerates, etc), and overall control of the process. For companies that process a diversity of materials, the cost of purchasing one high shear mixing machine to handle multiple materials and processes is more easily justified.

Contact us today to discuss how our high shear mixers can better solve your pelletizing needs.

717-273-2111

Lancaster Products
920 Mechanic Street
Lebanon, PA 17046

Local: 717.273.2111
Toll Free: 800.447.7351

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Case Study – High Shear Mixing of Clay Compositions

High Shear mixers are used in a wide variety of applications in many different industries. Finding the right blend and being able to produce the same mix consistently is the key to success at Highwater Clays, a clay and glaze supplier to the arts & crafts industry. The company has two locations with the main production center located in Ashville, North Carolina. Highwater Clays produces a wide range of clay bodies using fireclays, ball clays, kaolin, and stoneware clays. All the clay bodies consist of complex compositions and must be mixed into one reliable consistency.

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Lancaster Products Announces Updates to Low Shear Mixers

We are excited to announce several recent improvements to the design of our low shear mixer product line. These mixers are often pushed beyond the limits of other mixers due to their widespread use in mixing dusty, abrasive, corrosive, highly viscous or explosive materials. The enhancements listed below were designed to improve the performance of our low shear mixers and to minimize maintenance and repair costs, which lowers the overall lifetime cost of ownership for our clients.

  1. Split drivetrain: pan and tooling on separate drives

The counter-rotating pan and tooling are now operating on separate drives allowing for individual control of tool and pan speeds. This simple split drive design provides increased flexibility to customize mixing recipes for different materials as compared to a single vertical shaft. Maintenance and trouble- shooting of issues relating to the pan or tooling also become easier.

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