Arrow Mixing Products is a leading manufacturer of overhead mixers and they have many sizes and options available. Sifting through the information and selecting the mixer that works best for your application may seem overwhelming. However, it’s easy to navigate this path simply by answering a few key questions about your application, and the properties of the material you are mixing.
Is there a risk of explosion with the product you’re mixing?
If the material that you’re planning to work with is not flammable, you’ll want to select an electric mixer. Our electric mixers are designed and built with an enclosed, non-ventilated motor, so you can increase service life by keeping dust, particulates, and fumes out of the motor. To learn more about selecting an electric mixer, visit the Electric Mixer Buyers Guide Page.
However, if the materials that you are working with contain volatile chemicals, solvents, lacquers, or other flammable materials, an air mixer is a necessity. Air mixers use compressed air to power the propeller, so you don’t have any risk of ignition due to an electrical spark. This guide will show you what questions to ask when selecting an air mixer.
What are the properties of the material you’re mixing?
When choosing the right overhead air mixer for your job, there are three properties of the material that you’ll need to take into account:
- Material Viscosity
The property of viscosity defines how thick a liquid is. A higher viscosity translates to a thicker liquid, and the mixer will have to do more work to move the material. A material with a high viscosity will require an air mixer with a high direct torque or gearing to increase torque. For example, the Model G-HD air stirrer has a 7-1 gear ratio to properly mix very thick materials.
- Batch Size
Mixing applications can come in a variety of batch sizes, so batch size (in both volume and dimensions) will determine the size of the overhead air mixer and the length of the shaft. For example, the Model 750 air stirrer in a standard configuration has a maximum batch size of about 200 liters, or just over 52 gallons.
- Motor Speed
The motor speed specification defines the maximum speed of the mixer shaft in RPM. For an air mixer, the RPM is increased or decreased by varying the input air pressure. A shaft speed that is too slow will result in a material that is not mixed material properly, and a speed that is too fast increases the amount of air that is added to the material. As an example, the light duty air mixer Model A-5 has a maximum running speed of 7,000 RPM, and an air input of 30 to 100 psi.
What other options do I need to look for?
Reversible – Some mixer models, including the Model 1500-RV air mixer, can be set up to run in either direction.
What kind of accessories do I need?
When you purchase an air mixer, it will ship with an aluminum support rod and a standard stainless steel shaft/propeller combo, a 4 ft. air hose, and a muffler. Depending on your application, you may want to purchase a different shaft length or propeller size. If the material that you are mixing is corrosive, shafts and propellers are available in PTFE.
In addition to those standard accessories, you may need to purchase a stand and clamp to hold your mixer. Stands are available in different sizes depending on the weight of your air mixer and volume of the container you’re mixing in. As an example, the ASE 625 stand works perfectly with the Model A air mixer.
For air mixers, it is highly recommended to add a filter/regulator and lubricator unit to ensure that the air source entering the mixer is dry and clean, preserving the life of the mixer.
What if I have other questions?
If you still need help determining which overhead air mixer is right for you, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help. If you have a specialty application, we have a full-service fabrication facility to provide custom mixing solutions. Call us at (888) 997-4922 and we’ll help you make the right choice for your application.
All of our mixers come with a 30-day guarantee, so after you purchase a mixer and you find out it’s too big or too small for your application, you can return it or exchange it for another mixer.
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