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industrial drum mixer

How to Select the Right Drum Mixer for Your Application

Jan. 25, 2022
From paints and petroleum to cosmetics and condiments, a drum mixer, sometimes referred to as a barrel mixer, is an essential piece of equipment for many industries.

Due to the diversity of applications, there is an extensive line of industrial mixing products and engineered solutions available to meet any need. To narrow down the options and find the optimum 55-gallon solution, it helps to ask the right questions.

For example, what are the material properties you’ll be mixing? Are they consistent or will they change (as with different materials/ratios of materials)? What type of drum will you be mixing in? What utilities are available to power the mixer? And how should the mixer be mounted to your drum?

Considering the density and viscosity of the material to be mixed is a good starting point because it corresponds to the required horsepower and torque. In general, the more dense or viscous the material, the higher the horsepower and/or torque required to agitate it.

For paint, coatings, and sealants industries, industrial-grade drum mixers are a great option because of the homogeneity, reliable color, and consistency they provide. Within these industries, variable speed drum mixers also give the operator increased process flexibility to process a wider range of product properties such as adjusting speed for higher agitation or reduced shearing of the materials.

INDCO models such as the DL1-V or the DL4-A are both well suited for mixing materials commonly found in these industries. The 1 HP electric (single-phase) DL1-V drum lid mixer is excellent for low to medium viscosity materials with variable speed control from 35 to 1750 RPM to handle a wide range of products. The air-operated 4HP DL4-A model, on the other hand, has the largest motor in the product line and provides maximum agitation for thicker materials when supplied with 100 PSI at 130 CFM. While both models can service a range of applications, smaller versions can be chosen for lighter viscosity materials when necessary.

Drum mixers are a great option for chemicals and petroleum products because they feature rugged designs and corrosion-resistant 316 stainless steel wetted parts.  Alternative alloys or industrial coatings are also options to meet these needs. When safety demands closed container operation, mixer solutions can be provided with air-powered or explosion-proof electric motors for use with flammable materials.

INDCO’s 1 HP DLG-1E mixer is ideal for heavy-bodied coating applications and its explosion-proof electric motor delivers safe and reliable performance. The 4 HP DLG-4A model mixer is also well versed in handling these products and features a Gast air motor which is known for its rugged construction and reliability. The DL- and DLG-series mixers include a drum lid integrated into the mixer design. 

However, for closed drums with a permanent lid and only a two-inch bung opening, there are additional bung-entering mixer designs such as the CB and CBG-series and the BU and BUG series. The primary features of these mixers are the manner in which they mount to the drum and that they utilize a folding impeller that allows entry through the bung with radial expansion of the blades during operation.

INDCO’s sanitary mixers can also be well suited for industries using stainless steel drums and a lid with a tri-clover mount where lip seals, mechanical seals, polished 316 stainless steel impellers, and other features are often required. INDCO’s PH and TCM series mixers, specifically, meet ASME guidelines for bioprocessing equipment in cGMP environments and are suited for a variety of sealed and aseptic applications. Both PH and TCM series mixers include documentation packages with drawings, material certifications, parts lists, and certificates of conformance.

Looking at properties of the materials to be processed in terms of viscosity, density (or specific gravity), corrosivity, reactivity/flammability, as well as the type of container—open-topped or closed—and utilities available are good starting points to consider when narrowing down your choices for a drum mixer.

If your project requirements don’t fit a standard mold or lie outside of normal performance parameters, then you may need a custom mixer. When in doubt don’t hesitate to contact your mixer manufacturer to leverage their expertise to your advantage.

Located in New Albany, Indiana, INDCO is a leading manufacturer of industrial mixers. Since 1975 they have designed and manufactured a completed lineup of mixers for batch sizes up to 50,000 gallons. They use premium brand components in their robust designs to deliver high-quality mixers that earn their customer’s trust. In addition to premier equipment, INDCO prides itself on providing fast, friendly customer service and immediate technical support. Full information is available on their comprehensive website, www.INDCO.com, by calling (800) 851-1049, or via email at [email protected].