Material Segregation in Batch Mixing Processes
Material segregation is a common hazard in manufacturing facilities. Luckily, the right preparations can help you keep it from happening in your workplace. This quick guide to material segregation in batch mixing processes will break down how to prevent this issue from hurting your product.
Reasons for Material Segregation
Material uniformity and integrity are both key when it comes to ingredients moving together through a batching system. However, there are a few factors that can cause material segregation to occur. For instance, ingredients with different angles of repose are susceptible to separation once they flow through the system.
While some segregation is going to happen during any batch mixing process, excessive material build-up due to a lack of accounting for the angle of repose can lead to even larger problems, such as bridging in the feed bin.
Likewise, mixing ingredients of various sizes and mass can lead to separation in the presence of significant movements, such as conveyor belt transportation. Fluidization and trajectory segregation of materials can also hinder your mixing process, but thankfully, just as there are numerous reasons for material segregation, there are numerous solutions too.
Solutions for Material Segregation
First, test your ingredients and learn all the important information about them. This info includes the density of particles, as well as the material’s size and mass. During this stage, you can also learn crucial facts such as angle of repose, which will be helpful when designing your feed bin. When you understand the key properties of the particles, you’ll be able to team up with a reliable manufacturer to create a system design that fits your needs.
For example, at DoverMEI, we manufacture a variety of dry bulk material handling equipment in ways that suit your facility’s specific requirements. With the right equipment manufacturer, you’ll be able to plan ahead and combat numerous causes of material segregation in batch mixing processes. To put it simply, understanding your product is the best way to combat this common manufacturing hazard.
Another method of preventing material segregation is to test your system for its presence. Using a specialized sampling tool, take small amounts of your mixture from multiple points in the batching system. This will allow you to tell whether material segregation is present and where in the process it is occurring. Aeration and binding agents can also help keep ingredients together, but you must be meticulous with each of these methods.
For instance, improper aeration can promote fluidization, whereas poor application of binding agents can make ingredients too sticky and will eventually gunk up the system. However, proper use of the methods listed above will help you consistently keep material segregation to a minimum in the workplace.