IBC (intermediate bulk container) totes are the most popular form of shipping containers for a variety of liquids and industries. Have you ever had a pizza delivered to your door and proceeded to use the box as your dinner plate? If you answered yes, great minds think alike. If you answered no, I was just asking for a friend. The point is this: utilizing the container the product arrives in is extremely practical and just plain simple. Ideally, the substance that you would desire to mix arrives by truck at your facility. Upon delivery, what could be easier than simply attaching a tote agitator and then begin your mixing process? Designed to mix IBC Totes, a tote agitator with the properly sized corresponding bracket can fit a range of tote widths to accommodate your mixing process. Bracketed tote agitators can also be quite versatile. If you utilize cylindrical mixing tanks in your process, these mixers can attach to vessels under 42" in diameter as well as your mixing tote. Most models of tote mixer are highly customizable as well. This may include longer shafts, varied gear ratios, and varied impellers.
Keys To Optimizing Your Tote Mixing
It's not uncommon to face challenges when mixing inside a tote. Effective tote mixing requires considerations about the technical aspects of your mixing materials, like viscosity and shear requirements. Let's discuss three of the most common obstacles you might face with tote mixing.
The first is dealing with dead spots in the corners of totes. Mixing may take place in the center portion of your tote, but the flow cannot reach the corners preventing the entire batch from being mixed thoroughly. This most commonly occurs in thicker, more viscous materials. A second common problem is the appearance of side currents in the tote corners commonly referred to as as an eddy or a side swirl. These eddies disrupt effective mixing by turning rotating flow into a streamlike flow, effectively eliminating an even mixture around the perimeter of the mixing tote. Lastly, the third obstacle is whole batch mixing with challenging materials such as adhesives and sealants. Depending on your choice of impeller, upon exceeding 5000 centipoise (a centimeter-gram measurement to measure sticky, thick, or adhesive substances), the impeller has a high risk of malfunction or even breaking.
The key to maximizing your tote mixing is achieving radial and axial flow with the proper amount of torque. The question is, how can this be accomplished? One simple solution is found in the folding impeller. This unique imeller is attached to the end of your mixing shaft and in the folded position it can easily be inserted in the top entry of your tote. The folding impeller is then folded out in the mixing process to achieve axial and radial flow inside your tote reaching potential dead spots and eliminating side flow or eddies. To solve for mixing highly viscous materials, our uniquely designed Heavy Duty Folding Impeller is twice as thick with more surface area than the standard folding impeller. A closed Heavy Duty Folding Impeller can easily fit through the 2" NPT fitting or the top entry of a tote.
Mixing in an IBC tote is a great way to save time and money on lost materials from transferring your liquids into mixing vessels. Every process is unique in the demands of the ingredients and will always require some level of customization to achieve the desired outcome, but our standard tote mixers are engineered to be as universal as possible, making them affordable, effective and versatile.