Skip to the main content.

2 min read

Axials vs. Radial Flow Impellers: What's the Difference?

Axials vs. Radial Flow Impellers: What's the Difference?

Axial and radial flow impellers are rotating industrial mixer components designed for various types of mixing. Both types of impellers are primarily constructed from stainless steel.

Impellers impart flow. They serve the purpose of transferring the energy from the motor to the substance of a tank as efficiently as possible. Impellers are organized by their flow patterns.  The question to be answered is, what is the difference between axial and radial flow impellers? Simply put, Axial patterns run parallel to the blade. Radial patterns run perpendicular to the blade.

What Are Mixing Impellers Used For?

Impellers are used in mixing tanks for a wide variety of industries and unique applications. This can include, but is not limited to liquid-liquid, solid-liquid, and powder-liquid mixing applications.

Radial and Axial Flow Impellers

When you want to fix your mixing vessel or tank with an impeller, it is important you choose the right type for the application. Two major categories of mixing blades include axial and radial impellers.

Axial impellers


axial flow cat page headerAxial impellers are best for mixing applications that require stratification or solid suspension. Axial impellers are set up to create effective top to bottom motion in the tank. This motion is highly effective when placed over the center of a baffled tank.

Some common types of axial flow impellers include: marine impellers, pitched blade impellers, and hydrofoils. Hydrofoil impellers are also known as high efficiency impellers. They are a popular choice for applications that require a range from general blending to storage tanks. This is largely due to the greatest pumping per horsepower, cost effectiveness, and are ideal for shear sensitive applications.

Radial Impellers

Radial impellers are designed in 4-6 blades. In radial flow impellers, the fluid moves perpendicularly toradial flow turbine small cat page the impeller. They produce a radial flow pattern which moves the contents of the mixing tank to the sides of the vessel. The radial flow impacts the side which causes in either an up or down direction which fills the top top and the bottom of the impeller to be ejected once more. It is also important to note that setting up baffles helps to minimize vortexing and swirling motions in the tank, therefore, enhancing agitation efficiency. Radial impellers are a great fit for low-level applications inside longer tanks based upon the production of higher shear due to the angle of attack.

Selecting Impellers

Before you embark on a mixing project, there are four major aspects to consider when selecting an impeller: viscosity, flow pattern, tank design and placement, and impeller construction materials. you need to understand the principle requirements. To discover the the best impeller for your mixing process, we highly recommend contacting one of our technical sales engineers to help assess the right impeller for the job. Simply click the “contact us” button below to get started.