The Art and Science of Industrial Mixing

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Course Overview

You will learn what it takes to achieve good mixing and how to apply practical ideas to your processes. During the course, you will learn about:

  • The fundamental relationships for impeller power, pumping capacity, blend time, shear rate, and flow patterns
  • Different fluid mixing applications including liquid blending, solids suspension, powder addition, gas-liquid, and liquid-liquid dispersion
  • How and when to use different types of impellers
  • Relationships for determining, establishing, quantifying, and achieving process requirements
  • The basics of mechanical design for mixers
  • Typical components of mixing equipment, including tanks, motors, drives, seals, shafts, and impellers

Upon completion of this course you will be prepared to:

  • Apply mixing fundamentals to your process applications
  • Understand the importance of flow patterns
  • Evaluate and quantify mixer performance for new or existing mixers using a Mixing Intensity Index
  • Calculate mixer power and other operating characteristics
  • Do geometrically similar scale-up calculations
  • Identify ways to improve your mixing intensive processes

Who Should Attend?

This practical course will be especially valuable to those who are new to the field of mixing or those with past experience who need a practical update. Engineers and scientists who must convert process and product objectives into practical results will learn how. This course will be immediately useful to those who are involved in:

  • Day-to-day mixing applications
  • Process improvement
  • Processes for new products
  • New equipment installations
  • Retrofits and replacements
  • Expansions

Additional Information

Please Note: Bring a scientific calculator for use during the problem-solving sessions of the course

Course Outline

Mixing Terminology and Concepts

  • Processes
  • Equipment
  • Technology
  • Flow, shear, and pumping capacity

Mixing Impellers

  • General purpose
  • Special purpose
  • Different uses

Impeller Power

  • Power measurements
  • Dimensionless numbers
  • Power correlations
  • Viscosity effects
  • Torque

Essentials of Mixer Design

  • Quantity
  • Difficulty
  • Intensity
  • Mixing Intensity Index
  • Liquid blending
  • Blending applications

Mixer Performance Calculations

  • Problem set
  • Solution

Flow Patterns

  • Axial, radial, and rotational flow
  • Computer models of fluid velocity
  • Radial, mixed, and axial flow impellers
  • Viscosity effects
  • Tank geometry effects

Liquid-Liquid Mixing

  • Design for blending applications
  • Blend time estimation
  • Immiscible liquid dispersion
  • Drop size and tip speed
  • High-shear dispersers

Mixer Demonstration

  • Mixer performance
  • Effect of baffles
  • Different impellers
  • Performance comparisons

Solid-Liquid Mixing

  • Solids suspension applications
  • Levels of suspension
  • Dry solids incorporation
  • High-shear dispersers

Gas-Liquid Dispersion

  • Dispersion applications
  • Degrees of dispersion
  • Dispersion mechanisms
  • Impellers for gas dispersion
  • Mass transfer

Heat Transfer

  • Heat transfer applications
  • Types of heat transfer
  • Correlations and approximations

Static Mixers

  • Mixer types
  • Mixing characteristics


  • Geometric similarity
  • Scale-up rules

Mixer Scale-up Calculations

  • Problem set
  • Solution

Overview of Mixing Equipment

  • Equipment components
  • Similarities with all mixers

Tanks for Mixers

  • Tank dimensions and characteristics
  • Mixer mounting


  • Electric motors
  • Motor enclosures
  • Explosion-proof motors

Mixer Drives

  • Drive features
  • Gears, bearings, and belts

Shaft Seals

  • Lip seals
  • Stuffing boxes
  • Mechanical seals

Mixer Shafts

  • Design for strength
  • Design for critical speed

Mixing Impellers

  • Practical design features
  • Materials of construction

Summary and Review


Elaine Andrysick

Elaine M. Andrysick, joined Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a continuing engineering education specialist in 1988.  She is responsible for the development and delivery of high-value continuing engineering education short courses for practicing professionals in the areas of chemical and process engineering and laser material processing.  Also, she manages the University’s Laser Welding Certificate program.

David Dickey

David S. Dickey, Ph.D., is an independent consultant with MixTech, Inc., in Coppell, Texas. His experience is unique in the field of mixing and scale-up since he has had exposure to both the theoretical and practical aspects of real problems, having learned about successes and failures. During more than 23 years with process equipment manufacturers, he has engineered liquid mixing equipment, powder blending equipment, viscous mixing equipment, static mixers, and other industrial process equipment. He has published numerous technical articles and book chapters and was one of the contributing editors of the handbook, Advances in Industrial Mixing (Wiley, 2015).

His diverse equipment background developed out of a technical background with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, followed by master’s and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from Purdue University. In 2005, Dickey received the North American Mixing Forum Award for Excellence and Sustained Contributions to Mixing Research and Practice.


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Program Director

Elaine Andrysick

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