The Application Of Different Mixing Tanks

Industries dealing with liquids—food, beverage, pharmaceuticals—rely on mixing tanks for the alchemy of blending, heating, and storage. Tools like mixing tanks ensure liquid products meet the gold quality, top-notch safety, and efficiency standards.

Designed for versatility, mixing tanks adapt to different applications, from chemicals to cosmetics, and choosing the right tank demands precision. In this exposé, we dive deep into what mixing tanks are, their intricate workings, and the diverse types modified for specific tasks.

Mixing tank

What Is A Mixing Tank & What Is It Used For?

Mixing tanks are among the most valuable machinery in industries dealing with liquids. But what exactly are they, and why do we need them?

These tanks blend, heat, cool, and store liquids, ensuring top-notch quality and efficiency. More than that, mixing tanks are the backbone of diverse sectors like food, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.

So, what are some of the main things that make up a mixing tank? Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • The Vessel: where it’s all held – be any shape, size, or openness, tailored to your liquid’s requirements.
  • The Agitator: The maestro creating the liquid dance. It can be top-mounted, bottom-mounted, or somewhere in between. Blades or propellers set the tempo, powered by electricity, pneumatics, hydraulics, or any energy source.
  • Deflectors: Baffles or deflectors keep the liquid ballet in check. Heating or cooling systems maintain the perfect temperature. Spargers or nozzles inject gases, adding a touch of drama.
  • Monitoring systems: Sensors and controllers keep an eagle eye on the mixing act. They monitor and adjust speed, power, torque, and more, ensuring a flawless performance.

Mixing objectives and liquid characteristics influence the design of different mixing tanks and can determine what they can do. But in the basics of things, there are six features they primarily focus on:

  1. Blend unifying liquids or solids into a seamless mixture, enhancing quality and taste.
  2. Dissolve: turning solids or gases into targeted liquid, boosting solubility and reactivity.
  3. Disperse: mixing liquids into droplets or particles, targeting mass transfer and stability.
  4. Emulsify: merging immiscible liquids into a harmonious texture, improving appearance and stability.
  5. React: Spark chemical reactions, producing new products with varied properties.
  6. Suspend: Prevent solids or liquids from settling, maintaining product homogeneity.

These machineries are found in many industries, but more commonly in the food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals (including cosmetics) industries. Mixing tanks whip up anything from soups and beverages to pharmaceutical ingredients and chemical mixtures.

mixing tank

Mixing Tanks: Different Tanks & Their Applications

From food to pharmaceuticals, these tanks wear many hats—blending, heating, cooling, and more. Yet, not all tanks play by the same rules.

You’ll be surprised by the diverse tank designs with different configurations and components can get. Choices like the liquid’s nature, mixing process, temperature, pressure, and sanitation standards can help decide your tank type. Let’s dissect the key tank types for varied applications:

Storage Tanks

As the name suggests, these tanks play a critical role – storing the product and holding raw, intermediate, or final concoctions pre or post-mixing. They come in various types, each tailored to specific needs. Let’s delve into the storage tank types:

  • Flat Bottom Tanks: Common for low vapor pressure liquids. API 650 compliant, open or closed, suited for large capacities.
  • Cone Roof Tanks: Ideal for low to medium vapor pressure liquids like gasoline. These are also API 650 compliant, with mainly a closed design and moderate cost.
  • Floating Roof Tanks: Battle high vapor pressure liquids, like crude oil. They are typically API 650 compliant, have an open design, and are suitable for large capacities.
  • Dome Roof Tanks: Guard high vapor pressure liquids, but at a cost. API 620 compliant, closed design for small to medium capacities.
  • Spherical Tanks: Handle high vapor pressure liquids with support. ASME-compliant, closed design for small to medium capacities.

The type of liquid plays a pivotal role in determining the design of the tank. This consideration directly affects crucial factors such as pressure, material selection, and safety measures.

Mixing Tanks

Mixing tanks, equipped with various agitators, serve the complex purpose of blending, dissolving, dispersing, emulsifying, or reacting liquids or solids. Here’s a swift rundown of mixer types:

  • Propeller Mixer: High-speed, ideal for low-viscosity liquids like water, oil, and some chemicals.
  • Turbine Mixer: Moderate speed, great for medium viscosity liquids such as milk, juice, and certain chemicals.
  • Paddle Mixer: Low-speed for high-viscosity liquids like honey, syrup, and select chemicals.
  • Anchor Mixer: Low-speed, scrapes tank walls, suitable for very high viscosity liquids like paste, gel, and certain chemicals.

Choosing the right mixer hinges on critical factors like liquid type, mixing objective, time, power consumption, heat generation, and shear rate. It can often be a more difficult choice—demanding a meticulous analysis of fluid properties, mixing goals, and operational factors to strike the optimal balance between performance and cost.

Heating Tanks

A heating tank plays a critical role in transferring heat to liquids for temperature, solubility, reactivity, or availability tweaks. Two heating systems that make the most difference here are:

  1. Direct Heating: Swift and efficient, it directly blasts heat into the tank using steam, water, oil, or air. Ideal for low viscosity, low sensitivity liquids.
  2. Indirect Heating: A bit slow but steady, it indirectly warms things up using a separate medium circulated through a heat exchanger. Best for high viscosity or sensitivity liquids.

Choosing the right heating system involves dissecting factors like liquid type, heating objective, time, power consumption, and heat loss. It’s a no-nonsense task, demanding precision for optimal performance, reliability, and especially safety.

Emulsification Tanks

In any mixing industry, crafting perfection in texture, appearance, stability, and functionality is a key objective. But, the emulsifier—a game-changer—introduces complexity. To get a better understanding, you can break them up into three sections:

  1. Surfactant emulsifiers: Hydrophilic and hydrophobic techniques, ideal for oil-in-water emulsions ( like milk, cream, and mayo). Lecithin and sodium stearoyl lactylate are good examples of surfactant emulsifiers.
  2. Polymeric emulsifiers: Long-chain wonders ruling water-in-oil emulsions. Butter, margarine, and cosmetic creams bow to carboxymethyl cellulose and xanthan gum.
  3. Solid particle emulsifiers: The silent guardians of complex emulsions. Silica, clay, and starch—building barriers in water-in-oil-in-water or oil-in-water-in-oil setups.

Like any other mixer, the type of liquid remains essential, only identifying the emulsification goal, time, stability, and quality requirements. Your verdict shapes viscosity and power consumption – ultimately influencing cost. After all, it’s a meticulous performance of science and efficiency.

CIP Tanks

A “Cleaning in Place” (CIP) tank is all about automated, effortless cleaning for mixing tanks and gear, removing any major disassembly. Pipes, vessels, equipment, filters—CIP handles the grime in the industrial sectors. It’s the go-to for keeping things spotless, especially in the world of piping, tanks, and fillers. To get a better understanding of how they work, here are three types of their tanks:

  1. Single-use CIP Tank: For high hygiene standards, these tools use a fresh solution per cycle. Ideal for pharma, biotech, or dairy equipment (high-hygiene industries). They have a low water and chemical use and a very high cleaning quality.
  2. Reuse CIP Tank: generally used for moderate hygiene standards, these tools reuse solutions for multiple cycles. It is suited for food, beverage, or chemical equipment. They use high water and chemicals and offer a moderate cleaning quality.
  3. Recovery CIP Tank: typically for lower hygiene standards – recovering solution for reuse. These tools usually target industrial or wastewater equipment with low water and chemical use and low cleaning quality.

The type of equipment you need to clean, as well as the cleaning solution you need to use (and the cleaning objective), will all point toward what machine you need. Once you get that answered, you’ll then need to focus on the cleaning time and quality to fine-tune the exact CIP tank you need. After all, hygiene is among the most critical factors that need to be monitored and maintained in any mixing industry.


Mixing tank information:

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