Sigma Mixers are equipped with two mixing blades placed in a W-shaped horizontal trough. Various blade profiles have evolved, each of which is best suited for a particular type of application. The commonly used blade types are the sigma blade, masticator blade, shredder blade, naben (aka fishtail) blade, and spiral blade. The rotation of the blades is either tangential to each other or the blades may overlap within the trough. The blades rotate toward each other at the same or differential speeds. The blades pass the container walls and each other at close clearances (2-3 mm) resulting in homogeneous mixing. The close clearances produce very high shearing action thereby reducing any large particles.
These mixers produce a consistent particle size distribution without the need for additional high speed choppers. Homogeneous mixing is achieved within 10 to 30 minutes. Mixing homogeneity up to 99% and better can be achieved using the double arm kneader mixers. These mixers and their variants (double arm kneader mixer extruders) are capable of handling material with viscosity as high as 10 million centipoises. The power consumption in double arm kneader mixer is very high compared to other types of mixers and can range from 45 to 75 kW/m3 of mix material. The sigma blade mixer is the most commonly used type of double arm kneader mixer, and is best suited for all round use.
Applications of the Sigma Mixer
The sigma mixer is the best suited mixer for pasty, sticky, and gritty slurries with high viscosity. The following are some of the commonly used products that are mixed in the sigma mixer.
- Biscuit dough
- Butyl rubber
- Carbon pastes
- Chewing gum
- Crayon and pencil lead
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