Australian scientists have developed a new mixer and heat exchanger for highly viscous fluids that, they claim, is not only more efficient than traditional approaches, but consumes less energy and occupies a smaller industrial footprint to boot. And it does so without the need for stirrers, impellers and plates.
The new ‘RAMeX system’ was developed by Dr Guy Metcalfe and Dr Murray Rudman from the CSIRO Manufacturing & Materials Technology fluid dynamics laboratories in Melbourne, Australia.
Laboratory trials of the system have shown it can produce homogenous heating or cooling through a smaller heat exchange unit at a faster rate than can be matched by typical mixers using shell-in- tube (jackets) or annular (tube-in-tube) heat exchangers.
‘Trials have shown that the RAMeX provides a single solution to the task of mixing and temperature control in highly viscous fluids that are used in food processing, polymer processing and in the mixing of explosives,’ Dr Metcalfe said.
The RAMeX is also expected to be less expensive to manufacture than most current mixers. It can be used as a batch mixer, or, for in-line continuous mixing.
The CSIRO patented technology is now awaiting commercial development.