Types of Agitators in Reactor

An agitator is a device which is used to import motion in the form of stirring to the liquids or semi solids. 

Types of vortex by impellers

The agitator is a device which contains a shaft and an impeller/propeller. 

The shaft is connected to the gear box and the assembly is driven by motors using electricity.

The purpose of agitators can be for mixing liquids, solids, slurries, pastes, mixing liquids and gases, mixing solids and gases, promote chemical reactions, promote heat transfer, etc. 

An agitator is installed in the vessel to ensure that the contents in the vessel become uniform and homogeneous and remain in a proper mixed state. 

Since they have such wide variety of uses, the agitators are used in a multitude of industries such as chemical, process, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, metal extractions, ink, paint etc.

Agitators are used in a variety of industrial processes such as for carrying out a chemical reaction, for mixing operations, for filtration, for drying, for heat exchange, etc. 

The agitators are able to cater to such wide variety of applications because there are a variety of impellers which come in different shapes and sizes.

Types of Agitators

  1. Turbine Agitators
  2. Paddle Agitators
  3. Anchor Agitators
  4. Propeller Agitators
  5. Helical Agitators

1. Turbine Agitators

These agitators have an axial input and the output is radial. 

Turbine agitators are very versatile; they are able to handle a wide variety of mixing operations because these agitators can create turbulent movement of the fluid due to the combination of rotational as well as centrifugal motion. 

They are popularly used in metal extraction industries and also for chemical reactions and have a very high blending efficiency. These are mostly used in chemical, pharmaceuticals, grease, cosmetics industries.

2. Paddle Agitators

It is one of the most basic types of agitator. It contains blades which are paddle shaped; the blades stretch throughout the vessel and reach the walls of the vessel. 

They are primarily used in applications where a uniform laminar flow of the liquids and little shearing is desired. This type of agitator is especially used for viscous materials. 

These are mostly used in food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, sorbitol etc industries

3. Anchor Agitators

As the name indicates the shape of the impeller resembles that of the anchor. 

These agitators also extend and spread throughout the vessel such that there is very less clearance between the blades and the walls of the vessel. 

These agitators are also used when laminar flow conditions are desirable. These impellers sweep the whole batch because the blades are almost in physical contact with the walls of the vessels. 

These agitators are used in ink, paint and adhesive industries.

4. Propeller Agitators

These have impellers that similar to marine type propellers. They have blades which taper towards the shaft to minimize centrifugal force and to promote axial flow. 

It means when this agitator operates the motion of fluid is such that the inlet flow is parallel to the shaft and the outlet flow is also parallel to the shaft, the ideal flow is axial in nature. 

They are primarily used in applications to stir low viscosity liquids. They are used in pharmaceuticals industries and also other industries which use suspensions as the agitators don’t let the solid particles settle.

5. Helical Agitators

The blades of the helical agitators are arranged in a structure of helix. 

The appearance is similar to how a threaded screw looks. The motion of the liquids in this type of agitator is also axial in nature due to the way the blades or the ribbons move while helical agitator is in operation. 

There is a vigorous motion of the fluids within the vessel when the agitator is in operation. It is used in polymer industries and other industries which require the use of quite viscous materials.

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Thanks for reading - Reactor Types of Agitators
Naitik Patel
Industrial Guide

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