Polymers are manufactured in the form of powders, emulsions or solution. Mixing Polymers with EvenMix, it is necessary to mix these polymers together for uniform physical properties. This mixing is done in various types of mixers, such as agitators and dispersers. For the production of polymer blends, it is essential to understand the complex thermodynamics that are involved in this process. This includes the interaction between the different components, characterization of their molecular weight distribution and the effects of catalyst concentration on polymer characteristics.
In addition, there are a variety of chemistry methods that can be used to control the compatibility of different polymer systems and improve the performance of the final product. Some of these chemistry methods include using aminated polymers and grafted polymers. These can increase the molecular weight distribution of the polymer and enhance its performance.
Many companies utilize complex mixtures of polymers for their processes. These complex mixtures are often made of a combination of homologous or heterologous materials and can range in composition from pure monomers to complete amorphous or crystalline polymer alloys. The main reason for making these complex polymer systems is to save on cost by combining an expensive material with a less expensive one. However, other factors such as processing performances or mechanical properties also influence the choice of a particular polymer combination. For example, a polymer blend of an amorphous and a crystalline material can provide high dimensional stability at a lower cost.
When the mixtures are mixed in tote containers, the temperature of the liquid and vapor pressure of the polymer blend affect their phase behavior. This is especially important for the formation of a slurry or emulsion. For example, if the vapor pressure of the amorphous polymer is higher than that of the crystalline one, the slurry may separate into two distinct phases. The slurry can also develop stringers and fisheyes. To avoid these problems, the vapor pressure of the mixture must be equal to or lower than that of the solids.
A slurry or emulsion is easier to handle, transport and feed than dry polymers. However, when the slurry is ready to use, it needs to be dehydrated. This is usually done by using an automatic dry polymer dilution or eductor system. This can be followed by the aging of the slurry in a conditioning tank.
In general, the blending of polymers is not an easy task. This is because the chemistry of polymers has a strong effect on their miscibility, which can lead to poor and inconsistent results. The enthalpy of mixing can be estimated using the lattice theory developed by Flory and Huggins for mixing in polymer solutions. However, there are some limitations to this method for estimating the enthalpy of mixing in polymer blends.
EvenMix, a powerful tote mixer from EvenFlow Technologies, is revolutionizing the way these types of mixtures are handled. The light-weight design and innovative mixing blade setup makes it simple to install and use, even in a one-person operation. Birmingham from the City of Titusville, Florida has been using EvenMix for mixing their polymer blends in IBCs for water treatment applications. During our visit, Birmingham discussed how the lightweight nature of the machine and its easy-to-use interface have greatly improved their operational efficiency.