MAS 2012 Proceeding

Advanced design of industrial mixers for fluid foods using computational fluid dynamics

Authors:   Davide Marchini, Federico Solari, Mattia Armenzoni, Roberto Montanari, Marta Rinaldi, Eleonora Bottani, Gino Ferretti, Giuseppe Vignali


This work focuses on discontinuous (batch) vertical fluid mixing systems for food fluids with particles. The purpose was to identify the main structural and geometrical parameters that can influence the mixing process, in order to obtain useful indications for the design of mixing systems. The products examined are Newtonian multiphase fluids, with different viscosity values. A properly designed mixing process has to provide two main results a satisfactory homogeneity of the product and the preservation of the integrity of solid particles. Different mixer designs were thus analyzed to identify the structural factors which have the greatest impact on the above requirements. In particular, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software was used to carry out a series of simulations, from which some Key Performance Indicators (KPI) related to the effectiveness of the different mixer configurations were derived. From those KPIs, some main conclusions were derived, that can be useful to choose the appropriate design solutions for fluid mixers.

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