MUNSON® agitators are equipped as standard with a flange-mounted shaft that can be lifted vertically for easy removal and servicing. The design also eliminates the need for gasketing in the material path, and the need to reserve floor space for removal of the agitator horizontally through an end panel. (Single-piece agitators with integral journals also available.)
Heavy-wall, wide diameter, hollow agitator shafts are stronger and more rigid than solid shafts. Precision-machined, solid journals are supported by heavy pillow-block bearings for ultra-high strength and rigidity. Thick, one-piece, solid support arms extend fully through the main shaft and are fully seal-welded, adding to the extremely rigid construction of these blenders, allowing unsurpassed agitator-to-vessel wall tolerances.
Split-ribbon agitators are equipped with radial arms that support sections of ribbon-shaped agitator blades mounted in a semi-helical arrangement. Blades extending to the vessel wall are pitched to move material in one direction, while inboard blades are pitched to move material in the opposite direction. Originated by MUNSON, this split-ribbon design blends more rapidly and thoroughly than continuous ribbon elements. It also provides greater surface area than paddle or plow elements, while blending a wider range of free-flowing materials including low-viscosity slurries, typically in 5 to 10 minutes, making this the most popular element for horizontal agitated blender applications.
Paddle agitators consist of shafts with radial arms that support numerous, short paddles that move the material in smaller zones over shorter distances with greater cutting action than ribbon blades, preventing the entire batch from being turned on its axis. While this increases cycle times marginally, paddle agitators can handle materials that interlock, flow poorly, or tend to "log roll" when using ribbon agitators. In addition, paddle agitators can handle certain high-viscosity slurries and abrasive materials more effectively than ribbon agitators. Replaceable hardened-steel wear plates can be bolted to paddle faces for increased abrasion resistance.
When used in U-shaped vessels at standard or low speeds, a plow element will "fold" material in short zones, moving it away from the vessel wall in the process. While it will effectively blend over time, a plow element is primarily utilized to keep blended material in motion gently while it is undergoing a chemical reaction or being heated, cooled, moisturized, pasteurized, dried, wetted, or otherwise conditioned — while maintaining blend uniformity.
(Note that standard, slow-speed plow blenders are radically different in form and function from high-speed cylindrical plow blenders shown above.)