What Is a Planetary Mixer?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A planetary mixer is a mixing device designed for thick pastes and fluids that need to be thoroughly intermixed and in some cases de-aerated. The mixer includes a set of blades that lower into a bowl or tub and rotate to evenly mix the contents. Some may include scraper paddles to pull materials from the sides and bottom into the mix as it processes. This ensures a very homogeneous mix without pockets of unmixed material or air.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

These industrial mixers can be useful for the production of foods, adhesives, and pharmaceutical products, among others. Depending on the design, some can handle very high viscosity materials as well as aggregates that may contain pieces of different sizes and densities. The planetary mixer design can also operate extremely quickly, depending on the material, with some designs creating a uniform mix in less than a minute while thicker, larger, and more complex mixtures may require more time.

Some designs are closed to limit spills and prevent contamination, while others are open. It is possible to change the blades for different applications. Some manufacturers can produce custom blade configurations by request for customers with special needs. The planetary mixture’s speed can be adjusted by the technician, and some may have pulse or reverse functions for special mixing applications. Safety measures like an emergency stop button are also available to protect workers who may be around the equipment while it is in use to do their jobs.

The capacity of a planetary mixer can vary. Some have extremely deep bowls and the ability to accommodate a range of sizes, while others may be more limited. Companies considering the purchase of a planetary mixer may want to evaluate their needs carefully to determine which products would be most suitable. It is also important to think about the possibility that needs may change in the future, requiring a larger mixer or one with options like interchangeable blades and mixing bowls.

This equipment may be leased by companies that want to test out different models or need temporary mixing capability. Used equipment is also available, and some manufacturers offer a trial period to prospective customers. They can try out a piece of equipment with no obligation to determine if it will suit their needs. Service packages may also be available through the manufacturer for a fee to allow a company to get planetary mixer service and repair from an experienced technician.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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