Ultrasonic Tank Agitators
Ultrasonic tank agitators are mechanical agitators. Ultrasonic agitation mixes liquids with other liquids or solids to improve process kinetics in chemical, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturing. Hielscher Ultrasonics agitators range in size from lab agitators to industrial tank agitators for batch or in-line use.
Ultrasonic Tank Agitators
The purpose of tank agitation is the improvement of process kinetics. Ultrasonic tank agitators assist the following processes:
- Wetting & Dissolving of Solid Matters in Liquids
- Dispersing & Blending of Materials in Liquid Formulations, e.g. industrial, commercial or household detergents or other liquid cleaning agents
- Emulsification, e.g. mixing of two immiscible or almost immiscible liquids
- Botanical Extraction, e.g. oils from herbs, leafs or spices
- Cell Lysis (e.g. disruption and extraction of cells)
- Particle Surface Cleaning, e.g. of glass beads or milling media
- Particle Synthesis, e.g. bottom-up-synthesis or precipitation
- Chemical Reactions & Catalysis, e.g. in CSTRs (Continuously Stirred Tank Reactors)
For many processes, ultrasonic tank agitators can reduce the process time significantly. For example, instead of soaking botanicals for hours in a cold water extraction, agitation by ultrasonication can reduce the processing time to minutes or even seconds. The addition of ultrasonic probes to your existing batch reactors, is a simple method to reduce process time and to increase your production capacity effectively. By this, ultrasonic tank agitation helps to improve performance and to reduce production costs.
Ultrasonic Lab Agitators
Ultrasonic agitators are an essential tool in process research and development. While conventional agitators, often require a significant minimum volume, ultrasonic agitation can be used from as little as 150µL. Hielscher Ultrasonics makes compact handheld ultrasonic mixers and stand-mounted ultrasonic homogenizers for the agitation of various processes. Flowcell reactors are available for all Hielscher ultrasonic devices.
Industrial Ultrasonic Agitators
Hielscher ultrasonic agitators mix a wide range of substances in the manufacture of liquid products, such as paints, inks, color coatings, adhesives, or grease lubricants. Hielscher industrial agitators range from 500 watts to 16 kilowatts of ultrasonic power per single ultrasonic probe. You can use an arrangement of multiple ultrasonic probes for higher total ultrasonic output power.
Linear Scale-Up of Agitator Capacity
One of the key advantages of Hielscher ultrasonic agitators over conventional, traditional mechanical tank agitators is the perfectly linear scale-up. Any results from lab or pilot-scale agitation setups can be scaled up linearly to any larger size.
Ultrasonic Agitator Installation
You can retrofit industrial ultrasonic agitators to existing stirred tank reactors and combine them with other in-tank-mixer types. Alternatively, you can install the ultrasonic agitation probes in-line with a pump to recirculate your product through the ultrasonic reactor. Ultrasonication couples no heat into the product. The ultrasonic probe transmits mechanical energy in the form of mechanical vibrations, only. The liquid mix can heat up up as a result of friction in the liquid when moving.
Easy-to-Use Tank Agitation
Ultrasonic probe type agitators have no rotating seals. You can mount the probe flange in any direction, angle or position to a reactor tank or any other vessel. Therefore, the same ultrasonic probe is usable as top-entry agitator, side-entry agitator or bottom-entry agitator. You can mount ultrasonics probes for agitation to glass reactors, steel tanks, stainless tanks, or plastic containers, such as IBCs.
The intensity of agitation and the total ultrasonic power coupled into the liquid can be varied by the number and the size of the ultrasonic probes and by the amplitude of ultrasonic vibration. When using multiple ultrasonic probes in one tank, each probe is adjustable independently.
When using ultrasonic tank agitation for the mixing of high viscosity products such as grease lubricants, adhesives, polymers, resins or paints the combination of ultrasonics with a propellor agitator helps to produce more uniform process results.
Easy Clean-in-Place of Wetted Agitator Parts
Ultrasonic agitator probes are made of Titanium Grade 5. This Titanium is a very strong, lightweight and corrosion resistant alloy. General probe diameters vary from 1mm to 40mm for lab use and from 40mm to 90mm for industrial tank agitators. Therefore ultrasonic agitators require small tank ports, only.
Ultrasonic tank agitators can be cleaned easily, because ultrasonic agitators have very simple rotary symmetric geometries and no rotary seals, that can leak or wear out.
During Clean-In-Place procedures (CIP), the ultrasonic probes can assist by intense ultrasonic cleaning.
Facts Worth Knowing About Tank Agitators
There are various mechanisms of agitation and several types of agitation machines. This includes:
- Stirrers (anchor and frame agitators, radial propellor agitators)
- Turbine Agitators, Pitch Blade Turbines
- Paddle Agitators
- Magnetic Stir Bars
Many mechanical tank agitators are creating a very low intensity of agitation due to the limited speed of motion and the lack of cavitation. Ultrasonic agitation is a very intense means of mechanical process agitation. Every second, ultrasonication creates more than 20,000 mechanical vibrations in the liquid. This results in intense mixing and forceful shear forces that are useful in the creation of many product formulations. A two-blade propeller would need to run at 600,000 RPM to match that frequency.
Applications of Ultrasonic Tank Agitator
Ultrasonic tank agitators work in a variety of processes world-wide, such as:
- Minerals Leaching
- Environmental Technology
- Bioethanol Production
- Biodiesel Production
- Anaerobic Fermentation
- Liquid Food and Sauces
- Paints, Coatings, Varnishes, Inks and Colorants
- Refinery Technology and Petrochemistry (e.g. desulfurization)
- Paper industry
- Cosmetics Industry (making of creams and lotions)
- Agriculture (e.g. seed priming)
- Pharmaceutical industry (e.g. vaccines, lotions and ointments)
- Botanicals Extraction (e.g. by ultrasonic cell lysis)