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High-shear mixer (Ⅲ) - High Shear Mixing VS. Homogenizing: What's the Difference?

Feb. 22, 2022

When your goal is to create a uniform combination of two or more materials that don't mix together easily, you have several options for which method of mixing you use. Two of the most effective options are high shear mixing and homogenizing.

High Shear Mixing VS. Homogenizing: What's the Difference?

High shear mixers and dispersers are frequently used in a variety of industries, including the chemical, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries. Here at Canaan, we offer varying degrees of high shear mixers, which are a popular choice for businesses requiring liquid mixers or laboratory mixers and employ a “flow-driven” process to achieve results. Made up of a stationary stator and an inside rotor, or impeller, that turns at high speeds, high shear mixers are often used for emulsification, homogenization, particle size reduction, and dispersion. Mixing speed required to achieve a uniform mix will depend on various properties of the ingredients, such as their viscosity.

By contrast, high pressure homogenization breaks down particles and creates a uniform substance by forcing substances through a narrow space. This method uses force in combination with high levels of pressure to create a consistent and uniform mix. Typically, the high pressure homogenization process is best suited for both micro and nano-emulsions.

Comparison of homogenization mechanism between high shear homogenizer and high pressure homogenizer

ComparisonHigh Shear MixerHigh Pressure Homogenizer
Macroscopic homogenization mechanismShearingIt is mainly realized by the synthesis effect of droplet sheared in the gap of high speed rotating rotor and stator, and the rotor - stator small hole jet.When the liquid flows through the gap at high pressure, the droplet is extended first, and then the extended part is sheared and broken by the vortex action through the valve.
ImpactHigh speed rotating droplets are driven by inertial centrifugal force, which has great impact force and thus resulting in impact.In the gap of the homogeneous valve, the high speed fluid outlet is disposed with a retainer ring, thus resulting in high-speed impact.
CavitationThe centrifugal force causes the liquid without entering the annular gap to have a certain pressure, and enters the annular gap to become a high speed rotating liquid flow. After the liquid leaves the stator hole, the pressure rises again, so there is also a cavitation.The static pressure of liquid flow at the inlet is very high, when through the slit, static pressure can be converted into kinetic energy, the pressure quickly dropped significantly, in the gap resulting in transient cavitation, leaving the gap the pressure rise and the hole disappeared, so that the droplet broken.
Microscopic homogenization mechanismThe droplet flow situation of the high shear homogenizer rotating at a high speed is quite complicated, mainly controlled by the constant velocity of flow on the surface of the droplet and the resulting pulsating pressure, which caused a split droplet tension, droplet rupture.The energy supplied by the high pressure homogenizer to the droplet rupture is derived from the extremely high static pressure carried by the droplets at the inlet.

High Shear Mixing VS. Homogenizing: What's the Difference?cid=409

High Shear Mixing VS. Homogenizing: What's the Difference?cid=409

By studying the working principle of the two, we can see that the high shear homogenizer is mainly due to the high shear effect of the relative high speed motion between the stator and rotor, accompanied by strong cavitation the material particles were dispersed, refined and homogenized; and high-pressure homogenizer is mainly due to high-pressure fluid to produce a strong, full hole effect and turbulence in the fluid dispersed phase particles to achieve homogeneous purpose. It is easy to understand that the high pressure homogenizer is suitable for the treatment of soft and semi-soft granular materials due to the strong cavitation. It is found that the most effective force field for the pulverization of the fiber is shear force and grinding force, the impact force at room temperature is incapable for the fiber, and the high shear mixer can produces a strong shear and grinding effect on the material, so the high shear homogenizer is more suitable for the treatment of more fiber or high viscosity, hard particles material.


The difference between high shear homogenizer and high pressure homogenizer

ItemHigh Shear MixerHigh Pressure Homogenizer
Raw material requirementsPowder, lumps or fruit can be directly inputThe material must first be melted and mixed into a fluid to be homogenized
Wearing partsNo replacement parts within two years, no wearing partsHomogeneous valves and seals need to be replaced frequently for two or three months, with greater maintenance effort, especially under high pressure
Production operationFlexible, simple, no need special operationNeed special operation and adjustment
Energy consumptionPower consumption is 1/3 for the high pressure homogenizerHigh power consumption, waste of energy
Application rageWide range of applicationsNot suitable for high viscosity materials
AcidityStrong adaptabilityWeak adaptability
Homogeneous effectHomogeneous fineness up to 1μm below, good stabilityHomogeneous fineness small, good stability. In some industries, however, the results are poor
Comprehensive effectMixing, sterilizing, homogenizing complete at the same timeCan only be used separately
Cleaning methodAutomatic cleaningCleaning complex

Which Method and Tools Are Right for Your Mixing Needs?

Ready to learn more? Explore our range of high shear mixing equipment, including state-of-the-art blades like our F – blade, which is interchangeable with all other manufacturer's standard high shear blades and in fact, will last much longer and produce more sheer and pumping action. Or, take a look at our D – blade, also known as the “Ring” blade, a patented innovation that handles the toughest pigment agglomerates, rapidly dissolves resins, gums, and similar materials. Also be sure to consider our high shear mixers like the rotor stator which utilizes a rotor and a stationary stator that typically operates at very high speeds, creating a vortex circulating the product through the gap between the rotor and stator, resulting in a very homogeneous dispersion.

Still unsure which machine will best meet your needs? The Canaan team is here to help. Contact us for more information about our products and how they can best serve you and your business needs.

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