What Is a Submersible Mixer?

Mary McMahon

A submersible mixer rotates inside a tank of fluids to create a suspension, break up solids, or limit stratification. Such devices are commonly used in wastewater treatment and also have applications in industrial processes like producing paints, pharmaceuticals, pulps, and slurries. They can be paired with other mixing equipment in some settings; for example, an overhead agitator may be added to mix from the top as well as from within.

After passing through municipal sewage lines, wastewater is often processed with the help of a submersible mixer.
After passing through municipal sewage lines, wastewater is often processed with the help of a submersible mixer.

This equipment features a series of canted blades rotated by a motor. As the blades turn, they create a whorl in the liquid mixture, encouraging it to circulate. They are designed to operate in submerged conditions and shouldn’t clog or halt. As material moves through the mixer, it can also be chopped and broken apart, ensuring that solids inside the tank are of uniform size and consistency.

For processing of wastewater, a submersible mixer can help maintain a consistent suspension of solids within a liquid slurry. This makes it easier to fully aerate the mixture and move it through the stages of processing, from raw sewage to fully treated materials. Similar equipment can be useful for manure storage, processing waste from slaughterhouses, and in similar environments.

Another use for a submersible mixer is in manufacturing and industrial production. Mixers inside large tanks can create and maintain suspensions of materials like paper pulp. The fully mixed material can be routed to the next stage of processing to make room for a fresh load. This allows for the processing of extremely high volumes of material in large tanks used at pharmaceutical, chemical, and other companies.

Size and performance can vary. Some equipment is designed to be energy efficient and may turn more slowly or have other features intended to reduce overall energy use. The speed is typically adjustable to allow technicians to control for various situations and halt mixing when necessary. It may also be possible to completely remove a submersible mixer for maintenance and inspection while the tank is still full, usually by mounting the equipment on a rail or track.

The best option for a given setting can depend on what is being mixed and the future requirements of the facility. Submersible mixers should be appropriately sized and capable of handling the conditions in tanks that may have thick, heavy slurries. It may also be necessary to consider the possibility of increased workloads in the future which might require high speed processing with a submersible mixer to keep pace.

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