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Electric VS. Pneumatic Mixers

Pneumatic or electric?

The users often don’t understand all the factors to consider when making the decision to use an air motor or an electric motor mixer. While a mixer’s motor type is largely determined by the plant environment, the value of considering several important factors is substantial when each consideration point is thoroughly understood.

RISK OR NOT?

If you are working with any material that contains volatile chemicals, solvents, lacquers, or other flammable materials, you’ll want to invest in an air mixer. Air mixers use compressed air to power the propeller, so you don’t have any risk of ignition due to an electrical spark.

If you’re not working with a flammable material, an electric mixer is what you need. Electric paint mixers allow for easy regulation of the mixing speed and all models include overload protection and an enclosed control box that guard components from splashes or spills.

APPLIED TORQUE

Torque is the most important and accurate measure in mixing.

Air motors have a distinct advantage in this area because they dynamically load torque. Essentially, an air motor adjusts its torque output to match the necessary torque requirement of the application.

An electric motor is designed to run consistently at a given speed. If the motor is overloaded, one of two things will happen; either a breaker will relieve the load, or the motor will fail prematurely and require replacement. When an air motor is overloaded, the pressure will simply increase until it bypasses, which does not damage its motor.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The biggest drawback of air motors is that they are less efficient than their electric counterparts. This is evident from the fact that an electric motor drives the air compressor, which supplies the air to drive the air motor. Energy input (air pressure) is lost at various points in the pipes, elbows, and fittings, which can drop the efficiency of the system to less than 20% of a direct drive electric motor.

SPEED CONTROL

One of the benefits of air motors is that they can achieve variable speeds by adjusting the air control valve. With an electric motor, there are variable speed control options available, but they substantially increase the price of the motor being offered.

How to select the right mixer?

Container capacity: tank diameter and height.

Material viscosity: “thickness” of the liquid. Different types of liquids display unique characteristics when force is applied. A higher viscous material will require a higher power motor mixer.

Motor speed: the max. RPM of mixer shaft. If speed is too slow, then won’t mix the material properly, if speed is too faster, then increase the amount of air into the material.

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