Electric Stirrers vs. Air Stirrers: Which is Right for You?
Whether mixing a gallon of paint, or a large batch of hand sanitizer, INDCO has the appropriate stirrer for every industry application. Our propeller-type stirrers come in a variety of models including electric and air-powered and are suitable for small batch industrial production or laboratory applications.
However, it’s important to remember that not all stirrers are created equally.
Typically, stirrers are used to mix smaller batch sizes from as little as a pint up to 30 gallons. In addition to the product ingredients being mixed, mixing-station operating environment, available power source and workflow requirements should be considered before making a stirrer purchase.
INDCO’s electric stirrers and air stirrers provide different value propositions to different industries. While both provide a similar end result by combining materials, their differences lie in how they generate power, suitability for working with flammable materials and torque performance.
Electric stirrers are powered by electric motors. These small, fractional horsepower units typically plug into a common 120V outlet and include a reliable speed control ensuring stable, constant flow while producing a consistent product every time. Because they provide predictable output and process results electric stirrers are a common choice for industries such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage, cosmetics. These models are available in multiple torque ranges to suit the properties of ingredients to be mixed. Higher viscosity formulations generally require higher torque.
Air stirrers utilize industrial air compressors to drive their motors. The compressor output must provide air pressure at a specified flow rate to fully power the air motor. Consult the air motor performance curve for your selected model’s motor to determine if the available compressed air source is sufficient. Due to the compressibility of air torque is much less consistent than with electric motors, especially at low speeds. As speed and pressure in the system increases torque output becomes more stable. Air stirrers are often selected for use in hazardous environments as they are considered intrinsically safe versus electrically powered stirrers. Additionally, air stirrers can be lighter-weight than electric models and will not burn out due to power overload.
For industries such as ink, paint, chemical and petroleum that incorporate flammable materials into their composition, air stirrers are the preferred, safer option. Handheld air-powered models are often chosen in the construction industry.
As always, INDCO’s customer service team and engineers are available to work with you to customize your stirrer and work-station configuration to meet any application. Below is a list of important information to have on hand when contacting an INDCO representative:
- Minimum and maximum batch volume.
- Mixing vessel dimensions.
- Initial ingredient and final product viscosities.
- Specific gravity or weight per gallon of ingredients.
- Corrosive or flammable properties.
- Solubility of solids and concentrations used.
- Desired process outcomes.
- Process description.
- Sequence of ingredient addition.
- Previous processes successfully used.
Whatever your stirring needs, INDCO provides unparalleled quality with unparalleled care. To talk to a customer service representative or work with one of our engineers, visit our contact page today or call us at 1-800-851-1049.