Ribbon blenders are frequently used in many different processing applications around the world. As such, they are used for blending thousands of various types of products ranging from agricultural products to food and beverages to pharmaceutical products. Among the reasons that the ribbon blender is one of the most common types of mixing and blending machines in service is that it is so cost-efficient and versatile. The simple design of the ribbon blender also makes it much easier to clean and maintain. Although the ribbon blender is not a new invention, technological advancements have led to improved design, making it possible for this mixer to blend even more efficiently. This type of blender can prove to be particularly beneficial for the food and beverage industry, as it improves consistency, a quality that is imperative when producing food products.
Ribbon blenders typically feature circular blades running the entire length of the blender. Rotating at about 300 feet per minute, these blades work to agitate the relevant mixture quickly. There are three different types of ribbon blenders. They are the paddle/ribbon mixer, double-ribbon mixer, and paddle-only mixer. In the double ribbon blender, there is an inner ribbon and an outer ribbon. The outer ribbon on the blender works to push the mixture toward the center of the mixer, while the inner ribbon pushes the mixture away from the center. In the paddle/ribbon blender, paddles replace the outer ribbon. The benefit of paddles is that less heat and friction are created.
There are also three basic design choices for ribbon blenders. They are the cylindrical shell, U-shaped shell, and semi-cylindrical shell. Of the three options, the U-shaped shell typically offers easier cleaning, while the cylindrical shell is able to withstand higher pressures. Heat is transferred more efficiently with the semi-cylindrical shell.