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Process plant for thickener solution production

Thickeners, stabilisers and polymers require high colloidal breakdown and maximum dispersion at the moment of wetting.

Immediately after hydration, they are extremely sensitive to shear. Conventional agitation over the liquid surface easily causes agglomerate and lump formation. The same problem also occurs during induction via the container vacuum or injectors.

During dispersion of these agglomerates, part of the thickening action or of the polymers is destroyed irreversibly.

Industry:
Household and cosmetics industry
End product:

All products containing thickeners, stabilisers, polymers

Application:

Inducting and dispersion of thickeners, stabilisers and polymers

The customer requirements:

  • Batch size: > 100 litres
  • Degree of automation: Fully automatically
  • Powder feed: Manual, controlled speed
  • Cleanability: CIP / “Cleaning in Place”
  • Fluid addition Automatic
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Advantages compared to the previous process:

ystral has developed a system that inducts powder in a controlled manner and feeds it into the process: The primary particles of the powdered polymer are separated before being introduced into the liquid by vacuum expansion. As a result, the particles are wetted completely on first contact with the liquid, immediately dispersed and then hydrated without agglomeration. 

  • No agglomerates are formed in this process. 
  • The ratio of powder to liquid is precisely measured and controlled.
  • Maximum effects can be achieved even with low polymer use. Viscosity, thixotropy index, transparency, film formation and wetting behaviour, as well as many other properties, reach unprecedented levels. 
  • Subsequent, uncontrolled thickening is prevented.
  • The plant is used to disperse carbomers, polyethylene oxides, cellulose ethers, xanthans, bentons, phyllosilicates and all other rheological additives.
  • The process control is perfectly matched to the processed polymers and the respective processing method. Adaptation takes place via the integrated plant control.
  • The process plant can be cleaned using defined cleaning processes on-site and without major disassembly.
  • The system functions either as a stand-alone unit or as a side-pot unit within existing systems.
  • Functionality remains unaffected even in potentially explosive environments.
  • Completely hygienic design, completely drainable, non-ex, completely ex or for the processing of dust-ex-powders in non-ex areas

The system shown here was developed for extremely fast-hydrating polyethylene oxide polymers with a molecular weight of 4,000,000 and is now also being used for other thickeners without any problems. 

“The dispersion methods used are also as variegated as the powders that are processed. Our plant delivers the highest grade of processing for any of the substances mentioned. Ideal process control for the respective polymers is achieved via the integrated control system - this enables us to exploit the process’s full potential.”

Dr. Hans-Joachim Jacob, Application and Process Engineer

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