How Does a Ribbon Blender Work?

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To fully understand how the ribbon blender works, you must understand its design. Learn more about the different components of a ribbon blender, such as the motor, gearbox, and couplings. You should be able to apply the correct amount of liquid and mix the product as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the liquid is spread evenly throughout the batch. The ribbon blender has a maximum and minimum batch size. The batch size should be at least 30-40 percent of its capacity for optimal mixing. Otherwise, the batch may fail to mix.

Convection and dispersion blending

Convection blending combines forces of a constant airflow with a low-speed agitation. Dispersion blending utilizes a high-speed rotor generator to disperse powders and materials. A dispersion blender is best suited for products with stringent quality control standards.

The principles used by a ribbon blender are convection blending and dispersion blending. Convection blending is characterized by macro displacement of materials, as it occurs when materials are flipped. Diffusion blending occurs when isolated particles move relative to each other in liquids. When these two blending principles are combined, a well-blended mixture is achieved.


A ribbon mixer has two mechanical parts: an agitator shaft and a spray pipe. The agitator shaft is mounted within the blender’s container while the spray pipe is positioned above the ribbons. The ribbons are moved by a motor and are mixed with liquid at high speeds. If necessary, high-speed choppers can be added to disintegrate agglomerates. The ribbon blender is suitable for blending a variety of products.

The motor of a ribbon blender is designed to be quiet. The motor is a single-phase design that operates relatively slowly. A single-cubic-foot batch will take two to three minutes to mix. A 100-cu-ft batch will take between 20-25 minutes. Applications for a ribbon blender include dry blending of pharmaceutical granules, cosmetic powders, and joint compounds. It can also blend liquid materials and blend them.


The Reduction Gearbox System on the Ribbon Blender is a versatile, efficient blending machine. It is used for homogeneously blending dry granules and powders, including pesticides. Its design allows it to work with a variety of materials. In addition, the gearbox can be re-lubricated to extend its life, as it can corrode without causing damage. Here are a few tips on maintaining your Ribbon Blender.

A modern ribbon blender is powered by a gear motor rather than a traditional gearbox. The gear motor is a single-piece motor reducer with a matched low-inertia rotor. This allows for high dynamic capability, essential for high start/stop cycles. Additionally, direct-drive ribbon blenders need fewer maintenance parts. The gear motor can work with electronic inverters to provide variable speed, overload protection, and adjustable starting torques. Direct-drive ribbon blenders eliminate issues such as belt slippage or stretching and excessive overhung load.


Ribbon blenders are mechanical blending equipment that operates on a combination of convection and diffusion mixing. Convection mixing involves the movement of large quantities of solid materials, while diffusion involves the micromixing of individual particles. Distribution occurs when solid particles move in one direction and move back opposite. Both methods result in a homogenous blending of materials. The efficiency of these blenders depends on the mixture’s particle size and bulk density.

The speed at which the liquid is discharged is another consideration in a ribbon blender. It is essential to ensure that the product is discharged quickly. A fast discharge depends on the design of the discharge valve and axial pumping action. The interior trough must have close clearances and be designed so that material does not collect on its walls. A ribbon blender should have low dead zones. Generally, the speed of a ribbon blender is eighty to one hundred meters per minute.


A ribbon blender’s shell comes in three basic designs: cylindrical, U-shaped, or semi-cylindrical designs. Cylindrical shells are generally easier to clean and best suited for applications requiring a high-pressure level. Semi-cylindrical shells are more efficient when mixing thin pastes or liquids. The U-shaped design is the most common type.

Double ribbon blenders from APS are ultra-sanitary and are designed with removable solid bar shaft agitators. The shafts are sealed with sanitary FDA/USDA-approved shaft seals. In addition, stainless steel tanks and legs are available to meet specific sanitary requirements. Paddle agitators use a gentle figure-eight motion to lift materials, ideal for delicate ingredients and abrasive products. 


The mixing efficiency of a ribbon blender depends mainly on the ingredients’ bulk density and particle size. Ingredients with the same bulk density and particle size mix together faster than those with differences. The size of the ingredients is an important consideration when selecting the best ribbon blender for your needs. Ideally, your batch should be at least 30 percent of the stated capacity. This will ensure optimal mixing and minimize the risk of dead zones and clumps.

The interior ribbons of a Ribbon mixer have opposing pitches, resulting in a countercurrent movement. The maximum loading capacity is 70%. The stripes are sealed using mechanical or pneumatic seals, depending on the material. If the material has high fluidity, mechanical seals may be more appropriate. Ribbon mixers also feature double ribbon agitators, which ensure maximum mixing. The ribbons are inclined at a range of 180° – 300°.

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