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ResonantAcoustic® Mixing – Processing and Formulation Challenges for Cost Effective Manufacturing
Sonic mixing technology was developed in the 20th century in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry fields (mixture of powders and fluids). It knows a strong renewed interest in the USA in the early 2000s under the active leadership of the US Department of Energy (Office of Industrial Technology) due to, on the one hand, its high potential in terms of energy bill reducing (by decreasing the production cycle time) and, on the other hand, the flexibility of the technology and its expansion capacity for a wide range of industries.
Through its quality policy of improved commercial, technical, industrial and economic performances, Roxel, European leader in tactical propulsion systems, has invested in a new process to manufacture inert and energetic materials: the ResonantAcoustic® Mixing (RAM) by first purchasing a 1 pint capacity mixer called LabRAM.
Contrary to conventional mixing methods such as impeller agitation found in a planetary mixer, the RAM technology applies low-frequency, high-intensity acoustic energy to create a uniform shear field throughout the entire mixing vessel thus enabling a better quality of the final mixtures in a reduced amount of time.
A wide range of inert materials developed in Roxel were successfully manufactured on the LabRAM such as:
- Epoxy, silicone and polyester inhibitors
- Highly loaded thermal insulators
- Polyurethane liners
- Powders (inert simulant of ignition powder)…
All those materials were characterized in order to verify the conformity of their mechanical, rheological, topographical and thermal properties. The results obtained prove the huge potential that it represents: not only the quality and reliability of the mixture is enhanced but the time of implementation of the mixing cycle is drastically reduced (hours → minutes). Due to the requirements, only the results obtained on an epoxy inhibitor will be presented in this paper.
Such benefits could be for Roxel an additional advantage in maintaining its leadership and in gaining access to new markets in a highly competitive sector. Those benefits will be discussed through Roxel presentation.
ResonantAcoustic Mixing Processing and Formulation ChallengesKeywords: ResonantAcoustic® Mixing • Acoustic energy • Resonance frequency • Bulk mixing • Micro-mixing • Mechanical, topographical and thermal properties • Coefficient of variation.