US 2645463 A
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July 14, 1953 R. F. STEARNs METHOD AND APPARATUS FR CONTINUOUSFLOW MXING Filed Feb. 11, 1949 vtion of the fluids. ing handled, the conventionalsystems may re- Patenfed July 14,1953
UNITED STATES PATENT oF FICE METHOD AND APPARATUS Fon coN- rlNUoUs FLOW MIXING Reid F.4 StearnspElizabeth, N. J., assigner to Standard Oil Development Company, a corporation of Delaware Application February 11, 1949, serial No. 75,840A
1 1 The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for continuous flowmixing, and, more particularly, to such method and apparatus in which mixing or blending is accomplished primarily by inducing turbulent Ilow in each of a plurality of streams of iluids immediately prior to the union of such streams in a common conduit.V
In any mixing operation, the mixing action may be conceived of as taking place in two phases. The iirst phase consists of the rough inter-dispersion of the two components or rough distribution utilized Without regard for the dual nature of the Y operation, the initial distribution and subsequent homogenization being effected concurrently. `The fluids to be mixed are brought'together in the presence of mechanical mixing aids such as i oriiice plates, baiiles, stirrers, and the` like, and subjected to intensive churning and Iagitation as they are passed through the mixing apparatus. Ordinarily, little or no distinctionin the method ofoperation is made between the handling of readily miscible materials and dinicultly miscible materials, and, in fact, readily miscible materials may frequently be processed by means primarily suitable for creating dispersione `of immiscible materials. Under such circumstances, 4it has been found that when immiscible fluids are being i handled, the use of conventional methods and v claims; (o1. 259-4) apparatus mayre'sult in problems of emulsion l formation or ineiiicient, and incomplete combina- When miscible fiuids are be mixing of easily miscible materials with possible` elimination or modification of secondary mixingl devices. A
The invention and its objects may be more fully understood from the following specification Y mon conduit 3.
. 2V when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawingainfwhich Y Figure 1"is a cross-sectional view through a line now mixing apparatus according to the invention; n l
Figure 2 is a similar view through another form of the apparatus used; and
Figure 3 is a similar view through a modified form of apparatus.
Referring more speciiically to the drawings,l in I Figures l and 2, the Aapparatus is illustrated at a T-branch conduit connection, in which the T-branch arm portions I and 2 areprovided for introduction of the respective fluids to be mixed,
turbulence inthe stream of iiuidpassing through thhe respective arm portions. A means for inducing turbulence in the respective streams of lluid may be .any -conventional means such as baiiies, orifice plates, spirals, or the like. As shown, suchrmeans consists of a spiral member 4 supportedwithin each conduit in spaced 'relation to the conduit Walls as by rods, arms, or link membersa'. The elements 4 are disposed in the conduits in spaced relation to their discharge end portions la and 2a, sov that, upon entering the mixing zone, the ilow ofrnuid from the conduits will have an optimum degree of turbulence, Preferably, the introduction of one stream of Iiuid into the other streamV is accomplished as shown, at right angles to the line of flow of the otherstream, and to the line of flow through the common conduit, but other methods or means for combining the streams may be employed. For example, the one turbulent stream may be fed into the other in substantially opposed or countercurrent relation, as through one arm of a Y-connection, or even in directly opposed relation, as illustrated inV Figure 2. takes place in the common conduit for said fluids. While such mixing may be substantially con-.- tinued for the` total length of such common conduit, particularly where difcultly miscible materials are being handled, in general, substantially complete mixing of the materials will take place in a zone extending from about the point of originalcontact of the turbulent streams discharged through conduits I and 2, toa point immediately beyond such contact point inthe com- This general mixing zone is indicated in Figures 1 and 2 by dotted lines and the numeral 5. A particular characteristic of Mixing of the fluids is shown as provided for connection with threev individual conduit elements Il, I2 and I3, having discharge end portions Ila, ,I2a and I3a.
respectively, opening into the vconduit `3. In the discharge end of each of the individual conduit elements is provided aV means lfor inducing turbulent flow vin the iiuid stream passed through the respective elements. In the modication shown, such means for inducing turbulent now 3. A method according to claim 1, in which said turbulent flow streams are combined by introducing one of said streams into another substantially at right angles to the line of flow of said other stream.
4. Apparatus for continuous flow mixing of Y `iiuids, comprising a conduit for one of said fluids,
is in the form of orifice plate members IIb, I2?) and I3b respectively. In this modification, two
of a third fluid by Way of line I3. .In eiect, the
baffle members I5 tend not only to induce turbulent flow in the combined stream passing through vthe conduit 3 immediately prior to the introduction of the third uid through the lineV I3, but also serve as a means for homogenizing the mixture of fluids produced in the mixing zone I4, so that the fluid introduced by Way of conduit I3 is combined in the conduit 3 with av substantially homogeneous fluid mixture rather Vthan being added to a partially formed mixture of uids previously introduced into the conduit.
,Additionaliluids to be included in a final mixturel may be introduced beyond the mixing zone I3 by provision offsuitable conduit connections and turbulence-inducing elements comparable to those indicatedby the numeral I5. In either the apparatus, as shown by Figure 3, or that illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, the common conduit 3 may discharge either directly into a receiver for the lmixed fluids, where readily Vmis- 'cible materials are being handled, or may be connected to a secondary mixing device for final homogenization of the fluid mixture, Where substantially immiscible or diflicultly miscible ma- .terials are being handled.
What is claimed 'isr l `1. A method of continuous flow mixing, comprisingV passing each stream of a plurality of y fluid streams to be mixed through a confined flow path for said stream, inducing turbulence in each of said streams during passage through said confined flow path therefor, producing a pluralityof individual 'turbulent ow streams, and immediately thereafter combining said.V turbulent flow streams in a common, confined flow path as a single turbulent stream of fluid.
2. A method according to claim 1, in which said turbulent flow streams are combined by introducing lone of said streams into another in a substantially opposed flow relationship.
a conduit for another of said fluids, said conduits each having a discharge end opening into a common conduit for said fluids, and turbulent flow inducing means in each of the conduits for the respective fluids to be mixed, said means disposed in substantially closely spaced relation to the discharge ends of said conduits opening into said 'common conduit for said fluids.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4, in `which the conduit for one of Vsaid fluids is one arm of a T-branch conduit connection, the common conduit for said fluids is an opposite arm of said connection, and the conduit for anotherof said uids ,is the third arm of said connection, having a discharge end opening at right angles into said first-mentioned T-branch arms at their 6.`Appara'tus for continuous flow mixing of fluids, comprising a common conduit forA combined flow of a plurality of fluids, conduit means for introducing each of a plurality of fluids to be mixed into said common conduit, each vof such conduit means having a discharge end portion opening into said common conduit, and
turbulent flow inducing means in each of said conduit means for the respective fluids, disposedV in the discharge end portions of said conduits immediately upstream from the opening of said discharge ends into said common conduit.
7. Apparatus for continuous 110W mixing of fluids, comprising a common conduit fojr combined ow of a plurality of fluidstobe mixed, individual conduit means for each r of said plurality of fluids, each having a discharge end opening into `said common conduit in spacedrelation along the line of iiuid flow therethrough, turbulent flow inducing means in each of said individual conduit means for said uids to be mixed immediatelyV adjacent and upstream from each conduit discharge end, and turbulent flow inducing means in said common conduit for the combined fluids disposed upstream from and immediately adjacent to the opening into said common conduit of the discharge end ofv an .in--
dividual conduit means for one of the respectiv fluids to be mixed. y
REID E. sTEARNs.
Number Name Date 1,154,868 McHenry Sept. 28, 1915 2,005,800 OBoyle June 25, 1935 FoREIGNPATENTs Y Number ACountry Date 61,786 Norway Dec. 18, 1939 370,154 Great Britain Apr. '7,1932 529,512
Germany July 17, 1931