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GMM Pfaudler & the pigment industry

Co-Axial Agitator Reactor

GMM Pfaudler is the market leader for glass-lined equipment, alloy agitators and vessels in India and its engineering division provides the design and production of equipment for specific sectors such as the chemical, oil & gas, petrochemical, fertilisers and pharmaceutical industries.

A significant sector in the chemical industry is the pigment industry. 

The main field of application of pigments is paint, but they are also widely used in many other fields such as: plastic materials, synthetic fibres, printing inks, paper, printing of fabrics and many others.

The resin and pigment market is an important branch of secondary chemistry and plays an important role in the industrial field. 

GMM Pfaudler's Mixing Systems and Heavy Engineering works closely with leading resin and pigment industries, developing their knowledge of the process and mechanical expertise in designing complex and challenging coaxial agitators widely used in these sectors.

A significant project for the supply of 4 units of 7,500 litres in Stainless Steel material with Co-axial agitator was custom-built by GMM for an Indian customer of a Japanese multinational company, a leader in the production of liquid & offset inks.

To ensure the correct construction of materials, it is crucial to know the industrial process in which these products are finalised. 

The stainless steel units with a coaxial shaker for black-ink production (it is used for various other grades like cyan, yellow, etc. and not just black) are used during the industrial process in which 2,300 kg of solvent is mixed with 1,675 kg of pigment and clay. This particular "cold working process" used for ink production is a patented process for this Japanese company

The main mixing task involves the wetting and dispersion of pigment.

A mill is used to recirculate the contents of the reactor until a final particle size of 5 to 8 microns is obtained. 

The mixing difficulty is to ensure both good wetting as well as dispersion. The co-axial agitator is supplied with a high-speed disperser, cowl disc and helical ribbon with hinged PTFE scrapers, as shown in the figure.    

The high speed cowl disc disperses the pigment, while the helical ribbon ensures bulk motion of the solid-liquid mix to give good wetting. The helical ribbon blades are fitted with hinged PTFE scrapers and the vessel shell & bottom dish were machined to ensure efficient scraping.

Accomplishment 

The solution of the Co-Axial agitator reactor supplied by GMM Pfaudler eliminated the production losses occurring due to choking of the recirculating mill, which were due to unsuitable wetting & dispersion of the pigment.  

Even the robust design has eliminated the continuous mechanical breakdown that the customer had faced with previous projects. 

GMM Pfaudler thus guarantees the full responsibility of a single source, starting with design, through the construction and commissioning of the final product.

This ensures that all system components are designed and manufactured correctly for a fully integrated and operational system.

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