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Agitation of Non-Newtonian Fluids

A. 8. METZNER and R. E. OTTO

University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Since the shear rate of a non-Newtonian fluid is of importance in fixing the rheological tory work, but because of the importance
or viscometric behavior of such a material, the present study has been conoerned with the of non-Newtonian materials a study of
development of a general relationship between impeller speed and the shear rate of the these systems is long overdue. The
fluid. The resulting relationship was then used to interpret and correlate power-consump- purposes of the present investigation
tion data on three non-Newtonian fluids by use of a generalized form of the conventional
power-number-Reynolds-number plot for Newtonians. therefore were as follows: (1) establish-
Flat-bladed turbines from 2 to 8 in. in diameter were used exclusively. Tank diameters ment of the quantitative relationships
ranged from 6 to 22 in. and power inputs from 0.5 to 176 hp./l,OOO gal. The study en- between power consumption and the
compassed a 130-fold range of Reynolds numbers in the laminar and transition regions. geometric, kinematic, and fluid property
The results to date indicate that power requirements for the rapid mixing of non-New- parameters for non-Newtonian fluids;
tonian fluids are much greater than for comparable Newtonian materials. (2) qualitative study of rates and quality
of mixing in non-Newtonian systems to
shed some preliminary light on these
The literature in the field of agitation plexity of this problem has resulted in factors; and attaining (3) a quantitative
and mixing of fluids may be divided into little quantitative progress in this field method of approach in classification of
two general categories. First and most except in the mixing of particulate non-Newtonian fluids and ascertaining
extensive are the numerous papers dealing solids, and the literature, therefore, its relation t o mixing.
with the dependence of power consump- presents primarily qualitative guides as
tion upon geometric, kinematic, and opposed to the quantitative generaliza- REVIEW OF PRIOR ART
fluid-property parameters. The broad tions available for prediction of power
fundamental and applications studies of requirements. The most recent review by In the study of the agitation or mixing of
Mack, Miller, Oldshue, Rushton, and Rushton (LO) discusses progress in this fluids, the system which has received the
most attention consists of a single impeller
various coworkers (5, 8, 15, 21, 62, for field. centered in a cylindrical tank, as shown in
example) are representative of work of A major limitation of the prior art is Figure 1. The results of Newtonian power-
this nature. Studies of rates and quality that it deals almost exclusively with consumption studies are presented in terms
of mixing, and of the effect of agitator Newtonian fluids. The comparative sim- of dimensionless groups involving power
geometric variables on these factors plicity of Newtonian systems has made (Pgc/D5N3p)and a mixing Reynolds number
comprise the second group. The com- them the logical first choice for explora- (D2Np/p)or modifications of these. Below a
Reynolds number of 300 the Froude number
(DNZ/g), which measures the variation in
flow due to changes in the free surface, was
not important (22). The effects of geo-
metrical parameters other than the impeller
diameter [such as ( C / D ) , (TID),and
(BID)]were not important within the wide
ranges specified by previous workers.
The entire power-number-Reynolds-number
curve (Figure 2) has been divided into three
sections which are directly analogous t o the
familiar three regions of flow in a circular
pipe, i.e., the turbulent region in which
the power number (or friction factor) is
not greatly affected by Reynolds number,
the laminar region where power number and
Fig. 1. Mixing system. friction factor are inversely proportional to
Reynolds number, and the intermediate or
transition region. However, unlike the case
of flow in a round tube, the transition from
laminar to turbulent flow does not occur
over the narrow rangc of Reynolds numbers
between 2,000 and 4,000 (6) but extends
over the large range from 10 to 1,000, as
shown in Figure 2.
To date only three papers have been
concerned with the agitation-power require-
ments of non-Newtonian fluids. Brown and
Petsiavas (2) presented a power-number
plot for a Bingham-plastic type* of non-
Newtonian that makes use of the Bingham-
plastic Reynolds and Hedstrom numbers
(4, IS) t o correlate the data. Their vis-
cometric data, taken with a Brookfield
viscometer, indicated that their fluids
deviated appreciably from Bingham-plastic
Fig. 2. Power-number-Reynolds-number behavior, but for those few fluids which
curve for Newtonian fluids in a baffled closely approach the ideal Bingham plastic
tank (22). this method of attack can be reworked into

*Appendix A presents and discusses the classical

types of non-Newtonian behavior.

Vol. 3, No. 1 A.1.Ch.E. Journal Page 3

a rigorous and convenient design method. property analogous t o n in Equation (1) For a Newtonian fluid two thirds of the
Magnusson (9) reported a procedure for does not need to be a constant in order drag is due to shear-stress forces on the
calculating the apparent viscosity of non- for the analysis to be rigorous, but may surface ( I 7 ) , the remainder being due to
Newtonian fluids in agitated tanks by be allowed to vary with the shear rate differences in pressure caused by the
comparison with the power number curve of the fluid. The problem of agitation of
for a Newtonian fluid but presented no flow of material in the region of the
method whereby such results might be fluids in vessels has been too complex to surface. For a flat plate of zero thickness
used for equipment design. Schultz-Grunow enable a similar theoretical analysis t o normal to the flow of fluid (Figure 4),
(23) studied power requirements for the date, and one cannot yet say whether or which may be assumed similar to a flat-
agitation of slightly non-Newtonian fluids not the exponent n must be a constant bladed turbine or paddle rotating in a
in the laminar region and developed a cor- to make the approach a rigorous one. fluid, all the drag is due to differences in
relation by means of dimensional analysis. From an engineering viewpoint it is pressure caused by the flow of the fluid
Since fluid density was not included in the important to note that no fluids have in the region of the object. as there is no
analysis, this correlation cannot be used yet been found for which n changes area along which the shear stress a t the
outside the laminar region and may not rapidly enough with shear rate to permit
accurately predict the end of the laminar- surface can exert a component causing a
flow region. These are rather serious limita- an experimental analysis of this problem net drag in the direction of the motion
tions in view of the fact that little act,ual or to reveal any discrepancies of data of the fluid.* One may conclude from
mixing of non-Newtonian fluids appears t o attributable to this factor. Severs (25) this analogy that the study of such an
occur within the laminar region. has suggested that studies using dilatant object moving through the fluid must
Summarizing, it may be concluded that fluids, for which n sometimes does change include the study of the fluid in the general
the prior art presents indications of several rapidly with shear rate, would be region of the object, since this determines
different approaches t o the problem of illuminating. the viscous-energy dissipation and hence
non-Newtonian power consumption in I n view of the mathematical simplicity the drag or power requirement.
agitated vessels. However, no useful equip- of Equation (1) it is remarkable that it In non-Newtonian technology, study
ment-design methods have been developed
and no over-all physical understanding of correlates rheological data as well as it of the flow in this over-all region must
the problem has as yet been presented. does. For example, the data of reference obviously include a consideration of the
3 are correlated a t least as perfectly by shearing rates or shearing stresses. This
Equation (1) as by the much more com- is a necessary consequence of the fact
plex Eyring-Powell equation used by that the response (viscosity) of these
Stevens et al. This statement of fact may fluids to an imposed stress is not a con-
be readily verified by simply plotting stant but depends on the magnitude of
In view of the previously reported both the rheological data and the Eyring- either the shearing rate or shearing stress.
( I d , I S ) limitations of the common Powell equation for each fluid (as given Another way of arriving a t the same
rheological classifications of non-New- by reference 3 ) on logarithmic coordinates conclusion is to note that no simple
tonian behavior, the method of approach and comparing the fit obtained with that equation for the relationship between
suggested in this work is to define the obtainable by the simple straight line shear stress and shear rate [such as
extent of non-Newtonian behavior by which depicts Equation (1) on such Equation (l)]has been found which will
the property n, as given by the power-law coordinates. The rheological data of the correlate such data over all conceivable
equation: fluids used in the present work (Figure 5 ) ranges of these variables. Therefore, it is
do not fall on a perfect straight line necessary to know at least approximately
7 = I@>" over the entire range of shear rates for the ranges into which the shear rates about
which data are available, but for all an impeller may fall and the variables
fluids except the 1.07, CMC the devia- which determine or control these shear rates.
Newtonian fluids are defined as those tion from such a straight line is less than Figure 5 shows the shear-stress-shear-
materials which in laminar flow exhibit the scattering of the data points. Even rate relationships for the materials used.
a linear relationship between the imposed for this CMC gel the data which are Evaluation of the ratio of shear stress to
shear stress and the resulting shear rate; within the range of average shear rates shear rate (apparent viscosity) a t a
i.e.. n has a constant value of unity and used in the agitation studies fall on a given point showed for the 1.25% Car-
R is equal to p/qc where p is termed the perfect straight line. bopol solution a variation in apparent
viscosity of the Newtonian fluid. Since viscosity from 134,000 centipoises a t a
the property n is a measure of the type shear rate of 1.5 see.? t o 1,100centipoises
of fluid behavior, it has been termed the a t 1,000 see.-'. With such a large varia-
$ow-behavior index of a fluid (13). tion in apparent viscosity one could not
Similarly, K may be considered to be a The flow of a fluid about a mixing make a one-point measurement of the
$uid-consistency index. impeller is complex, but the controlling apparent viscosity indiscriminately and
Non-Newtonian fluids are those ma- factors of the drag on an impeller blade expect to obtain a correlation when the
terials for which the flow-behavior index may be examined by comparison with range of shear rates in the viscometer was
is not equal to unity although it is simpler flow situations. Figure 3 shows different from that of the shear rates in
frequently a constant, or nearly so, over the laminar flow of a fluid around a the system being studied.
wide ranges of shear rates. The fact that sphere. There is no separation of the The mathematical description of a
is not a true constant-over all con- flow and viscous dissipation of energy non-Newtonian material may be accom-
ceivable ranges of shear rate-is fre- is the controlling factor. The total force plished by the use of an equation [such
quently irrelevant in view of the fact on the sphere is due to two effects: as Equation (l)]relating the shear stress
that one needs a rheological equation (1) the shearing forces on the surface to shear rate or, equally well, by the
which correctly portrays only the fluid of the object (of magnitudes indicated
behavior over the particular range of approximately by arrows tangent to the
*This analogy of flow over a flat plate a s com-
shear rates which happen to be of interest surface on Figure 3) and (2) the differ- pared with flow past a mixing impeller is not com-
in a given engineering problem. The rigor ences in pressure between the front and pletely exact as the postulated types of flow do not
include the radial components of velocity which are
and utility with which a similar method the rear of the sphere. These pressure parallel to the surface of the flat plate or impeller.
Such radial flow is necessary t.0 produce mixing.
of approach has been applied to the differences in turn are due to the viscous This does not invalidate the argument, however,
analogous problem of flow in pipes ( I d ) dissipation of energy in the fluid stream because the drag due to radial flow does not produce
any forces perpendicular to the surface of the im-
suggest its utility in the field of agitation. and are indicated by the arrows perpen- peller and therefore does not directly affect the
As a matter of fact, for flow in pipes the torque felt b y the shaft and hence the power con-
dicular to the surface of sphere. sumption of the system.

Page 4 A.1.Ch.E. Journal March, 1957

ratio of its shear stress to shear rate as a metric curve for the fluih (such as other materials are commonly, and
function of, say, shear rate. If one chooses Figure 5) to obtain the corresponding correctly, termed pseudoplastic.
the latter, one has a simple comparison average shear rate in the system. The The apparent viscosity of a given
with a Newtonian fluid because in the best value for the proportionality constant material at a particular shear rate wm
limiting case, a Newtonian, the ratio k in Equation (2), obtained in this determined by dividing the shear stress
of shear stress to shear rate is not a manner, was 13. Consideration was given by the particular shear rate. An important
function of shear rate. Of course, the to all fluids and T / D ratios studied in point to note here is that the shear rates
choice is arbitrary. The latter was chosen the laminar region. It may be noted in Figure 5 were not calculated by pre-
in this case to simplify the visualization that only data in the laminar region are suming a shear-stress-shear-rate relation-
of the behavior of the non-Newtonian useful for this purpose as power data ship, nor were they calculated by
fluid. outside the laminar region are insensitive assuming that the shear rates were those
I n order to pinpoint the shear-rate to viscosity. which a Newtonian fluid would exhibit
range in a mixing system, one may devise in the same viscometer. Both these
a means of measuring the apparent erroneous attacks, common in the litera-
viscosity of the system and then deter- ture, are not necessary at the present
mine its relation to the other variables of The non-Newtonian materials tested state of the art. (Cf. Appendix C.) The
the system. To define apparent viscosity were two colloidal suspensions, CMC or variation of the viscometric data with
one may consider two identical sets of sodium carboxymethylcellulose (Hercules temperature was shown to be negligible
mixing equipment, one of which contains Powder Company) and Carbopol 934 for the small variations in room tempera-
a Newtonian fluid and the other a non- (Goodrich Chemical Company) and a ture encountered and were not always
Newtonian. If these fluids are agitated suspension of Bttasol clay (Attapulgus recorded.
in the laminar region, with the same Mineral and Chemical C n p a n y ) . As Figure 7 shows the power correlation
impeller speed used in each, and one shown in Figure 5, two con1 ntrations of for all the materials tested. Of over 130
varies the viscosity of the Newtonian by CMC and of Carbopol nd one of data points taken, all but ten lie within
diluting it or thickening it so that the Attasol were used. On 2 logarithmic 15% of the curve drawn through the data.
power measured a t each impeller is the diagram such as Figure the linear The ranges of data were as follow:
same, then, because all variables are shear-stress-shear-rate re1 ,ionship of
identical, one may say that the average Impeller diameters 2 to 8 in.
Newtonian fluids appears I a straight Tank diameters 6 to 22 in.
viscosities are the same in both pieces of 45-deg. line (n = 1.00). 'I le deviation T/D 1.3 to 3.7 (laminar
equipment. Upon measuring the vis- from Newtonian behavior, ,herefore, is region)
cosity of the Newtonian fluid one knows indicated by the divergenci of the slope 2.0 to 5.5 (transition
the apparent viscosity of the non-New- from the value of unity. lttasol was region)
tonian existing under the given experi- accordingly the most nc -Newtonian Power input 0.5 to 176 hp./1,000
mental conditions. (n = 0.24) of the fluids te ed. Because gal.
The preceding experiment defines the all these materials were oj the pseudo- Speed 95 to 1,190 rev./min.
apparent viscosity in the system. It is plastic type the slopes of t h curves were Apparent viscosity 7 to 180 poises
necessary to determine its dependence on all less than unity. The 4ttasol-clay Reynolds number 2.0 to 270
the variables of the system. I n this paper suspensions of the concentra;ion studied Both baffled ( B = 0.1T) and unbaffled
it is assumed that the fluid motion in the are frequently termed Bingham plastic systems were studied. The equipment
general region of the impeller can always by the engineering literature and the used is described in Appendix R ; the
be characterized by an average shear
rate which is linearly related to the rota-
tional speed of the impeller, viz:
Minimum Minimum
Run Fluid h.p./1,000 gal.* NRe+ TID
If this line of reasoning is followed, the Movement at wall of tank
only necessary fluid properties are the 2 2.0% CMC 40.2 87.4 2.95
apparent viscosity and density, although 14 Attasol 21.6 122. 2.95
the latter would not be expected to be a 3A 1.0% CMC 8.66 94.0 2.95
significant variable in the laminar region.
Until means are developed both for 12 Carbopol 50.0 49.0 1.97
measuring and averaging shear rates the t Carbopol 74.0 42.5 2.00
' evaluation of k in Equation (2) must be 15 Attasol 16.8 75.8 1.97
done indirectly.
In Figure 6 the power number for a 17 Attasol 5.09 32.4 1.48
2.5% CMC solution is plotted as a 13 Carbopol 27.7 9.8 1.33
function of impeller speed in the system
previously described. Since the compar-
Movement of fluid surface
able Newtonian data for this system are
known (22), the viscosity which a New- 3A 1.0% CMC 53.1 268. 2.95
tonian fluid would have under identical 8 1.0% CMC 17.3 81.7 3.00
conditions of speed and power consump-
15 Attasol 35.8 113. 1.97
tion in the same equipment can be 5 1.0% CMC 23.0 94.0 2.00
obtained merely- by- referring to the
Newtonian power-number curve. Accord- 17 Attasol 35.0 98.0 1.48
ing to the preceding arguments, this
must be identical to the apparent vis- Median of all: 25-35 50-100
cosity of the non-Newtonian. When the
apparent viscosity is thus Obtained'
*Minimum values at which fluid movement could first be observed visually.
reference may be made to the ViSCO- tRun taken in conjunction with run 10. See footnote ** in Tab!e 3 [footnote on page 61.

Vol. 3, No. 1 A.1.Ch.E. Journal Page 5

detailed dimensions of the equipment ventional orm, and since Newtonian and the other two papers (9,2.9) either
and the experimental data are tabulated systems leave the laminar region a t a did not measure the rheological properties
in Tables 1 to 4.* power number of 7.1 no conceivable of the fluid or worked with only slightly
change in Reynolds number could shift non-Newtonian systems. One may, how-
the curve to coincide with the usual ever, cite the work of Magnusson (9)to
Newtonian behavior, shown as a dashed extend the generality of the unique rela-
Laminar Region line in Figure 7. Furthermore, the data tionship between average shear rate and
With the exception of 1.0% CMG and indicate that baffling had no effect on rotational speed of the impeller, as
the Attasol suspension, Table 3 and power consumption under the conditions follows.
Figure 7 show that all fluids were studied evaluated; hence this extension of the Equation (2) implies that scale-up of
in the laminar region in a t least one run. laminar region was found to be common a model should be carried out at constant
The agreement between the data and to baffled as well as to unbaffled systems. speed for a given non-Newtonian fluid,
the conventional Newtonian correlating The more gradual transition from laminar so that the flow properties of the fluid
curve is good. to turbulent flow for pseudoplastic may be identical in the prototype and
fluids has also been shown to occur in the model. Figure 7 proves this for the
Transition Region flow through pipes ( l a ) , and Brown and flat-bladed turbines of the present work,
In general, the gradual development of Petsiavas ( 2 ) noted the same behavior and Magnusson's data confirm this for
turbulence and departure from laminar in independent mixing studies. two X-shaped paddles with diameters
behavior may be stated to be due to the of 2.8 and 6.2 in. It may be concluded
Validity of Assumptions that since the same type of relationship
formation of eddies. Consideration of the
flow properties of the pseudoplastic The correlation of Figure 7 confirms between shear rate a,nd impeller speed
the basic assumption made [Equation
(2)] regarding the relationship between
shear rate and impeller speed, at least
over the range of variables investigated

- I-
and in both the laminar and transition
regions. The conclusion that the average
shear rate, hence apparent viscosity, of
the non-Newtonian fluid depends only
-\ on the rotational speed of the impeller
may not, a t first glance, appear to be
obvious. However, supporting evidence
mag also be obtained from Equation (10)
for-the shear rate a t the bob of a vis- Fig. 4. Flow of a Newtonian fluid about a
cometer in an infinite fluid. In this case flat plate.
Fig. 3. Flow of a Newtonian fluid about a the rate of shear also depends only on
sphere. the rotational speed, and not on dimen-
sions of the bob. In the laminar region holds for two greatly different types of
the analogy between a viscometer bob impellers, as well as for various different
fluids used in this work shows that their and the impeller of a mixer is rather fluids, it appears to be of general utility.
apparent viscosity must increase with close, since as a matter of fact, many No data are available, however, to con-
increasing distance from the impeller, in commercial viscometers employ bobs firm the constancy of k at a value of 13.0
view of the lower velocities, hence shear which are geometrically similar to mixing for systems other than those discussed
rates, of the fluids as they leave the vicin- impellers. In both the laminar and tran- here. In particular, k might be expected
ity of the impeller. A small volume of fluid sition regions investigated in this work to vary with the flow-behavior index n
leaving the high-shear-rate region near the impellers generally behaved as though of the fluid, which was not varied widely
the impeller therefore encounters progres- in an infinite fluid since changing the in the present studies. [Cf. Equation
sively more viscous material. This, in distance between the tip of the impeller (lo).] It should be noted in passing that
turn, would cause a depressive effect on and the wall of the tank (i.e., changing scale-up procedures cannot be carried
the propagation of eddies. The last factor the T / D ratio) had no effect on power out in the usual sense of the term, how-
would tend to decrease the rapidity with consumption. As will be discussed later, ever, because the Reynolds numbers will
which the power-number-Reynolds-num- this is in agreement with extensive work not be identical in the prototype and
ber curve begins to diverge from the on Newtonian fluids. However, as the model when N , p, and p, are all held
45-deg. line of the laminar region as the T / D ratio decreases toward unity, i.e., constant.
fluid becomes more non-Newtonian in the as the diameter of the impeller approaches
direction of greater pseudoplasticity (n that of the tank, a point must eventually Ranges of Variables
approaching zero). The net result of this be reached where the shear rate, hence The power range encompassed in this
behavior should be an extension of the power consumption, is a t least partly study was higher than the range which
laminar region to Reynolds numbers dependent on either the T / D ratio is used industrially for Newtonian fluids
above 10 or to power numbers below 7.1, (clearance between impeller and tank (16), because pseudoplastic non-New-
the point at which Newtonian fluids wall) or the peripheral speed of the tonian fluids are inherently more difficult
enter the transition region. Figure 7 impeller or both. It appears plausible to agitate. Since the exact power require-
shows that such a retardation was that a t T / D ratios close to unity the ments for different levels of mixing rate
indeed observed. It must be emphasized shear rate a t the impeller may take a are not yet known for these materials, the
that this extension of the laminar region mathematical form similar to that for a power input was varied over an extremely
is not due to the particular form of the bob-and-cup viscometer, Equation (6). wide range to ensure applicability of the
Reynolds number chosen in this work. Recorrelation of data in previous results 60 industrial conditions.
The power number is used in its con- papers on non-Newtonian-fluid agitation While the range of Reynolds numbers

might appear desirable to extend the covered was only l3O-fold, it is the range
Tabular material has been deposited as document results of this work; however, sufficiently in which viscous, highly non-Newtonian
5119 with the American Documentation Institute,
Photoduplication Service, Library of Congress,
Washington 25, D. C.. and may be obtained for
detailed tabulations of experimental data fluids are most likely to be agitated. With
$1.25 for photoprints or 35-mm. microfilm. were not available from one source ( 2 ) less viscous non-Newtonians the range

Page 6 A.1.Ch.E. Journal March, 1957

may be extended to higher Reynolds must be a function of (d2N2-np)/gcK Although decreasing the T / D ratio to
numbers, but usually the same highly and n. The function of n h a n n o t be nearly unity would almost certainly
non-Newtonian character is not observed evaluated for mixing work at present but reduce the Reynolds numbers, and hence
in such less viscous systems. the assumption that it is the same as in the power required for complete move-
the pipe-flow case, i.e. power number is a ment of the fluid, it appears questionable
Effect of Geometric Variables function of [(D2N2-np)/gcK] [8(n/6n+ 2 ) n ] whether this power reduction would be
The position of the impeller did not or ( D W - * p ) / y , yields a Reynolds number great enough to bring the power con-
critically affect power consumption when which is numerically proportional to the sumption at a given mixing rate down to
vortices were not formed. Vortices could (D2Np)/pa reported here. Further, more the level of Newtonian fluids. Most of
be formed, however, if the impeller were extensive data are needed to determine the data of Table 4 do, however, show an
placed closer to the surface than specified whether use of the generalized Reynolds appreciable decrease in power required
in Appendix B. number in mixing work is of widespread to mix a given fluid completely (as
No consistent effects due to baffling or generality or merely a coincidence in the defined by movement at the tank wall)
T / D ratios greater than 2 were found, case of the present data. as T / D is decreased. Such complete
which is in agreement with the work of fluid turnover does not, on the other
Rushton et al. (22).Hirsekorn and Miller Quality of Mixing hand, imply higher shear rates, as these
(6) report that in the laminar region The type of flow or the quality of are probably affected adversely by use
T / D can be made much smaller than the mixing is, of course, the end result of the of larger impellers (lower T / D ratios)
value of 2 reported by Rushton. Runs choice of a given agitator. However, as and lower rotational speeds, as shown by
13 and 17, with T / D ratios of 1.33 and mentioned before, the logical procedure Equation ( 2 ) . Thus it is more difficult
1.45 respectively, indicate that these for studying agitation is first to determine to obtain simultaneously both high rates



E 10
z 5

$ 2

1 2 5 1 0 100 1000 10,000
Fig. 6. Power number vs. impeller speed
Fig. 5. Flow curves of fluids used. for 2.5% CMC.

conclusions are valid also for non- the amount of power dissipation and of fluid turnover and high shear rates in
Newtonian materials in both the laminar then to turn to the more complex problem these non-Newtonian systems without
and transition regions. However, the of mixing patterns and rates. The high power requirements.
number of data points available is too measures of the rates of mixing studied Until really definitive data become
small to support such a conclusion to date (Table 4) are, therefore, qualita- available, adoption of the median values
firmly. tive. Nevertheless, several important of power input and Reynolds numbers
conclusions may be drawn at this time given in Table 4 is suggested as the
Similarity to Pipe Flow
concerning the comparative rates of criterion below which mixing will fre-
An interesting similarity appears to mixing of Newtonian and non-Newtonian quently be ineffective in these non-
exist between the means of correlating fluids at a given power input per unit Newtonian systems. Some confirmation
pipe-flow data and mixing-power-con- volume of fluid. of these high power-input levels may be
sumption data which suggests an alter- Hirsekorn and Miller (5) found that obtained from.industria1 practice: in one
nate means of correlation for the latter. particles could be suspended in viscous installation the mixing of non-Newtonian
For a non-Newtonian fluid which obeys Newtonian fluids during agitation within fluids is in the range of 5 to 50 hp./1,000
Equation (1) it may be readily shown the laminar region (NRabelow 10). The gal. in full-scale equipment, while pilot
that the friction factor for pipe flow is a maximum power input required to plant work (indicative of future opera-
function of (DnVz72-.)/gcK.8(n/6n 2)., suspend the particles was 6.0 hp./1,000 tions) ranges from 50 to 160 hp./1,000
which is a special form of the generalized gal. of fluid. While the data of Table 4 gal. This industrial experience also
number (DVz-p)/y proposed for pipe- are very irregular in the sense that indicates that to date no enormously
flow work ( I d ) . One will notice that these Reynolds numbers and power require- improved agitator or system designs
groups both degenerate to the usual ments for movement of all the fluid vary which might be particularly suitable for
Reynolds number for Newtonian fluids widely, in only one case out of thirteen the non-Newtonian fluids described here
( K = p/g, and n = 1.00). Application was reasonably complete fluid movement have been developed. Fundamentally,
of dimensional analysis to the mixing attained in the laminar region and, again this problem arises because the apparent
problem (with the only important length in only one case, was any fluid movement viscosity of a pseudoplastic fluid in-
dimension assumed to be the impeller a t the tank wall noticeable a t power creases with distance from the impeller;
diameter) shows that the power number inputs as low as 6.0 hp./l,OOO gal. hence the fluib tends to set up, or

Vol. 3, No. 1 A.1.Ch.E. Journal Page 7

100 as well as non-Newtonian fluids requires
quantitative study.
60 4. Extension of the present work to a
greater variety of non-Newtonian fluids,
including dilatant materials, should be of
considerable interest to prove conclusively
whether or not the value of k [Equation (2)]
depends on the flow behavior index of the
fluid and whether the generalized Reynolds
number is truly applicable to correlation of
power-consumption data for all fluids.


The authors would like to thank J. Y.

Oldshue and the Mixing Equipment Com-
pany for their assistance in designing
equipment and J. H. Rushton and J. Y.
I e 4 6 8 10 20 40 w eo IM) eoo 44) Oldshue for reviewing the manuscript. The
DN~ Attapulgus Clay and Mineral Company
r. and Continental Diamond Fibre Company
Fig. 7. Power-number-Reynolds-number curve for non-Newtonian fluids; all points in are to be thanked.for donating test materials
the crowded regions not shown. and equipment, respectively. This work
was sponsored by the Office of Ordnance
Research, U. S. Army.

remain motionless, under conditions 2. From viscometric data (shear stress vs. NOTATION
where a Kewtonian fluid is mixed rela- shear rate) for the fluid in question, la is
tively completely. Therefore the problem calculated at the above-average shear rate. NoTn:-since the final correlation is
is somewhat alleviated by use of multiple 3. The Reynolds number (DzNp)/pais then based on dimensionless groups, any con-
calculated and the corresponding power sistent set of units may be used. The units
impellers inside a single tank and by use number read from Figure 7. given in the following table refer to those
of very low T / D ratios in the industrial used by the authors in the data tables unless
examples cited. As the procedure is empirical, extrap- specific units are given.
olation of the variables beyond the
Design Procedure ranges covered cannot be recommended. B = width of baffles, ft.
Within the laminar region (NRe < 20 C = height of impeller off bottom of
when n ranges between about 0.25 and CONCLUSIONS AND SUMMARY tank, ft.
0.45, and N R e < 10 when n = 1.00) D = impeller diameter or bob diam-
1. The assumption that average fluid eter, ft.
conditions are sufficiently well defined for shear rates are related only to impeller
the mixing equation, which is somewhat speed has led to an understanding and g = gravitational acceleration, ft./
analogous t o Poiseuilles law for friction correlation of the power requirements for sec.2
in a round tube, to be written as sug- agitation of non-Newtonian fluids. The gc = conversion factor, (lb. mass)(ft.)/
gested by Rushton and Oldshue (2f). quantitative relationships, which are ap- (lb. force)(sec.z)
This equation is the same for Newtonian plicable to both Newtonian and non- h = height of viscometer bob, ft.
and non-Newtonian fluids: K = fluid property in Equation (l),
Newtonian fluids over the ranges of (lb. force) (sec.m/sq. ft.)
N, = 71/NR, (3) variables investigated, represent a simple k = proportionality constant, dimen-
generalization of the well-known Tesults sionless
Substitution of the definitions of the from Newtonian systems.
Reynolds numbers used in this work gives L = length of pipe or capillary, ft.
2. The laminar region may extend N = rotational speed, rev./sec.
71cl, DzNz to higher Reynolds numbers in pseudo- N , = power number, dimensionless, Pgc
P= (4) plastic fluids than in Newtonian systems. /D5N3p
9. 3. Preliminary qualitative observa- N R e = Reynolds number, dimensionless,
It has been suggested that these tions indicate that more power is required taken as ( D z N p ) / p a
equations are particularly useful for for the rapid mixing of highly non- n = flow-behavior index, dimension-
design purposes. The constant given was Newtonian systems than for Newtonian less
developed for hlixco turbines with six fluids.
flat blades and is dependent on the
particular type of impeller used. As RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER WORK n = d In (ApD/4L)
d In (8&/7rD3)
would be expected from the analogous
1. Although data were taken on 8-in.
problem of flow in tubes (f2), highly impellers, the limitations of the present ,tr = -d In (2tl7rD;h)
non-Newtonian fluids with a flow-be- equipment did not allow high rotational d In ( 4 ~ N / - l l/sz)
havior index n near zero show a smaller speeds for these larger systems. Therefore,
change of power with impeller speed in order to approach plant-scale conditions P = power, (ft.)(lb. force)/sec.
than do Newtonian fluids (n = 1.00), more closely one must extend the data to p = pressure, lb. force/sq. ft.
since pa decreases as N increases. larger and more powerful mixing systems. Q = flow rate, cu. ft./sec.
Under any flow Conditions the recom- 2. In some commercial installations the T = radius, ft.
mended procedure for estimating power T / D ratio may be smaller than the values S = scale reading, Ib. force
consumption once the type, size, and studied in the present work. Limited data s = D,/Di
indicate that the power consumption may
speed of the impeller have all been not be significantly affected by such changes, T = tank diameter, ft.
fixed may be reviewed as follows: but this influence of small values of T / D t = torque, ft.(lb. force)
1. Knowing N , one may evaluate kN should be investigated further for both u = point velocity, ft./sec.
[Equation (2)] to determine the average Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. V = volumetric average velocity, ft./
shear rate in the system. 3. The quality of mixing of Newtonian see.

Page 8 A.1.Ch.E. Journal March, 1957

y = generalized viscosity coefficient, rheologists. These definitions are based on These classincations are discussed in
Y = (qcK)/g.(6y 4- 2/n)., 1b. the relationship between the shearing stress more detail elsewhere (I, 4, 11, 13, 19, for
mass/(ft.) (see.%-n ) imposed on a fluid, 7, and the resulting example). Many engineering publications
A = difference of shear rate, duldr, as measured in various have been concerned with fluids which were
kinds of viscometers. Newtunian fluids believed to be of the Bingham-plastic type.
pa = apparent viscosity, lb. mass/(ft.)
show the familiar straight-line relationship, At the beginning of the present experi-
(see.) the slope of the line being defined as the mental program extensive determinations
p = density, Ib. mass/cu. ft. viscosity of the fluid. A Bingham-plastic of the shear-stress-shear-rate relationships
7 = shear stress, Ib. force/sq. ft. fluid is defined as one which also shows a of fluids which have been claimed to be
linear relationJhip between shear stress and Bingham plastics led to the conclusion that
Subscripts shear rate, but the relationship does not pass true Bingham plltstics probably exist only
i = bob wall through the origin. Pseudoplastic and dila- very rarely, if at all. Except for a few
0 = cup wall tant fluids do not show a linear relationship. specially prepared materials this type of
Figure 9 shows the equivalent logarithmic behavior broke down over shear-rate ranges
plot. greater than about 1:lOO.
LITERATURE CITED For the Newtonian fluid the ratio of
1. Alves, G. E., D. F. Boucher, and R. L. shear stress divided by shear rate is a B. Experimental Apparatus and Procedure

Pigford, Chem. Eng. Progr., 48, 385 constant and defined as the viscosity of The mixing equipment used in this work
the fluid. For the non-Newtonian, the is shown in Figures 10 and 11. It consisted
2. Brown, G. A., and D. N. Petsiavas, equivalent, or apparent, viscosity is not of a x-hp. variable-speed motor, four
paper presented a t New York A.1.Ch.E. a constant. Instead the ratio of shear stress Mixco Standard flat-bladed turbines (Mix-
Meeting (December, 1954). divided by shear rate changes with shear ing Equipment Go.), and four cylindrical
rate. For Bingham-plastic and pseudoplastic tanks. To measure torque accurately, the
3. Christiansen, E. B., N. W. Ryan, and
materials this ratio decreases with increas- motor was mounted on a large ball-bearing
W. E. Stevens, A.1.Ch.E. Journal, 1, ing values of shear rate; for dilatant
544 (1955). ring fixed in a cast-aluminum plate; the
4. Hedstrom, B. 0. A,, Ind. Eng. Chem., materials it increases. motor rotated freely with very little friction.
44, 651 (1952).
There are two other kinds of non- The reaction torque developed by the
5. Hirsekorn, F. S., and S. A. Miller, Newtonian behavior, termed thixotropy and motor in driving the turbine was taken
Chem. Eng. Progr., 49, 459 (1953). rheopezy. The apparent viscosities of from the motor by a torque ring attached
6. Hunsaker, J. C., and B. G. Rightmire,
thixotropic and rheopectic fluids depend to the motor hesd and transferred by a
Engineering Applications of Fluid on the time of shear as well as on rate of small, essentially frictionless pulley to a
Mechanics, McGraw-Hill Book Com- shear. These two kinds of behavior have dynamometer scale. The turbine shaft was
been too complex to study and, since they fitted inside a special hollow shaft provided
pany, Inc., New York (1947).
are of less frequent industrial importance, on the motor by the manufacturer (Mixco)
7. Krieger, I. M., and S. H. Maron, J .
A p p l . Phys., 25, 72 (1954).
will not be discussed here. Industrially, so that the shaft height was variable.
pseudoplastic behavior is probably more Turbine speeds were measured by an
8. Mack, D. E., and V. W. Uhl, Chem.
important than the other types of non- electric tachometer geared to the motor
Eng., 54, 119 (1947).
Newtonian behavior combined. shaft.
9. Magnusson, Karl, Iva. (Sweden),23, 56
All the foregoing definitions are restricted Four cylindrical flat-bottomed tanks 6,
t o materials which do not exhibit elastic re- 8.2, 11.6, and 22 in. in diameter were used
10. Matthews, T. A., 11, private com-
covery or viscoelasticity. That is to say, in this work. The smallest was a beaker,
munication (April 29, 1954).
once they have been sheared there is no the next two were Pyrex tanks, and the final
11. Metzner, A . B., Chenz. Eng. Progr., 50,
tendency for the fluid to return to its original one was a 55-gal. drum. All tanks except
27 (1954). shape or configuration. The necessity of this
12. --, and J. C. Reed, A.Z.Ch.E. the smallest one were fitted with four
assumption may prove to be a more serious removable baffles with a width of one tenth
Journal, 1, 434 (1955).
limitation of the present work than the of the tznk diameter.
13. Metzner, A. B., in Advances in
assumed absence of thixotropy and rheo- The impellers which were used had
Chemical Engineering, Vol. I, Aca-
pexy but cannot be dealt with until the diameters of 2, 4, 6, and 8 in. The ratios of
demic Press, Inc., New York (1956). engineering problems of design for pseudo-
14. Mooney, Melvin, J. Rheol., 2, 210 the width and length of the impeller blades
plastic, Bingham-plastic, and dilatant be- relative to their diameter were 1:5 and 1:4
(1931). havior hsve been well-developed.
15. OConnell, F. P., and D. E. Mack, respectivcly. With the smallest flat-bladed
Chem. Eng. Progr., 46, 358 (1950). turbine the torque readings were too low
16. Oldshue, J. Y., grivate communication
I _

17. Otto. R. E.. Ph.D. thesis. Univ. Dela-
ware: Sew&k (1957). BINGHAM
18. Reed, J. C., M.Ch.E. thesis, Univ. PLASTIC 1001

Dekawdre, Newark (1954).

19. Reiner, M., Deformation and Flow,
H. K. Lewis and Compmy, London
20. Rushton, J. H., Ind. Eng. Chem., 47,
582 (1955).
21. -- and J. Y. Oldshue, Chem Eng.
Progr., 49, 161 and 267 (1953).
22. Rushton, J. H., E. W. Costich, and
H. J. Everett, Chem. Eng. Progr., 46,
395 and 467 (1950).
23. Schultz-Grunow, F., Chem. Zng. Tech.,
26, 18 (1954).
24. Severs, E. T., and J. M. Austin, Ind.

25. -
Eng. Chem., 46, 2369 (1954).

, private communication (1956).

A. Definitions of Non-Newtonian Behavior



I 10

Figure 5 illustrates on arithmetic coordi- Fig. 8. Fluid characteristics (arithmetic Fig. 9. Fluid characteristics (logarithmic
nates the classical definitions used by scale). scale).

Vol. 3, No. 1 A.1.Ch.E. Journal Page 9

for the dynemometer scale; hence a torque tank diameter. The impeller was placed a t For the rotational viscometer, Krieger
table was improvised from a dead-weight one impeller diameter off the bottom of and Maron ( 7 ) have succeeded in writing
tester connected through a system of the tank unless this placement brought the an infinite series which converges rapidly
pulleys to a fmaller spring scale. impeller withln one impeller diameter of for cup-to-bob diameter ratios of less than
I n order not to vury a large number of the fluid surface. In this case the impeller 1.2:l. Their equations are
geometric varizbles a t on-e, the fluid was centered halfway between the liquid Shear stress a t the bob:
level in the tanks was maintained a t one surface and the tank bottom.
Rheological properties were measured 7. =
2 t
both on a Stormer rotational viscometer P D,h
and with a capillary-tube viscometer
(Figure 1I). The capillary-tube viscometer Shear rate a t the bob:
was an instrument used for the extrusion of
plastics (24).
The fluid to be tested was placed in a
stainless steel pressure chamber and ex-
_-du -
dr - - 1,s [l
1 47rN + h($ - 1)
truded under pressure from a capillary tube
mounted in the bottom of the chamber.
The flow rate of the fluid was measured by
use of a stop watch and a weighing balance.
The extrusion pressure was supplied by a n r f is evaluated a t the shear stress calcu-
nitrogen cylinder and was measured on lated by means of Equation (5). The
laboratory test gauges. During the experi- instrument constants h.1 and k z are
mental runs the pressure chamber was
surrounded by water to control the tem-
The Stormer viscometer was modified in
k, = c2s2-2(1 + $Ins);
that a smooth-walled cylinder was used
for the cup. End effects on the bob were s2 - 1
k 2 -----I ns (7)
corrected by calculation of the equivalent 6s2
bob height from data taken with National
Bureau of Standards calibrated oils. This I n any one run n is the slope of a
equivalent bob height was about 25% logarithmic plot of the torqne plotted
greater than the actual height. The fact against rotational speed, as all other factors
that the data (Figure 5 and Table 2) from in n are constant.
both instruments coincide within experi- Rabinowitschs solution of the motion of
mental error supports the adequacy of this fluids flowing through a pipe or capillary
procedure for accounting for end effects in tube gives upon rearrangement (18)
the rotational viscometer as well as for
the absence of any similar problems with 7 = -APD
- -
the capillary-tube viscometer. 4L (8)
Detailed equipment dimensions are given
in Table 1.

C. Viscometry
General equations (which do not require
du 32Q 3n
dr - 7rD3 +1 (9)

the presumption of a shear-stress-shear-rate Again n must be evaluated a t the corre-

relationship) have been reported in the sponding shear stress given in Equation (8).
literature; these were used exclusively t o For a given capillary tube n is found from
Fig. 10. Mixing equipment. interpret the viscometric measurements. a logarithmic plot of pressure drop vs. flow
Another general equation given
Krieger and Maron ( 7 ) is of use in vis-
cometric equipment approximating a long
cylinder rotating in an infinite fluid:

Brookfield viscometers (Brookfield Engi-

neering Laboratories) may fall into this
category, depending on the shapes of the
bobs user The shear stress is given by
Equation ( 5 ) .One cannot use the Brookfield
conversion factors to determine the appar-
ent viscosity directly because the formulas
supplied with the instrument are for
Newtonian fluids (n = 1.00). However,
since a Brookfield has several speeds n
can be obtained from a logarithmic plot of
scale reading vs. rotational speed, and the
shear rates calculated by means of Equation
For a power-function non-Newtonian
[Equation (I)]:
n = n z riff. (11)

Fig. 11. Impellers and viscoinetric equipment. Presented at A.I.Ch.E. Detroit meeting

Page 10 A.1.Ch.E. Journal March, 1957