Chaotic Mixing in Double-Cone Blender
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Chaotic Mixing in Double-Cone Blender

June 23, 2010
Chaotic Mixing in Double-Cone Blender This image shows the mixing pattern that results from tumbling identical red and green grains in a common design of tumbling blender used by catalysis, pharmaceutical, food and other processing industries. The blend is initially placed with red on the left half and green on the right, and is tumbled one revolution clockwise in this view; the grains are then frozen by infiltrating with polymer, and the tumbler is sliced open to expose the intricate fractal mixing pattern that is a signature of chaotic mixing. In this system, chaos results from nearly periodic stickslip motion at the surface of the tumbling bed. This work was performed at the Center for Structured Organic Composites (C-SOC), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at Rutgers University. The center was established to study the nature of finely ground granular materials and other substances that form the core of drug tablets, processed foods, agricultural chemicals and other "composite organic" products. In addition to improving the quality and consistency of such materials, the center will develop more consistent and cost-effective manufacturing techniques than methods based largely on trial and error. To learn more about work at this center, visit the C-SOC Web site. Further information about the NSF Engineering Research Centers program, including a list of the centers currently funded and links to their Web sites, is available at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5502. (Date of Image: unknown) [One of several related images. See Next Image.]

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