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      CFD simulation of silica dispersion/natural rubber latex mixing for high silica content rubber composite production

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      a , b , c , d , a , a , e ,
      RSC Advances
      The Royal Society of Chemistry

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          Abstract

          High silica contents rubber composites are favored in the green tire industry for their ability to reduce rolling resistance. However, achieving effective silica dispersion in natural rubber, particularly at high silica content, poses a challenge. In addition, the choice of impeller configuration significantly influences mixing performance, especially in commercial production, which requires large mixing tanks. Therefore, understanding the scaling-up process for this mixing system is essential. This research aims to investigate the mixing of silica dispersion in natural latex, specifically focusing on a high silica content regime. The flow characteristics of each liquid phase were simulated by employing the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach, with a two-fluid model serving as the model based. Analyses were conducted on two variants of stirred tank reactors including four baffles and flat bottoms. Four configurations of Rushton turbine impellers were considered: four 90° blades (RT4-90), four 45° blades (RT4-45), six 90° blades (RT6-90), and six 45° blades (RT6-45). The simulations revealed that the 90° blade promoted the radial flow, while the 45° blades enhanced axial flow, through the process of diverting a significant proportion of the fluid above impeller, this regime effectively increases the liquid's velocity. Increasing the number of blades led to a more homogeneous velocity profile within the impeller region. Additionally, higher fluid velocity was observed in a larger mixing tank. In a smaller tank, the impact of impeller design (number and angle of the impeller) on mixing time was less pronounced. However, the mixing time decreased with the increasing blade number in a larger tank. In addition, the 45° blade angle tends to decrease the mixing time. The optimum design is the Ruston turbine with six blades set at a 45° angle. Furthermore, the upscaling criteria that were proposed by Norwood and Metzner were used into this inquiry. The suggested scaling criterion was consistently applied to the mixing of high silica natural latex, with no deviation exceeding 10%.

          Abstract

          The impeller configuration significantly influences on the hydrodynamics and mixing performance. The optimum design is the Ruston turbine with six blades set at 45 angle. The Norwood and Metzner scaling criteria is reliable to scale up of natural latex containing high silica content stirred tank.

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          The numerical computation of turbulent flows

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            Effect of impeller design on the flow pattern and mixing in stirred tanks

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              Flow patterns and mixing rates in agitated vessels

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                RSC Adv
                RSC Adv
                RA
                RSCACL
                RSC Advances
                The Royal Society of Chemistry
                2046-2069
                18 April 2024
                16 April 2024
                18 April 2024
                : 14
                : 18
                : 12612-12623
                Affiliations
                [a ] Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Prince of Songkla University Songkhla 90110 Thailand parinya.kh@ 123456psu.ac.th
                [b ] Industrial Technology Department, Petroleum Technology Program, Faculty of Industrial Education and Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya Muang Songkhla 90000 Thailand
                [c ] Simulation Technology, Digital Manufacturing, Chemicals Business, SCG 1 Siam Cement Road, Bang sue Bangkok 10800 Thailand
                [d ] Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The Thai Institute of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Chulalongkorn University Bangkok 10330 Thailand
                [e ] Air Pollution and Health Effect Research Center, Prince of Songkla University Songkhla 90110 Thailand
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0009-0003-0158-3121
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7222-3532
                Article
                d4ra01348d
                10.1039/d4ra01348d
                11025447
                38638820
                f35a453a-a42e-4b96-aa68-6e7539da3645
                This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry
                History
                : 21 February 2024
                : 13 April 2024
                Page count
                Pages: 12
                Funding
                Funded by: Office of the Higher Education Commission, doi 10.13039/100012527;
                Award ID: Unassigned
                Categories
                Chemistry
                Custom metadata
                Paginated Article

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