Glass-lined vessel agitator designs fall under two main categories: one-piece construction agitators and multiple-piece agitators, or GlasLock agitators.
One-piece construction agitators are available in impeller, turbine, anchor and frame arrangements. Many customers prefer this traditional style agitator and there are numerous applications in which this design is still sufficient, however, it is less significant nowadays due to more advanced agitator technologies. One-piece agitators have a restricted field of application because they need a large opening to be installed, require mandatory dismantling of the drive for any maintenance, and (depending on the application) can sometimes encounter additional issues including sealing problems and difficulty cleaning.
GlasLock agitators maximize process flexibility by allowing blades to be installed, removed, and changed to various pitches, depending on what works best for the application at hand. This feature is advantageous from a maintenance perspective as well because individual blades can be replaced if they become damaged rather than having to remove and replace the entire agitator (and consequently don’t require the mechanical seal to be dismantled minimizing downtime). While additional headroom is needed for installation, GlasLock blades are especially ideal for fitting through the manway of a closed-welded GL reactor, and their properties are beneficial in CTJ and SA reactor series as well. The blade designs available in the GlasLock range include pitch blade turbine (which can be set at 30, 45, 60 and 90 angles depending on your process objective), hydrofoil, Rushton turbine, trapezoidal, OptiFoil (a combination of the hydrofoil and trapezoidal designs), and breaker bar. Generally speaking, the GlasLock line of agitators improves product yield and quality, reduces batch time and cost, and improves heat transfer efficiency by up to 30%.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when selecting a mixing system for your process. Refer to our Agitator Comparison Chart for a side by side comparison of the various types of agitators available and some advantages of each blade design.