Industrial Mixing Basics: Types of Mixing Impellers

Common Characteristics of Mixing Impeller Designs

In part one of our blog series on types of mixing impellers, we look at the characteristics common to all industrial mixing impeller designs and a list of ProQuip high performance mixing impellers based on shear and viscosity.

The impeller is a key component of industrial tank agitator design. In technical terms, an industrial tank agitator describes the “application of mechanical motion in order to create fluid dynamic effects that achieve the desired process results.”  More simply stated, a tank agitator uses a mixing impeller(s) rotated in a vessel to create the desired fluid dynamics.

There are five characteristics common to all mixing impellers:

  • Flow Pattern: The flow pattern is a description of the movement of the fluids in a mixed vessel created by the rotation of the mixing impeller.
  • Impeller Power: The power required to run a specific impeller with a given diameter at a given speed.
  • Fluid Pumping Rate: The volumetric discharge rate of an Impeller operating at a given speed, measured at the Impeller.
  • Fluid Velocity: The vector quantity of the rate of change of position for the liquid.
  • Fluid Shear: As applied to liquid mixing, it is that portion of the applied power which appears as turbulence, recycling drag on the blades, etc. It is the action which produces intimate mixing on a microscopic and molecular scale.

A general classification of mixing impellers is based on their characteristic of flow and shear.  This relationship is used since all of the power a mixer supplies to a fluid produces a combination of flow and shear as illustrated in the following graph.


Flow and shear are inversely proportional. Knowing the flow and shear characteristics of your mixing process is critical in impeller selection.


ProQuip High Performance Mixing Impellers

ProQuip offers a wide variety of high performance mixing impellers classified by shear and typical application for process viscosity.

Low Shear, Low-Medium Viscosity

ProQuip HiFlow TM Impeller

ProQuip Impeller design ProQuip HiFlow


Low Shear, Medium Viscosity

ProQuip High-Solidity HiFlow TM Impeller

ProQuip Impeller High Solidity HiFlow

Medium-High Shear, Low-High Viscosity – Axial Turbine Impeller (45o pitched blade)

ProQuip Axial Turbine Impellers


Medium-High Shear, Low-High Viscosity – Radial Turbine Impeller (90o blade)


Low Shear, Variable Viscosity

ProQuip Doubly-Pitched HiFlow TM Impeller

ProQuip tank agitators doubly-pitched hiflow- mpeller


High Viscosity – Anchor Impeller

ProQuip Anchor Impeller


High Viscosity – Gate Impeller

ProQuip Gate Impeller


High Viscosity – Double Helix ImpellerProQuip Double Helix Impeller

For More Information on Types of Mixing Impellers

For more information about the right mixing impeller for your application, email or call us at 330-468-1850. Part two of our blog series on mixing impellers takes a closer look at mixing impeller flow patterns.