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Guest Blog: Improving Efficiency and Reliability in Two-Component Mixing and Dispensing of Polyurethanes

September 29, 2010
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The metering, mixing and dispensing of two-component polyurethanes is an important part of the overall application process. A presentation on this topic will be given at the Polyurethanes Short Course, to be held Oct. 3-4 at the Cincinnati Marriot at RiverCenter in Covington, KY.

In many cases, customers rely on the “manual method,” in which the two polyurethane components are taken from their bulk containers, poured and weighed to achieve the proper ratio, mixed together, and applied as appropriate. The manual method is not recommended for several reasons. The manual method:
  • poses health risks due to exposure to the materials being mixed;
  • is labor-intensive;
  • results in inconsistency from one mix to another;
  • introduces air into the product;
  • creates waste and disposal issues of unused material; and
  • causes inaccurate placement.
Several better, more efficient methods exist to mix polyurethane components. Two in particular are meter mix equipment (i.e., meter, mix and dispense or MMD equipment) and cartridge systems. Each alternative addresses the challenges caused by the manual method in a very different way, and it’s not always obvious which option is best for a given application, especially when one is investigating these alternatives for the first time.

The first part of the presentation will focus on identifying the proper mixing and dispensing method for particular applications. It will examine the factors that go into making a determination, and will provide insight into the types of questions to ask when choosing an alternative to the manual method. Next, cartridge systems as an alternative will be examined in detail. Since a number of different cartridge systems are on the market, the features and benefits of each will be discussed, along with series of questions to determine the most appropriate system for the application.

The balance of the presentation will concentrate on the most important, and often overlooked, part of the system-the static mixer. Also known as the motionless mixer, the static mixer is what actually blends the two components together. Because a few different mixer geometries are available, as well as many sizes and lengths, a step-by-step process will be shared to help determine the best mixer for an application, along with the physical testing that should be conducted before use.

The presentation will close with an examination of the many facets of the mixing and dispensing process, including alternatives to the traditionally used manual method and their advantages. It will also provide helpful tips and solutions to meet specific needs so that future projects yield a higher success rate.


Craig Blum will present “Improving Efficiency and Reliability in Two-Component Mixing and Dispensing of Polyurethanes” at the ASC Polyurethanes Short Course on Sunday, October 3, from 4:15-5:15 p.m. The Polyurethanes Short Course includes a thorough review of polyurethane technologies, raw material considerations, application/dispensing and processing equipment, formulation, test methods, and end-use applications. To hear Mr. Blum’s full presentation, along with other industry experts, register to attend the Polyurethanes Short Course.

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