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Agitator Types: Applications & Design

What is Agitator?

Agitator are machines or devices used to mix and agitate liquids and other media for a variety of purposes. Generally that can be used in manufacturing processes, laboratories, or as part of processing equipment. In this guide, we will explore the types, uses, design considerations, and key terms related to agitators.

An agitator is a type of equipment that helps to mix and blend different substances by creating movement within them. It is commonly used in manufacturing, laboratory, or production processes. Agitators are comprised of one or more rotating impellers that generate flow patterns to move the material being processed through the container. The blades of the impeller create suction and turbulence, helping to break up clumps and ensure uniform mixing.

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Agitator Definition

An agitator is a device that stirs or mixes liquids, either to generate motion or to maintain homogeneity in the solution. They can also be used for chemical reactions, such as those occurring in chemical reactors, and are frequently found in industrial processes.

Agitator pronunciation

The correct pronunciation of ‘agitator’ is “a – ji – ta – tor”, with the emphasis on the syllable sounds in between the letters. As far as accent and colloquialisms go, this will vary. However, you should always be consistent when speaking this word to ensure that it is understood

Parts of Agitator


The shaft of an agitator is the core of the stirring system and consists of either a through-shaft, or can be segmented into two sections called an inner and outer shaft. It is typically made out of stainless steel and houses a series of blades, impellers, propellers, or other stirring tools which help move the materials around inside the tank.


The bearing is responsible for supporting the rotating components in place within the agitator in order to reduce friction between moving parts. Which increases the life of both it and the agitation system’s components over time.


An electric motor provides power to rotate the various blades used by agitators to move floating items such as foam or solid particles around inside a tank/vessel. Motors are available in two main types: induction motors and synchronous motors with AC motors. That is more common than DC motors due to given their higher efficiency rate during long-term operation hours with lower electrical costs associated with these types of systems.


Agitators require proper sealing mechanisms around all interfaces where product could enter if air were allowed in causing frothing or cavitation due to low pressure regions. That form on or near surfaces contacting agitated material at high velocity. This seals them off successfully as well as reducing any wear caused by medium entering during operation.

Baseplate & Lid

A baseplate is usually necessary for mounting purposes and determining an agitator’s centerline position relative to its tank walls before installation. While lids assist in keeping product contained within vessel/tanks by forming roofs above whatever useful product’s surface from below. So no air enters while allowing manual access without much additional equipment being used.

Drive Assembly

The drive assembly is the motor of the agitator. It is associated with the agitator and keeps it running with its power source. The motor typically runs on electricity, hydraulic, turbine or steam power and helps to move the mixer or agitator blades.

Agitator Blades

Agitator blades come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the application they are used for. The blades produce an axial flow when they are rotated, which disperses and mixes material within a tank where they are installed. The faster the agitator rotates, the more effective it is at stirring materials together evenly throughout a tank or vessel.


The coupling serves as a connection between two machines by allowing one machine to drive another component. Once again this component will ensure smooth operation without introducing any additional stresses due to misalignments with connected equipment that otherwise could lead to premature damage or failure due to its little bit tolerance. And save the important components within an agitating system.


Impellers are key components for most mixing operations especially when involving viscous liquids. It’s main purpose is to increase bulk liquid flow rates throughout different vessels. In order to achieve optimal levels of homogeneity, the product may be being handled inside.

Parts of Agitator

Types of Agitators

Generally there are many types of agitators using the industries nowadays but some of the main types of agitators are given below and the agitators are categorized depending on the shape of impellers and mounting of the agitators. The first of all we will explain you on the basis of types of impeller.

There are three main types of agitators:

  • Turbine agitators.
  • Paddle Agitators
  • Anchor agitators
  • Propeller agitator
  • Helical Agitators

Agitators come in many shapes and sizes, but there are several basic types are dynamic propellers, anchors, paddles, turbines, and turbines-on-rods. Each of these agitator designs have unique features that make them suitable for different tasks. 

Turbine Agitators

Turbine agitators are popular mixing tools due to their high blending efficiency and ability to handle a variety of operations. The turbine has an axial input, while the output is radial. This combination of rotational and centrifugal motion causes turbulence of the fluid being mixed, making it suitable for use in industries related to metal extraction, chemical reactions, pharmaceuticals, grease, and cosmetics.

Turbine agitators use a central shaft connected to several helical blades which spin simultaneously generating additional agitation from horizontal motion as well as vertical circulation of the fuel/fluid mixture.

Paddle Agitators

Paddle agitators are a simple form of agitation equipment designed to provide uniform laminar flow with minimal shearing force. Paddles are elongated blades that reach the walls of the vessel. These are used in many industries such as food, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. These agitators are particularly very effective for use with viscous materials.

Anchor Agitators

An Anchor Agitator, true to its name, looks like an anchor. The impellers on these agitators stretch and spread across the vessel so that there is very little space left between the blades and the walls of the container. They provide a laminar flow which helps achieve a thorough mix in applications such as creating inks, paints, and adhesives. The blades being completely in contact with the vessel’s surfaces, they can ensure adequate mixing of batches within these industries.

Anchor agitators have a shaft which rotates on an inclination from vertical allowing the blades to force movement through the liquid.

Propeller Agitators

Propeller agitators are types of impellers that are designed similarly to marine propellers, with blades that taper towards the shaft to reduce centrifugal force and promote axial flow. This means they cause fluid to be moved in a parallel direction, transforming it into an ideal axial force. Such devices are primarily used in stirring applications where low viscosity fluids are employed and find great use in pharmaceutical industries as well as other manufacturing fields involving suspensions, because they have the ability to prevent solid particles from settling. Propeller agitators use a large disc-like structure with blades along one side to generate motion within the liquid by whipping it into rotation around its axis.

Helical Agitators

Helical agitators are a type of mixing equipment consisting of ribs or blades which are arranged in the form of a helix. This design creates axial motion and vigorous fluid motion inside a vessel. It is often used to mix viscous materials in industries such as the polymer industry. The helical design of these agitators generates high shear rates and ensures thorough mixing of materials with different densities and viscosities.

Types of agitators on the basis of mounting arrangement 

  • Side-Mounted Agitators
  • Bottom-Mounted Agitators
  • Circular Tray Agitator
  • Magnetic Drive Agitator
  • Submersible Agitator

Top-Mounted Agitators

Top-mounted agitators are very versatile and are commonly used in many industrial applications due to their wide range of uses. They mount on the top of the tank, making them ideal for use tanks with limited floor space or headroom. The main advantage is that they not only provide gentle agitation but also allow for a wide range of mixing techniques, including axial flow and radial flow.

Side-Mounted Agitators

These agitators are mounted on the side wall of a tank and provide good mixing capabilities while occupying only minimal floor space. As such, they are perfect for being integrated into existing systems where internal tools may be needed to increase production rates or improve product quality.

Bottom-Mounted Agitators

Bottom-mounted agitators are most often used in process tanks where conventional top mounting may not be possible due to the tank shape constrain. While bottom mount mixers cannot provide complete circulation like their top mounted. They can be effective for low shear blending, solid suspension, and even modest batching tasks when surface agitation is all that’s needed or desired. Typical uses include water treatment facilities to maintain constant ratios of chemicals.

Circular Tray Agitator

Circular tray agitators are ideal for applications that require uniform agitation without creating static electrical fields which can interfere with sensitive electronic monitoring equipment . They utilize an impeller that is equipped with fixed blades set at an angle to gently stir material while it moves around inside the semi-circular bowl in a circular motion. Thus ensuring thorough agitation throughout the entire cycle time interval eliminating hot spots or areas of low saturation among other issues associated with liquids stirred by traditional flat blades.

Magnetic Drive Agitator

Magnetic drive agitator is most useful when dealing with highly viscous fluids and steam requirements due to its ability to remotely operate such materials over long distances and heights. Where traditional liquid handling technologies may not reach. Its design allows multiple configurations tailored for specific needs requiring self priming. It securely seals itself using a powerful magnetically coupled motor which eliminates any possibility of leakage which might occur resulting from rubber seals found in alternative non magnetic systems.

Submersible Agitator

Submersible agitators offer completely enclosed mixing solutions within tank apparatuses enhancing energy efficiency durability & longevity lifespan equipment’s electrical integrity properly maintained stressing effectiveness today’s complex demanding industries requiring high levels of cleanliness and hygiene throughout lab operations providing both convenience and cost reduction integrate existing machinery operations extended periods time full automation control contactless system avoiding unnecessary headaches technical personnel teams previously lacking.

Overhead Mounted Agitating Assembly

An overhead mounted agitating uses multiple supporting arms attached to ceiling pipes and a central stirring component, sometimes called a mixer. The insulation is used in order to keep liquids at temperatures up to several hundred degrees Celsius – for example petroleum lubricants and gear oils used in cooking oil applications. It is often necessary to mix complex compounds and suspend particles, and prevent them from settling.

Applications of Agitators

That increases heat transfer and mixing, ensuring quick reactions, homogeneity, and solids suspension. The most common agitator applications include mixing liquids, suspending solids, and keeping particles suspended in solutions. 

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries

Agitators are an essential item for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as they help to separate particles, keep these particles suspended in liquid or gas, reduce settling times, homogenize, and encourage reactions. Agitators help to avoid unwanted crystallizing of solutes on walls or the vessel bottom. Their slow-moving blades provide excellent coverage of all reactant areas.

Food Processing

Agitators come in many forms and can be used to mix food ingredients while processing them as they provide intense blending action which helps accelerate reaction time while removing lumps and clumps all at once. This is to help in more consistency, smoother texture and better taste in a shorter amount of time. These agitators can be used in shortening emulsification processes, chocolate processing lines, cereal manufacturing plants and much more.

Mixing Processes

Agitator models offer something special when it comes to mixing processes: they mix particulates thoroughly while keeping batches uniform by breaking down lumps that have formed during solid-liquid interactions. Agitator also helps to mix blended liquids such as oil/water suspensions and paints too. if you want a homogeneous composite with no settlements then direct drive agitator are your best bet.

Polymerization Reactors

Polymers can easily be synthesized using agitator reactors due to the ability of their slow movement speeds providing even exposure for components within the vat, plus a gentle stirring so that there are no bubbles surface foam or carbon dioxide collected in small concentrated areas during mixing sessions. Stirring also supplies improved heat transfer throughout mixtures properly distributing temperatures with no hot/cold spots present during reactions occurring inside these tanks!

Wastewater Treatment Processes

In the wastewater treatment systems it helps prevent solids from settling at the bottom of basins while efficiently controlling odor production too.Wastewater agitation systems promote oxidation reduction along with proper mixing encouraging demulsification so that lighter fats form surfaces floating above dark sludge plates. Reducing oils walls enfolding larger particles together on contact points when incident waves hit side walls hard enough tangibly transferring kinetic energy into kindlier environments. Even unstable ground levels could handle this.

Design Consideration for Agitator

There are several design considerations that need to be taken into account. It is important to consider the mixing time, geometry of components, size of the tank, power consumption, construction material compatibility, and fluid properties when designing an effective agitator.

Mixing Necessity

The first step in determining the right agitator is to determine what type of mixing is necessary for your process. Factors that determine the products and ingredients being mixed, desired outcomes like particle size reduction, reactions to be pulsed, heating/cooling requirements, viscosity of the liquid being mixed, and temperature extremities.

Container Design

Agitators can be customized to fit almost any vessel or container, from a small 500 mL test tube to a 100-foot-long tank with diameters from one foot to several million feet. When determining the optimal configuration of your project’s container shape, consider what surface area will require for agitation around the perimeter. Then determines how many stirrers are needed for sufficient coverage.

Speed Requirements

Careful consideration for speed range that is suitable for special equipment functionality, specifications. As well as internal components such as motor speeds and impeller sizes/combinations should they also need customization depending on the application.

Motor Type

Different motor technologies have different feature advantages based on their respective application requirements. These motors range from PWM (pulse width modulation) through a standard DC brushless style motor or various AC induction designs with the number and capability of features too numerous to list here in this article.

Impeller Shapes & Sizes

Ideally suited agitators provide adequate cross flow inside a vessel of differing shapes and sizes. Agitators designed with several impeller design choices including radial flow turbines, axial propellers varying from flat blade to pitched blades. In addition consider impeller size usage has been greatly improved.

Drive System Considerations

Factors directly affecting drive systems with vibration levels, torque ratings, power output ranges and speed factors. Not forgetting point load excursions vs weight modifications concerning sub determination loads involving compatible gearing being used in conjunction along side applicable safety guarding intended here.

Construction Materials

Determining appropriate construction material selection requires for long lasting durability compounded towards product compatibilities. Defined by industry standards surrounding contaminant leaching factors. No single essential element hitting each parameter either singularly or combined simply put reliability met through materials meeting expectations alongside chemical composition & hardness scale ratings meant given scope.

Key Benefits of Using an Agitator

Agitators can increase productivity, reduce operating costs, and provide flexibility for many industries, from food production to chemical processing. Agitators offer numerous benefits and advantages. They help maintain uniformity in the solution by ensuring that all components are mixed properly, thereby maximizing efficiency. In addition, agitators can be adjusted to meet specific needs such as increasing or decreasing the intensity of mixing to control reaction rates or controlling particle size in suspensions. Finally, they can also prevent material settling out or collecting at one spot.

Advantages of Agitation

The primary benefit of using an agitator is that it produces circulation within the batch leading to improved heat transfer between surfaces or fluids letting you control temperature with greater accuracy. Additionally agitation causes oxygen (air) bubbles captured during manufacture processes, such as bottling beverages, to be expelled quickly maintaining more consistent quality products over longer periods.

Agitator in painting

The ideal way of introducing interesting textures to a piece of artwork. The different motions provided by various brush sizes and agitator designs helps create shapes, lines and dabs that would be impossible with a brush alone.

Improving Color Movement Agitators can also help you produce better color movement in your paintings, especially for wet-on-wet techniques. Color and paint are smoothly moved around the canvas by agitating the bristles slightly to help blend the mixture together.

Agitator washing machine

Energy Efficiency Agitator washing machines are renowned for their superior energy efficiency. Unlike front-load machines, which work hard to fill up with water and heat it, top-loaders use less power since they fill up directly from the faucet. Agitator models also tend to take less time to do a complete wash cycle.

That makes them more economical in terms of energy consumption – so your utility bills should be lower.

Much Faster Drying Times An agitator washing machine forces water out through its rotating drum during the spin cycle so that your clothes will get dry faster.

This helps save on electricity costs and also reduces wear on your clothes over time, as longer drying times can lead to fabric damage or fading colors.

Agitator vs Impeller

Agitator: An agitator is a type of mixing device or accessory typically used to induce a chemical or mechanical reaction between two substances in an apparatus. They use physical forces such as shear, turbulence and rotation to mix liquids of different viscosity and density. Agitators come in many shapes and sizes and are often found in tank vessels for industrial and chemical processing. Typically, they have either a flat or conical bottom with several blades that act like propellers to mix the medium within the tank vessel.

2. Impeller: An impeller is a circular device that fits inside liquids in order to transfer energy from one liquid to another while mixing them together. It typically consists of blades which rotate on an axis shaft, similar to a fan blade, in order to move the air or liquid medium throughout the vessel. Unlike agitators, impellers are not intended for creating motion between two different substances but instead create controlled circulation within an open capacity fluid system. Impellers can also be used for pumping out any material that is suspended in the liquid when its centrifugal force moves it towards the outlet of the pump where it can be disposed of safely.

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