SA Plastics

Banbury mixer celebrates century, very definitely in the mix

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PHOTO: Guests at the get-together at the Banbury centenary in Manchester included Gareth Jefferson of Berwin Polymers UK (formerly with Matmin in Johannesburg); Donal Ryan and Collin Stroberg of Nuvo Rubber; Ron Dunwoodie, Hennie Strydom and Jaco Smith of Carst & Walker; and Ian Latchem, the HF sales engineer for SA (and ex-C&W)

THE Banbury Mixer is 100 years old, making it one of the longest lasting internal material mixing systems ever developed. The century milestone was actually celebrated in November last year, 100 years to the day after Fernley Hope Banbury introduced the first pressurised internal rubber batch mixer in November 1916.

“100 years on and many thousand Banbury mixers operate all over the world. At least 100 have seen service in South Africa,” said Ron Dunwoodie of Carst & Walker, who attended the celebratory conference at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) in Manchester in November.

The event was hosted by HF Mixing Group, which is the owner of Farrel Ltd, manufacturers of the Banbury mixers.

Besides some excellent presentations, one given by Donal Ryan of Nuvo by special invitation, there was a factory visit and many hours devoted to the study of the exhibits at this amazing museum

C&W has been the agent for Banbury mixers for nearly 40 years.

The Banbury solution was developed in the USA in 1916 when Banbury, an English engineer, was working at Werner & Pfleiderer in Michigan. He changed the rotor geometry and added a wooden floating weight that acted on the rubber in the mixing chamber. A patent was granted in Banbury’s name. The world’s first Banbury closed rubber mixer thus become a reality and the first workable internal mixer was used by Goodyear Tire & Rubber company in Akron, Ohio, paving the way for the use of internal mixers throughout the industrial world.

Several refinements to the system have since been made, including the addition of dust seals, automation, rotor geometries with advanced cooling, hydraulic hoppers with intelligent control, new ram profiles, mixer drives, discharge door designs and considerable material loading improvements, with HF Mixing Group still at the forefront of the development process.