Clay Mixers, or Pug Mills, or Both?
Clay Mixers & Pug Mills: Function
What do you need? If all you want to do is mix your own clay, you need a mixer at a minimum. If you want a mixer that empties itself, go for the mixer/pug mill or a mixer with a tilting hopper. If you need clay that’s ready to throw without any further wedging, you’ll need a de-airing pug mill either as a standalone machine or as part of a mixer/pug mill. If your concern is just recycling, a pug mill or a mixer/pug mill can do the job but you’ll need to ask the dealer about what condition the clay has to be in before it can be processed, for example, stiff, bone dry, slurry, etc.
Clay Mixers & Pug Mills: Capacity
You don’t want to overestimate your needs and purchase a machine you’ll only use once or twice a year, or one that won’t keep up with your requirements. Manufacturers make machines of varying capacities and rate them by batch-mixing sizes (in pounds), mixing rates (pounds/hour), and pugging rates (pounds/hour). In addition to these rates, you’ll need to consider times for batching, unloading and wedging to get an idea of total clay throughput.
Clay Mixers & Pug Mills: Ventilation
If you’re planning to mix clay, you’ll need a ventilation system to control dust even if the clay mixer has a tight fitting lid on the hopper. There are dust collection systems available or you may have an existing system to tie into. Caution: Even with a ventilation system, you’ll still need to wear a respirator when working with dry materials.
Clay Mixers & Pug Mills: Electrical Requirements
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Clay Mixers & Pug Mills: Cleaning and Storage
Clay Mixer & Pug Mills: Safety
**First published in 2010