Granular material mixing is common in many industrial applications ranging from the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals to the production of construction materials. Problems arise when proper blending is not achieved, which can lead to failure of the desired product. Currently most industries use trial and error to design blending processes. There is a clear need for not only quantitative, mechanics-based models for predicting blending performance but also experimental data that can be used for model calibration and validation.

In order to provide validation and calibration data in support of model development, two mixing experiments were designed and performed to measure the degree of mixing as a function of time: one in a rotating circular drum and the other in a Tote blender. The experimental apparatuses, operation, data collection and processing algorithms, and challenges encountered are described in this paper.