Vortex Mixmate

A safe, proven mixing and dispensing solution for caustic mud additives

Alfa Laval Vortex Mixmate mixing barrel product image

Drilling mud additives such as caustic soda, caustic potash, and soda ash are added to drilling muds to help maintain elevated fluid pH ranges of 10 to 12pH. In water based drilling mud systems, highly alkaline conditions are needed to flocculate bentonite, increase mud viscosity, and catalyze the reactivity of lignosulfonates and other “thinning” agents. These additives are also used to neutralize acid gases that are commonly  encountered in geological formations during drilling and become entrained in the drilling mud.

Additives are commonly supplied in sacks of powder or pellets and are mixed directly with fresh water at drill sites to create highly concentrated solutions before they are added into the drilling mud.

The mixing of caustic and soda ash with water are highly exothermic, causing heat generating reactions.  Therefore, the solutions that result are hot, highly alkaline, corrosive, and can easily burn skin and eyes if caution is not taken while mixing. With an estimated 1.5 to 1.8 million sacks of caustic handled by oil field workers annually, there is a potential of injury associated with the handling and mixing of these mud ingredients.

The Alfa Laval Vortex Mixmate is constructed of high quality materials that can withstand the corrosive nature associated with these additives. It is designed to provide rapid, consistent, and homogeneous mixing and dispensing of drilling mud solutions while preventing accidental exposure.

Basic equipment

The Alfa Laval Vortex Mixmate consists of a 100 gallon stainless steel drum with worktable and a protection baffle designed to greatly reduct the risk of liquid splash-back during mixing. It features a stainless steel, lockable, hinged safety cover with a viewing window.  The unit has a 1.5” water inlet and discharge outlets with stainless steel ball valves, a 3” overflow port, and astainless steel turbine impeller and shaft powered by a four horsepower motor. The entire assembly is packaged neatly and mounted on a powder coated, carbon steel skid base and table support legs.

Additional equipment

• Air compressor

• Alfa Laval Vortex Shear-Mixer


  • Simple, yet robust, design
  • High quality construction
  • Low maintenance
  • Safe, effective mixing of drilling mud ingredients
  • Easy dispensing of mixed solution
  • Easily integrated with the Alfa Laval Vortex Shear-Mixer


How it works

Once the Alfa Laval Vortex Mixmate is filled with fresh water, the 4 hp air motor is switched on to agitate the water. Powdered or pelletized chemicals are then gradually added and robustly mixed into a concentrated solution by the stainless steel impeller. The thermal gauge indicates when the reaction temperature has levelled off and the solution is fully mixed.