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Title:
PROCESSING DEVICE FOR PROCESSING ONE OR MORE FLOWABLE MATERIALS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/215918
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a processing device for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, the processing device comprising: a housing having a cylindrical processing chamber, and having an inlet in fluid communication with the processing chamber, and an outlet in fluid communication with the processing chamber and at a distance from the inlet in a direction along the longitudinal direction of the cylindrical processing chamber; an agitating rotor arranged axially within the processing chamber and configured for agitating one or more flowable materials within the processing chamber, wherein the processing device further comprises a dust directing member arranged at the agitating rotor and configured for substantially preventing a cloud of dust within the processing chamber from reaching the outlet.

Inventors:
VAN DER WEL PETER GERARDUS JOSEPHUS (NL)
Application Number:
PCT/NL2021/050258
Publication Date:
October 28, 2021
Filing Date:
April 21, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HOSOKAWA MICRON B V (NL)
International Classes:
F26B11/16; B01F7/00; B01F7/04; B01F15/00; F26B25/04
Foreign References:
US20150298095A12015-10-22
US2756971A1956-07-31
KR20110061820A2011-06-10
EP1236015A12002-09-04
EP0105436A21984-04-18
US5570517A1996-11-05
US3425135A1969-02-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VAN TRIER, Norbertus Henricus Gerardus (NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
C LA IM S

1. Processing device for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, the processing device comprising: a housing having a cylindrical processing chamber, and having an inlet in fluid communication with the processing chamber, and an outlet in fluid communication with the processing chamber and at a distance from the inlet in a direction along the longitudinal direction of the cylindrical processing chamber; and an agitating rotor arranged axially within the processing chamber and configured for agitating one or more flowable materials within the processing chamber, wherein the processing device further comprises a dust directing member arranged at the agitating rotor and configured for substantially preventing a cloud of dust within the processing chamber from reaching the outlet.

2. Processing device according to claim 1, wherein the agitating rotor is configured to rotate to agitate the one or more flowable materials within the vessel to such an extent that the one or more flowable materials are maintained as an annular fluidized bed within the cylindrical processing chamber.

3. Processing device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the dust directing member is removable arranged at the agitating rotor.

4. Processing device according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the dust directing member is arranged at or near the outlet.

5. Processing device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the dust directing member has a substantially circular directing body, wherein the substantially circular directing body extends substantially transverse to the longitudinal direction of the agitating rotor.

6. Processing device according to claim 5, wherein the cylindrical processing chamber is a circular cylindrical processing chamber having a first diameter, wherein the substantially circular directing body has a second diameter, wherein the second diameter is smaller than the first diameter.

7. Processing device according to claim 5 and claim 6, wherein the cylindrical processing chamber has a cylindrical inner surface and the substantially circular directing body has an outer circumference, wherein a distance between the cylindrical inner surface of the cylindrical processing chamber and the outer circumference of the substantially circular directing body is in the range between 2 and 20 mm, for example is 3 mm when the first diameter is approximately 134 mm, or in the range between 1% and 17%, preferably between 1.5% and 15%, of the first diameter.

8. Processing device according to any one of the claims 5-7, wherein the substantially circular directing body has a first semi-circular body portion and a second semi circular body portion, wherein each of the first and second semi-circular body portions has a convex-shaped edge and a straight edge, preferably wherein the straight edges of the first and second semi-circular body portions are facing towards each other.

9. Processing device according to claim 8, wherein each of the straight edges has a semi-circular recess at the center thereof, wherein the semi-circular recesses of the first and second body portions together define a passage for allowing the agitating rotor to pass therethrough.

10. Processing device according to claim 8 or claim 9, wherein the first and second semi-circular body portions are arranged to be secured to each other.

11. Processing device according to any one of claims 8-10, wherein each of the first and second semi circular body portions comprises a securing member for securing the first and second semi-circular body portions to each other.

12. Processing device according to claim 11, wherein each securing member has a securing body with a first securing body end and a second securing body end, wherein, at the first end, each of the securing bodies is provided with a securing face and a receiving opening at the securing face configured to receive a securing part, wherein, at the second end, each of the securing bodies is provided with a securing extension extending away from the securing body and substantially parallel to the straight edge of the respective semi-circular body portion and configured to be arranged against the securing face of the other securing member, wherein each securing extension has an extension body with a receiving passage for allowing the securing part to pass therethrough.

13. Processing device according to claim 9 and claim 12, wherein each securing member extends around the semi-circular recess of the respective semi-circular body portion, and wherein the securing body at the first semi- circular body portion has an opposite orientation to the securing body at the second semi-circular body portion.

14. Processing device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the agitating rotor comprises an agitating axle arranged concentric within the processing chamber, and a plurality of agitating members arranged at the agitating axle and extending therefrom in a radial outward direction.

15. Processing device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each of the agitating members comprises an agitating shaft arranged at the agitating axle at one end thereof, and an agitating vane arranged at the end of the respective agitating shaft facing away from the agitating axle.

16. Processing device according to claim 15, when dependent on claim 8, wherein the straight edges of the first and second semi-circular body portions are provided with first and second deepenings configured for defining first and second receiving spaces for receiving a part of an agitating vane.

17. Processing device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the processing device comprises two or more dust directing members.

18. Processing device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the processing device is selected from a group comprising a mixer, preferably an annular mixer, an agitator and a dryer.

19. Processing system for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, the system comprising: one or more feeders configured for feeding one or more flowable materials to the processing device; and a processing device for processing the one or more flowable materials, according to any one of the preceding claims.

20. Processing method for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, by means of a processing device for processing one or more flowable materials, preferably according to any one of the claims 1- 18, the method comprising: providing one or more flowable materials to be processed to the processing device for processing one or more flowable materials; processing the one or more flowable materials to be processed by the processing device; and discharging the processed one or more materials from the processing device.

21. Method according to claim 20, wherein the step of providing one or more flowable materials to the processing device for processing one or more flowable materials comprises the step of providing one or more acceptable pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and/or one or more excipients.

22. Method according to claim 20 or claim 21, wherein the step of providing one or more flowable materials to be processed to the processing device for processing one or more flowable materials comprises the step of providing two or more flowable materials to be processed to the processing device. 23. Method according to claim 22, wherein the step of processing the one or more flowable materials to be processed by the processing device comprises the step of mixing two or more flowable materials.

Description:
Processing device for processing one or more flowable materials BACKGROUND

The invention relates to a device for processing one or more flowable materials. Additionally, the invention relates to a system for processing one or more flowable materials, and to a method for processing one or more flowable materials.

Such a device for processing one or more flowable materials, for example, is known from US 3,425,135 relating to a rotary solids processing apparatus and method. US 3,425,135 describes that solids processing is carried out in an elongated vessel of substantially circular cross-section having an axially mounted rotatable shaft provided with paddle blades or vanes radially mounted and extending substantially to the inside wall of the vessel. The vessel is disposed generally horizontally, that is on either a horizontal or upwardly or downwardly inclined axis.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION As described in US 3,425,135, the paddle bearing shaft is rotated at a speed high enough to cause the paddle blades or vanes to strike and agitate the particles of solids within the vessel to such an extent that the mass of solids is maintained as an annular fluidized bed. The shaft is rotated fast enough that the centrifugal forces on the particles are greater than the force of gravity so as to maintain the circulating annular bed, which on most materials has an observable inner boundary. A disadvantage of the known rotary solids processing apparatus is that during, for example, mixing of two or more particle materials a cloud of dust of at least one of the two or more particle materials is formed within the vessel. The cloud of dust moves along the paddle bearing shaft towards the outlet of the vessel, while being at a distance of the observable inner boundary of the circulating annular bed within the vessel. Therefore, the cloud of dust shortens the predetermined moving path of the two or more particle materials within the vessel. As a result, the cloud of dust disadvantageously exits the vessel at the outlet thereof, therewith leading to unknown composition of the mixture of the two or more particle materials exiting the vessel.

It is an object of the present invention to ameliorate or to eliminate one or more disadvantages of the known solids processing apparatus, to provide an improved solids processing apparatus or to at least provide an alternative solids processing apparatus.

According to a first aspect, the invention provides a processing device for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, the processing device comprising: a housing having a cylindrical processing chamber, and having an inlet in fluid communication with the processing chamber, and an outlet in fluid communication with the processing chamber and at a distance from the inlet in a direction along the longitudinal direction of the cylindrical processing chamber; and an agitating rotor arranged axially within the processing chamber and configured for agitating one or more flowable materials within the processing chamber, wherein the processing device further comprises a dust directing member arranged at the agitating rotor and configured for substantially preventing a cloud of dust within the processing chamber from reaching the outlet. As mentioned above, during processing the one or more flowable materials, such as mixing two flowable materials, a cloud of dust is formed within the processing chamber, which cloud of dust floats within and through the processing chamber. By providing the dust directing member, the cloud of dust is prevented from reaching the outlet of the processing device, such that it is prevented that the cloud of dust exits the processing device via the outlet thereof. As a result, the part of the processing chamber downstream of the dust directing member is substantially free of dust. Therefore, the mixture of the two flowable materials mixed within the processing chamber exits the processing device via the outlet thereof while the mixture advantageously remains unaffected by any dust formed within the processing chamber.

In an embodiment, the agitating rotor is configured to rotate to agitate the one or more flowable materials within the vessel to such an extent that the one or more flowable materials are maintained as an annular fluidized bed within the cylindrical processing chamber. Therefore, during use the agitating rotor may rotate to agitate the particles of solids within the vessel to such an extent that the mass of solids is maintained as an annular fluidized bed. The shaft may be rotated fast enough that the centrifugal forces on the particles are greater than the force of gravity so as to maintain the circulating annular bed, which on most materials has an observable inner boundary. The dust directing member, during use, may direct the cloud of dust towards the circulating annular bed comprising the one or more flowable materials, therewith introducing the cloud of dust into the circulating annular bed. As a result, the cloud of dust advantageously may be absorbed into the circulating annular bed, such that all material that is introduced into the processing device also exits the processing device.

In the context of the present application, a flowable material has to be understood as a solid, a slurry, a gel, a filter cake, a powder and/or any combination thereof .

In an embodiment, the dust directing member is removable arranged at the agitating rotor. According to this embodiment, the dust directing member can be removed from the agitating rotor when necessary or desired, for example, such that the processing device can be used for processing another one or more flowable materials. As a result, the usability of the processing device is increased advantageously. Furthermore, the dust directing member can be repositioned at the agitating rotor to a desired position, such that the position of the dust directing member can be adapted to a use of the processing device.

In an embodiment, the dust directing member is arranged at or near the outlet. By arranging the dust directing member close to the outlet of the processing chamber of the processing device, the part of the processing chamber downstream of the dust directing member is kept to a minimum. Advantageously, formation of another cloud of dust downstream of the dust directing member is kept to a minimum.

In an embodiment, the dust directing member has a substantially circular directing body, wherein the substantially circular directing body extends substantially transverse to the longitudinal direction of the agitating rotor. In an embodiment thereof, the cylindrical processing chamber is a circular cylindrical processing chamber having a first diameter, wherein the substantially circular directing body has a second diameter, wherein the second diameter is smaller than the first diameter. An advantage of this embodiment is that the dust directing member forms a dam within the processing chamber in order to prevent the cloud of dust from reaching the outlet of the processing device.

In an embodiment, the cylindrical processing chamber has a cylindrical inner surface and the substantially circular directing body has an outer circumference, wherein a distance between the cylindrical inner surface of the cylindrical processing chamber and the outer circumference of the substantially circular directing body is in the range between 2 and 20 mm, for example is 3 mm when the first diameter is approximately 134 mm, or in the range between 1% and 17%, preferably between 1.5% and 15%, of the first diameter. The distance between the cylindrical inner surface of the cylindrical processing chamber and the outer circumference of the substantially circular directing body may be chosen to correspond to a thickness of the circulating annular bed of the one or more flowable materials within the processing chamber. As a result, the circulating annular bed is able to pass between the cylindrical inner surface of the cylindrical processing chamber and the outer circumference of the substantially circular directing body, while substantially no or very little free space is left between the cylindrical inner surface and the outer circumference. The risk of the cloud of dust or a part thereof passing beyond the dust directing member, therefore, is reduced to a minimum.

In an embodiment, the substantially circular directing body has a first semi-circular body portion and a second semi-circular body portion, wherein each of the first and second semi-circular body portions has a convex-shaped edge and a straight edge, preferably wherein the straight edges of the first and second semi-circular body portions are facing towards each other. In an embodiment thereof, each of the straight edges has a semi-circular recess at the center thereof, wherein the semi-circular recesses of the first and second body portions together define a passage for allowing the agitating rotor to pass therethrough. An advantage of this embodiment is that the substantially directing body can be arranged at the agitating rotor, while the agitating rotor remains in its position. Therefore, the dust directing member can be arranged advantageously at an agitating rotor retrospectively.

In an embodiment, the first and second semi circular body portions are arranged to be secured to each other. In an embodiment thereof, each of the first and second semi-circular body portions comprises a securing member for securing the first and second semi-circular body portions to each other. An advantage of this embodiment is that the dust directing member can be firmly attached to the agitating rotor.

In an embodiment, each securing member has a securing body with a first securing body end and a second securing body end, wherein, at the first end, each of the securing bodies is provided with a securing face and a receiving opening at the securing face configured to receive a securing part, wherein, at the second end, each of the securing bodies is provided with a securing extension extending away from the securing body and substantially parallel to the straight edge of the respective semi-circular body portion and configured to be arranged against the securing face of the other securing member, wherein each securing extension has an extension body with a receiving passage for allowing the securing part to pass therethrough. In an embodiment thereof, each securing member extends around the semi-circular recess of the respective semi-circular body portion, and wherein the securing body at the first semi circular body portion has an opposite orientation to the securing body at the second semi-circular body portion. When the dust directing member is arranged at the agitating rotor, each of the securing members abuts against the agitating rotor in a clamping manner.As a result, the securing members fixate the dust directing member with respect to the agitating rotor.

In an embodiment, the agitating rotor comprises an agitating axle arranged concentric within the processing chamber, and a plurality of agitating members arranged at the agitating axle and extending therefrom in a radial outward direction. In an embodiment thereof, each of the agitating members comprises an agitating shaft arranged at the agitating axle at one end thereof, and an agitating vane arranged at the end of the respective agitating shaft facing away from the agitating axle. Using such an agitating rotor results in a good mixing result when two or more flowable materials are introduced into the processing chamber. In an embodiment, when the substantially circular directing body has a first semi-circular body portion and a second semi-circular body portion, wherein each of the first and second semi-circular body portions has a convex-shaped edge and a straight edge, preferably wherein the straight edges of the first and second semi-circular body portions are facing towards each other, the straight edges of the first and second semi-circular body portions are provided with first and second deepenings configured for defining first and second receiving spaces for receiving a part of an agitating vane. When the dust directing member has received a part of an agitating vane of the agitating rotor, rotation of the agitating rotor causes rotation of the dust directing member. A result of the dust directing member being rotating during use is that dust colliding onto the dust directing member will be directed outwards due to a centrifugal force applied to the dust by the dust directing member.

In an embodiment, the processing device comprises two or more dust directing members. An advantage of this embodiment is that a dust directing member can be located directly downstream of an inlet, for example, when the processing device comprises two or more inlets for introducing flowable material into the processing chamber.

In an embodiment, the processing device is selected from a group comprising a mixer, preferably an annular mixer, an agitator and a dryer.

According to a second aspect, the invention provides a processing system for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, the system comprising: one or more feeders configured for feeding one or more flowable materials to the processing device; and a processing device for processing the one or more flowable materials, according to the first aspect of the invention.

The processing system according to the invention has at least the same advantages as described in relation to the processing device according to the first aspect of the invention. According to a third aspect, the invention provides a processing method for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, by means of a processing device for processing one or more flowable materials, preferably according to the first aspect of the invention, the method comprising: providing one or more flowable materials to be processed to the processing device for processing one or more flowable materials; processing the one or more flowable materials to be processed by the processing device; and discharging the processed one or more materials from the processing device.

The method according to the invention has at least the same advantages as described in relation to the processing device according to the first aspect of the invention.

In an embodiment, the step of providing one or more flowable materials to the processing device for processing one or more flowable materials comprises the step of providing one or more acceptable pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and/or one or more excipients.

In an embodiment, the step of providing one or more flowable materials to be processed to the processing device for processing one or more flowable materials comprises the step of providing two or more flowable materials to be processed to the processing device. In an embodiment thereof, the step of processing the one or more flowable materials to be processed by the processing device comprises the step of mixing two or more flowable materials.

The various aspects and features described and shown in the specification can be applied, individually, wherever possible. These individual aspects, in particular the aspects and features described in the attached dependent claims, can be made subject of divisional patent applications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be elucidated on the basis of an exemplary embodiment shown in the attached drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows an isometric view of a processing device having a housing and a dust disc according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 shows an isometric view of the processing device of figure 1 with a partially housing;

Figures 3A-3C show a cross-sectional view of the processing device of figure 1 along line Illa-IIIa; a cross- sectional view of the processing device of figure 1 along line Illb-IIIb; and a cross-sectional view of the processing device of figure 1 along line IIIc-IIIc, respectively;

Figures 4A-4B show an isometric view of the dust disc; and an exploded view of the dust disc of figure 4A, respectively;

Figure 5 shows an isometric view of a processing device according to a further embodiment of the invention; and

Figure 6 shows a cross-sectional view of a processing device according to a further embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An isometric view of a processing device 1 for processing one or more flowable materials, such as pharmaceuticals, according to an embodiment of the invention is shown in figure 1. The processing device 1 comprises an elongated cylindrical housing 2 in which an internal cylindrical processing chamber 3 is defined. The cylindrical housing 2 has a first end 4 and a second end 5, in longitudinal direction opposite to the first end 4. At the first end 4, the cylindrical housing 2 is coupled to a non-shown driving unit, schematically represented by a driving axle 6. The non- shown driving unit bounds the processing chamber 3 at the first end 4 of the cylindrical housing 3. At the second 5, the cylindrical housing 2 is provided with a closure plate 7 for bounding the processing chamber 3 at the second end 5 of the cylindrical housing 2.

The non-shown driving unit is provided with a partition disc 10 having a first side 10 and a second side 11, opposite to the first side 10. The driving axle 6 extends at the first side 10 from the partition disc 10 in a direction away therefrom. At the second side 11, the partition disc 10 is provided with a partition disc coupling flange 13.

As shown in figure 2, the cylindrical housing 2 has a circular cylindrical circumferential wall 20 with a horizontal centerline S. The circular cylindrical circumferential wall 20 defines at the inside thereof a circular cylindrical inner surface 21 of the processing chamber 3. The circular cylindrical circumferential wall 20 merges at the first end 4 thereof, which is the side facing the non-shown driving unit, into a first coupling flange 22, and merges at the second end 5 thereof, which is the side facing away from the non-shown driving unit, into a second coupling flange 23.

As shown in figure 1, the cylindrical housing 2 is provided with an inlet conduit 30 having a circular cylindrical inlet tube 31 with a vertical centerline K. The circular cylindrical inlet tube 31 is provided at or near the first end 4 of the cylindrical housing 2. As shown in figure 3B, the circular cylindrical inlet tube 31 is arranged at the top side of the circular cylindrical circumferential wall 20 and debouches tangentially into the processing chamber 3. Therefore, the circular cylindrical inlet tube 31 merges smoothly into the circular cylindrical inner surface 21 of the processing chamber 3 at a position remote from the horizontal centerline S. The cylindrical housing 2 is further provided with an outlet conduit 35 having a circular cylindrical outlet tube 36 met a vertical centerline L. The circular cylindrical outlet tube 36 is provided at or near the second end 5 of the cylindrical housing 2. As shown in figure 3C, the circular cylindrical outlet tube 36 is arranged at the bottom side of the circular cylindrical wall 20 and debouches tangentially into the processing chamber 3. Thus, the circular cylindrical outlet tube 35 merges smoothly into the circular cylindrical inner surface 21 of the processing chamber 3 at a position remote from the horizontal centerline S. As is clear from figures 3B and 3C, the circular cylindrical outlet tube 36 is, in the circumferential direction around the horizontal centerline S, in line with the circular cylindrical inlet tube 31.

A shown in figure 3A, the first coupling flange 23 is placed against the partition disc coupling flange 13, wherein a first sealing ring 14 is placed therebetween. The first coupling flange 23 and the partition disc coupling flange 13 can be coupled by means of a non-shown first clamping ring. The closure plate 7 is placed against the second coupling flange 23 of the cylindrical housing 2, wherein a second sealing ring 15 is placed therebetween. The closure plate 7 and the second coupling flange 23 can be coupled by means of a non-shown second clamping ring.

The processing device 1 comprises a straight agitating rotor 40 arranged with the processing chamber 3. The agitating rotor 40 extends from a bearing 41 within the partition disc 10 through the first coupling flange 22 and through the processing chamber 3. The agitating rotor 40 is connected to the driving axle 6 in order to rotate the agitating rotor 40 in a rotating direction R. As shown in figure 3A, the agitating rotor 40 is arranged concentric within the processing chamber 3, such that the agitating rotor centerline coincidences with the horizontal centerline of the cylindrical housing 2.

The agitating rotor 40 comprises an agitating axle 42 arranged concentric within the processing chamber 3, and a plurality of agitating members 43 arranged at the agitating axle 42 and extending therefrom in a radial outward direction. As shown in figure 2, each of the agitating members 43 comprises an agitating shaft 44 arranged at the agitating axle 42 at one end thereof. Each agitating member 43 further comprises an agitating vane 45 at the end of the respective agitating shaft 44 facing away from the agitating axle 42. Each of the agitating vanes 45 defines a displacement plane or main plane extending parallel to the respective agitating shaft 44 and extending at an angle with respect to the horizontal centerline S.

At the first end 4 and at the second end 5 of the cylindrical housing 2, the agitating rotor 40 is further provided with scraping members 46. Each of the scraping members 46 is provided with a scraping shaft 47 arranged at the agitating axle 42 at one end thereof. Each scraping member 46 further comprises a scraping vane 48 having a scraping edge 49 for contacting and scraping over a surface of the partition disc 10 or the closure plate 7.

As shown in among others figure 2, the processing device 1 further comprises a dust directing member 50, also called a dust disc 50, removably arranged at the agitating rotor 40. The dust directing member 50 has a substantially circular directing body 51. As shown in figures 4A and 4B, the circular directing body 51 has a first semi-circular body portion 52 and a second semi-circular body portion 53. Each of the semi-circular body portions 52, 53 has a convex-shaped edge 54 and a straight edge 55, wherein the straight edges 55 of the first and second semi-circular body portions 52, 53 are facing towards each other. Each of the straight edges 55 has a semi-circular recess 56 at the center thereof, wherein the semi-circular recesses 56 of the first and second semi-circular body portions 52, 53 together define a passage 57 for allowing the agitating axle 42 to pass therethrough. Additionally, each of the straight edges 52, 53 comprises a first deepening 58 at a first end thereof, and a second deepening 59 at a second end thereof. The first deepenings 58 of the first and second semi-circular body portions 52, 53 together define a first receiving space 60, and the second deepenings 59 of the first and second semi-circular body portions 52, 53 together define a second receiving space 61. The first and second receiving spaces 60, 61 are configured for receiving a part of the agitating vane 45 of one of the agitating members 43.

Each of the first and second semi-circular body portions 52, 53 comprises a securing member 65 provided at a side of the respective semi-circular body portion 52, 53. Each securing member 65 has a securing body 66, with a first securing body end 67 and a second securing body end 68, extending around the semi-circular recess 56 of the respective semi-circular body portions 52, 53. As shown in figure 4B, the securing body 66 at the first semi-circular body portion 52 has an opposite orientation to the securing body 66 at the second semi-circular body portion 53. At the first end 67, each of the securing bodies 66 is provided with a securing face 69, facing towards the other one of the first and second semi-circular body portions 52, 53, and a receiving opening 70 at the securing face 69 configured to receive a securing part 71, such as a screw or a bolt. At the second end 68, each of the securing bodies 68 is provided with a securing extension 72 extending away from the securing body 66 and substantially parallel to the straight edge 55 of the respective semi-circular body portion 52, 53. The securing extension 72 of the securing body 66 at one of the first and second semi-circular body portions 52, 53 is configured to be arranged against the securing face 69 of the other one of the first and second semi-circular body portion 52, 53. As shown in figure 4B, each securing extension 72 has an extension body with a receiving passage 74 for allowing the securing part 71 to pass therethrough, such that the dust directing member 50 can be removably arranged at the agitating axle 42.

As indicated in figure 3A, the processing chamber 3 has a first diameter D1 and the dust directing member 50 has a second diameter D2. The second diameter D2 is smaller than the first diameter D1 in order to realize a narrow passage between the outer circumference of the dust directing member 50 and the circular cylindrical inner surface 21 of the processing chamber 3. For example, the first diameter is 134 mm and the second diameter is 128 mm, such that the distance between the outer circumference of the dust directing member 50 and the circular cylindrical inner surface 21 of the processing chamber 3 is approximately 3 mm.

During use, the agitating rotor 40 is rotated at a rotation speed in the range between 400 and 1500 rpm. The agitating vanes 45, therefore, generate an under pressure within the inlet conduit 30 and an over pressure within the outlet conduit 35, such that an air flow from the inlet conduit 30 to the outlet conduit 35 is generated. A combination of two or more flowable materials to be mixed is introduced into the processing chamber 3 via the inlet conduit 30. The agitating vanes 45 apply due to the rotating motion an centrifugal force to the combination of two or more flowable materials, therewith forcing the two or more flowable materials towards the outside of the processing chamber 3. As a result, the combination of two or more flowable materials moves spirally close to the circular cylindrical inner surface 21 of the processing chamber 3 in a movement direction M, therewith forming an annular layer along the circular cylindrical inner surface 21.

The combination of two or more flowable materials moves through the processing chamber 3 towards the outlet conduit 35, while passing the dust disc 50. The dust disc 50 provides a barrier along which the annular layer of the combination of two or more flowable materials is forced to pass. Dust floating around and moving along the agitating axle 42, therewith being remote from the annular layer of the combination of two or more flowable materials, is stopped by the dust disc 50 and forced towards the outside of the processing chamber 3, i.e. towards the annular layer of two or more flowable materials moving along the circular cylindrical inner surface 21 of the processing chamber 3. Therefore, the part of the processing chamber 3 beyond the dust disc 50, when viewed in the movement direction M, is substantially free of dust. Subsequently, the combination of two or more flowable materials, which are mixed at this stage, fall out of the processing chamber 3 through the outlet conduit 35 under influence of gravity.

An isometric view of a processing device 101 according to a further embodiment of the invention is shown in figure 5. The processing device 101 has substantially the same features as the processing device 1. Therefore, similar features are referred to with the same reference number increased with 100.

The processing device 101 differs from the processing device 1 as described in relation to figures 1-4, in that the processing device 101 comprises an additional inlet conduit 132 having an additional circular cylindrical inlet tube 133 with a vertical centerline T. The additional circular cylindrical inlet tube 133 is provided in front of the dust disc 150, when viewed in the movement direction M. Similar to the circular cylindrical inlet tube 131, the additional circular cylindrical inlet tube 133 is arranged at the top side of the circular cylindrical circumferential wall 120 and debouches tangentially into the processing chamber 103. Therefore, the additional circular cylindrical inlet tube 133 merges smoothly into the circular cylindrical inner surface 121 of the processing chamber 103 at a position remote from the horizontal centerline S.

This embodiment of the processing device 101 provides an additional inlet location, such that, for example, a first flowable material can be introduced into the processing chamber 103 via the inlet conduit 130, and a second flowable material can be introduced into the processing chamber 103 via the additional inlet conduit 132.

A cross-sectional view of a processing device 201 according to a further embodiment of the invention is shown in figure 6. The processing device 201 has substantially the same features as the processing device 1. Therefore, similar features are referred to with the same reference number increased with 200. The processing device 201 differs from the processing device 1 as described in relation to figures 1-4, in that the processing device 201 comprises an additional dust directing member 280, also called additional dust disc 280, is arranged at the agitating axle 242 directly downstream of the inlet conduit 230.

It is to be understood that the above description is included to illustrate the operation of the preferred embodiments and is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. From the above discussion, many variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art that would yet be encompassed by the scope of the present invention.