The CONTERNA is a continuous operation multi-chamber kneading machine. The standard version comprises 6 horizontal processing chambers arranged in a series, each containing 2 DUPLEX-like kneading elements arranged one on top of the other. Each chamber is equipped with a frequency-controlled AC motor with which the speed of the kneading blades can be infinitely adjusted. Liquid and solid components can be introduced into the top of each chamber (except the final one). The dosed solid or liquid material is continuously conveyed from one working chamber to the next by the kneading elements and then discharged from the last processing chamber via a discharge nozzle or a flange-mounted gear pump. The top and bottom of the chamber block each have an independent temperature control jacket. The kneading chamber lid and the back wall can also be optionally equipped with a temperature control jacket.
The CONTERNA kneading machine is constructed as a modular system, i.e. both the number of kneading chambers as well as the design of the kneading tools and discharge module can be varied depending on the application and desired results. This allows the kneading intensity and product residence time in the machine to be adjusted individually to each application. Variants on the standard 6-chamber machine have already been constructed with 4, 5, 8, 12 and 14 chambers, in each case to meet the requirements of the product to be processed.
Whereas in conventional extrusion processes the product residence time is only relatively short and thus only a limited energy input is possible, the CONTERNA continuous, multi-chamber kneading system offers a wide range of residence times, which can be set as required. The continuous conveyance of the product from one chamber to the next ensures intensive, but gentle and uniform substance mixing. In addition, significantly higher solids contents can be achieved than with conventional extruders.
The CONTERNA concept allows a number of process steps to be combined in one machine, such as the mixing, kneading, rolling and extrusion of medium to high viscosity media. Continuous processes have considerable advantages over batch processes – provided that the process parameters allow it.
The kneading chamber cover can be swivelled to allow cleaning and maintenance of the machine. The complete kneading chamber block can optionally be opened, providing easy access to the kneading chambers and kneading blades.
The kneading machine is operated by a touch screen operator terminal with graphics capabilities (HMI) incorporated into the switchboard panel.