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Except at very high Reynolds numbers, baffles are needed to prevent vortexing and rotation of the
liquid mass as a whole. A baffle width one-twelfth the tank diameter, w = D t/12; a length extending
from one half the impeller diameter, d/2, from the tangent line at the bottom to the liquid level, but
sometimes terminated just above the level of the eye of the uppermost impeller. When solids are
present or when a heat transfer jacket is used, the baffles are offset from the wall a distance equal to
one- sixth the baffle width. Four radial baffles at equal spacing are standard; six are only slightly
more effective, and three appreciably less so. When the mixer shaft is located off center (one-fourth
to one-half the tank radius), the resulting flow pattern has less swirl, and baffles may not be needed,
particularly at low viscosities.
A draft tube is a cylindrical housing around and slightly larger in diameter than
the impeller. Its height may be little more than the diameter of the impeller or it
may extend the full depth of the liquid, depending on the flow pattern that is
required. Usually draft tubes are used with axial impellers to direct suction and
discharge streams. An impeller-draft tube system behaves as an axial flow pump
of somewhat low efficiency. Its top to bottom circulation behavior is of particular
value in deep tanks for suspension of solids and for dispersion of gases.