Most household blenders are wet blenders made to work with wet components, such as milk and juices, and are generally only for food. A dry blender is an industrial blender made to work with dry materials, and may be used in creating foods, chemicals, plastics and pharmaceutical drugs. While the components are primarily dry, trace amounts of liquid may be added to make the mixing easier or to modify the components. Dry blender units tend to have short blending times, around 15 to 30 minutes, and there are several different types of blenders that have different blending components.
A dry blender, as its name suggests, is intended to work with dry materials. Unlike wet blenders, which are made to break down components and combine them, dry blenders are not really intended to break down the components. Instead, these blenders are more concerned with ensuring a mixture is homogenous, or balanced. These blenders are made for industrial purposes, so they are not found on the regular consumer market.
While a dry blender is supposed to work exclusively with dry materials, this often is not the case. A small amount of liquid normally is added to a batch, either to make it easier to blend or to change the composition of the mixture. This means most dry blenders are technically wet and dry blenders, able to handle both types of materials.
A dry blender is more about balancing out the materials than waiting for them to react, as with wet blending, so the total amount of blending time is short compared to wet materials, especially from and industrial standpoint. On average, a dry blender will need to blend materials for about 15 to 30 minutes before the materials are homogenous. The amount of time depends on the components, their density and the material concentration.
In the realm of dry blenders, there are five main types of blender models. A ribbon or paddle dry blender uses a blender unit in the shape of a ribbon or paddle to agitate the components. A double-cone blender has a cone at the top and bottom and is made mostly for free-flowing solid components. Vertical blenders stand upright and have an internal blending screw that agitates the materials. With V-blenders, there are two cones shaped together to resemble a V; the design allows the materials to mix with one another to attain a homogenous state.