In many branches of processing industries, viscous liquids need to be homogenized in continuous operations. Consequently, fluid mixing plays a critical role in the success or failure of these processes. Static mixers have been utilized over a wide range of applications such as continuous mixing, blending, heat and mass transfer processes, chemical reactions, etc. This paper describes how static mixing processes of single-phase viscous liquids can be simulated numerically, presents the flow pattern through a helical static mixer, and provides useful information that can be extracted from the simulation results. The three-dimensional finite volume computational fluid dynamics code used here solves the Navier-Stokes equations for both laminar and turbulent flow cases. The turbulent flow cases were solved using k-ω model and Reynolds stress model (RSM). The flow properties are calculated and the static mixer performance for different Reynolds numbers (from creeping flows to turbulent flows) is studied. A new parameter is introduced to measure the degree of mixing quantitatively. Furthermore, the results obtained by k-ω and RSM turbulence models and various numerical details of each model are compared. The calculated pressure drop is in good agreement with existing experimental data.

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