ParrNotes Newsletter Vol.4 No.3


A Quarterly Newsletter of Parr Instrument Company | September 2017 | Vol. 4 No. 3


Features and Benefits
Service Tips
Controller Section
Application Awareness
Parr Team Member Focus
Upcoming Events

Features and Benefits

Impellers and Other Internal Parts – What is possible and what is necessary?

Here at Parr, we pride ourselves on our willingness and ability to customize reactors to meet the widely varied needs of our broad customer base. One excellent example of the “customizability” of the Parr reactor line lies in the various stirring options available. This article will summarize some of those options, as well as address some of the considerations of which you should be aware during customer discussions.

Pages 112 to 114 of our Stirred Reactors and Pressure Vessels catalog depict and describe our standard offerings. These pages are an excellent resource to share with your customers with unique agitation requirements. If your customer has a specific request for a stirrer not shown, please contact Parr Customer Service with their idea – we can often supply custom stirrers that meet the customer’s requirements.

Turbine Type Impellers

These impellers are typically supplied as the installed stirrer, unless requested otherwise. Held in place with a simple set screw, the height of the impeller(s) can be adjusted to meet the customer’s requirement. For shorter reactors, only one impeller is supplied, while taller reactors are supplied with two. Some smaller ID reactors where clearance with internal parts is tight, come with impellers with two different OD’s (some 4575A’s, for example). These impellers are good for general use with low and moderate viscosity solutions, mixtures, and suspensions.

Turbine Type Impeller
Turbine Type Impeller

Anchor Stirrers

These impellers can be broken down into three broad categories: u-bar anchor, anchor with wipers, and paddle. The simple u-bar anchor stirrer is just what its name suggests. Made from a single piece of rectangular raw material, the impeller blade is bent into a u-shape and the stirrer shaft is threaded into the horizontal center section. These stirrers are often used when viscous or fibrous materials are present. Anchor stirrers with wipers have PTFE inserts fastened to vertical metal supports, which contact the inside surface of the cylinder, in order to prevent polymers from being scorched by extended contact with the cylinder wall. These PTFE inserts are replaceable. Paddle stirrers are similar to anchor stirrers, but have additional structure between the outer anchor blade and the stir shaft. All three of these stirrers are designed to be used at slow speeds, often 50-100rpm.

U-Bar Anchor Stirrer
U-Bar Anchor Stirrer
Anchor Stirrer with Wiper Blades
Anchor Stirrer with Wiper Blades
Paddle Type Anchor Stirrer
Paddle Type Anchor Stirrer

Please see pages 88-89 of our catalog for more information on horizontally operated reactors, primarily for use with biomass applications. These reactors are often supplied with a version of the “u-bar” or “u-bar with wipers” anchor stirrers described above. These agitators promote effective tumbling of biomass-containing reaction contents in a horizontal orientation. A photograph of the internals of a 1L horizontal reactor and a 3D model of a 2L horizontal reactor so equipped can also be seen below.

Anchor Stirrer Modified for Horizontal use
Double Anchor Stirrer - 2L
Double Anchor Stirrer – 2L

Gas Entrainment Impellers

For experiments where recirculation of the head space gas is desired, a GE impeller may be appropriate. The hollow stirring shaft, coupled with a rapidly rotating impeller with passages promote movement of the gas above the liquid down through the stir shaft and out the tips of the impeller blades. This approach typically works best at 1000rpm or slightly higher for smaller impellers (2L and smaller, for example), as the linear velocity of the impeller tip is one important parameter. As the GE impellers provided with larger reactors have a larger OD, these impellers may not require such high speeds for effective gas entrainment.

Gas Entrainment Impeller with Hollow Shaft
Gas Entrainment Impeller with Hollow Shaft

Spiral Stirrers

Parr offers two main types of spiral stirrers. A “sheet-metal” version for our 4530 series (1 and 2 liter) reactors is well described in New Spiral Stirrer. Since publication of that TechNote in 2007, we have added analogous versions of those stirrers for our 4550 series (1 and 2 gallon) and 4555 series (2.6 and 5 gallon) reactors. A more recent addition to our line of stirrers is the spiral stirrer shown at the bottom left of page 112 of the catalog: the machined spiral stirrer. The sheet metal spiral stirrers are less expensive, but the machined versions are very robust and much easier to clean. In addition, the machined versions can be manufactured for reactors as small as 300mL. Two videos of a machined spiral stirrer in operation in a 2L reactor (that happened to have a second, bottom head that was removable) can be seen here:

Bottom view in custom cylinder Side view in same custom cylinder

Catalyst Baskets

These stirrers are a variation of the gas entrainment impellers described above, but with the added feature of a basket that can retain catalyst particles. These stirrers are typically requested for three phase catalytic reactions where the catalyst is supported on relatively large particles. Parr’s catalyst baskets are constructed of a solid metal structure, with two mesh screens that allow gas and liquid to pass through the catalyst “bed” retained between them. The mesh used will retain 1mm catalyst particles while still allowing sufficient flow through the bed to allow good contact of molecules in all three phases. Catalyst Baskets are available in two flavors: static (the impeller forces gas and liquid through a stationary catalyst bed) and dynamic (the entire basket rotates.)

Catalyst Basket Static Design
Catalyst Basket Static Design
Catalyst Basket Dynamic Design
Catalyst Basket Dynamic Design

NOTE: As one might expect, alternate thermowells, dip tubes, and cooling coils, as well as specially designed reactor heads are often required to accommodate the various stirrers available. Some existing reactors can be retrofitted with some of the above optional stirrers.

Below are several views of the same 3D model, showing various stirrers installed. In some of them, internal cooling is possible. With the spiral, it is not. Two thermowell locations are necessary to allow internal temperature measurement with all stirrers. One must be removed and the other installed for some stirrers, for example.

Please contact Parr Customer Service with the serial number of your customer’s reactor to inquire about the suitability of any of these optional stirrers with existing reactors. For new projects, please inform us of the desire for alternate stirrers at the time of quote request.

For further information, please see the following TechNotes, available on the dealer portion of

TechNote 209 – Parr Reactor Stirrer Options

TechNote 210 – Stirrer Drives for Parr Reactors

TechNote 211 – New Spiral Stirrer

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Service Tips

Field Addition of Thermowells in Parr Heaters

Calrod-Type Heater Assembly
Calrod-Type Heater Assembly

This article will help define what Parr heaters can have thermowells added in the field as well as some basic installation instructions.

Only Parr heaters that utilize tubular heating elements (Calrod), can have thermowells added in the field. Most other Parr heaters have heating elements that would not fare well if holes were added after manufacture.

It is convenient to determine the location of the heating element on Calrod type heaters, which allows for safe drilling. The thin sheet metal shells are easy to rework. The tubular heating elements are installed in a serpentine coil arrangement, as seen from the inside diameter of the heater. The goal is to add a 0.38 to 0.40 inch hole in the middle of one of the loops at the approximate center of the heated length.

  1. Cut-away view of Series 3219HC Thermowell and 509E Bayonet Adapter installed in a Calrod-Type Heater
    Cut-away view of Series 3219HC Thermowell and 509E Bayonet Adapter installed in a Calrod-Type Heater

    Unplug the heater prior to servicing.

  2. Remove the top end cap by removing the three rivets.
  3. Remove the insulating blanket near the area of drilling.
  4. Use the Series 3219HC thermowell to ensure that your markings are lined up and mark a hole on the outside shell and inside shell.
  5. Using a long drill bit, drill the holes from the outside. It may be beneficial to start with a smaller diameter drill bit to make for easier drilling. Be careful not to hit any wires or heating elements during drilling.
  6. Clean up any burs left over from drilling.
  7. Install the Series 3219HC thermowell and 509E bayonet adapter per the applicable drawing obtained by contacting Parr Customer Service.
  8. Reinstall the insulating blanket, loosely packed.
  9. Reinstall the end cap with new rivets or sheet metal screws.

We hope the information above will better equip you to install heater thermowells. If you need additional information about adding thermowells to existing heaters, or other topics, please contact us.

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Controller Section

Installing SpecView V3 on a Parr 4871 Process Controller

The SpecView software that we use on our 4871 Process Controllers was recently upgraded from version 2.5 to version 3. Changes to the installation process caused by the update are detailed below.

Locate the Hybrid Control Utilities CD

A separate CD comes with the 4871 with Hybrid Control Utilities on it. This software can be used to determine the IP address of the 4871, or to build temperature ramp and soak programs. Most users will not require this program, but it should be located and kept near the 4871 in case it is needed.

Install SpecView Version 3

The 4871 comes with a custom USB stick from Parr with the SpecView software on it.

On the USB drive, go to “SpecView/SV3” and open the setup.exe file in the folder. Follow the instructions from the install program.

Copy Configuration Folder

The configuration files for the 4871 are on the USB stick. Open “app_specific/SpecView/” and locate the folder in it. Copy the folder to “C:\SV3”.

Install Dongle

The dongle is located in the SpecView package, typically in a SpecView CD case along with the Parr USB stick. Plug it into an open USB slot on the PC. If the dongle doesn’t automatically install drivers, open the Parr USB drive “SpecView >> SpecView_docs >> USB_Dongle” and run the “SSD5411-32bit.exe” file to install drivers.

Set Up Network

Turn on the 4871 and connect it to the PC via the Ethernet cable. The PC’s network needs to be set up to communicate with the 4871. The default IP address of the 4871 is 10.1.50.xx where the “xx” are the last two digits of the project number printed on the outside of the USB stick. So a 4871 from project 916112 would have an IP address of

On the PC’s network connection screen, set up the Ethernet port with the following settings:
IP address: 10.1.50.yy where “yy” is different than “xx”
Subnet Mask:

If the 4871 is to be used on an already existing network, contact Parr Tech Support to set up the connection to the 4871. This can often be done using a remote PC program with IT’s permission.

Configure SpecView

Open SpecView and select the configuration which was copied onto the C:\SV3 folder earlier.

The main screen will open, but the real-time process values will show “N/R” or some other error until SpecView is programmed to communicate along the correct IP address.

Select “File >> Edit Mode (go offline)”. Then “View >> Variables & Instruments”.

Hover the mouse cursor over the Variables entry in the Variables List and make note of the TCP/IP address for the instrument (e.g.

Press “Crtl-H” to bring up the Variable List Replace window. Enter the TCP/IP address after “Find:”, and the actual controller address after “Replace:”. Uncheck all option boxes except “In Address” followed by OK.

Select “File >> Enter Runtime Mode” to return to the main screen. The values should all be shown now.

Please contact Parr Tech Support if with any questions regarding SpecView installation.

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Application Awareness

Pump Applications

Parr Agitation on Teledyne-ISCO Pump
Parr Agitation on
Teledyne-ISCO Pump

In the previously released ParrNotes issue Vol.3 No.1, we discussed a variety of pumps that are often used with Parr reactors. Among them was a syringe pump; in particular, one manufactured by Teledyne-Isco.

Another unique feature of this pump is that it is often used to successfully deliver slurries and suspensions. In order to help insure that the solids are kept suspended in the reactant liquid housed in the pump’s high-pressure delivery cylinder, Parr is now providing a magnetically-coupled stirrer arrangement, driven by an air motor. This feature can be offered for newly purchased pumps or it can be retrofitted to pumps already in the lab. For further details, see our new bulletin.

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Parr Team Member Focus

It takes a team to move the thousands of orders Parr receives annually through our facility. Parr’s Manufacturing Support Team helps cover part of this expansive set of activities to smoothly move each order from entry through manufacturing. In this issue, we will meet our Manufacturing Support Administrators.

Amy Ceurvorst

Amy Ceurvorst

Amy spent her childhood in Pleasant Valley, Iowa and now resides in Davenport, Iowa. She holds a nursing degree and has a Pharmacy Technicians License. After leaving the health care industry, Amy joined Parr’s Manufacturing Support Team in 2010.

What Amy likes about working at Parr is that there is such a variety of things for her to do which makes every day different. She enjoys the fast paced environment that offers so much to learn. Most of all, Amy loves the people; “The people that work at Parr are incredible. I have never met such a wonderful and amazing group of people.”

In her free time, Amy works tirelessly fostering and finding forever homes for pets.

Mariela Alvarez

Mariela Alvarez
Mariela Alvarez

Mariela was a long time resident of Davenport, Iowa but now lives in Bettendorf, Iowa. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Iowa. Later this year, Mariela will celebrate her five year anniversary at Parr.

Mariela’s day to day activities vary widely as she helps with operations, purchasing, rescheduling requirements, and manufacturing. This variation is what Mariela likes most about her job and enjoys “That every day there is something different and new to accomplish.”

When not at Parr, Mariela works as a color guard instructor for the marching band at Bettendorf High School. She also volunteers at the Esperanza Legal Assistant Center in Moline, Illinois translating legal documents and interpreting for clients. She has a true passion for both of these activities and loves being involved with each of them.

Danielle Redman

Danielle Redman
Danielle Redman

Danielle was born and raised in Moline, Illinois where she still resides. She attended Black Hawk College in Moline where she studied Psychology and Business Management. Danielle began working at Parr in August of 2015.

Part of Danielle’s job function is to help our daily operations run smoothly and to ensure our product gets to our customers as soon as possible. She likes knowing that the products we make are being used for advanced research and innovation around the world. Something that Danielle has noticed and takes pride in is that “Regardless of the task, big or small, it is important to give your all. We all strive to make sure our products exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Outside of work, Danielle enjoys hiking and spending time with family and friends.

We’d like to thank Danielle, Mariela, Amy, the rest of our 100+ team members at Parr U.S.A., our 10+ members at Parr GmbH, and all of our dealers in 70+ countries for giving your all to continue to make Parr Instrument Company and our products something we can all be proud of!

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Upcoming Events

Parr's Booth at ACS Fall 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Parr’s Booth at ACS Fall 2017 in Washington, D.C.

The Polymer Society of Korea
October 12-13, 2017
JeJu Convention Center, Korea
Look for our representatives from MK Science Co., Ltd

The Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers
October 26-27, 2017

Look for our representatives from MK Science Co., Ltd

The Korean Society of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
November 9-10, 2017
Busan Bexco, Korea
Look for our representatives from MK Science Co., Ltd

2017 AIChE Annual Meeting
October 30-November 1, 2017

Minneapolis, MN

9th Symposium Continuous Flow Reactor Technology for Industrial Applications
November 14-16, 2017

Barcelona, Spain

View our complete 2017 Trade Show schedule.

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