Mixing characteristics and mechanical loads of rubber-mixing rotors are considered to be the two most important factors in actual rotor design. For the design of highly reliable production mixers, there is a great need for a proper estimation method of mechanical load, such as radial force or rotation torque of the rotors. The mechanical load of tangential mixing rotors and surrounding flow are mainly discussed by using partially filled numerical flow simulation. Operational parameters of the mixing condition were set to be fill factor and rotor phase angle of two rotors rotating at an even speed. The Carreau model was applied to the shear rate dependence of viscosity. The volume-of-fluid method was used for free surface simulation. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations were carried out to discuss mechanical load and its fluctuation mechanisms. For the numerical results, radial force on rotors, pressure, and the velocity distribution around the rotors and their fluctuations are presented and discussed. It was found that the radial force of the rotors could be estimated using this kind of flow simulation, and the fluctuation phenomena could be explained by the movement of a high-pressure region between the front of the rotor wings and the chamber wall.

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