About us

Who we are

Prof. Anthony Thornton (CEO) and Associate Prof. Thomas Weinhart (CTO) founded MercuryLab as a spin-off company from the University of Twente, The Netherlands in 2015.

MercuryLab was founded to offer easy access to the state-of-the-art virtual prototyping software, MercuryDPM. Our CEO and CTO founded this discrete particle simulation code in 2009, which was specifically developed with segregation problems in mind.

What we do

We utilise cutting-edge computational and experimental techniques to provide a faster, more cost-effective alternative to conventional prototyping.

Via our unique toolset we are able to visualise the internal dynamics of opaque systems...

...enabling us to analyse their design and optimise their efficiency in ways not possible with conventional scaled models.

Our mission

To provide easy access to state-of-the-art computational and experimental techniques, and promote fundamental research in the area of granular materials.

We aim to help you:

  • Identify and solve mixing or flow problems.

  • Rapidly optimise system design.

  • Visualise your processes in full 3D.

  • Improve efficiency.

  • Reduce running costs.

Why mixing granular materials is not as simple as it seems...

It is often assumed that good mixing of two or more particulate media can be achieved by simply stirring, shaking or rotating. In practice, however, these processes are very often ineffective or, worse still, may actively segregate the materials involved!

This ‘segregation’ or ‘demixing’ is a significant problem in many industries. Unfortunately, in many industrial processes, segregation cannot be seen until after the completion of the mixing process, making it highly difficult to find its origin, and hence solve the problem..

When is segregation a problem?

Segregation occurs in almost any situation where particles are moved or otherwise given energy, making it an issue which spans many industrial sectors, from pharmaceutical and food processing to agriculture and construction.

Unwanted segregation can be found in numerous industrial systems, including silos, screw conveyors, belt conveyors, rotating drum mixers and other tumblers, vibratory mixers, hoppers and bladed mixers of all varieties.

This segregation is often imperceptible to the human eye, but can severely affect the quality of a particle- or powder-based product, and any commodity fabricated from such products.

"With our services, you can visualise the interior dynamics of your system and simulate the complex shapes and extremely wide size-distributions found in industry".

Solving segregation

One of the great challenges in any industrial mixing process is to eliminate segregation while also ensuring energy- and cost-efficiency.

The MercuryLab team have extensive experience working with and optimising a broad range of industrial systems.

By helping you ‘see inside’ and better understand your system, we can reduce faults and optimise for efficiency in a precise, targeted manner.

Segregation problems are not always apparent at first glance - sometimes a system that seems well-mixed on the surface can harbour problems elsewhere.

The ability to visualise the interior of a system can prove transformative to your ability to produce high-quality, consistent products.

World-leading experts in mixing

Our consultants are dedicated to gaining a better understanding of mixing and segregation in particulate systems. Our team’s knowledge of these processes is unparalleled in the industrial world, having produced numerous internationally-recognised publications relating to the subject.

We have worked with major multinational companies in the food processing, pharmaceutical, mining, steel and agricultural sectors, utilising our scientific knowledge to solve real-world problems.