The Rushton turbine is a disk type (six blade turbine) radial flow impeller. The sweep diameter of the disk ranges from 66 to 75 percent of the vessel diameter.

Six blade Rushton turbine impeller

This Rushton turbine is used in applications requiring high shear or turbulence. The impeller design is best suited for gas liquid contacting because of the circular disk Gas is introduced under the impeller via a sparger; the disk guides the gas along a path of optimal liquid contact and prevents the gas from following a direct vertical path along the shaft of the mixer, which would otherwise result in minimum contact. The disk also prevents gas bubbles from passing through the low shear zone around the impeller hub.

A variant of the Rushton turbine is the smith impeller in which the impeller blades are semi - circular or parabolic, instead of flat.

Smith impeller

Another variant is the back swept with disk impeller. The back swept nature of the blade prevents material build up on the surface of the blades. The back swept turbine is used for fiber processing in bulk and paper industries.