Liquid Spray Nozzles Improve Gummy Candy Production

One of the more popular treats for kids and adults are gummies.  They can be sweet, sour, and in different shapes and colors.  A candy company that makes gummy bears was looking for a better way to spray food-grade oil onto their product.  They contacted EXAIR about our Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles. 

We discussed their setup and process for making the gummy candies; or in this case gummy bears.  The sugary mixture is poured into molds that are coated with corn starch.  The corn starch helps to keep the gummy from sticking to the mold.  Once hardened, the bears will be released from the molds and travel through a stainless-steel spinning drum.  In here, they apply a light food-grade oil onto the bears.  This process will hide the starch and give the candy that glazed and colored feature.  The drum was near 60” (1.52 meters) long and spun at 19 RPM.  The gummy bears would tumble along the length of the drum at a designed production rate of 2000 Kg/hr. (4,400 Lbs./hr.).  They used drip tubes along the top to apply the food-grade oil onto the gummy bears.  They noticed that the color was not as good and the coverage was spotty.  The oil pump was metered in a range of 0.35 – 3 gal/hr. (1.32 – 11.3 l/h).  The temperature inside the drum could reach up to 150oF (65oC), and the viscosity of the food-grade oil ranged between 190 – 400 cps.  In order to get the best results for quality, they had to reduce their production rates to about 1,700 to 1,800 Kg/hr. 

To determine the correct solution, we had to dive a bit more into their application.  The details of the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are measured with water as the liquid.  Since they are using an oil at different temperatures, the specific gravity will change slightly.  For their oil, the specific gravity is 0.92 at 20oC and 0.89 at 65oC.  We can use Equation 1 to convert the required flow rate from the food-grade oil to water.

Equation 1:

Q1 = Q2 * SQRT (SG2 / SG1)

Q1 – Flow of water (gph)

Q2 – Flow of oil (gph)

SG1 – Specific Gravity of water

SG2 – Specific Gravity of oil

The Specific Gravity of water is 1.  With the range of specific gravity for the oil, we can calculate the range that is needed as indicated by water.  Then we can make a selection as referenced by our data in the catalog.  Since we want to make sure that we can cover the range of the metered oil pump, we will use the maximum flow rate of 3 gph.  In adding the values, we get the following:

@20oC  Q1 = 3 gph * sqrt(0.92) = 2.88 gph

@65oC  Q1 = 3 gph * sqrt(0.89) = 2.83 gph  

Since the viscosity ranges above 300 cps., I recommended the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles to be mounted along the length of the rotating drum.  The External Mix can handle viscous liquids up to 800 cps.  Unlike the drip method, the EXAIR Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzles use compressed air to shear the oil into small droplets and to disperse the oil in a wide pattern.  With the smaller particle size, we can get more coverage area which will allow them to use less food-grade oil.  The coverage area on the gummy bears was near 15” (38cm) as they rolled down the drum.  I also recommended the No-Drip option to allow for versatility in their process.  The No-Drip option for the Atomizing Nozzles is a very nice option which will stop the liquid solution from dripping when not in use.  When they needed to apply the oil, they would just turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzle.  It made it very easy to control.  This was important to reduce excess usage and non-conforming parts. It also keeps the inside of the drum oil free during cleaning cycles.   

EB2010SS

From the data above, I recommended three pieces of the model EB2010SS, No Drip External Mix Wide Angle Flat Fan Pattern.  The spray pattern was 14” (35.6cm) wide to cover part of the 60” (1.52m) length of the drum.  With an estimated 1 gph for each nozzle, we would be able to spray the maximum requirement as calculated above (2.88 gph).  After installation, they were able to get a consistent deep color of the gummy bear at the maximum production rate of 2,000 Kg/hr.  They also noticed that with the fine particle spray, they were able to use less oil.  With the three pieces of the model EB2010SS, they were able to reach maximum production rates with less food-grade oil and reduce scrap rates.

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you.  You can contact an Application Engineer for help.  For the customer above, they were able to create those gummy treats for kids and adults.  Yummy.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Picture: Giant Gummy Bear by Alexas_FotosPixabay licence.

EXAIR Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Liquid Spray Nozzles

Amongst EXAIR’s continuously growing product offering, some of the newest are a family of Air Atomizing Liquid Spray Nozzles that does not require a pressurized liquid source. These are known as the Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Nozzles. These nozzles can be easily implemented where a tank can be installed and lower the cost of the installation by not requiring a liquid pump, just point of use compressed air.

Siphon Fed model

This action is done by the unique design of the air cap.  As the velocity of the air passes through the air cap, low pressure is created by a venturi.  The Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles can draw liquid from a suction height of 36” (91 cm), or gravity fed. They are manufactured from 303 stainless steel for durability and corrosion resistance. The Siphon Fed models can spray viscous fluids up to 200 centipoises and are used in many applications like rinsing, coating, cooling, quenching, humidification, or dust control. The images below showcases how simple the setup can be for the siphon and gravity fed installations.

EXAIR Siphon Fed Nozzles work with non-pressurized liquids, either siphoned (left) or gravity fed (right.)

EXAIR carries three different body sizes, 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and ½” NPT ports; so, you can create a light mist or a heavy spray of liquid.  The maximum liquid flow rate is controlled by the air cap and liquid cap combination.  A unique feature of the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle is that the caps are easily interchangeable for each body size to modify the spray patterns, control the amount of fluid, and reduce any downtime if cleaning is required.  The video below shows just how easily the changeover is done.

In addition to the three different inlet/body sizes, we also offer the Siphon Fed in both a round spray pattern or a flat fan spray pattern. These are also controlled by the air and liquid cap combination. This means it is easy to convert a round pattern that may be needed for a job, over to a flat fan pattern for the next setup. Each pattern is also available in several flow rates of liquid and air to dial in the performance required by the application.

Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles

Additionally, if you would like to positively shut the liquid flow off from the nozzle in order to prevent drips, over use of liquid, or to shut off the gravity fed liquid when not needed, the No-Drip versions of these nozzles is also available. This is easily controlled by simply reducing the compressed air operating pressure to below the designated cracking pressure of the patented No-Drip valve.

No Drip Siphon Fed Round Pattern Atomizing Nozzle

If you would like to discuss which spray nozzle is best suited for your application, please reach out to an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Atomizing Nozzles: Identification and Versatility

Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles

I recently was contacted by a customer that had an application for spraying silicone.  They currently were using our Atomizing Nozzles, and they were impressed with the operation.  But they needed to change the spray pattern for a different application.  They had a variety of parts which required different spray angles and liquid amounts.  With the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles, the air and liquid caps are interchangeable with the same body size.  So, you can change liquid flow rates, spray patterns, and even go from a pressurized liquid system to a siphon fed.  I created an informal video that shows how this can be done (click HERE).  To start, this customer did not know which model number that they were using.  So, I had to determine the size and type in order to make the proper changes. 

To do the “forensics”, we need to know a couple of things.  First, we need to find the inlet air and liquid port sizes.  EXAIR offers three sizes in NPT or BSP; 1/8”, 1/4”, and 1/2”.  Then we would need to know if it is a standard or No-Drip option.  This is easily found by looking at the top of the Atomizing Nozzle.  A standard option has the liquid stem valve that has a knurled adjustment knob; while the No-Drip option has a cylinder in place of the liquid stem valve.  From the photo below, they were using the standard option. 

AF1010SS

Since they were pumping the silicone solution to the Atomizing Nozzle, the next step was to look at the Liquid Cap and the Air Cap.  EXAIR stamps characters on each Liquid and Air Cap (reference photo below).  The Liquid Caps will only have numbers, and the Air Caps will combine letters and numbers.  From these details, I could determine that the customer was using a model AF1010SS Internal Mix Flat Fan Atomizing Nozzle. 

For their next application, they were looking to spray more of the silicone solution at a smaller target area.  I recommended the model AN1030SS.  By changing the air and liquid pressure in conjunction with adjusting the liquid stem valve, they could dial in the exact amount of silicone spray to not overuse it.  For this customer, I was able to recommended to just replace the liquid and air cap to change from the model AF1010SS to the model AN1030SS. 

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you.  For the customer above, they did not have to purchase new units as they could just swap out the caps to make the change.  This saved the company money and time as the bodies of the Atomizing Nozzles were already aligned to cover both parts.  If you would like know more about our Atomizing Nozzles and the features that they provide, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help. 

John Ball
International Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

How to Pick the Right Atomizing Spray Nozzle

Atomizing spray nozzles atomize fluids with compressed air to create a fine spray in a variety of patterns for a variety of uses. They are commonly used to mark products, paint or coat, cool, reduce dust, lubricate and clean parts.

With the numerous types of Atomizing Nozzles, it can be challenging to sift through all the information. But with a few basic questions you can narrow down the right nozzle type for you and your application:

142 distinct models. 8 different patterns. Liquid flow rates from 0.1 to 303 gallons per hour. If you’ve got a spraying application, EXAIR has an Atomizing Nozzle for you!

Are you using a pressurized liquid feed? In some cases, a pressurized liquid source is not available for the nozzle, so you would have to rely on a gravity or siphon fed nozzle. While you lose the complexity of having a liquid pump pressurizing your liquid, you do have a few draw backs. Your siphon height is typically with in 36” so your liquid source has to be fairly close to your nozzle. Siphon fed nozzles are hard to turn off and on, they are best used for applications where you are continuously spraying a low viscosity liquid with a low gph.  

Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles

What is the viscosity of the fluid? Another deciding factor is the viscosity of the liquid you are spraying. Different nozzles are designed for different viscosity. For example, two of the main nozzle types are internal mix nozzles and external mix nozzles. They function just like they sound, internal mix nozzles mix the compressed air and liquid source inside the nozzle. And because of this they typically can not spray liquids over 300 cP. And because external mix nozzles mix the liquid and air outside the nozzle, they can handle liquids well above 300 cP.

What is the liquid flow rate in gallons per hour(gph)? Another factor in choosing the right nozzle is if your application has a set gph you are looking to achieve. Some nozzles are designed to flow more liquid then others. For example, the external mix nozzles inherently flow more liquid then the internal mix. As there is less restriction on the liquid flow. If you are looking for even higher gph you can source a liquid only atomizing nozzle, its going to give you a large bump in gph. But your droplet size will suffer with the liquid only nozzles.

Full Cone Liquid Only Atomizing Spray Nozzle

What droplet size are you looking for? Fine droplet sizes are one of the primary reasons atomizing nozzles are used. Benefits of small droplet sizes include even coating and liquid conservation. Internal mix nozzles will do the best at providing the smallest droplet size possible. While external mix and liquid only will give you larger droplet sizes but they will give you a larger gph some applications need.  

Should I use a No-Drip option?  The No-Drip option positively shuts off liquid flow when the    compressed air supply is shut off.  One benefit of this is appreciated in coating applications, where an errant droplet of liquid would mar an otherwise smooth, even coating.  Operationally, though, it also means you can precisely turn the liquid flow on & off, in short, quick bursts, up to 180 times a second.

No Drip External Mix

If you are in the need for a Liquid Nozzle to assist in your facility, please reach out! We have a team of application engineers waiting from 8AM – 5PM EST to help you size and fit a product to your specific application! 

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web 
Like us on Facebook
Twitter: @EXAIR_JS