I like some better than others, but I don’t believe I’ve ever had bad pizza. That’s why I was pretty excited when I got to talk to a caller from a popular pre-packaged pizza crust maker. When these crusts leave their oven, they spray a coating of seasoned oil on them. This not only flavors, but preserves the quality from the time they make & package them to the time I celebrate life with a tasty slice, right out of my oven.
They were using inexpensive liquid-only nozzles that led to an inconsistent application of the oil…sometimes too much; other times, too little. And, it was always spraying, even in between the individual crusts as they came down the conveyor, leading to wasted oil that had to be cleaned up later.
They were already familiar with our Super Air Nozzles, as they had several Model HP1125SS 2″ High Power Flat Super Air Nozzles in use for blowing off the packages prior to labeling, so the caller asked if we might have a solution for the oil too.
After considering the size of the crust and the distance at which they needed to install the nozzle, they decided to try a Model AF2010SS Internal Mix Flat Fan Pattern No-Drip Atomizing Spray Nozzle. This applies a consistent and even coating of oil, and, by feeding a signal from the oven controls into a solenoid valve in the compressed air supply line, they’ve eliminated the excess spray, leading to savings in material cost and cleanup time.
If you’d like to know more about how EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles can save you time, mess, and liquid, give me a call.
Today, I would like to focus on 2 specific Atomizing Nozzles – our No Drip Internal Mix Deflected Fan Nozzle and our Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern Nozzle.
The No Drip Internal Mix Deflected Fan Atomizing Nozzle produces a flat fan of atomized liquid at a right angle to the nozzle’s orientation and is designed for use in pressured fed applications where the liquid doesn’t need to be controlled independently from the pressurized air. This nozzle is the perfect choice in processes where mounting space is limited like spraying solvent on conveyed parts inside a small chamber or coating the inside of an enclosure. The patented No Drip feature positively stops the liquid flow when the supply air pressure drops below 30 PSIG, eliminating the need for any additional valves or supply lines. This is especially beneficial in applications using expensive fluids or where drips can ruin a finished product. This nozzle is available with 1/4″ NPT inlets and flows as high as 6.9 gallons per hour.
Our Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern Atomizing Nozzles produce a circular spray pattern, the ideal solution when trying to coat the inside of ductwork or where a broad mist of atomized liquid is necessary, like dust suppression or humidification. Available in 1/4″ NPT with flows as high as 14.7 GPH and spray diameters up to 53″ in diameter depending on air and liquid supply pressures. With the 1/2″ NPT, we can achieve up to 150 GPH with a spray diameter up to 156″. Our standard Atomizing Nozzles also feature an adjustment valve to provide control of the flow rate, making them easy to adapt to a specific requirement.
If you have an application requiring a fine mist of atomized liquid, please contact one of our application engineers and let us know how we can help in making the best product selection to fit your need.
From pneumatic hand tools like impact wrenches or nail guns to larger scale industrial applications like stamping presses, the use of compressed air can be found in almost any industry. In fact, it is often referred to as a “fourth utility” next to water, gas and electric.
Take for example in construction, workers will use a pneumatic riveter to join steel framing because of the power generated by the tool over an electrically powered device, not to mention it provides for a safer operation by removing an electrical hazard. Many companies use compressed air operated diaphragm pumps or air motor driven pumps to move expensive or viscous liquid from one location to another. These types of pumps are self priming drawing the liquid in and provide positive displacement meaning they fill and empty the liquid chamber with the same amount of liquid through a common inlet and outlet.
Amusement parks have used compressed air in some capacity in the operation of thrill rides like roller coasters or to enhance the effect of certain attractions. Compressed air can be found in hospitals where it is used for specialized breathing treatments or to power surgical instruments in an operating room. Educational facilities use compressed air for laboratory testing. You can even find compressed air in the tires on your car. Basically, when you think about it, compressed air is being used just about anywhere.
Here at EXAIR, we manufacture Intelligent Compressed Air Products to help improve the efficiency in a wide variety of industrial operations. Whether you are looking to coat a surface with an atomized mist of liquid, conserve compressed air use and energy, cool an electrical enclosure, convey parts or dry material from one location to another or clean a conveyor belt or web, chances are we have a product that will fit your specific need.
To discuss your particular application or for help selecting the best product, contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247 for assistance.
We recently chatted with a customer that was looking to improve the lubrication system for multiple blanking lines. Blanking involves the cutting of sheet metal in a single step, to separate the piece form the surrounding stock. The part that is cut out is the desired product and is called the ‘blank.’ This operation can be moderate to fast in speed, and the process creates heat, so a lubricant is used to cool and decrease the wear on the tooling. Our customer was looking for a better way to apply the lubricant.
We proposed the model AN2010SS, a No Drip, internal mix, narrow angle, round fan Atomizing Nozzle. The nozzle uses compressed air to create a mist of the liquid with very fine droplet size. When using for the lubricant, a fine layer can be applied over the entire surface without areas of over coverage and waste. This leads to lower costs for lubricant, and less mess on the blanks.
To simplify the process, the No Drip model was chosen. The No Drip style has the added benefit of positively stopping liquid flow when the compressed air is turned off. There is no need to independently control the liquid flow via a control system and valve.
Finally, to control the compressed air side, we recommend the Electronic Flow Control (EFC.) Utilizing a photoelectric sensor, the open position of the press can be detected and using 1 of many program options, the compressed air can be turned on and off to accurately control the application of the lubricant. Due to the excessive amount of lubricant being used, the customer was applying every other cycle. The first blank would be overly lubricated so that there would be some remaining for the next. With the Atomizing Nozzle and EFC, the right amount of lubricant can be applied for each cycle. The result is reduced lubricant usage, and a better operation.
If you have questions regarding Atomizing Nozzles or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
The image above shows a material transfer process for starch. At the top of the tower the starch rests inside of tumbling tanks (shown below) which blend larger pieces into small, finely blended particles. In order to achieve the proper blend, an hydration level of 5% water must be maintained within the tank. For the water introduced to the tank, the smaller the droplet size of the water particles, the better the blend. The current setup in this application is to spray water directly into the tanks, by hand, using a pump sprayer.
The investigation into droplet sizes led this customer to EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles, searching for a method to introduce small droplet water particles into the blending tanks. The ultimate question was “How small of a particle size can we achieve with an EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle?”
The answer to that question can be found here on our website and in our catalog as well. Our smallest confirmed droplet size is currently 22µm when using our 1/4″ NPT Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles, which was more than enough for this application.
By installing SR1010SS atomizing nozzles into this application this customer is able to achieve the required hydration level with small droplet size water particles. These particles ensure proper blending of the starch and proper quality for the final product. And, the atomizing nozzles prevent an operator from having to manually add the necessary water to achieve the required hydration in the blending tanks.
If you have a solution in need of an atomized liquid solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We’re here to help.
Last week I took a call from an agricultural customer looking to replace the spray nozzle used in their feed additive process. The soy oil/beeswax solution they are applying to the feed, is slightly viscous (close to 100 cP) which seems to be clogging the tight clearances inside the current nozzle, resulting in varying flow rates and an erratic spray pattern. They had tried to contact the current manufacturer several times for a solution but were unhappy with the lack of assistance they were receiving, not to mention the long lead times of 6-8 weeks for a replacement.
After further discussion, they confirmed they weren’t as concerned with the flow rate or spray pattern, as they were with the nozzle potentially getting clogged. They were able to obtain some internal dimensions of the existing nozzle and after further review, I recommended they use our Model # AF1030SS Internal Mix Flat Pattern Atomizing Nozzle as a replacement. This nozzle has larger inside diameters which would reduce the potential for clogging. Our Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles mix the liquid and air inside the air cap and produce the finest atomization. The flow rate can be changed by adjusting the control valve on the nozzle and/or by adjusting the liquid pressure. Internal Mix nozzles are capable of handling fluids up to 300 Centipoise. All of our Atomizing Nozzles are In STOCK, so delivery is never an issue.
When considering an Atomizing Nozzle for an application, there are some general parameters that can be helpful in making the best selection.
Do you have a pressurized liquid source?
What is the fluid viscosity?
What spray pattern best fits the process?
How much flow (GPH/LPH) do I need?
If you have an application requiring a fine mist of atomized liquid spray, please contact an application engineer for assistance.
EXAIR has been manufacturing Intelligent Compressed Air Products since 1983. We work every day with air properties, such as compressed air pressures and flow rates, when evaluating product performance to provide a solution to a customer problem. We also need to be versed on a certain liquid property, viscosity, as it relates to the operation of (2) of the EXAIR product families, the Atomizing Spray Nozzles and the Industrial Housekeeping liquid vacuums (Reversible Drum Vac and Chip Trapper).
Viscosity is often referred to the thickness of a fluid. A common example would be water and honey. Water is a low viscosity fluid, while honey is a high viscosity material.
Dynamic, Shear, or Absolute Viscosity is a measure of the resistance to shearing flow. If you think of 2 plates (see below) with the bottom one stationary and the top one moving horizontally, and with a fluid between them – this illustrates Absolute Viscosity. When the top plate moves to the right, there will be induced multiple horizontal layers of the fluid, each moving at different speeds (the fluid will be at rest at the bottom, and the top layer will move with the top plate.) The friction generated between the layers will give rise to a force resisting this motion. The force is proportional to the speed and area of the plate and inversely proportional to the distance between the plates.
In simplest terms, viscosity is the ratio of the shear stress, τ, to the velocity gradient du/dy. Of concern to us, it takes more force to cause a very viscous (thick like honey) fluid flow.
Centipoise, cP, is the common unit of measure for viscosity, and 1 cP is equal to 0.01 g/cm/s.
Water has a viscosity of 1 cP at room temperature and honey ranges from 2,000-10,000 cP.
How does all this relate to EXAIR? It relates to EXAIR because we engineer products to specifically move and use liquids. There are limitations to the viscosity each of these products can handle and still perform well.
The EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles can be used with liquids up to 800 cP. The Internal Mix type nozzles can be used on liquids up to 300 cP. The External Mix nozzles can be used with liquids over 300 cP and up to 800 cP. Lastly, the Siphon Fed models are good to 200 cP, and do not require a pressure source for the liquid. Each nozzle type will atomize the fluid and provide a very small droplet size, which is ideal for washing, rinsing, coating, cooling and other applications. Exceeding the cP each of these nozzles are designed to use will result in larger droplet sizes and a more inconsistent fluid flow, which may impact your process.
The other EXAIR product family where viscosity is important, is the Industrial Housekeeping Products, especially the High Lift Reversible Drum Vac and High Lift Chip Trapper. They are capable of moving liquids with viscosities of up to 1400 cP through 20′ of hose. Simply provide compressed air and turn any closed head drum into a high powered liquid vacuum. Great for coolant, hydraulic oils, waster water, and many other fluids. For these products, as the cP increases, so does the time it will take to move the liquids into or out of the drum.
To discuss your fluid viscosity and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can make your process better, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.