The Sweet Taste of Floss – Part 1

Floss Stick
Floss Stick

A popular way to floss or clean between your teeth is with floss sticks. The floss sticks have a string of dental floss that is stretched between two posts and is attached to a handle.  This helps to get into those hard-to-reach areas.  A manufacturer of these floss sticks was wanting to put cherry flavoring onto the floss string.  They were not able to dip them, as the concentration of the flavor was too strong.  They needed a better way to apply a light coating of flavor.  In their research, they found EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles.

As we discussed their setup, they explained that a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. The floss sticks would dangle on the rod, as they traveled through two separate compartments.  One compartment would spray the flavoring onto the floss sticks, and the other would dry the solution in an oven.  They gave me some details of the solution that they were using.  It was mainly water, some cherry flavoring, and an alcohol base to aid in drying.  So, the viscosity was very near water.  They did not have a liquid pump to move the solution to their spraying compartment.  This would not be a problem, as EXAIR has Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles.  It uses compressed air to create a vacuum to lift fluid up to 36” high and to shear the fluid into a very fine mist.  This was key to the customer as they did not want to create any droplets on the handle of the floss sticks.

No Drip Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle
No Drip Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle

To determine the correct model, we had to dive a bit more into their application. They mentioned that they did some preliminary testing to find the correct amount of flavoring.  If it was too much, it would be overbearing, and if it was not enough then you would not taste it.  With the conveyor speed and the amount of flavor required, they determined that they needed a liquid flow rate between 1.2 to 1.4 GPH (gallons per hour).   From all the information that they gave me, I recommended 3 pieces of the model SF2020SS.  This is our No-Drip Flat Fan Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle.  The flat fan pattern was able to reach across the entire rod and hit all the floss sticks evenly.  With it being gravity fed at about 6” above the nozzles, the liquid flow rate of the model SF2020SS has a maximum of 0.5 GPH.  Thus the reason for 3 pieces in parallel. With a slight pressure adjustment, they could dial in the correct amount of liquid flow rate to get the perfect cherry flavoring.

The No-Drip option for the Atomizing Nozzles is a very nice accessory.  It will stop the liquid solution from dripping when not in use.  When the air pressure is shut off, a positive seal is created to not allow any liquid to bypass.  This was important in this application as the container holding the flavor solution was above the Atomizing Nozzles.  They set up one unit for demonstration, and they were amazed at how easy it was to use and how fine the particle spray was.  They did not have to worry about drips, lost solution, or inconsistent flavoring.

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you. As for the customer above, the Atomizing Nozzles were cherry in applying the cherry flavoring.


John Ball
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb


Photo by homejobsbymom with Creative Commons license.