Choosing the Right Air Atomizing Nozzle

Atomizing your liquid has many benefits. You will use far less product, while covering more surface. Whether you are covering, coating or cooling, atomization is your best option. EXAIR has a vast selection of Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles, and it can appear difficult to select the best one for your application, but with some of these tips and guidance, you will be able to find exactly what you need.

In choosing a nozzle, there are a few standard details and a few necessary questions we need to get out of the way.

  1. All of our nozzles are Stainless Steel
  2. There are options with 1/8″, 1/4″ and 1/2″ NPT inlets
  3. Max temp is 400°F
  4. All Nozzles are CE compliant
  5. Do you have adequate compressed air at the point of use?
  6. Is your Liquid pressurized?
  7. How far from your product will / can the nozzle be mounted?
  8. What is the Viscosity (cP) of your liquid?
  9. How many gallons per minute do you need to disperse?

EXAIR’s Air Atomizing Nozzles all have 3 components. The nozzle itself (see #2 above), the liquid cap that controls the liquid flow, and the air cap that controls the air flow / pattern. For the most part these are inter changeable based upon the original size of your nozzle. For example, you could fit a new air cap onto the same liquid cap and change from a round pattern to a flat pattern (Note -not all are caps interchangeable). By using these variables, we are bale to get many different flow rates, patterns and coverages.

There are also 3 groups of nozzles, Internal Mix, External Mix, and Siphon Fed, based on how your liquid is fed to the nozzle. Here is an excerpt from our catalogue that explains this very well:

Let’s assume that your liquid is pressurized. You now have 2 choices, internal and external mix. Internal mix will only work if your air pressure and liquid pressure are pretty close to the same (within about 20-25 psi of each other). These mix the air and liquid inside the nozzle, so if more pressure is received on either side, it could back pressure the other side. The external mix nozzles can have a wide variety of pressures on either side, as these mix externally of the nozzle. Lastly, if your liquid has a viscosity of 300 cP or higher, your only option is the External Mix Nozzle – see below for a viscosity table…

We need to have a solid understanding of the centipoise (cP) of the liquid. To save you some time in looking this up, here are some examples of common products and their centipoise. As you can see above, the cP can determine the type of nozzle you can use effectively.

By this time, we should have narrowed the nozzle down to the style (Siphon Fed, Internal Mix, or External Mix). Now we need to find the right size, and spray pattern for your specific application. The main data points you need to have are 1) Spray pattern (width etc…) 2) Liquid Pressure 3) Air Pressure 4) distance from the nozzle to the surface you are spraying (ideally this is variable). Once you know these data points, you can proceed.

PRO TIP: Use the catalogue section for reference – click here to get it online . Or you can open up a chat on our website and ask us to send you one (M-F 7AM -4PM EST), or you can send an email or request by phone that we send you a physical printed copy!!! Yes these still exist!!! With the catalogue section in hand, you will have each performance table readily available to start narrowing down your choices. Pro tip #2 – you can also download drawings…

To find the best size and pattern fit, you will want to focus on the lookup tables in the catalogue section. First, an idea of how your nozzles will need to mount (their location, distance from target) and a desirable spray pattern to cover your target will be helpful. For instance, you may need a fan pattern to cover a wide area. Let’s say that you need to cover an area that is about 12″-13″ wide, we can look for a nozzle that will meet that requirement. Keep in mind that if you need to cover 60″, you may need 1, 2, 3 or more nozzles depending on the other information required.

Back to our example of a 12-13″ spray… You will next need determine how many gallons per hour this nozzle would need to spray. How fine, or thick of a covering do you need? Sometimes this is an unknown, so we will look at liquid and air caps that are in a mid range, so that you can adjust with the air and liquid pressures. Let’s assume you need to apply close to 4 gallons per hour. We can now find both factors on the look up table below. The second row, under 30 psi liquid shows 4.1 gallons per hour, when we use 26 psi of air pressure. As we slide over the width, we see that this will give us a 13″ width of spray pattern (when the nozzle is 9″ away – that is width “B” in the spray pattern above). Pro Tip # 3- start with your non variable of width (spray pattern) needed, and work back from there. We can always find ways to adjust the air and liquid pressure, but you will still need the pattern to cover.

The application engineers at EXAIR are ready to help as well. We can walk you through the steps and ask the right questions to assist you in selecting the correct nozzles. If you can grab a few pictures and or videos to share, as well as the data mentioned above, we will be able to get you to the best solution.

Application Engineer

Brian Wages

EXAIR Corporation
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Liquid HollowStream™ Cone Nozzles and Electrostatic Filters

A company was contracted to clean electrostatic filters used in a commercial building.  Electrostatic filters are designed to capture airborne particles to improve indoor air quality.  They are washable and reusable.  The capturing mechanism is a bit different than a typical furnace filter.  It is done by using an Ionizing wire to place a positive charge onto the particles as they pass by.  Then, the charged particles are collected on collection plates that are negatively charged.  Like magnets, opposite charges attract.  Over time, the particles will build up on the plates.  The electrostatic filters generally need to be cleaned monthly to remove the grime of smoke, dust, and allergens.  Once they are washed and dried, they can be placed back in the air ducts to start filtering again.

The contractor above used a cleaning solution to break down the contamination prior to rinsing and drying.  They had to be careful with the electrostatic filters as the ionizing wires that are used to charge the particles are very thin and prone to breaking.  If an ionizing wire breaks, it will not properly charge the particles and the filtration is reduced.  So, manually cleaning was very difficult to perform.  They contacted EXAIR to provide a solution. 

When it comes to liquid spraying, EXAIR has a new line of liquid atomizing spray nozzles; FullStream™ and HollowStream™ Cone Nozzles.  They are engineered to spin the liquid in order to break the surface tension.  Passing through a precision orifice; the liquid will break into fine particles.  Increasing the surface area will increase the liquid coverage on to a surface and reduce the amount of liquid required.  For this application, I recommended the model HL1011SS; HollowStream Cone Nozzle.  They were able to pass the electrostatic filters under the HL1011SS to clean the collection plates and ionizing wires.  The force of the liquid was enough to clean the surfaces without damaging the thin wires.  The contractor was so impressed by the effectiveness of the nozzle; he added the same nozzle to his rinsing system.  With the EXAIR HollowStream Cone Nozzle generating small water particles, he was able to save money by using less water. 

Here is a video with a residential electrostatic filter.

If you use liquids for washing, cleaning, or quenching; EXAIR has an effective and economical way to apply that material.  We offer different flowrates and port sizes.  The Liquid Atomizing Nozzles can handle liquid pressures up to 250 PSIG (17Bar) to get a hard-hitting force.  They are made from 303 stainless steel which is durable and corrosion resistance; and, they can withstand temperatures up to 800oF (427oC).  If you would like to discuss further the details of your liquid applications with an Application Engineer, we will be happy to hear from you. 

John Ball
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Video by Grayfurnaceman on YouTube: Cleaning the electronic air cleaner

5 Important Factors When Selecting an Atomizing Spray Nozzle

The most recent EXAIR Webinar is up and ready to be viewed as an on demand video. This presentation showcases five important factors when selecting an atomizing spray nozzle. Throughout the webinar you will gain several key takeaways that are outside of the five factors as well. If you have a liquid spray application and are not sure where to start, this video has a wealth of information for you. As always, the Application Engineer department is also here and ready to assist as needed. We can walk through any application with you and help right over the phone, through email, or even live chat.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer

Big Nozzle, Big Award…Again!

The year was 2016, and it was quite a time for sports fans:

  • Team USA dominated at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Swimmer Michael Phelps won five Gold Medals, and gymnast Simone Biles won a Gold Medal on her own, and another for the team event, contributing to the 46 total Gold Medals won by United States Olympians.
  • The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians took the World Series to all seven games…and extra innings in Game Seven. That makes it hard to disparage either team, but the Cubs prevailed, winning the Fall Classic for the first time in 108 years.
  • World Series heartbreak notwithstanding, Cleveland sports fans were pretty happy a few months earlier when the Cavaliers cinched the NBA Championship in seven games, defeating the heavily favored Golden State Warriors…who beat the Cavs in both of their regular season games that year.

Another big winner (non-sports) that year was EXAIR Corporation’s Model EF5010SS External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern 1/2 NPT Atomizing Spray Nozzle…it won Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year Bronze Medal Award in the Fluid Handling category. Yes, there’s a Compressed Air category, and our products have won a TON of those too…as well as some other categories:

  • Material Handling (Line Vacs)
  • Maintenance Products (Super Air Nozzles)
  • Environmental Health (High Lift Reversible Drum Vac)
  • Automation & Controls (EFC Electronic Flow Control)
Just a few of our past Product of the Year award winners in categories other than “Compressed Air”.

Anyway, now it’s 2021, and the No-Drip version of that Atomizing Spray Nozzle – Model EF6010SS – has won Plant Engineering’s GOLD Medal Award in the Fluid Handling category. Model EF6010SS offers the same performance as the EF5010SS:

  • Liquid flow rates from 141 to 303 gallons per hour (tested with water)
  • Flat fan spray dimensions from 15″ wide (6″ from target) to 25″ wide (15″ from target)
  • Atomized spray at a distance of up to 35 feet away

And, of course, the No-Drip feature means you can instantly stop liquid flow by shutting off the compressed air supply, up to 180 cycles a minute, if needed. This is a great feature to have to cut down on the cost – and the MESS – associated with overspraying.

Our comprehensive line of Atomizing Spray Nozzles has options for most any liquid that can be sprayed, with a wide range of flow rates and pattern size/shapes. The 1/2 NPT External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan model is ideally suited for liquids with higher viscosities where a higher flow rate/thicker coating is needed, as opposed to a humidification or misting application, where a smaller Atomizing Spray Nozzle might be specified. Some current, successfully reported, applications include:

  • Snack food provider – applying flavoring to bulk snack materials.
  • Commercial bakery – spraying cooking oil onto pans used in a conveyor oven.
  • Sporting goods manufacturer – applying adhesive to the tops of skateboard decks to glue the grip tape on.

If you’d like to discuss a particular liquid spraying application, I’d love to help…give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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