Atomization: What is it?

Atomization is a word that can be seen throughout the industry in rinsing, coating, painting, lubricating, and cooling applications. The act of atomization is simple, we often refer to it when looking at liquids and it means to break up the liquid stream and form fine droplets.  This is essentially a transfer of energy. There are two mainstream methods to atomize liquids for an application, both with their own advantages.

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!

The first is air atomizing. This action is done by combining a stream of compressed air with either a pressurized fluid or a siphon/gravity fed liquid.  The air stream can be combined with the liquid internally to the nozzle, hence Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles. It can also combine outside of the nozzle, like the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles. We have blogged before on where to use each of these as the reason to select between Internal Mix or External Mix is its own topic.

Benefits to air atomization are, smaller droplet/particulate size is achievable.  The compressed air atomization gives the ability to break up more viscous fluids to get better coverage or thinner layers of spray.  Air atomization also gives the ability to use smaller amounts of liquid because the air takes up a portion of the total flow exiting any nozzle.

The second type of atomizing nozzles are hydraulic atomization. This uses the energy from the liquid being pressurized to break up the liquid stream.  Sometimes there are physical impacts within the nozzle that cause the atomization, other times it is just the liquid leaving an orifice that causes the atomization. This gives the ability to still spray a liquid into droplets of various shapes, dimensions, and flow rates. The lack of compressed air often results in larger droplet sizes as well as higher liquid flow rates. Because the liquid has to be pressurized to certain levels it also becomes difficult to spray higher viscosity fluids through hydraulically atomized nozzles.

Benefits to hydraulically atomized spray nozzles range from stronger spray force for rinsing, ease of installation from not needing to plumb compressed air, ability to flow slurries, or other liquids that may clog or dry due to the design of air atomized spray nozzles.

If you would like to discuss the correct nozzle for your spray application, feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

About Compressed Air Dryers – What Are They and Why Use Them

All atmospheric air contains some amount of water vapor.  When air is then cooled to saturation point, the vapor will begin to condense into liquid water. The saturation point is the condition where the the air can hold no more water vapor. The temperature at which this occurs is knows as the dew point.

When ambient air is compressed, heat is generated and the air becomes warmer. In industrial compressed air systems, the air is then routed to an aftercooler, and condensation  begins to take place. To remove the condensation, the air then goes into separator which traps the liquid water. The air leaving the aftercooler is typically saturated at the temperature of the discharge, and any additional cooling that occurs as the air is piped further downstream will cause more liquid to condense out of the air. To address this condensation, compressed air dryers are used.

It is important to dry the air and prevent condensation in the air. Many usages of the compressed air are impacted by liquid water being present. Rust and corrosion can occur in the compressed air piping, leading to scale and contamination at point -of -use processes. Processes such as drying operations and painting would see lower quality if water was deposited onto the parts.

dryers.png

There are many types of dryers – (see recent blogs for more information)

  • Refrigerant Dryer – most commonly used type, air is cooled in an air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger.
  • Regenerative-Desiccant Type – use a porous desiccant that adsorbs (adsorb means the moisture adheres to the desiccant, the desiccant does not change, and the moisture can then be driven off during a regeneration process).
  • Deliquescent Type – use a hygroscopic desiccant medium that absorbs (as opposed to adsorbs) moisture. The desiccant is dissolved into the liquid that is drawn out. Desiccant is used up, and needs to be replaced periodically.
  • Heat of Compression Type – are regenerative desiccant dryers that use the heat generated during compression to accomplish the desiccant regeneration.
  • Membrane Type– use special membranes that allow the water vapor to pass through faster than the dry air, reducing the amount water vapor in air stream.

The air should not be dried any more than is needed for the most stringent application, to reduce the costs associated with the drying process. A pressure dew point of 35°F to 38°F (1.7°C to 3.3°C) often is adequate for many industrial applications.  Lower dew points result in higher operating costs.

If you have questions about compressed air systems and dryers or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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Patented Nozzle is a 2016 Flow Control Magazine Innovation Awards Nominee!

No Drip Atomizing Nozzle
No Drip Atomizing Nozzle

The patented (no longer patent pending) EXAIR No-Drip Atomizing Spray Nozzles have been nominated and are a finalist in the Flow Control 2016 Innovation Awards.  The No Drip Atomizing Nozzles are just a portion of the entire Liquid Atomizing Nozzle products that EXAIR Offers.   The No-Drip’s patented liquid shut off valve design eliminates the need for a separate pilot air line to positively shut off liquid flow ensuring there are no drips or excess flow from the nozzle.  These are ideal when dealing with fine surface finishes, costly liquids, or intermittent spraying needs.  The nozzles are offered in both pressure fed liquid and siphon fed liquid versions.

For the pressure fed version, the nozzle will require both compressed air and a pressurized liquid source. Both pressures can be adjusted independently giving a large spectrum of adjustment to fine tune the spray pattern and droplet sizes.  The siphon fed nozzles can draw liquid up to 36″ vertically or be gravity fed up to 18″ overhead.  This makes installation quick and easy when a pressurized liquid source, or liquid pump is not at hand.

The No-Drip Atomizing Spray Nozzles have also proven themselves in many applications, you can even read about a few of them here on our blog, links below.

https://blog.exair.com/2013/11/13/no-drip-atomizing-nozzle-improves-deep-drawn-metal-process/

https://blog.exair.com/2016/03/22/atomizing-nozzles-have-added-benefits-that-can-really-help/

2013 Innovation Awards
2013 Innovation Awards

 

Some of the reasons the EXAIR No-Drip Atomizing Nozzles were selected for these applications are the patented no-drip valve, their ability to atomize liquids to a range of 22-71 micron droplet size, the ability to fit into a tight space as well as the many spray pattern options.   These features have ranked the nozzles as a finalist in Flow Control’s 2016 Innovation Awards.

We are very grateful if you choose to vote for our nozzle at the link below. Please vote.

http://www.flowcontrolnetwork.com/innovationawards/

Voting is only open through July 31, 2016.  We’ll make sure to keep you updated if we win!

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

The Bigger, The Better

One of my favorite hobbies over the summer months is going camping with my family. I grew up camping with my grandparents, brother and 2 cousins. My grandparents did have a camper but the majority of the time, the 4 of us kids, camped behind the trailer in tents. My wife on the other hand was a “newbie” to the whole camping scene so when we decided to begin this adventure we purchased a low-cost, lightweight hybrid style camper so she could have all the amenities to keep her comfortable – a bed, A/C, toilet and TV.

This year we were planning on going on an early vacation in May so I wanted to get the camper out of storage and prepare it before we left so when we got back we could start our weekend camping trips right away. I headed over to the storage lot only to find a tree branch had fallen through the roof! Needless to say, I was not a “happy camper” (pun intended). Not only that but it appeared it happened some time ago as the ceiling and certain parts of the floor were getting soft from rain. I immediately called my insurance company to file a claim and dropped the unit off at my local RV shop.

Roof 1
View of branch through the roof
Ceiling 1
Uuummmm – I need to speak to the “Branch Manager”

After about a week, I received the call from the RV shop advising of the repair costs which were about $3,000 higher than the actual value of the trailer. The insurance reviewed this information and determined the unit as a total loss and would be issuing us a check for the market value of the unit. We were somewhat bummed because we really liked our little camper and the memories we shared. Our oldest son learned to ride his bike w/o training wheels and he caught his first fish while camping in that trailer. Now that my wife is on board with camping and with the extra $ in our pocket, it’s time to shop for a bigger, new camper – I am thinking 5th wheel! This also means a truck upgrade to something bigger, at least a 3/4 ton, something I am sure will make my wife happy.

Keeping with the bigger theme, here at EXAIR we recently released our NEW 1/2″ Atomizing Nozzles. The larger size allows for higher flow rates and larger coverage areas.

Model EF5010SS
NEW Model # EF5010SS – 1/2″ NPT External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern Atomizing Nozzle

We offer the following options:

Internal Mix Narrow Angle Round Pattern – Flows up to 231 GPH, require pressurized liquid and air.

Internal Mix Wide Angle Round Pattern – Ideal for covering a large area, adjustable to a fine mist or heavy spray.

Internal Mix Flat Fan Pattern – Perfect for efficient output of costly liquids.

Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern – Provides 360° even flow in all directions.

External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern – Able to handle thicker fluids than internal mix and providing independent air and liquid control.

Siphon Fed Round Pattern – For non-pressured liquid applications, up to 24″ of suction lift.

All of the above are also available with our No Drip feature to stop the liquid flow after the air supply has been turned off.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN