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

 

Air Atomizing Nozzles for Blue Jean Manufacturing

Acid washed Jeans

I wrote an earlier blog on how a blue jean manufacturer used EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors to help transport pumice stones into washers for stonewashed jeans.  You can find it here, “The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors with stonewashed jeans.”  This same company contacted EXAIR again for another application.  With great customer service and thousands of products in stock, this customer stated it was an easy decision to come back to us.  This time it was for a spraying application.  I was happy to help them again.

Beside stone-washing, there are other ways to give that “worn out” look to blue jeans.  In this operation, they would scuff areas on the denim material with sandpaper.  To brighten that area, they would manually spray Potassium Permanganate over the jeans.  This reaction would fade the blue in the scuffed areas during the washing cycle.  They wanted to automate this process and move away from the manual operation (reference photo above).  So, I recommended our Air Atomizing Nozzles.

No Drip Atomizing Family

To tell you about EXAIR Air Atomizing Nozzles, they use compressed air to shear liquid into very fine particles.  The smaller the particles, the more surface area is produced.  Thus, less liquid material is required which will save money on the expense of the liquid.  EXAIR offers three different body sizes in NPT or BSP conversions; 1/8”, 1/4”, and 1/2”.  They are made from stainless steel for corrosion resistance.  We have an Internal Mix and an External Mix for use with pressurized liquid, and a Siphon Fed for open containers.

With each body style, we have a variety of liquid caps for different flow amounts, and an assortment of air caps to direct the fine mist.  For the Atomizing Nozzles, EXAIR can offer a No-Drip option and brackets.  The No-Drip option will stop liquid flow when the compressed air is turned off which will not allow the liquid to drip from the nozzle.  The brackets fit snugly around the body to support the Atomizing Nozzles for precise spraying.

For this application, I recommended the model AW9010SS.  This is a 1/8” NPT No-Drip Internal mix Atomizing Nozzle with a wide-angle round pattern.  The liquid flow rate fit their application with a maximum of 3.5 GPH (13.2 LPH).  The wide spray angle was able to cover the patterns on the denim material.  The potassium permanganate was delivered to the Atomizing Nozzle with a liquid pump, and with the No-Drip Option, they could start and stop spraying accurately and quickly with a simple compressed air solenoid valve.  Also, the model AW9010SS is a durable lightweight nozzle; and with the model 901786 bracket, the Atomizing Nozzles were easily mounted to the end of a robot arm for automation.

The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles were able to replace the manual operation.  The amount of liquid material that this denim manufacturer was able to save was near 20%.  Depending on the expense of the fluid that you use, this can be quite a savings.  Also, they found that the “worn” areas were more consistent with accurate spraying and an even amount of potassium permanganate.

And as an added note with the safety issues in spraying potassium permanganate, the Atomizing Nozzles were a more effective way to reduce the hazard as a substitution control.  The operator with personal protective equipment, or PPE, is the least effective way for controlling occupational hazards.  The automated system with EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles was able to remove the operator from the hazard.

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you.  As with the customer above with the Air Operated Conveyors or Atomizing Nozzles, the quality of the products and the great customer service was what caused this customer to use EXAIR.  If you would like to experience the EXAIR way, you can contact an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to help you.

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

 

Photo: Stonewash Jeans by realworkhardPixabay License.

Video Blog: Spray Nozzle Repair Kit

In this video blog, I will show you how to refurbish the 1/8″ NPT No-Drip Atomizing Nozzle.  The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are a robust spraying system that uses compressed air to shear the liquid into fine particles.  The No-Drip option allows for the Atomizing Nozzle to be turned off without the liquid dripping.  This option does have some wearable items.  Watch how to replace these items and make it like new again:

 

John Ball
International Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

The Benefits of Air Atomizing Nozzles

No Drip Atomizing Family

With today’s pandemic, many people are finding ways to disinfect items.  I recently received a telephone call from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that was designing a system to sanitize shopping carts.  They made a tunnel for the carts to be transferred through and to be sprayed.  They wanted to use EXAIR air Atomizing Nozzles because air atomizing nozzles can spray smaller particle sizes than pure liquid atomizing nozzles which increases the coverage area.  Thus, using less of the expensive disinfectant.

They started with a purchase of four pieces of a model SF2010SS, ¼” NPT Siphon Fed No-Drip Atomizing Nozzles for this new project.  The Siphon Fed does not require a liquid pump as it can draw the solution into the nozzle by a venturi.  The siphon height can range to 36” (91cm) below to a gravity head of 18” (46cm) above.  In some applications like this, the requirements are unknown, and for the OEM above, it was no different.

To tell you about our air Atomizing Nozzles, EXAIR offers three different body sizes in NPT or BSP conversions; 1/8”, 1/4”, and 1/2”.  We offer a standard and No-Drip option.  A standard option has a liquid stem valve that is used to manually adjusted the liquid amount; and the No-Drip option will stop liquid flow when the compressed air is turned off, and not allow the liquid to drip from the nozzle.  We have Internal Mix and External Mix for use with liquid pressures, and a Siphon Fed for open containers.  With each body style, we have a variety of liquid caps for different flow amounts, and an assortment of air caps to direct the fine mist.

EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles

With their application, they placed each nozzle inside a square frame tubing to hold them in place.  (I believe it was to protect them for being removed).  To find the best coverage, they moved the Atomizing Nozzles to different locations.  They realized that the top air Atomizing Nozzles were too far away from the sanitizing solution to use the Siphon Fed type.  So, they decided to use a liquid pump to move the disinfectant.  With the features of the air Atomizing Nozzles, we had a simple solution for them.

They wanted to change from the model SF2010SS – ¼” NPT Siphon Fed Flat Fan Atomizing Nozzle to a model AF2030SS – ¼” NPT Internal Mix Flat Fan Atomizing Nozzle.  They were looking to increase the liquid rate as well as changing to a pressurized liquid system.  (The Siphon Fed type is for non-pressurized liquid systems.)  They already had the nozzles mounted inside the tubing, so they were looking for an easy way to change the nozzles for their trial design.  With the same body size, the air and liquid caps can be interchanged relatively easy.  I have an informal video that shows how this can be done (click HERE).  By just changing the liquid and air caps, the Atomizing Nozzles were transformed to the model AF2030SS.  Look below to see how it was done with the model numbers of the air and liquid caps required.

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