One of the common questions we receive with regards to our Atomizing Spray Nozzles, is whether they will spray a specific liquid. Most of the time this is a simple answer, found by referencing the viscosity of the liquid and the viscosity range of the specific atomizing nozzle in question. But, sometimes the viscosity of a fluid isn’t readily available and the best path forward is testing of the specific fluid or application.
Such was the case with a recent application to spray a specific mixture comprised of catnip biomass onto materials as they pass along a conveyor. There was no specific flow rate required, we simply needed to spray a specific width at a specific distance away from the product.
Per the customer, the spray nozzles in this application needed a wide angle and flat fan spray pattern. The video below shows the most suitable solution we found in testing at EXAIR.
The suitable nozzle in this application was our model AD2010SS, an internal mix nozzle with deflected flat fan spraying pattern and a patented technology to prevent liquid flow after compressed air to the nozzle is turned off. This nozzle provided the right solution for this application, and shipped from stock on the same day we received the order.
Fast forward a few weeks and this same application found benefit from an Electronic Flow Controller (EFC) model 9057. The EFC allows for sensor-based control of compressed air flow, and thereby control of liquid flow to the AD2010SS nozzles. This prevents operation of the nozzles when there is no need to spray the liquid.
The discussion, testing, and implementation of this solution are an excellent example of the engineering support available behind EXAIR products. We really do help our customers find solutions, and if there is an unknown in an application we’re willing to find the answers together.
Fog. Nobody likes driving in it. It’s downright perilous to sailing vessels on the open water, but especially those near the shore, or other watercraft. Flights get delayed or cancelled, stranding travelers in airport terminals far from home, and keeping many from pressing matters that necessitated the speed of an airline flight in the first place. Oh, and it’s ALWAYS where the bad guy is hiding in the movies. You can tell by the ominous low-string music that starts playing right before things get real nefarious.
You know who LIKES fog, though? Greenhouse operators. Their plants get plenty of water to sustain their growth from the well-irrigated soil, but the leaves & petals can wither and get discolored if the humidity isn’t kept at a high level.
The same is true for the parts of a greenhouse that folks don’t see when they’re selecting the annuals to plant on the next nice spring weekend (which we should be coming up on quite soon here!) – like the seed germination chambers. I had the pleasure of helping a greenhouse operator recently, who needed to replace some old, and malfunctioning, nozzles in one of their germination chambers. They were interested in the extremely fine mist that our Atomizing Spray Nozzles produce. After some experimentation with a couple of different flow rates & patterns, they determined that the Model AW1020SS (Wide Angle Round Pattern, Internal Mix) Atomizing Spray Nozzles provided optimal results.
As the fogging systems in their other chambers start to fail, they’ve been replacing them with the AW1020SS’. We shipped them two earlier this week.
One of the most difficult aspects of handling and working with dusty materials is suppression of airborne contaminants. Small particles can easily become a dust cloud, minimizing visibility and decreasing the quality of working conditions. This then leads to lower productivity, low morale, and a missed opportunity to maximize the potential of personnel and equipment.
Our distributor in New Zealand recently assisted one of their customers facing this set of problems when working with cement and microsilica as it was poured into a mixer. An exhaust fan was in place, but failed to extract the dust sufficiently, so a new approach was needed to minimize the dust.
The solution was to use an EXAIR AN2010SSNo Drip Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzle, shown above in the red box, to produce an atomized water mist. The dust produced during pouring is captured by the small droplets of atomized water produced with this nozzle, reducing the dust and allowing proper use of the mixer.
In order to position the nozzle exactly where it needs to be, an 18” Stay Set Hose, shown above with the red arrow, was used to position the nozzle. This hose is built specifically to have “memory” of the desired position, allowing for quick, easy, and repeatable position of the nozzle attached to the hose.
This simple setup is controlled through a timer to ensure water and compressed air use realize maximum efficiency. It’s an easy solution to a painful problem for this customer.
If you’d like to explore how an EXAIR solution can solve problems in your facility or application, please contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.
Have you ever dropped one of your nice dinner plates on a tiled kitchen floor? And noticed how they seem to go in slow motion as they hurtle to their doom? I never cease to be impressed at how far some of the smaller pieces can go. I recently had to replace our oven, and I found broken dishware shards (and an impressive amount of trash scraps, pet toys, and ‘dust bunnies’) all the way against the back wall.
Curiously, as small as the pieces can be when a dinner plate meets its end, it started its life in even smaller pieces…as a fine ceramic powder, pressed into a mold and heated to a temperature that is WAY hotter than when the server at your favorite restaurant warns you that plate “might be hot.”
I’m writing about this because recently, I had the pleasure of assisting a maker of ceramic dishware with a messy little problem…this fine ceramic powder is moved from where it’s produced, to the various mold stations (dinner plates, salad plates, saucers, etc.) on a vibratory belt conveyor. The vibration keeps the powder loose and homogenous, both of which are extremely important to the molding & firing process. It also causes a cloud of dust to rise along the entire length of travel, and they wanted to minimize this. Their chemists had told the engineer who called me that they could live with a small amount of moisture, as long as it wasn’t enough to make the powder clump up – this would evaporate out at a point closer to the molds anyway.
This was an ideal application for the EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles…they produce a fine mist of liquid that is precisely controllable…one Model AW1010SS Internal Mix, Wide Angle Round Pattern Nozzlewas installed near the beginning of the line, and once they find out how long it takes the dust-suppression supplied by the misted water to evaporate away, they will install more nozzles accordingly.
EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles are ideal for situations where you need a fine liquid mist and fine adjustment of the flow & pattern. With ninety models to choose from, we’ve got the one you’re looking for. Call me if you want to find out more.
Last week I worked with a gutter manufacturer who was looking for a way to spray a light coating of vanishing oil on the rollers of a forming machine. Roll forming is commonly used when needing to maintain a constant and consistent shape or feature across the length of the part. In this particular case, a sheet of aluminum, used as a cover for the gutter, is fed into the machine where it passes over a series of dyes that bends “ribs” and punches small holes into the part to keep leaves or debris from settling on top, while allowing the rainwater to pass through the holes and into the gutter.
They were needing to apply the oil to the rollers because they were starting to see some irregularities in hole size as well as some deformities to the shape of the ribs due to heat being generated during the forming process. The customer was interested in using some type of atomizing spray nozzle in the hopes that providing an atomized mist of liquid may provide for a faster evaporation of the oil so there wasn’t much residue left on the part before packaging.
After further discussing the details, they advised that they were going to have the oil in a container about 12″ below the machine but didn’t have a way to pressurize or pump the liquid to the nozzle. Once again, EXAIR has the perfect solution with our 1/4 NPT Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles. These nozzles are the ideal solution where pressurized liquid isn’t available as they use the compressed air to the draw the liquid into the nozzle, up to 36″ of suction height, and mix it internally to produce a mist of atomized liquid spray. For this particular application, the Model # SR1010SS was a good solution as it provides a low flow rate of only 0.8 GPH and a tight spray pattern to focus right at the rollers to avoid any waste or overspray.
EXAIR offers an extensive range of Atomizing Nozzles that can be used for light coating applications, like above, or for wider coverage areas or higher flow rates. For help selecting the best option to fit your needs, contact one of our application engineers for assistance.
Recently, I was working with a customer that has purchased several of the EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles, specifically the model Aw5020SS. The customer had another project coming up and needed two more nozzles. I inquired about the application and we discussed at length the way the nozzles are being used.
When a concrete road is being poured, several sample forms are poured during the process. The local Department of Transportation takes the samples and cures them in a wet room for 30 days, and then performs tensile testing, to confirm the concrete meets the strength requirements. The wet room must be kept at 23°C (73.4°F) and 100% Humidity during this time frame. The EXAIR model AW5020SS Atomizing Nozzles are used to provide the moisture that ensures the room humidity conditions are met and maintained. Because the droplets are very fine, the effect of a fog is achieved, with the water droplets suspended in the air, keeping the humidity at 100%.
Atomizing spray nozzles are capable of producing very fine droplet sizes. A typical rain drop is 6000 microns in diameter, standard liquid nozzles produce droplets ranging from 300-4000 microns. The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles produce droplets from 20-100 microns!
Droplet sizes can be adjusted by varying either the liquid pressure or air pressure. Increasing the air or decreasing the liquid pressure will generally produce a smaller droplet size.
EXAIR manufactures (3) types of Atomizing Nozzles – Internal Mix, External Mix, and Siphon Fed, in both 1/4 NPT and 1/2 NPT sizes. Maximum liquid viscosity is 800 cP. Flow rates range from 0.6 GPH up to 303 GPH, so we’ll be able to find one that meets your flow requirements.
To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle can benefit your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
In The Sweet Taste of Floss Part 1, I explained the benefits of using our Atomizing Nozzles to apply a liquid flavoring onto floss sticks. With that same customer, we had another opportunity to save them on compressed air and on liquid flavoring.
As described in their setup, they had a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. This operation was manual. It would take the operators roughly 45 seconds to load the floss sticks. The conveyor would move the rod through the spraying compartment in about 15 seconds. The customer was worried about the continuous spraying and wondered if we could help in this operation.
They had a good concern because with a constant spraying, they could have an issue with fogging the work area and wasting the liquid cherry flavoring. My suggestion was to use the EXAIR model 9055 Electronic Flow Control (or EFC). The EFC is a user-friendly controller that combines a photoelectric sensor with a timer. It has eight different programmable on/off modes to minimize compressed air usage and in this case, liquid spray. For this type of operation, the EFC worked great. They did not need to manually turn on and off the system, or purchase a PLC that would require programming. The EFC is in a compact package that is easy to mount and setup.
In evaluating their application, the Signal “OFF” Delay would be correct setting to run in this operation. (The EFC comes factory set in this mode). The sensor will detect the part and open the solenoid immediately. Once the part clears the sensor, then it will keep the solenoid open for the set amount of time. For this project, they set the timer for 15 seconds. They mounted the photoelectric sensor at the beginning of the entrance to the spraying compartment. Once the sensor detected the rod that was filled with floss sticks, it would turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzles. After the timing sequence hits 15 seconds, the EFC would turn off the solenoid which would stop the spraying. It would rerun this sequence every time a rod would pass by the sensor. This optimized their operation; especially when they had any issues with loading the rod with floss sticks. It reduced their liquid and compressed air usage by 75%, and it kept the work area free of fog.
If you need an easy way to save on compressed air usage or in this case fluid, the EFC could be the device for you. It can save you much money in your operational costs, and during these economic times, we know that every bit counts. If you are still a little “foggy” on the EFC, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR for help.