Liquid Spray Nozzles Improve Gummy Candy Production

One of the more popular treats for kids and adults are gummies.  They can be sweet, sour, and in different shapes and colors.  A candy company that makes gummy bears was looking for a better way to spray food-grade oil onto their product.  They contacted EXAIR about our Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles. 

We discussed their setup and process for making the gummy candies; or in this case gummy bears.  The sugary mixture is poured into molds that are coated with corn starch.  The corn starch helps to keep the gummy from sticking to the mold.  Once hardened, the bears will be released from the molds and travel through a stainless-steel spinning drum.  In here, they apply a light food-grade oil onto the bears.  This process will hide the starch and give the candy that glazed and colored feature.  The drum was near 60” (1.52 meters) long and spun at 19 RPM.  The gummy bears would tumble along the length of the drum at a designed production rate of 2000 Kg/hr. (4,400 Lbs./hr.).  They used drip tubes along the top to apply the food-grade oil onto the gummy bears.  They noticed that the color was not as good and the coverage was spotty.  The oil pump was metered in a range of 0.35 – 3 gal/hr. (1.32 – 11.3 l/h).  The temperature inside the drum could reach up to 150oF (65oC), and the viscosity of the food-grade oil ranged between 190 – 400 cps.  In order to get the best results for quality, they had to reduce their production rates to about 1,700 to 1,800 Kg/hr. 

To determine the correct solution, we had to dive a bit more into their application.  The details of the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are measured with water as the liquid.  Since they are using an oil at different temperatures, the specific gravity will change slightly.  For their oil, the specific gravity is 0.92 at 20oC and 0.89 at 65oC.  We can use Equation 1 to convert the required flow rate from the food-grade oil to water.

Equation 1:

Q1 = Q2 * SQRT (SG2 / SG1)

Q1 – Flow of water (gph)

Q2 – Flow of oil (gph)

SG1 – Specific Gravity of water

SG2 – Specific Gravity of oil

The Specific Gravity of water is 1.  With the range of specific gravity for the oil, we can calculate the range that is needed as indicated by water.  Then we can make a selection as referenced by our data in the catalog.  Since we want to make sure that we can cover the range of the metered oil pump, we will use the maximum flow rate of 3 gph.  In adding the values, we get the following:

@20oC  Q1 = 3 gph * sqrt(0.92) = 2.88 gph

@65oC  Q1 = 3 gph * sqrt(0.89) = 2.83 gph  

Since the viscosity ranges above 300 cps., I recommended the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles to be mounted along the length of the rotating drum.  The External Mix can handle viscous liquids up to 800 cps.  Unlike the drip method, the EXAIR Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzles use compressed air to shear the oil into small droplets and to disperse the oil in a wide pattern.  With the smaller particle size, we can get more coverage area which will allow them to use less food-grade oil.  The coverage area on the gummy bears was near 15” (38cm) as they rolled down the drum.  I also recommended the No-Drip option to allow for versatility in their process.  The No-Drip option for the Atomizing Nozzles is a very nice option which will stop the liquid solution from dripping when not in use.  When they needed to apply the oil, they would just turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzle.  It made it very easy to control.  This was important to reduce excess usage and non-conforming parts. It also keeps the inside of the drum oil free during cleaning cycles.   

EB2010SS

From the data above, I recommended three pieces of the model EB2010SS, No Drip External Mix Wide Angle Flat Fan Pattern.  The spray pattern was 14” (35.6cm) wide to cover part of the 60” (1.52m) length of the drum.  With an estimated 1 gph for each nozzle, we would be able to spray the maximum requirement as calculated above (2.88 gph).  After installation, they were able to get a consistent deep color of the gummy bear at the maximum production rate of 2,000 Kg/hr.  They also noticed that with the fine particle spray, they were able to use less oil.  With the three pieces of the model EB2010SS, they were able to reach maximum production rates with less food-grade oil and reduce scrap rates.

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you.  You can contact an Application Engineer for help.  For the customer above, they were able to create those gummy treats for kids and adults.  Yummy.

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

Picture: Giant Gummy Bear by Alexas_FotosPixabay licence.

What’s So Great About EXAIR’s No-Drip External Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles?

It doesn’t take a lot to make a basic liquid spraying device. I spent about ten bucks at a local hardware store on a nice little plastic thingie to thread onto my garden hose & aim at my little backyard garden. I don’t necessarily need extremely small droplets, or precise control of the pattern size…if it over-sprays a little bit, that doesn’t hurt the grass adjacent to my tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers at all. It’s already starting to leak a little bit in the “turret” that spins to select the water pattern, but I’m probably going to use it until that leakage outpaces the amount being sprayed. That isn’t hurting my grass either. Some industrial spraying applications, frankly, don’t need anything that’s much more advanced, and such devices are readily commercially available from a number of suppliers. If that’s your situation, you can stop reading now.

If you’re still reading, I’m going to answer the question in the title of this blog in a concise, technical manner. But first, here’s an apt analogy, in two short videos, that contrasts the difference in products like my garden sprayer, and EXAIR’s engineered Atomizing Spray Nozzles. The first video represents a garden sprayer, the second represents an EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzle:

This is also a pretty good representation of my dancing abilities when “(You Make Me Wanna) Shout” from the “Animal House” soundtrack is played. All of my relatives know this, and still invite me. That’s the hallmark of a good family.
I would, of course, yield the floor to this young lady, or any of the world’s finest gymnasts that competed in Tokyo at the Olympics. I can’t speak for my cousins…from Boston or anywhere else, for that matter.

The other analogy I’d like to draw, using the second video, is that our Model EF6010SS 1/2 NPT No-Drip External Mix Flat Fan Pattern Atomizing Spray Nozzle is an award winner:

Plant Engineering’s Product Of The Year Gold Award for Fluid Handling goes to…EXAIR!

And for good reason, too. Consider:

  • Like any of our compressed air operated Atomizing Spray Nozzles, they make a fine, controllable fan of liquid spray with a consistent droplet size under 100 microns.
  • Liquid flow rate is adjustable from 141 gallons an hour on the low side, up to a maximum of 303 gallons per hour…a little over twice what my kitchen sink puts out, and about half what my garden hose can flow. That’s a decent amount of liquid flow in a 25″ wide flat fan pattern. It’s great for putting a heavy coating over a narrow band, like a paint line.
  • External Mix operation means the liquid flow rate is solely dependent on liquid supply pressure, and the width of the Flat Fan pattern is solely dependent on compressed air supply pressure. You can adjust the liquid supply pressure for a different overall flow rate without appreciably affecting the pattern size. Or, you can regulate the air supply pressure to change the pattern size without changing the volumetric flow rate of the liquid. It’s also the best choice for liquids with viscosities over 300cP.
  • The No-Drip feature stops flow, instantly, when the air is turned off. They need 30psig compressed air pressure to start liquid spraying. When air supply is secured, an o-ring seals the nozzle’s stem in the Liquid Cap to positively stop liquid flow, up to 180 cycles a minute. This important feature is critical for expensive, solvents, chemicals or paints. It is even important when considering water consumption.
  • They’re made of grade 303 Stainless Steel, for durability and corrosion resistance.
External Mix models are made for applications that require higher flow rates with precise liquid flow control.

Model EF6010SS is one of SIXTEEN EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles that have been Finalists in Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year competition since 2011. It’s the fourth Award winner in that time, and second one to get the Gold Award. So, we’re pretty proud of that.

If you’re looking to spray liquid, look no further than EXAIR. We have 142 distinct Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles…and 22 Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzles (FullStream and HollowStream Cone) to choose from. Call me and we’ll talk about which one is right for your application.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR FullStream Liquid Nozzles

On August 6, 2020 I wrote a blog (see it here) announcing our new Fullstream Liquid Nozzles. But since then we have added two sizes to the Full Stream line up and one new style all together with our new Hollow Stream Nozzle!

These liquid spray nozzles produce a full cone spray pattern resulting in a complete filled circle of liquid spray upon its target. They are available in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 NPT thread sizes with varying liquid flow rates. They are all made of stainless steel with a vaneless design to help resist clogging from possible particulates in the liquid!

Here’s how they work:

The First size we offer is the FullStream Cone Liquid Atomizing Nozzle, 1/4 NPT. This nozzle comes with three different flow rates available, 0.8 , 1.0, and 1.1 GPH. Bellow are the nozzle dimensions. You can find the spray dimensions and performance by clicking HERE.

1/4″ NPT Full Stream Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzle

The next size we offer is the FullStream Cone Liquid Atomizing Nozzle, 3/8 NPT. This nozzle comes with five different flow rates available, 1.1 , 1.3, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.3 GPH. Bellow are the nozzle dimensions. You can find the spray dimensions and performance by clicking HERE.

3/8″ NPT Full Stream Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzle

Currently the last size we offer is the FullStream Cone Liquid Atomizing Nozzle, 1/2 NPT. This nozzle comes with five different flow rates available, 3.2 , 4.0, 4.8, 5.6, 6.4 and 7.2 GPH. Bellow are the nozzle dimensions. You can find the spray dimensions and performance by clicking HERE.

1/2″ NPT Full Stream Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzle

The newest style of Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzles is our Hollow Streams! Right now we offer the 1/4 NPT. Hollow stream nozzles are great when you need a ring of fluid and will use less liquid then the full streams!

The Hollow Stream Cone Liquid Atomizing Nozzle, 1/4 NPT. This nozzle comes with five different flow rates available, 3.2 , 4.0, 4.8, 5.6, 6.4 and 7.2 GPH. Bellow are the nozzle dimensions. You can find the spray dimensions and performance by clicking HERE.

1/4″ NPT Hollow Stream Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzle

If you have any other questions on EXAIR’s line of Liquid Atomizing Nozzles please reach out to my self or another application engineer! We will be happy to help you fit one into your application!

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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EXAIR Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Liquid Spray Nozzles

Amongst EXAIR’s continuously growing product offering, some of the newest are a family of Air Atomizing Liquid Spray Nozzles that does not require a pressurized liquid source. These are known as the Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Nozzles. These nozzles can be easily implemented where a tank can be installed and lower the cost of the installation by not requiring a liquid pump, just point of use compressed air.

Siphon Fed model

This action is done by the unique design of the air cap.  As the velocity of the air passes through the air cap, low pressure is created by a venturi.  The Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles can draw liquid from a suction height of 36” (91 cm), or gravity fed. They are manufactured from 303 stainless steel for durability and corrosion resistance. The Siphon Fed models can spray viscous fluids up to 200 centipoises and are used in many applications like rinsing, coating, cooling, quenching, humidification, or dust control. The images below showcases how simple the setup can be for the siphon and gravity fed installations.

EXAIR Siphon Fed Nozzles work with non-pressurized liquids, either siphoned (left) or gravity fed (right.)

EXAIR carries three different body sizes, 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and ½” NPT ports; so, you can create a light mist or a heavy spray of liquid.  The maximum liquid flow rate is controlled by the air cap and liquid cap combination.  A unique feature of the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle is that the caps are easily interchangeable for each body size to modify the spray patterns, control the amount of fluid, and reduce any downtime if cleaning is required.  The video below shows just how easily the changeover is done.

In addition to the three different inlet/body sizes, we also offer the Siphon Fed in both a round spray pattern or a flat fan spray pattern. These are also controlled by the air and liquid cap combination. This means it is easy to convert a round pattern that may be needed for a job, over to a flat fan pattern for the next setup. Each pattern is also available in several flow rates of liquid and air to dial in the performance required by the application.

Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles

Additionally, if you would like to positively shut the liquid flow off from the nozzle in order to prevent drips, over use of liquid, or to shut off the gravity fed liquid when not needed, the No-Drip versions of these nozzles is also available. This is easily controlled by simply reducing the compressed air operating pressure to below the designated cracking pressure of the patented No-Drip valve.

No Drip Siphon Fed Round Pattern Atomizing Nozzle

If you would like to discuss which spray nozzle is best suited for your application, please reach out to an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF