Atomization occurs when a liquid jet is broken down into more or less fine droplets. The ideal spray consists of drops of the same diameter.
Atomization methods can be divided into hydraulic atomization and pneumatic atomization. Depending on the construction of the nozzle or the design of the nozzle outlet, different spray patterns are produced.
A media passing through a nozzle increases in speed as the cross section diameter becomes smaller. Potential energy becomes kinetic energy (velocity).
After the medium passes through the nozzles orifice, it develops an aerodynamic wave pattern, which later leads to droplets in different sizes.
This atomization method achieves the highest degree of atomization: the finest droplets. Under certain conditions, the droplets can completely evaporate.
Pneumatic nozzles can be used, for example, to atomize more viscous media than water. A distinction is made between internal and external mixing pneumatic nozzles.
Viscosity is defined as the resistance of a liquid against deformation, and is based upon the friction between molecules within the liquid. The higher the friction, the more resistant the medium will be. For liquids, the resistance rises as temperature drops, therefore when taking viscosity measurements one must always specify the temperature of the liquid.
With atomization, this means that spray angle and droplet size can change noticeably depending on viscosity. When atomizing media with a viscosity higher than that of water, there are three ways to improve spray quality:
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