Spray nozzles & systems
What is a spray nozzle?
A spray nozzle is a component designed to disperse a liquid into a fine mist or spray pattern in a controlled and in a predetermined manner. Nozzles are used in various industrial processes to control the flow, direction, and pattern of liquids, such as water, chemiclas, or other fluids, within a specific time interval. Droplet size is also of great importance for certain industrial processes to work efficiently and to achieve a desired result.
Examples of industrial processes where spray nozzles play an important role are cooling, cleaning, humidification, dust control and fire suppression.
How the nozzle spray is created
The spray is created in a process that involves liquid passing through the nozzle and in that process the liquid is transformed into small droplets exiting the nozzle as a spray in a controlled manner. Flow and pressure are two important parameters in this process. Here is a simplified explanation of how a spray is created in a spray nozzle:
Inlet: Pressurised liquid (water, chemicals, or other fluids) enters the spray nozzle through an inlet opening.
Passage: Inside the nozzle, there is often a narrow passage or constriction. The narrow passage accelerates the flow of the liquid and increases its velocity.
Pressure drop: As the liquid flows through the narrow passage, there is a drop in pressure. This drop in pressure is a critical factor in creating a spray.
Droplet creation: The pressure drop, together with the high-velocity liquid being forced through a small orifice or opening, causes the liquid to break up into small droplets. Different types of nozzles create droplets in various size ranges. Droplet size can be crucial for certain processes to work efficiently and effectively.
Exit: The spray exits the nozzle orifice and is directed toward the intended target. The design of the exit opening also determines the direction of the spray and how wide the spray angle will be for a specific nozzle model.
Spray pattern The design of the nozzle and its components, such as shape, size and insert, determines the spray pattern. The spray pattern can for example be a fine mist, a solid stream, a fan-shaped spray, or a cone-shaped spray.
It is important to note that spray nozzles come in many different designs, each optimized for specific applications. Spray pattern and droplet size are crucial to ensure the effectiveness of the spray in various industrial processes. Desired flow rate, spray angle (between 0° and 360°) and droplet size are determined by the type of nozzle model chosen, as well as the pressure of the liquid entering through the nozzle's inlet hole. The composition of the liquid (eg viscosity) and the presence of particles also affect the spray.
Example of nozzle types and spray patterns
Here are some examples of different nozzle models and spray patterns – mist, flat fan, full cone, full cone (spiral nozzle), hollow cone and 360° (for cleaning tanks).
Choose the right type of nozzle
Each type of nozzle has a specific flow, spray pattern and droplet size distribution. Here are some points that may be useful to go through in order to choose the right nozzle and thus ensure that the spray process will work efficiently and effectively.
- What is the function of the spray nozzle and the spray process?
- Which droplet size is most suitable for the spray process?
- What surface should the spray cover? How should the nozzle be positioned?
- Desired flow rate? Available pressure?
- What type of liquid is used in the spray process?
- Are there external factors affecting the nozzle spray?
- Which material is most suitable for the spray process?
How nozzles are used in industry
Nozzles are used in all types of industries in a variety of processes. Listed below is a selection of applications:
Cooling: Industries like steel production and power plants use spray nozzles to cool equipment and processes. Nozzles are used in cooling towers, air conditioning systems, and other industrial cooling processes to dissipate heat and maintain proper operating temperatures.
Cleaning and sanitizing: Spray nozzles are used in industrial cleaning processes to remove dirt and contaminants from equipment, surfaces, vessels, food, etc.
Humidification: In processes where it is important to maintain specific levels of humidity, such as in the textile industry, greenhouses or warehouses, nozzles are used to create a fine mist that adds moisture to the air.
Coating and painting: Spray nozzles are commonly used in industries like automotive manufacturing and construction for applying paint, varnish, or coatings to surfaces. They ensure a uniform and controlled application of the liquid.
Dust control: Industries generating airborne dust and particles, such as mining, materials handling and the construction sector, use spray nozzles to reduce the amount of dust by spraying water or other additives to prevent particles from becoming airborne.
Chemical processing: In chemical manufacturing, spray nozzles are used to mix and disperse chemicals into various processes, ensuring precise and effective chemical reactions.
Food and bewerage processing: Spray nozzles are used in the food and beverage industry for processes like bottle cleaning, sterilization, lubrication, moistening, coating and tank cleaning.
Pharmaceuticals: In pharmaceutical manufacturing, high pecision spray nozzles are used for coating pills or tablets with active ingredients, ensuring consistent dosages.
Fire protection: Spray nozzles are used in fire protection systems, such as sprinklers and deluge systems, to disperse water or fire suppressants in the event of a fire, helping to control and extinguish flames.
Foam control: Foam can be removed in various processes by spraying liquid over the surface of a tank, vessel or pond.
Tank mixing: Tank mixing (agitator) nozzles are used in processes where it is necessary for the contents of a tank or vessel to be mixed or kept suspended.
In order for a spray process to work efficiently and as intended to achieve a desired result, nozzles should be regularly cleaned and the entire spray system should be regularly inspected and monitored. Clogging, damage, wear and corrosion cause the nozzle to not spray optimally, which affects the entire spray process and can lead to unscheduled downtime, reduced process and product quality and increased operating costs. Nozzle maintenance guide »
We help optimise your spray processes!
You can contact one of our nozzle experts if you want to discuss the spray processes in your business. You can also book a web meeting where we discuss planned or existing setups, problems and various improvement measures. We are also happy to do a site visit, if you prefer.