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(analytical chemistry)
In flame spectrometry, conversion of a volatilized sample into free atoms.
A process in which the chemical bonds in a molecule are broken to yield separated (free) atoms.
(mechanical engineering)
The mechanical subdivision of a bulk liquid or meltable solid, such as certain metals, to produce drops, which vary in diameter depending on the process from under 10 to over 1000 micrometers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The process whereby a bulk liquid is transformed into a multiplicity of small drops. This transformation, often called primary atomization, proceeds through the formation of disturbances on the surface of the bulk liquid, followed by their amplification due to energy and momentum transfer from the surrounding gas.

Spray formation processes are critical to the performance of a number of technologies and applications. These include combustion systems (gas turbine engines, internal combustion engines, incinerators, furnaces, rocket motors), agriculture (pesticide and fertilizer treatments), paints and coatings (furniture, automobiles), consumer products (cleaners, personal care products), fire suppression systems, spray cooling (materials processing, computer chip cooling), medicinal (pharmaceutical), and spray drying (foods, drugs, materials processing). Current concerns include how to make smaller drops (especially for internal combustion engines), how to make larger drops (agricultural sprays), how to reduce the number of largest and smallest drops (paints and coatings, consumer products, medicinals, spray drying), how to distribute the liquid mass more uniformly throughout the spray, and how to increase the fraction of liquid that impacts a target (paints and coatings, spray cooling, fire suppression).

Spray devices (that is, atomizers) are often characterized by how disturbances form. The most general distinction is between systems where one or two fluids flow through the atomizer. The most common types of single‐fluid atomizers are pressure (also called plain‐orifice, hydraulic, or pneumatic), pressure‐swirl, rotary, ultrasonic (sometimes termed whistle or acoustic), and electrostatic. Twin‐fluid atomizers include internal‐mix and external‐mix versions, where these terms describe the location where atomizing fluid (almost always a gas) first contacts fluid to be sprayed (almost always a liquid).

While primary atomization is important, because of its role in determining mean drop size and the spectrum of drop sizes, subsequent processes also play key roles in spray behavior. They include further drop breakup (termed secondary atomization), drop transport to and impact on a target, drop evaporation (and perhaps combustion), plus drop collisions and coalescence. In addition, the spray interacts with its surroundings, being modified by the adjacent gas flow and modifying it in turn. See Particulates

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The formation of tiny droplets or a very fine spray, as produced by impinging jets of air on a small stream of paint in spray painting.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The RMAP specimen was produced by mixing quartz and atomizing slags for 3 min; then, the viscosity of the produced specimen was measured.
The airless atomizing nozzles do not need an external air supply and will atomize with pressures as low as 20 psi (on water).
The spray forming head is a stepped block fabricated from titanium that concentrates the mechanical energy produced by the convertor at the atomizing tip.
However, the company has also developed a system to apply liquid anti-tack agents, where aqueous solutions are sprayed through atomizing jets directly into the cutting chamber.
Ideal for humidity control applications in such large areas, Trion's Herrmidicool dual pneumatic, air/water atomizing system was specified for the project.
The air atomizing nozzles from the Spraying Systems Co.
The following maintenance tips apply to commercial boilers with air/oil atomizing burners only, and Castle always recommends that only qualified personnel should operate, adjust or repair the equipment:
Minor modification of the spray cap may be necessary to increase the amount of atomizing air available to allow sufficient catalytic air to facilitate curing.
The ViscoMist air atomizing spray nozzle has been redesigned to provide a cleaner look, improved performance, and increased spray flexibility.
Air atomizing nozzles can be used for steam/chemical sterilization of bottling machines that provide a quick and efficient high-impact cleaning.
Spray drying principles for atomization are used but the process air is cooled instead of being heated, and the atomizing nozzle is installed in the counter-current position on the chamber to allow longer residence times of up to 18 seconds.