Last updated: September 12, 2019

What Does Atomization Mean?

Atomization is the process of converting an analyte in solid, liquid or solution form to a free gaseous atom. It is the transformation of a bulk liquid into a spray of liquid droplets in a surrounding gas or vacuum.

The range of metals that can be atomized extends to all metals that are capable of being melted industrially.


Corrosionpedia Explains Atomization

Atomization is the dominant method of production of metal powders due to:

  • Alloying (chemical and electrolytic)
  • Particle size and shape control
  • Chemical purity

For example, during the gas-atomization process, molten steel is atomized into fine metal droplets, which cool down during their fall in the atomizing tower. Metal powders obtained by gas atomization offer a perfectly spherical shape combined with a high cleanliness level.

The basic processes associated with methods of atomization, such as the conversion of bulk liquid into a jet or sheet, and the growth of disturbances which ultimately lead to disintegration of the jet or sheet into ligaments and then drops determine the resulting spray's characteristics such as:

  • Shape
  • Structure
  • Penetration
  • Droplet velocity
  • Drop size distribution

The characteristics of droplets are strongly affected by:

  • Atomizer size and geometry
  • Physical properties of the liquid
  • Properties of the gaseous medium into which the liquid stream is discharged

Atomization occurs as a result of the competition between the stabilizing influences of surface tension and viscosity of the liquid, and the disruptive actions of various internal and external forces.

Atomization is particularly important in:

  • Spray combustion: This involves the atomization and burning of liquid fuels.
  • Spray drying: This involves the spraying of a solution or suspension into hot gaseous surroundings for production of a powder of the solute or solid.
  • Agricultural spraying: For insecticides or fertilizers.

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