Atomizer nozzle

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Example of a vintage atomizer nozzle

An atomizer nozzle is the heart of a tool that generates a spray of liquid mist. It can take many forms. The first atomizer nozzle, also called an aspirator nozzle, was invented by Dr. Thomas DeVilbiss of Toledo, Ohio, in the late 19th century for producing a fine spray of a liquid based on the Venturi effect. His device was used for spraying medicine on the back of his patients' throats. Atomizer nozzles can create atomization from a variety of mechanical means including electrostatic processes, ultrasonic nozzle and centrifugal forces.

Principle of operation[edit]

Principle of operation of an atomizer

When a fast gas stream is injected across the top of the vertical tube, it creates a venturi (lower pressure in the gas stream than the liquid in the tube), in accordance with Bernoulli's principle.

The difference between the reduced pressure at the top of the tube and the higher atmospheric pressure inside the bottle forces the liquid from the reservoir up the tube and into the moving stream of air where it is dispersed into small droplets (not individual atoms as the name suggests) and carried away with the stream of air.

They may be automated or manually operated, the latter typically by means of a manual pump (rubber ball or piston), for a traditional type of atomizer used to apply perfume.


Atomizer nozzles are used for spraying perfumes, for applying paint, in fuel injection systems, and in spray drying installations.

An airbrush is used for artwork and is an example of an atomizer nozzle. Air is passed in down the right hand tube, and the nozzle sucks up the paint from the receptacle and a very fine spray of paint is produced which gives an extremely soft-edged coloration quite unlike that of a brush.

See also[edit]


  • The dictionary definition of atomizer at Wiktionary

External links[edit]