STEEL INDUSTRY

5 tips for good summer maintenance of a spraying system

How to clean, maintain and monitor the performance of the spray nozzles

5 tips for good summer maintenance of a spraying system

How to clean, maintain and monitor the performance of the spray nozzles

Nozzles are often small devices and represent a minor component in a more complex industrial plant. However, their importance is not to be underestimated.

Nozzles that are not properly maintained can cause damage to any system, and the associated costs can be high, both in environmental terms for the planet and in economic terms for the company.

Summer is the season chosen by many of our customers to carry out nozzles maintenance and cleaning operations. We already talked about the importance of selecting the suitable material for a nozzle and three ways to save water. In this article, we illustrate 5 tips to carry out good maintenance of the nozzles.

1 | Clean the nozzles regularly

Although many cleaning operations are carried out mainly in the summer, we recommend maintaining a high level of cleanliness in the spraying system throughout the year.

The nozzles should only be cleaned with suitable tools or products approved for the type of material they are made of. If cleaned incorrectly, the orifice of the nozzles and their components can be easily damaged, negatively affecting the nozzle’s performance, distorting the spray pattern, and increasing the nozzle’s capacity. In case of stubborn clogging problems, we suggest immersing the clogged orifice in a non-corrosive chemical detergent to soften or dissolve the clogging substance.

Fouling mechanisms in the nozzles

Many substances used in spray systems can create deposits according to different mechanisms based on the composition of the liquid being sprayed. For example, products that generate biofilm or viscous residues sprayed by nozzles positioned horizontally could cause deposits of considerable hardness during the summer break, altering the performance of the spraying system when activities resume.

Type of encrustationDetails
CrystallizationFormation of crystals on the surface formed from solutions of dissolved substances when the solubility limit is changed. 
Particulate depositionSmall suspended particles such as clay, silt, or iron oxide deposit onto heat transfer surfaces.
Biological growth (biofouling) The deposition and growth of organic films consisting of microorganisms and their products called biofilm.
Chemical reaction at fluid/surface interfaceReaction of some part of the flow to generate insoluble material.
CorrosionThe material of the heat transfer surface is involved in reactions with components of the fluid to form corrosion products on the surface, a specific type of chemical reaction fouling.
FreezingDeposit formed from a frozen layer of the process fluid, for example, ice from water or solid fats from a food fluid.

2 | Monitor the performance of the nozzles (and replace them in case of wear!)

A nozzle can gradually deteriorate due to abrasion, and, as this occurs over time, the orifice or internal passage widens, distorting the spray pattern. This process causes a greater flow rate and, therefore, greater water consumption, with losses in economic terms for the company and environmental losses for the planet. If this occurs, we suggest replacing the nozzle.

3 | Add a filter to the spraying system

The liquid source used for spraying may contain particulates, dirt or other minerals, which can clog the orifice and cause premature deterioration of the nozzles. We recommend using a filter with a mesh suitable for the size of the system that prevents the ingress of particulates into the nozzle.

4 | Choose another material for the nozzle

If a nozzle is exposed to extreme temperatures, harsh environmental conditions, or sprays corrosive liquids, consider replacing it with one made of more durable material.

Nozzles made of hard materials with a higher abrasion resistance ratio, such as tungsten carbide, tend to last longer. Other nozzle materials, such as PTFE or PVDF work best for corrosive chemical applications and extend the nozzle’s life. We talked extensively about the materials available to you in this news >.

5 | Schedule regular maintenance interventions

We recommend planning regular inspection and maintenance of the spraying system throughout the year. During these interventions, we suggest monitoring these factors:

Do you have questions about a product, or do you need personalized advice? Contact us!