Cyclone innovation mixes up spraying


07-11-2013

Product development firm Cambridge Consultants is harnessing the power of a cyclone to better mix and spray liquids.

The new Vortik technology allows different liquids to be mixed at the point of spray without altering the spray characteristics – opening up the possibility of new applications in agriculture, consumer and industrial products, and healthcare.

Conventional atomisers use either a high pressure or high air flow to create a spray. This new fluid handling technology combines low-pressure air and liquid in a specially shaped cyclone chamber. Shear between swirling air and the liquids creates the desired droplet size for spraying.

Simon Smith, associate technology director at Cambridge Consultants, said: “From field to factory – or even in the beauty salon – this cyclonic spray technology will allow greater control of sprays. Farmers will be able to boost yields and reduce waste by more accurate application of pesticides and other products on their fields. The ability to mix liquids on demand in a cyclone chamber will allow instantaneous control over chemical composition.

“In the personal care industry, the spray technology can offer user control – for example, on-demand colour matching in foundation or spray tanning. And the greater control over particle size means less of the spray is breathable – an issue of increasing regulatory concern.”

In the pharmaceutical world, allowing active ingredients to be mixed at the point of delivery overcomes shelf-life and stability issues whilst minimising waste. Example applications are medical adhesives, as well as industrial glue.

Cambridge Consultants will be demonstrating Vortik – along with other technologies to support precision agriculture, such as radar sensors – at the Agritechnica International Exhibition, November 12-15, in Hanover, Germany, hall 17, stand C38.

Facts & figures

  • Spraying systems using the Vortik technology will be less prone to blockages as spray nozzle sizes can be larger
  • Vortik allows tighter control of concentration and liquids used – ideal for reducing wastage and management of regulated pharmaceutical products
  • In agriculture, farmers can control the particle size of spray droplets to reduce drift depending on weather, tractor speed or crop types
  • In the personal care industry, smaller particle size sprays will give finer shades and accuracy, and minimise chemicals applied to skin
  • The cyclone technology could be combined with real-time sensors to create a new generation of devices – providing, for example, variable skin-tone matching for a uniform spray tan across the body

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