Atomization and Spray Technology Focus on Spray Drying

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Course Overview

In this course, you will learn about the various atomizer designs, how an atomizer works and how to select an atomizer for a specific application or product requirement. You will examine drop break-up and drop size distribution, the effects of liquid properties and operating conditions, cone angle and other spray characteristics, proper atomizer/nozzle selection, and troubleshooting and maintenance methods. This course focuses on the application of spray nozzles and rotary atomizers in spray dryers.

Who Should Attend?

Engineers, scientists, researchers, and production personnel who are responsible for the design, operation, selection, maintenance or specification of industrial atomizers—both rotary and nozzle—in spray drying operations.

Additional Information

Course text
The text for this course is Practical Spray Technology: Fundamentals and Practice, by Charles W. Lipp, 2012. The text is included in your enrollment fee.

Special note: Please bring a calculator for the problem-solving sessions.

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Course Outline


  • Definition
  • Process objectives
  • Factors to be considered
  • Spray patterns
  • Drop sizes
  • Fluid type and properties
  • Sheet disintegration

Atomizers: Various Designs

  • Pressure atomizers
    • plain orifice
    • surface impingement
    • pressure swirl
    • by-pass or return
    • fan spray
  • Rotary atomizers
    • spinning disks
  • Two-fluid atomizers

Factors Affecting Atomization

  • Liquid properties
  • Viscosity effects
  • Operating parameters

Selection and Specification of Spray Nozzles

  • Applications
  • Atomizer selection

Atomizer Performance: Drop Size

  • How drop size is measured
  • Spray properties
    • drop size and distribution
    • patterns
    • cone angle
    • penetration
  • Primary performance measures
    • drop size
  • Drop sizes
    • plain orifice atomizers
    • pressure swirl atomizers
    • rotary atomizers

Other Performance Criteria

  • Spray properties
  • Cone angle
  • Liquid distribution
  • Patternation
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting

Basic Atomization Processes

  • Mechanisms for drop breakup
  • Disintegration of liquid jets
  • Disintegration of liquid sheets
  • Flow and atomizers
    • plain orifice atomizers
    • pressure swirl atomizers
    • rotary atomizers
    • film thickness

Spray Drying Applications

  • System selection
  • Improving operations


"Good overall practical information and presentation."
—Maintenance Supervisor

"I obtained a good understanding of how changing process conditions affect spray performance."
—Design Engineer

"I received a basic understanding of droplet formation and the limitations of different nozzles and atomizers."
—Process Development Engineer

"I learned how to configure our nozzles to improve our production rates and quality."
—Production Supervisor

"I gained a better understanding of how droplets are formed by the nozzle."
—Plant Manager

"I gained a better understanding of the effect of nozzle design on droplet distribution. We will use this information to improve the way our products are tested."
—Project Manager

"The practice exercises and rules-of-thumb were very helpful. Chuck is an excellent resource."
—Design Engineer


Charles Lipp

Charles Lipp, a chemical engineer, is the principal at Lake Innovation LLC, which he formed in 2008. His areas of practice include complex fluid mechanics, spray technology, process mixing, innovation development, and technical engineering training. 

His work during his 35 year career at The Dow Chemical Company resulted in a wide breadth and depth of project experience. He led production plant scale experiments to optimize performance, and specialized equipment development in US and Europe. He was a key member of the team that developed and commercialized coal gasification reactor technology, now known as E-Gas™ (CB & I). The eight year project concluded with the commissioning and start-up of the first commercial plant. He was involved with distillation, absorption, and liquid-liquid extraction process development on other pilot plant scale projects.  His innovative work included being a long term contributor in the Engineering Sciences Department at Dow.

He is the inventor or co-inventor of over 20 US and foreign patents. Charles authored and published the book Practical Spray Technology: fundamentals and practice in 2012, wrote the “Sprays” article for the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology fifth edition, and authored or co-authored several presentations for AIChE and ILASS meetings. Charles holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University.


Elaine Andrysick

Elaine M. Andrysick, joined Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a continuing engineering education specialist in 1988.  She is responsible for the development and delivery of high-value continuing engineering education short courses for practicing professionals in the areas of chemical and process engineering and laser material processing.  Also, she manages the University’s Laser Welding Certificate program.

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Program Director

Elaine Andrysick

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