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Example of a vintage atomizer nozzle

An atomizer nozzle can take many forms. The first atomizer nozzle, also called an aspirator nozzle, was invented by Dr. Thomas DeVilbliss 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, which includes but is not limited to electrostatics processes, ultrasonic nozzle and centrifugal forces.

Principle of operationEdit

Principle of operation of an atomizer

When a fast gas stream is injected into the atmosphere and across the top of the vertical tube, it is forced to follow a curved path up, over and downward on the other side of the tube. This curved path creates a lower pressure on the inside of the curve at the top of the tube. This curve-caused lower pressure near the tube and the atmospheric pressure further up is the net force causing the curved, velocity-changed path (radial acceleration) shown by Bernoulli's principle.

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

They may be automated or manually operated, the latter being typically by means of a manual pump (rubber ball or piston), this being a traditional type of atomizer used for 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 alsoEdit


Millersville University Experiments: Aspirators Don't Suck; They Curl The Atomizer. This shows proof that speed does not lower pressure. Tubing with a simple "tee" will blow bubbles in the reservoir. A curved air path is what lowers the pressure.