We performed an experimental testing study to develop a robust method for simulating vegetable oil application. We utilized CFD to model the testing results and obtain additional insights into a potential testing methodology.
Transfer efficiency is the ratio of the sprayed material that ends up on the target to that which lands elsewhere (in the air, on the conveyor, etc.). Ideally, we aim to achieve a 100% transfer efficiency, meaning 100% of the spray ends up on the target and no amount of sprayed material is over-sprayed. This is incredibly difficult, if not impossible to accomplish, therefore, a transfer efficiency above 80% is acceptable. Maximizing transfer efficiency for our customers means less waste, more material and improved worker safety. So, our goal with this research study was to find the best methodology for maximizing the transfer efficiency of our hydraulic nozzles when spraying vegetable oil during food processing.
Experimental results show that heated oil had better transfer quality. In terms of transfer efficiency, preliminary observations show that increases in pressure and temperature decrease the transfer efficiency due to an increase in material loss to free roaming small droplets. So, the higher the pressure and the higher the temperature, the lower the overall transfer efficiency of the spray system. For food processing applications, these initial results suggest that to maximize transfer efficiency, a lower pressure, controlled temperature would work best. However, further data and testing will be required in order to quantify the material loss of high pressure, high temperature scenarios and confirm our conclusions.
Food processing is arguably our most diverse and complex markets spanning hundreds of applications. While this is the only study we could release publically, we've helped many food processing customers optimize their unique applications and specific formulations.