Each type of sprayer has a different kind of atomization and coverage, directly proportional to how the spray is formed. You may have noticed that with each type of sprayer that you see (video comparison), the formula comes out differently: sometimes visibly and sometimes less so. To understand the efficiency and coverage of a sprayer, you will first need to understand its atomization and how the product wraps around the surface.
What Is Spray Atomization?
Spray atomization is the process where a liquid transforms into a spray of fine particles in the surrounding gas, for example, or inside a vacuum. The liquid is broken down into smaller particles and this is achieved by compressing the air and mixing it with the liquid.
From that point on, a spray nozzle is used to create the atomized spray, which is a substance that will pass through an orifice at high pressure in a controlled manner. The process is mostly used when distributing materials over cross-section areas, generating a liquid layer over the surface of an object.
The spray atomization process is used in quite a lot of industries, including painting, coating, humidification, lubrication, dust control, or odour control. It has also become quite popular in the disinfectant industry, as it most efficiently covers infected areas and kills the contaminants on the surface.
Coverage for Different Sprayers
Disinfectant sprayers come in a variety of types and they all have their pros and cons. When it comes to atomization, you should keep every factor in mind, as it will determine how effective it is for disinfection purposes.
SPRAY BOTTLES AND PUMP SPRAYERS
Spray bottles and pump sprayers represent a common type of disinfectant sprayer, the kind that you might easily find on the shelf of a convenience store. Both spray bottles and pump sprayers are similar in how they work, the main difference being that spray bottles usually have a smaller reservoir, whereas pump sprayers have a somewhat larger reservoir.
They are available in both aerosol cans and trigger spray bottles. Most of the time, they are used for hard surfaces such as countertops and tables, but they can also be used on soft surfaces such as fabrics.
When it comes to coverage, one of the perks of spray bottles and pump sprayers is that you can get the product wherever you want it, which is mostly due to the mobility of the sprayer. You simply point the nozzle and press it so that the spray covers the surface, after which you simply wipe off the excess and allow the area to sit clear.
With both spray bottles and pump sprayers, the resulting spray is on the foamy side, allowing the product to get quite a lot of coverage when you pulverize enough of the substance. In addition, since the product itself is foamy and malleable, you may even be able to “work it around” with a cloth so that it covers the surface better.
Even though the atomization is quite efficient, in the way that the liquid is refined enough to be turned into a spray, the application coverage is still inconsistent. The resulting spray is rather thick and foamy, so there are a lot of missed spots when applying.
The substance is released in the form of spatter. So, while it might heavily coat certain spots, other spots may be left completely untouched. If a harmful contaminant is on the surface, there is a high chance that you will miss removing it simply because the sprayed particle did not reach that spot. In order to adequately cover an entire surface, you will have to wipe, reducing the coverage thickness, in turn reducing the available dwelling time. Learn more about this in our 4 C's of Disinfectants article.
Lastly, since spray bottles come with small reservoirs and minimal product with each pull of a trigger, this manual process is slow. The lack of constant flow will have you pulverizing continuously, which can lead to fatigue for the operator.
ELECTROSTATIC AND FOG SPRAYERS
Electrostatic and fog sprayers are a convenient choice to have around if your purpose is to get the job done faster. The process involves spraying mist (electrostatically charged or not) onto the surfaces and into the air.
Electrostatic sprayers charge the chemicals within, allowing for the disinfectant to wrap around the surface for better coverage – more on the effectiveness of this “wrapping” in disadvantages. The particles will “shift” around, trying to cover the surface as much as possible, and the surfaces that have already been covered will repel the spray.
Unlike spray bottles and pump sprayers, with an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer, there is far less chance of over-coverage of the surface. This means that if the spray “senses” that there is already a product in a particular spot, it will not add a second layer. The product will move around and attach itself to a surface that has not been covered with spray yet and achieve slightly more even coverage.
Even if you are not spraying over the area that you are intending to clean, there is a high chance that the electrostatically charged disinfectant will “travel” to that area in particular. This applies mostly to foggers, as they go from the air to the negatively charged surface.
Since the resulting mist is much finer in comparison to that of spray bottles, the coverage will not resemble that of spatter. This means you should get better coverage. Plus, the “travelling” mist will ensure there are no sudden missed spots, with the particles moving more efficiently in an attempt to obtain more coverage.
While there will be more coverage in comparison to spray bottles, the electrostatic charge may not ensure that every bit of the surface will be covered. This is due to the fine consistency of the spray that may leave certain molecular-sized spots untouched.
In the end, while the uncovered surfaces are smaller, it is still enough for the disinfectant to miss some viruses and contaminants. Plus, aside from not completely coating the entire surface, the thinner layer in which it is delivered might dry much faster. The thickness of spray resulting from electrostatic sprayers and fogging units is also quite inconsistent (some areas get sufficient coverage while others only have a thin layer). Therefore, even if you do get more even coverage than with a spray bottle or pump sprayer, you risk viruses surviving simply because the dwelling time is not met.
Depending on the product that you are using, you might have to add additional time for the product to take effect. Plus, you may have to wipe more consistently for the product to be effective, which leads to more wasted time.
The “wrap effect” of the electrostatic sprayer also has a rather hit or miss effect. Its efficiency depends on a variety of factors such as the material of the surface that it’s falling on, the wind, the grounding of the surfaces being sprayed, as well as maintaining a consistent and appropriate distance from the surface.
As an alternative and superior solution to the inconsistent coverage of standard spray bottles and electrostatic sprayers, SaniSpray provides consistent application and coverage due to its fine spraying method. Application is easier, and the formula prevents the spray from drying before dwelling time is met. Plus, there won’t be any “blind spots,” and you will not have to add a second layer to ensure the surface is properly covered.
For those that like to get the job done quickly, SaniSperay is capable of resolving every issue in regards to atomization and coverage. Where other disinfectant sprayers fall short, SaniSpray HP can prove very reliable.
Every type of disinfectant sprayer has different atomization and coverage characteristics. What’s most important is that you get something that can give you consistent application, while ensuring dwelling time is met. Make sure that you purchase the right product for the surface that you are trying to disinfect, as well as for the size of the room/building. While costs associated with the purchase of the disinfectant sprayer, labour time and how much product is applied are all relevant considerations, the most important should be the effectiveness of the desired goal of disinfecting thoroughly. The SaniSpray HP line is in a league of its own when it comes to speed and effectiveness of disinfecting.