Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

An Alternate View of Close-Coupled Gas Atomization of Liquid Metals



Steven P. Mates, Frank S. Biancaniello, Stephen D. Ridder


The production of metal powders by close-coupled inert gas atomization is a complex process that has yet to be understood to the degree necessary that nozzle geometry and processing conditions can be chosen easily to adequately control particle size distributions in an efficient manner. This paper reviews attempts to characterize this unique atomization process in order to better understand the key atomizing mechanisms responsible for creating particles tens of micrometers in diameter. Flow visualization studies suggest that typical industrial atomization processes may be more complex than the traditionally held view involving the rapid primary breakup of a thin melt film at the nozzle tip. Instead, secondary breakup processes, taking place well downstream of the nozzle tip region, may have a greater impact on particle size. Implications of this alternative view on approaches for particle size control and for improving atomization efficiency are discussed, and preliminary results are presented on the influence of atomizer chamber pressure on particle size and atomization efficiency for a nitrogen-atomized stainless steel.
Powder Metallurgy


close-coupled nozzles, fine powder, gas atomization, nozzle design, supersonic jets


Mates, S. , Biancaniello, F. and Ridder, S. (2002), An Alternate View of Close-Coupled Gas Atomization of Liquid Metals, Powder Metallurgy (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created January 1, 2002, Updated February 17, 2017