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"Air sparger - Design Criteria"


What is the recommended velocity of air flowing through air sparger? IE, once you know the operating pressure and the CFM needed, how do you size the piping?

Simon Deshaies
Eng - Montreal (QC), Canada


Hi Simon,

I don't really fathom your request ... but maybe, who knows, if you hit the archives and go to # 9311 ... you might find this data of some interest particularly as this was done in Montreal !

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [dec]
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).



That's an easy one if you're talking about air agitation for a plating bath, Simon. The answer is 1" dia. pipe :-)

And the reason is that vertical waviness in the pipes will have a more profound effect on the air distribution than pressure losses will, and experience has shown that if you use PVC piping of less than 1" diameter you'll find it overly difficult to keep it straight enough for even air distribution.

As an engineer, I'm not arguing against pressure drop calculations, especially if the tank is large or anything is special. I'm just saying that when your calculation is done the answer is likely to be less than 1" diameter, but that answer probably won't be unacceptable.

Lou Gianelos wrote an article "Air Agitation Systems" that was published in the March 1978 issue of Plating & Surface Finishing and I've seen the widely distributed reprints floating around the industry for all the intervening years. You'll find several more papers on air agitation system design referenced in the MFIS CD-ROM.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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