Differences Between Steel and Plastic Nozzles

The task of choosing the right spray nozzle is not always easy. There are many options available, from the size and type of the nozzle to the material. Each one is designed for a specific function.
We provide information that will help you select the best spraynozzle for your application. In particular, we will compare the steel and plastic nozzles which are two of most popular spray nozzle materials. Let’s dive in!

What are the Factors to Consider when Choosing Nozzle Materials?

Before we dive into the differences between steel and plastic nozzles, it is important to understand some key factors that must be taken into consideration when selecting nozzle materials: temperature, corrosion resistance, abrasion, cost, etc.

1. Temperature

You can narrow your choices by considering the environment where your nozzle will operate. Consider temperature first. At certain temperatures, every material will soften or melt. However, some materials are better suited for extreme temperatures such as extreme heat.

This is especially important to consider if your spray nozzle will be working in high temperatures.

2. Corrosion

Corrosion can occur over time. One example is the type and frequency of spraying media. This can accelerate the corrosion process. Some nozzle materials are also resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for environments with high levels of corrosion.

3. Abrasion

When chemicals such as alcohol, acids, or oxides need to be sprayed, abrasion resistance can be crucial. Your nozzle material must be strong enough for these environments. Some materials are better suited to these situations.

4. Cost

The selection of spraynozzles is almost always influenced by cost. But, selecting the cheapest option can often be costly in the end. Material that is resistant to corrosion will cost you more but won’t have to be replaced as often. This can lead to significant savings in time and money.

Steel vs. plastic Nozzles

Steel Spray Nozzles

In this section, we’ll first examine steel nozzles in the context of each of these four categories.

Temperature: For hot environments, stainless steel nozzles work well. Steel nozzles, which are common among hard materials, can be used at temperatures higher than 285 degrees. A stainless steel tank cleaning nozzle is the best option if the environment is very hot.

Corrosion: Stainless steel nozzles do not have a reputation for being very corrosion-resistant. Although they can last for a long time, you may need to replace them if the environment is susceptible to corrosion.

Abrasion: Although stainless steel can withstand abrasion, it is not abrasion-resistant. Steel can be used in abrasive applications if it is hardened.

Cost: Finally, stainless steel can be economical for the right environment.

Plastic Spray Nozzles

Next we’ll look at plastic nozzles to see if they fit within the previous categories.

Temperature: As you might expect, plastic nozzles will not be able to withstand extreme heat. In extremely hot temperatures, plastic nozzles can melt and become deformed. In this instance, stainless steel is the better choice.

Corrosion is a problem, but plastic nozzles have a high resistance to corrosion. This is probably the most appealing feature of plastic nozzles. They are much more resistant to corrosion that most other metal materials. Plastic nozzles are ideal for use in highly corrosive environments.

Abrasion: Plastic tools are not recommended for severe abrasion. They can also wear quickly in abrasive situations.

Cost: In particularly corrosive situations, plastic nozzles are an economical option. But they are not able to save you in many other situations such as extreme heat, abrasion, and so on.

What about other nozzle materials?

The only materials that can be used to make nozzles are stainless steel and plastic. You can make spray nozzles from many different metals and exotic materials. Each one is suited for a particular application.

We will touch briefly on silicon carbide and brass, which are two very common materials, even though this article doesn’t go into detail about each spray nozzle material.

What about brass?

Brass is similar to steel and can be used at high temperatures. Brass is not recommended for use with corrosive or aggressive chemicals.

What about silicon carbide, though?

Silicon carbide is suitable for high temperatures. Silicon carbide is also used to spray abrasive chemicals, which can lead to cost savings.

How can I extend the life of my nozzles?

We offer extensive research into how to prolong the life of your spray-nozzles. Proper nozzle use will prevent quality issues and profit loss. It is also possible to extend the life expectancy of your nozzle by using it correctly before you need to perform regular maintenance. We recommend choosing the right material nozzle to prolong nozzle life.

You might consider changing to plastic if you frequently use corrosive chemical nozzles made from steel. If your application is prone to abrasive chemicals, and you’re using plastic, stainless steel might be a better choice. The best nozzle for your application will prolong the life of the nozzle and ensure that it performs as intended.