Mik identified a nozzle shape for whipped cream canisters that can minimize their messiness when sprayed.
Aerosol Whip Cream Nozzles: Engineering and Optimization of Nozzles for Least OversprayVIEW POSTER
“Every time I use a store-bought whipped cream canister, I have to clean up a huge mess,” Mik says. The whipped cream flies everywhere, he notes. But on a recent trip to Germany, Mik noticed that dispensing whipped cream wasn’t quite as messy as back home. He saw that German canister nozzles had a dome at the top. But the nozzles in the United States are straight and lack this structure. “I wanted to investigate if I can design a nozzle shape that would reduce the mess of whipped cream outside my plate,” Mik says.
Tactics and Results
Mik 3-D printed more than 10 different nozzle designs. One by one, he attached them to a canister full of cream with a cartridge of nitrous oxide. This gas sprays the cream and fills it with bubbles, making it fluffy. Mik built an apparatus to hold the whipped cream canister and dispense it for a specified amount of time. Using this, he tested each nozzle design 10 times to see how much whipped cream sprayed outside a 4.5-inch-by-6-inch rectangular area, or 11.2 centimeters by 15 centimeters. The reverse Venturi nozzle, which has thinner ends and a wider, barrel-shaped center, performed the best. It consistently kept the whipped cream inside of Mik’s target area, with no overspray. Four other designs sprayed less than 1 percent of the whipped cream outside the area. “Slowing down the whipped cream, reducing its velocity, is the most important factor,” Mik says.
Beyond the Project
Mik would further improve the nozzle designs and perhaps even combine some of their shapes. “I would also be interested in using computer simulations to analyze the nozzles,” he says.
Mik competes as an artistic swimmer and diver. One day, he says, “I hope to dive on the same boards and compete against Andrew Capobianco, an Olympic diver.” He would like to become a pilot in the future. “I know every single airplane in the sky, how fast they fly, what features they have,” Mik says.