Talk:Aerosol spray

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Various Q and A[edit]

Q: Why does an aerosol can become cooler after the gas is released?-- 04:12, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

A: It is called adiabatic expansion (I think). --JohJak2 09:04, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Boyle's Law. When you compress a gas, it gets warmer. When the gas expands, it gets cooler. When the gas is released from an aerosol can, it expands and cools, thus cooling the can. The same principle is used in air conditioners.-- 20:34, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Q: Does anyone know why this entry is linked to Radiological weapons? There doesn't seem to be any connection -- SamuellusSoccus 20:57, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

A: I took it out. If someone cares enough we will find out... --JohJak2 20:45, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Q: Do aerosol cans always have to be made of metal? Can a transparent material be used, such as plastic?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 06:22, 24 February 2006‎ (UTC)

A: Aerosol containers can be fabricated from glass - mainly used for fragrance products and at low gas pressures. They have also been fabricated using PET, either pigmented or clear. Colin Westley 15:22, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Q: If you pierce an aerosol can will the metal in the piercing bend inwards?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Connor1234 (talkcontribs) 19:12, 17 April 2006‎ (UTC)

A: Yes it will, but in the interests of safety please don't try it. Colin Westley 15:26, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Q: What is the typical pressure inside an aerosol can? Is it true that the cans may rupture at high altitude? What percentage actually ruptures? Any chance of a diagram of the works of a can? Jm546 17:49, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

A: The pressure inside an aerosol can will depend on the propellant being used. Liquefied propellants such as hydrocarbons will produce pressures inside the can ranging between 2 and 4 bar. Compressed gas propellants such as nitrogen or compressed air will give pressures of around 7.5 bar, and they will use aerosol cans designed for use at these higher pressures.

It would be unusual for cans to rupture at high altitudes, the lower or zero pressures at high altitudes would not increase the internal can pressure by more that one bar (or one atmosphere). Aerosols do not rupture in the holds of aircraft.

The internal workings of an aerosol can be seen at The Plain Man's Guide to AerosolsColin Westley 19:49, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Q: In products like whipped cream in aerosol cans, are the actual propellants in the food itself? If so, isn't this highly dangerous? We are eating butane, etc. whenever we have whipped cream!— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:37, 3 December 2006‎ (UTC)

A: Whipped cream aerosols generally use nitrogen nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") as the propellant; hydrocarbon propellants such as butane are not used. Colin Westley 19:53, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Propellant corrected by  — QuicksilverT @ 16:29, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Difference between aerosol and how container functions[edit]

I edited Aerosol spray to seperate the difference between Aerosol itself and how the can it is commonly contained in works.-- 22:54, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


As a kid, I remember being told about how dangerous it is to spray an aerosol over an open flame, with people saying that the flame would frequently burn backwards faster than the material was moving forwards, drawing the flame into the canister and making it explode. On the other hand, I've just watched a video on YouTube that shows someone doing that very act with no explosions.
Does anyone know if there have ever been aerosol cans that could explode, or was that just an urban legend?—Whitepaw 17:33, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

it is very dangerouse... but i admit i have done it once with bug spray and i didnt hurt myself. dont do it, i had a close call, the flame started going bak but i pulled the match away from the can befor anything bad can hapen.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:39, 2 November 2006‎ (UTC)

I didi the fire thing... big BOOM!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:41, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

The flame will never enter the can, the internal pressure keeps that from happening. I perform flammability testing on aerosols, some will get very close to the orifice, but they don't enter the can. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

The flame occurs due to turbulent mixing of air with the fuel as it leaves the canister, producing a flammable fuel-air mixture (that's then ignited by the match, or radiant heat from the other burning bits of aerosol). The flame can never 'go inside' the can as there's no air for it to combust with. That said, playing around with flames and a pressurised canister is probably not advisable (not least given that various components of the valve mechanism are plastic so somewhat vulnerable to burning/melting). [Phanax] 10:39 (GMT) 06/12/2012

Food, aerosol food[edit]

Am I right Reddi-wip was the first food product in an aerosol can, 1947? Trekphiler 00:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

CFC ban in aerosols[edit]

I think I remember when Freon (CFC) was banned. A lot of spray paint cans got like perfume spraying-cans at that time, running on compressed air, claiming to be CFC free, although CFC-free was mandatory. Sure, it works with compressed air, if you want it that way, and have the patience. Maybe not every spray-can manufacturer wanted to put propane/butane in the spray cans in the beginning after the ban. But now we have it. We could use another stong smelling gas like ammonia instead of an inflamable gas. Spray paint should usualy be used in well ventilated areas anyway. Propane/butane is used in whipped cream, at least in those countries I've been in, and ought not to be dangerous, unless inhaled, because the gas evaporates quicker into the air than it is consumed. The saying about the flame can go bakcwards could be true if you are spraying a petrol or similar liquid. But it will not cause an explosion, and it will not go inside the canister that already has an over pressure. 23:45, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Propane/Butane would not be used in any food products because of they would affect the taste, not in a good way. Typically the propellant used in food products is nitrous oxide, nitrogen or CO2. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 18 January 2010 (UTC)


i think this site should discuss the use of spray cans as a main part of the institution of graffiti. 03:34, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

You can can get to that off aerosol paint, which is linked in several places on this page.--Knulclunk 04:07, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

How do they get the gas into the can?[edit]

How do they fill aerosol cans? Do they work at a temperature where the gas is a liquid? Mikehimself (talk) 17:49, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

They can get the gas into the cans in a number of ways. One is called under cupping in which a collar comes down and seals on the exterior of the can, the valve is raised and propellant is blown under the valve cup into the can. The valve is then reseated on top of the can as collets expand "clinching" the valve onto the can. This method allows for a lot of propellant loss and as such is generally not the method of choice. Newer aerosol valves allow for filling around the stem. After the valve is sealed onto the can, a filling adapter forces the valve to it's most extreme open position and propellant is forced around the stem and into the can. Some manufacturers also have specially designed buttons that allow for filling the valve with the button already in place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Storage in hot garage[edit]

Is it dangerous to store cleaning products in aerosol cans in my garage. Las Vegas heat is sometimes 107 in the summer and the garage is not air conditioned, although it is insulated. It gets hot out there. Is there a risk of them exploding?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Lookingatu (talkcontribs) 07:10, 13 September 2008‎ (UTC)

As far as storing aerosol cans in temps up to 107°F, it depends on the propellant. If it is a higher pressure propellant like 134A, keep it inside. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Aerosol can exploding[edit]

I've had experience with an aerosal can exploding in a fire. My friends and I took a can and tossed into the fire to see if it would explode, and we all bolted for the other side of the yard. We were about 30 feet away from the fire pit, one of those black fire holders with the grate around it and lid. About a minute later the can finally released its payload in one huge fire ball, the ground shook a little, and the lid and grate around the fire pit flew clean off and landed 5 feet away. A fireball erupted about 15 feet high, and quickly disappeard as did the fire. No one was hurt, but I've heard stories of the cans shooting out like rockets on fire and injuring people, so if your considering tossing an aerosal can of any sort into a fire I highly recommend you NOT doing it. It is very dangerous and could cause serious harm to you or others along with damage to property.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:52, 11 November 2008‎ (UTC)

And never heat your spray paint can with a torch. Spray paints typically use DME as a propellant, at 110°F the vapor pressure becomes too high for most regular cans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:27, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Data on particle layer[edit]

It would be nice if we could find/include some data on how fine a distribution of the liquid in the can is produced by the spray nozzle. There should be some data on "average in the range from-to" available at manufacturers. (talk) 05:02, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

The size of the particles varies greatly depending on the application. One can have anything from a steady solid stream to particles as small as 5 microns. Aerosol manufacturers do a lot of testing on particle size, most heavily hair spray manufacturers; if hair spray particles are too small it poses an inhalation problem. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

History of aerosol sprays[edit]

This article is very well written. It is informative and concise. The history section, however, could be expanded upon. There is some good information about the technical advancements, but there could be more information on how aerosol spray cans became so widespread, including factors which made their manufacture easier. By the 1990's everything from pesticides to cheese, and from paint to deodorant was available in an aerosol can. The social and practical implications of these innovations in storage/dispensing these products is enormous. Even more interesting is the public backlash against aerosol sprays that occurred sometime around the turn of the century. The fear that aerosol gases were polluting the atmosphere caused many people to eschew their use and many products are now sold in pump sprays as well as aerosols (when before they existed only in aerosol form.) This is a great example of a technology that is "better" from a functional standpoint, yet deemed to be "worse" by some from a social standpoint.
Currently, everything in the "History" section is very well done. There is no need to correct anything. I think there is a lot of room for expansion though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HIST406-10ndudas (talkcontribs) 08:17, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm finding errors and misleading statements in the "History" section. Most of it was written using secondary sources. When one starts digging in patent databases, the statements are weak or don't hold up at all. — QuicksilverT @ 16:29, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Mossad assassination attempt on Khaled Meshal[edit]

I believe that Mossad had used a compact aerosol filled with levofentanyl to try to assassinate Hamas commander Khaled Meshal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by L.J. Tibbs (talkcontribs) 22:47, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

That's off-topic. — QuicksilverT @ 16:29, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Can't verify Goodhue-Sullivan patent[edit]

The article currently claims, "It was not until 1941 that the aerosol spray can was first put to good use by Americans Lyle Goodhue and William Sullivan, who are credited as the inventors of the modern spray can", and even supplies a citation, but a search of the Google U.S. Patent database from January 1, 1935 through December 31, 1943 shows no patents issued to Lyle D. Goodhue and William Sullivan. There are many patents issued to Goodhue over a 20-year period for aerosol dispensing, but no U.S. patents in the stated date range where Sullivan was a co-inventor, as far as I can determine. — QuicksilverT @ 16:29, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

See U.S. Patent 2,331,117, filed October 3, 1941 and granted October 5, 1943. — QuicksilverT @ 19:18, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Catagory clean up[edit]

I have made some proposals to rationalise things over at: Category talk:Aerosols. Please take a look.--NHSavage (talk) 13:16, 28 July 2012 (UTC)


can any buddy tell me detais about aquvasol — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

"Canned air" and similar terms really should be deprecated[edit]

I wanted to change the caption for the "Canned air" duster, but didn't have the patience to experiment to find which paragraph it's connected to. Update: Fixed it. Not that hard to find! Caption could be edited more, but I'm falling asleep. Sorry.

These dusters are also called "cans of compressed air", which they most certainly are not. Snopes misuses the term (as I write), but the term is not only technically wrong, it can mislead the ignorant to think the can content is harmless. People have died from inhaling concentrated can content; it's not an innocuous (and rather extreme) misnomer. So far, I corrected the page about compressed air, which did contain a reference to duster cans. I deleted it, and wrote a new section at the end; it includes a reference to Snopes.

I do hope that Wikipedia will help eliminate this misusage, but it has become so widespread that I don't hold a lot of hope. Nikevich 08:48, 25 October 2013 (UTC)


Some decades ago, low-cost metal devices, carred atomizers, with dip tubes and mouthpieces were easily available. They used breath pressure to create liquid sprays, which might not strictly qualify as aerosols. IIrc, the Bernoulli effect made the liquid rise into the breath stream. Perhaps this could be included into the article. These might possibly still be available in some art supply stores.Nikevich 09:47, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Merger proposal[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Merge, Pinging Chuntuk to make them aware, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 12:44, 4 September 2017 (UTC) –Davey2010Talk 12:44, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

I propose that Aerosol bomb be merged into Aerosol spray. I'm not an expert in this area, but it seems that the bomb article (which is only a stub) deals with the very first aerosol sprays introduced in the 1940's - an area already covered in the history section of this article. Chuntuk (talk) 10:58, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.
  ☑Y Merger complete. Klbrain (talk) 06:07, 31 July 2018 (UTC)