Things To See When Choosing An Actuator For Your Aerosol Product

Things To See When Choosing An Actuator For Your Aerosol Product

The actuator is the most neglected aspect of the aerosol spray can by consumers. Many people know the actuator controls the fineness of the spray, the amount of product disseminated, and even how the product is applied. While a few know that the actuator also regulates the fineness of the spray, the amount of product dispersed, and even how the product is applied.

The actuator may make all the difference in an end user’s experience with a product as it regulates the subtleties of how a product is spread. From the length of the spray to the amount of the mist and how they can be handled. Here are some elements to consider when selecting an actuator.

Application Or End Use:

Things To See When Choosing An Actuator For Your Aerosol Product

Aerosol dispensers are used for a wide range of items, including everything from home and garden to beauty and personal care. With the ultimate use in mind, the ideal place to begin the design process is with the end-user in mind. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Will the user use the actuator to spray the product on herself?
  • Is the application intended for the entire body or just a specific area such as their face or underarms?
  • Will the product be sprayed into the air or applied to a surface?
  • What is the desired coverage area? Would the customer want a targeted spray or will the mist need to cover a greater area?

There is an actuator design that is best suited for each application in each of these conditions.

Usage Duration:

Another key consideration is the spray’s duration. Deodorant application is best done with quick-targeted sprays. If a person is applying sunscreen all over the body, the person may want the spray to last longer. For applying paint or spray lacquer to finish a woodworking job, a much longer extended spray would be desirable. Push-button actuators are right for quick, targeted applications, but trigger actuators are better for items.


The end usage, spray application, and spray duration all have a part in establishing the ergonomics of the actuator. The end motion defines how the user should hold the actuator and the most comfortable and effective position to achieve the expected output. For example, air fresheners used to come in aerosol cans with a push-button actuator that was activated by pressing down on the spray button with a single finger while gripping the can with the rest of the fingers and hand.

Size Of Can:

The size and shape of the aerosol can also be considered while choosing an actuator. As their smaller size and lighter weight, short and narrow cans are easier to handle when actuating and benefit from the basic button-style actuator. Trigger-style actuators are better suited to taller and wider cans that are bulkier to grip. Aerosol can manufacturers can provide the desired size of the can for you.

Brand Differentiation:

Finally, the actuator design impacts the final product’s overall appearance. Color, shape, and trigger design can all be used to communicate to customers the price point and quality of a product. Push-button actuators are common and widely used.

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