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How Syringe Barrel Pistons Improve Your Dispensing Process

Find Out What Pistons Are and How They’re Helpful

17 April 2019

By Tom Muccino

When you’re dispensing fluid in an assembly process, you may not think using a syringe barrel piston would make much of a difference.

How could something so small make an impact? What benefits can it provide? How can it help with fluids varying in viscosity? We’ll answer these questions and more in this blog post. Let’s start with the basics.

What are Pistons?

Pistons are small dispensing components that can have a big impact on the success of your application. Our Optimum pistons fit perfectly inside our syringe barrels to ensure that a uniform force is applied on the fluid from the top of the barrel to the bottom. Pistons also prevent dripping and oozing between shots to provide accurate, consistent deposits.

To help you better understand the functions and benefits of our pistons, Nordson EFD created this brief introductory video.

Why are Pistons Important?

Pistons are an important part of any dispensing process because they prevent tunneling and suck back. This helps you achieve consistent deposits and allows users to dispense virtually everything inside the syringe barrel reservoir — reducing fluid waste and operating costs.

How Do Pistons Help Dispense Thick Fluids?

When dispensing thick fluids without a piston, it’s common for the constant air pulses from a dispenser to tunnel a hole through the center of the material and blow air out of the dispensing tip. This causes inconsistent deposits and wastes the fluid that gets left behind inside the syringe barrel.

A piston will apply a constant, uniform force on the fluid column while also wiping the edges clean inside the syringe as fluid is dispensed. This helps to eliminate waste and residue.

How Do Pistons Help Dispense Thin Fluids?

When dispensing a low-viscosity fluid without a piston, suck back into the dispenser is common since you need vacuum to prevent dripping. If the vacuum is set too high, it will pull the fluid back into the dispenser causing damage, which could slow or halt production.

Using a piston with thin fluids will also make vacuum adjustment less sensitive as the volume changes in the syringe. Pistons also provide safer and easier handling of thin fluids.

Need more info about dispensing best practices? Don’t hesitate to request expert advice or contact us at

Tom MuccinoAbout Tom Muccino

Tom Muccino is a Regional Sales Manager at Nordson EFD. He manages the sales team located in the Midwest to the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. Tom has more than 30 years of fluid dispensing expertise. He joined Nordson EFD in 1987.

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