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In the article the process of cavitation low-frequency (up to 250 kHz) ultrasonic atomization of viscous liquids in a layer is investigated. It takes place with entering of acoustic energy to working zone through liquid. To reveal optimum modes of ultrasonic influence depending on physical properties of atomized liquid (viscosity, surface tension, etc.) the model describing stepwise transformation of mechanical vibration energy of ulrtasonic frequency into energy of capillary waves providing the formation of drops was proposed and developed. For the first time we offer theoretical explanation of essential dependence of drop diameter on vibration amplitude of spraying surface based on changes of mean thickness of ridges of capillary waves according to their amplitude due to occurence of nonlinear effects. Obtained results can be a base for the design of specialized ultrasonic atomizers of liquids with high viscosity for the formation of aerosols with specified productivity and dispersed features.