Use The Force…Or Not…It’s Up To You, Really

The month of May, in 1977, was a great time to be ten years old. I was finishing up my fifth grade year, a pivotal one, thanks to Miss Walker, who ended up being my favorite teacher ever. She had a pet rat named A.J. that we took turns taking home for the weekend. She rewarded us for class performance by taking us outside to play softball on warm & sunny spring afternoons. I trace my love for math (and hence, my inspiration for a career in engineering) to the excitement she instilled in me for the subject…I was among the first to master the multiplication tables.

And then there was Star Wars. There were commercials for the movie and the toys and the merchandise on TV; I swear they ran every five minutes. A fast food chain released a series of posters (free with purchase) and every time a new one came out, Miss Walker promptly hung it on the classroom wall. None of us, her included, could hardly wait until the premiere. I could go on (and on and on and on,) but suffice it to say (for the purposes of this blog,) I’ve been a BIG fan ever since.

Which brings us to today…opening day for “Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” The first time, by the way, a Star Wars movie hasn’t premiered in the month of May, but I digress. The 10 year old inside me wants to go see it RIGHT NOW, but the grownup I have to be has a company Christmas party, two Boy Scout events, and a pre-holiday “honey-do” list to attend to first.

Of course, the “other” epic space movie series couldn’t resist launching THEIR new trailer this week…

All this talk about The Force (capital “F”) and the fact that I write this blog on company time has me thinking about compressed air applications that involve force (lower case “f”) and how using force (unlike “The Force”) is not always prudent.

This is the case in just about any blow off application that uses air under pressure. Open ended copper tubing, drilled pipes, etc., are common and easy ways to discharge compressed air for debris removal, drying, or cooling a part. But the fact is, they waste a LOT of the energy devoted to compressing the air by simply turning it into brute force and noise.

This is where EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products(r) come in: by using the energy of the compressed air to entrain air from the surrounding environment, the total air flow is amplified, resulting in a high velocity blast, at minimal consumption. No; it doesn’t have the same amount of force as an open ended discharge device, but most blow off applications don’t need all that much force anyway.

Of course, there ARE situations where you need to use the force, and we’ve got efficient and OSHA compliant ways to do that too: additional shims in Air Knives, Air Wipes & Air Amplifiers, or larger Super Air Nozzles.

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” the continuing theme of the Star Wars saga is to use The Force properly. For the past 32 years, the continuing theme at EXAIR is to help you use the force (of your compressed air) properly. Let me know how we can help.

May The Force be with us all…this weekend, and always.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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The Time When The Only Thing Better Than An EXAIR Product…

…was another EXAIR product. And actually, it happened twice, just today:

  • An insulation manufacturer was using an open pipe blow off to push air into a five foot wide “blanket” of their product to uniformly flatten it, and blow stray fibers out and into a vacuum system for recycling. They tried a Super Air Knife, which blew the stray fibers out just fine, but didn’t produce the flatness they desired, even with additional shims installed. They then experimented with a manifold system, using a series of Model 1104 High Force 3/8 NPT Super Air Nozzles, which provided the force required to blow the loose fibers out, and to produce the uniform material thickness. With a sound level of only 82dBA (which you won’t find ANYWHERE ELSE from a device that delivers 1.9 lbs of force,) they’ve also made the area much quieter.
Definitely try a Super Air Knife first, but if the job calls for high force, Super Air Nozzles can be easily fitted into a pipe manifold like this.

Definitely try a Super Air Knife first, but if the job calls for high force, Super Air Nozzles can be easily fitted into a pipe manifold like this.

  • A major producer of adhesive labels and specialty packaging had been using our Line Vacs extensively for scrap trim removal. They tried them on a new application where the trim was very lightweight. I’ve written before about When You Can Use An Air Amplifier, or A Line Vac, or…Either? – and this was again the case. They tried a couple of Adjustable Air Amplifiers: a Model 6044 4″ unit for the larger pieces, and a series of Model 6043 3″ units to gather in the rest, as the product traversed the production line.

Normally, we like to reserve our bragging on EXAIR products to how much better they’ll perform than the competition’s.  Which we do regularly, and we’ve got the data & experience to back it up.  But, with such a diverse product line, there are going to be situations – like these – where more than one product might fit the bill.  If this is the case, give us a call; we’re here to help you get the most out of your compressed air usage – whichever EXAIR product that may be!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Cooling a Flue Stack with Air Amplifiers

In some cities when you look along the skyline, you see exhaust stacks bellowing out plumes of smoke. I never paid much attention to the structure except that they were tall and in some cases very wide. I received a call from a customer that had a flue stack that exhausts hot gas in their petroleum process. They had an issue with hotspots in the wall of their stack. The customer need to cool the hotspots and decided to contact EXAIR.

Flue Stack

Flue Stack

His stack had a diameter of 6 foot (1.8 meters), and the hotspots were reaching a temperature of 750 deg. F (400 deg. C). This was too hot, and it could cause premature issues with fatiguing of the structure of the stack. He wanted to reduce the temperature to 400 deg. F (204 deg. C) to keep the stack from warping or degrading. Together, we were able to create a solution using our stainless steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers.

Adjustable Air Amplifier

Adjustable Air Amplifier

The customer was able to create a stainless steel circular manifold to mount 40 pieces of the model 6032 around the circumference. This manifold ring would be mounted around the stack near the hotspot. With the high amplification ratio associated with the Air Amplifiers, it can move a large volume of cooler ambient air along the hotspot of the stack. In keeping the stack cool, he could continue operations and reduce his worry for untimely shut-downs and costly maintenance.

Whenever you have something hot and you need to cool it down, the Air Amplifiers could be the solution for you. If you would like to speak to an Application Engineer about your cooling application, you can contact us at EXAIR at 800-903-9247.

 

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @exair_jb

 

“Stack” image courtesy of paulgalbraithCreative Comment License

Need A Flange? We Can Do That!

I recently had a customer call in that was trying to boost an exhaust on a hot operation that he had in his facility.   We discussed what kind of fumes he was trying to evacuate and it appeared at face value that a High Temp Air Amplifier would be the perfect solution for his application.

A Model 121021 1-1/4" High Temp Air Amplifier directs hot air to a rotational mold cavity for uniform wall thickness of the plastic part.

A Model 121021 1-1/4″ High Temp Air Amplifier directs hot air to a rotational mold cavity for uniform wall thickness of the plastic part.

Then the words that strike fear into some manufacturers came out.  The customer asks, do you have any way to put a 4 bolt flange onto the unit so I can mount it straight into my piping system?   My response, “All I need are the dimensions of the flange you need and we will see what is possible.”  After a few further questions and verification, we had a drawing  with dimensions of a Flanged High Temp Air Amplifier.  We sent the drawing to the customer for approval, and once approved, we began to manufacture the custom product and provided it to the customer.  This unit will allow the customer to easily boost the exhaust on his operation and will bolt straight into his piping so there are no worries on his end about exhaust gas escaping.  His 500°F air temperature of the gases are of no concern to this special as it carries with it the high temperature rating of 700°F.  The pictures below show the Special – Flanged High Temp Air Amplifier.

IMG_5290

The air inlet and side view of the Special High Temp Air Amplifier

IMG_5291

Here you can see the low pressure side (intake) of the Special High Temp Air Amplifier.

IMG_5294

The O.D. of the flanges was 6″ with 4 – 3/4″: bolt holes. The Bolt holes were not required to align with the opposing side.

If you think there is no way we can find a product that will fit your compressed air application, or adapt a product to fit then give us a call, you might just be surprised at what we can offer in a quick turn around.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Formula 1 Racing Is Hot Work. Drivers Need To Keep Their Cool

On July 25th, EXAIR products received some attention from Formula 1 fans. During the qualifying runs for the Hungarian Grand Prix, EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifiers were used by at least two different drivers to cool down during adjustments in the pits. We first saw Kimi Räikkönen aka The Ice Man cooling off with an Adjustable Air Amplifier.

Ferrari

Photo Courtesy of Jonathon Farmer @jonathanF420 and @F1onNBC

We also receive a photo of Fernando Alonso using an air amplifier in the same application.

Fernando Alonso

Photo Courtesy of Lee Monahan and @F1onNBC

EXAIR’s Air Amplifiers use a small amount of compressed air to produce air flows amplified 24 times the compressed air flow used.  This can create flows that reveal Formula 1 cars in speed (up to 250 MPH). Force and flow for the Adjustable Air Amplifier is changed by turning the exhaust end (with knurled lockring loose) to open or close the continuous air gap. When the air amplifier meets the flow required for your application, the knurled locking ring may be tightened to lock the flow.

We have supplied products to a number of racing teams throughout the world over the years, but we did not know exactly how they were being used. To see these two great drivers using our product one is led to believe we may be the industry standard in yet another field. For those that may not know Räikkönen won the 2007 Formula One Championship with Ferrari. Alonso has won the championship twice(2005, 2006). It is reasonable to inquire, how many others in the field are using EXAIR’s Air Amplifiers as well?

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers Replace Blower in Exhaust Hood Application

Vent hood

EXAIR Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers model 6034

 

I was working with our Indonesian distributor the other day on an interesting application in the sugar refining industry.

The application was in a sugar refining plant. As the sugar cane is cooked down, the resulting gas vapor is pulled up through a vent hood and exhausted outside the building. The customer was using a 16” diameter blower to create the needed draft to draw the vapors. The problem is that the vapors are corrosive and sticky when cold. The effect is that the blower blade becomes caked with deposits which, in turn corrode the blade and it must either be cleaned and/or replaced at frequent and regular intervals.

The customer wanted to get away from having to deal with the blower issue if they can, so they turned to our distributor for ideas on how to solve the problem using EXAIR equipment. Turns out that a cluster of (3) model 6034 4” Adjustable Air Amplifiers operating at 5 BARG input pressure are able to generate the necessary flow to replace the blower in this system.

The keys to success in the application were the fact that the Adjustable Air Amplifiers are constructed of Stainless Steel to resist the corrosive effects of the gas vapor. Also, there isn’t any deposits on the blade that need to be dealt with. While cleaning of the Air Amplifiers is recommended in this application, the maintenance interval was able to be much longer between cleanings.

In many industrial applications, blower driven or electric motor driven equipment is usually preferred in an effort to save energy. This was a good example of a case where the quality of having no moving parts was able to offset other maintenance costs that made use of a blower actually more expensive for the user.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

 

Air Amplifier is Useful as an Air Conveyor for Light Material

I had a customer that was wanting to reduce the footprint and the noise level of his machine. His equipment trimmed medical capsule shells, 40 pieces at a time. The capsule shells were dropped into a chute and transferred to another location. The capsules weighed 150 milligram each, and they had to be move 15 feet (4.5 meters) horizontally and 3.3 feet (1 meter) high. The machine contained its own air compressor and blower system. The air compressor was used to operate air cylinders and other pneumatic equipment. A 5HP blower system was used to transfer the capsules. The blower motor, ducting, and cyclone separator was very bulky and noisy. They asked me if EXAIR could supply a product that would use very little compressed air to transfer the capsules without creating excessive noise.

Adjustable Air Amplifier

Adjustable Air Amplifier

I accepted the challenge. The customer only had 12 scfm (20 M^3/hr) of compressed air that was usable. In looking at my options, I had to use a product with a large amplification ratio. (Parts of room air vs. Parts of compressed air). The best candidate was an EXAIR Air Amplifier with a 20:1 amplification ratio. The capsules are light weight, and the distance was not very far which made this application a suitable one for the Air Amplifier. I decided to do a trial test using the model 6032 stainless steel Adjustable Air Amplifier (Stainless Steel had to be used to be compliant). In my trial, I adjusted the Air Amplifier to the desired flow rate. I was able to move the capsules the complete distance. I then reduced the flow to see if I was able to complete the task. I was able to consistently mover the capsules at a compressed air flow rate of 7 scfm (12 M^3/hr).

In some situations, we can run trial tests to make sure that the product can meet the specification of the customer. This customer was able to remove the blower system, reduce the foot print of his design, and more importantly reduce the amount of noise. If you have an unknown situation and you would like for an Application Engineer to do a trial test, you can contact us here.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_jb

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