EXAIR Distributor Solves Problem For End User

Our Thai distributor, OilPure Management Systems, recently worked through an application with an end user in need of both debris and heat removal at a gas cylinder recycling facility.

Dirty cylinder

Dirty cylinder which needs to be cleaned and cooled

In this application, the end user needed to remove heat and debris from the gas cylinders shown above.  These cylinders are recycled and as part of the recycling process, the previous exterior coating and labeling must be removed.  To remove the coating and labels, the cylinders are subjected to a rigorous cleaning and heating process that leaves them with debris around the O.D. of the cylinder at a temperature around 300°C.

Cylinders travelling through chamber

Cylinders exiting the last stage of cleaning and heating

Given the need to simultaneously remove debris and cool the cylinders, our distributor recommended a series of Super Air Knives mounted around the exterior in a hex pattern.

Cylinders with SAKs

Proposed solution to removed debris (and heat) from the exterior of the cylinders

After travelling through the air curtain made by the series of Super Air Knives, the cylinders will have been treated for both debris and heat, preparing them for a final coating to look like the finished product shown below.

Final coated cylinders

Final product, re-coated

If you have a need for EXAIR products, contact an Application Engineer or consult one of our worldwide distributors.  (For an interactive map of EXAIR distributors around the world, click here.)

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

What Size Pipe Should I Use?

Yesterday, I had a customer with a tough application for a Standard Air Knife. The customer was quenching individual 11″ x 11″ steel plates in oil after they had been heated to over 1,200° Celsius. Following quenching, the plate is pulled out of the oil with a fair amount of excess oil still attached. This excess oil is relatively hot and could be dangerous, if it drips from the plates as they are conveyed to the next process. The oil removed from the tank is also lost, so the tank needed to be refilled regularly. This oil added up to quite a large expense every year for this company. The customer installed (2) 12″ Standard Air Knives above the oil quenching tank to blow the oil off of the plate back into the oil quenching tank as the plate is raised out of the tank and in between the two air knives.

How the Standard Air Knife Works

How the Standard Air Knife Works

The customer called to express some disappointment about the air knife performance, I asked him a few questions about his application.

Q:What pressure is supplied to the air knife?
A: 100 PSI
Q: Where are you measuring this pressure?
A: That is our shop pressure and the pressure I’m measuring at the regulator.
Q: How are you connecting the regulator to the air knife?
A: We are using 10 feet of 3/8″ ID tubing.

At this point I suspected that the problem was in the compressed air supply line. To confirm this, I asked the customer to install a pressure gauge in the unused air inlet of the air knife. This pressure gauge read only 52 PSIG. The customer had a pressure drop of 48 PSI through the 10 foot of 3/8″ tubing, fittings, and valves that connected the regulator to the air knife.  The 12 inch Standard Air Knife utilizes 41 SCFM of compressed air when fed with 80 PSIG. In order to determine what to expect for a reasonable pressure drop, you could use EXAIR’s Air Data charts. According to EXAIR’s air data chart, for 1/8″ schedule 40 iron pipe, which has around 1/4″ ID (Which is very similar to the Inside Diameter of the 3/8″ tube) at 8 SCFM of flow the line will create a 18.6 PSIG pressure drop. When you try and shove more than 8 SCFM through the 3/8″ OD (1/4″ ID) tubing, you create a higher pressure drop. In this customer’s case it created a 48 PSI drop across the air line. This 48 PSI pressure drop was caused by the supply line as well as the fittings or valves used to connect valve to the regulator. This pressure drop limited the air knife to only 52% of its performance. In an application with a viscous fluid like oil , this drop in pressure led to lower force upon the steel plate and disappointing performance.

After getting the proper plumbing in place, the pressure drop was eliminated and the the Air Knives were operating at peak performance to remove the oil from the plates.

During the course of our troubleshooting, the customer also discovered Russ Bowman’s excellent video Proper Supply Plumbing for Compressed Air Products. In the video, our customer discovered the impact both the cross sectional area and overall length of compressed air piping can have on the performance of an air operated device.

The customer wanted to use a 12″ Air Knife to blow off the oil from the plates, which is a great application for the air knife. By properly plumbing the supply of an Air Knife, the customer contained hot oil, reclaimed quenching oil for future use, and maintained a clean shop floor. This installation was well worth the time and effort of installing the air knife properly. If the customer would like, we also have a Super Air Knife which will only use 35 SCFM and could help to save more compressed air. This savings of 7 SCFM may not seem like much, but it will have a significant impact on the energy cost of running his air compressor.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Static Eliminator Helps With Video Inspection

Being that many products are now made of plastic, we encounter many more problems with static electricity.  I have a customer that uses a video camera to check instrumentation appliques before assembly into a vehicle cluster.  The video camera would check for quality defects over the lighted details.  It would check for both light spots and dark spots.  The problem that kept occurring was a defect that was detected with a dark spot.  In closer examination, the dark spot was a piece of debris that was sticking to the applique from static attraction.  The plastic polycarbonate sheets can generate large amounts of static as it goes through the conveying process.  Thus, it added additional cost in having an operator to wipe the applique and re-insert them back into the video booth.  The customer called EXAIR to see if we could solve his problem.

In looking at the process, we decided to use the Super Ion Air Knife.  It would be able to accomplish both routines automatically.  The ion bar will neutralize the plastic applique and particles, while the air knife will gently blow the particles off.  With this combination of air knife and ion bar, the Super Ion Air Knife will generate a laminar flow of ionized air to carry debris away.  This air curtain can keep the applique clean before it goes into the video booth.  We were able to eliminate the “false” rejects, and the operator was able to continue checking the “positive” rejects for quality control.

Super Ion Air Knife

Super Ion Air Knife

Like with video inspections, you can use this ionized air curtain to keep plastic parts clean.  Other applications that use this process are circuit boards (or any product during packaging) before they are stored in bags and plastic components being stored in an enclosed storage bin.  With the Super Ion Air Knife, you can make sure your parts are clean from those little charged dirt particles.  As with any of our products, you can always talk to an Application Engineer here at EXAIR.

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

 

EXAIR Blogs This Week Are Almost As Cool As Shark Week

Yes, ALMOST. This week, the EXAIR Blog has featured some excellent explanations of the science behind the operation of compressed air products. On Tuesday, John Ball posted the best explanation of SCFM vs ACFM that I’ve come across, and I’ve been explaining this to callers for almost four years now. I’m using his blog to perfect my “elevator pitch” on this topic. It will still likely require a building with more than ten floors, but I think that’s OK.

Also on “Two Blog Tuesday,” (this week only; I’m not trying to start anything) Dave Woerner’s gem of a blog detailed the terminology associated with pressure measurement, and why we use “psig” (g = gauged) – in a nutshell, the compressed air inside the pipe doesn’t care what the pressure outside the pipe is. And, since he mentioned it, I might add that most of agree that we care even less about how a certain NFL team’s footballs were (or were not) properly inflated.

Brian Farno’s “One Blog Wednesday” entry was a quite useful (if not alphabetical…OK; now I AM trying to start something) list of some common terms and expressions we use on a regular basis while discussing the operation and performance of EXAIR compressed air products. If you liked his photo demonstration of the Coanda effect with the foam ball & Super Air Amplifier, I encourage you to experience the Coanda effect for yourself, if you have access to a leaf blower and a volleyball:

I mention these earlier blogs to get to the point of MY blog today…a bit of theory-to-practice, if you will. Once you’ve gotten a decent understanding of these principles (or have the above links bookmarked for quick reference,) we can apply it to what’s needed for the proper operation of a compressed air product itself.

With a working knowledge of air flow (SCFM) and compressed air supply pressure (psig,) we can more easily understand why certain pipe sizes are specified for use with particular products. For instance, the longer the Super Air Knife and/or the longer the run of piping to it, the larger the pipe that’s needed to supply it:

This table comes directly from the Installation & Operation Instructions for the Super Air Knife.

This table comes directly from the Installation & Operation Instructions for the Super Air Knife.

The reasons for this are two-fold: First, the pipe…longer runs of pipe will experience more line loss (a continuous reduction in pressure, due to friction with the pipe wall…and itself) – so, larger diameter pipe is needed for longer lengths. For another practical demonstration, consider how much faster you can drink a beverage through a normal drinking straw than you can through a coffee stirrer. Not as dramatic as the leaf blower & volleyball (you really want to try it now, don’t you?) but you get my point.

Second, the Air Knife…the longer the Air Knife, the more air it’s going to use. And, if it’s longer than 18”, you’ll want to feed it with air at both ends…line loss will occur in the plenum as well.

In closing, I want to leave with another video, shot right here at EXAIR, showing the actual reductions in pressure due to line loss through different lengths, and diameters, of compressed air supply line to a Super Air Knife.

If you ever have any questions about compressed air use, or how EXAIR products can help you use your compressed air more efficiently, safely, and quietly, please give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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More Power? I DO Think So…

We occasionally get calls from folks who are looking for “more power” – and it always brings that classic 1990’s sitcom “Home Improvement’s” Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor to mind. Well, not so much Tim’s “more power” mantra, but the ubiquitous response from his long-suffering sidekick, Al Borland:

Al knows it.  George Foreman knows it. Lisa knows it.  Even Tim knows it, this time.

Sometimes, they’re looking for a product to replace what they’re currently using…something they’re not getting desirable results from. Other times, they have an EXAIR product in place, and it’s just not getting the job done.

Our first response is, of course, to make sure they’re getting a sufficient supply of air to their product, no matter whether it’s ours or not. If you’re familiar at all with our blogs, you know we write about this frequently:

The Importance of Proper Compressed Air Supply Lines

Video Blog: Proper Supply Plumbing for Compressed Air Products

Improper Installation and Associated Problems

3 Common Mistakes in Your Compressed Air System

Once we’ve made sure that the product is indeed receiving appropriate air supply, we can look at adding to the flow rate and force of the air stream. We’ve made it easy to do that with a variety of blow off products by designing them with a replaceable shim.

All of our Air Knife products (Super, Standard, and Full Flow) will ship with a 0.002” thick shim installed. These will perform superbly in a wide variety of general industrial blow off applications. If this doesn’t provide the force needed for your application, we carry Shim Sets for any Air Knife that will allow you to double, triple, or even quadruple the air flow for amplified thrust. Some common examples are stubborn debris in tight spaces (like the fins of a fin-and-tube heat exchanger) or removing oil from a corrugated surface.

From left to right: Super, Standard, and Full Flow Air Knives.

 

Like the Air Knives, our Air Wipes (Super and Standard) are built with 0.002” thick shims, which can be easily replaced for additional flow and force. Like when the Air Wipe is getting all the coolant off an extruded & machined part, but some stubborn, hair-like fibers need a little more “oomph” to remove.

 

Super (left) and Standard (right) Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2" to 11".

Super (left) and Standard (right) Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2″ to 11″.

Yes, those were real calls I took. Yes, they had sufficient air flow. Yes, the extra shims worked like a champ.

Similar to our Air Knife products, our Flat Super Air Nozzles also incorporate a replaceable shim. In fact, you have your choice of standard Models with a 0.015” thick shim installed, or High Power Models with a 0.025” thick shim. Shim Sets with a variety of thicknesses from 0.005” to 0.030” are available for either of these.

Our Super Air Amplifiers and High Velocity Air Jets incorporate patented shims that make for the highest amplification flows available, anywhere. These are available, from stock, in Shim Sets or individually.

High Velocity Air Jets and Super Air Amplifiers use patented shims for optimum performance and efficiency.

High Velocity Air Jets and Super Air Amplifiers use patented shims for optimum performance and efficiency.

If you have an air blowing application that you’d like to get a little (or a lot) more out of, give us a call. Prepare for a discussion on proper air supply first (of course,) but we’ll be more than happy to help in any way that we can.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
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Dual Promotions in December

In case you haven’t seen our tweets, our website or e-news; we are currently running two promotional offers.  We decided that December is a month of giving and so we better make sure our customers receive a little something extra.

The first promo…  Receive a FREE Soft Grip Safety Air Gun w/ Super Air Knife purchases.  When you decrease your air consumption by replacing that pipe with drilled holes or manifold of nozzles with a Super Air Knife, you will receive a Free model 1210 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun w/ 1100 Super Air Nozzle.  You do have to use the promotional part numbers so follow the link below in order to get to the right information pages.

atos_bSAK225x180

The second promo is based on our extremely popular Cold Gun Aircoolant System.   Now through the month of December, purchase any Cold Gun Aircoolant System with a single point cold outlet and receive a free dual point hose kit as well.  The dual point hose kit expands the area you are able to cool or is best for larger diameter tools. Once again, you do need to use the promotional part numbers so follow the link in the picture below.

CGPromoad_186x133

Both of these promotions are valid through December 31st, 2014.  If you have any questions on how you can use any of the items mentioned, feel free to give us a call.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Full-Flow Air Knife Assists With Flour Recovery

I took a call from a customer who was looking for a way to recover residual corn flour on their chain and paddle, drag conveyor. As the paddles moved down the line, they would start accumulating flour which was leading to uneven batch runs and waste. After reviewing the application with the customer, they determined they were only needing to blow off the width of the paddles, so I recommend using our 18” stainless steel Full-Flow Air Knife.

The Full-Flow Air Knife provides a 30:1 amplification rate (entrained air to compressed air), to produce a high velocity curtain of air that travels the entire length of the knife. With a small profile of only 1” H x 1.25” W, the unit is the ideal choice where mounting space is limited. It is available in a 303SS material which was suitable for this wash-down application.

Full-Flow

The Full Flow Air Knife is available in aluminum or stainless steel construction, up to 36″ stocked lengths.

 

Due to the concern regarding dust, I recommended operating the unit at a gentle 20 PSIG, lowering the velocity to 3,000 FPM and reducing the air consumption to only 1.1 SCFM per inch. A simple pressure regulator is capable of adjusting the volume and velocity of output airflow in order to “fine tune” our knives per application. This would allow for the needed blowoff, as well as reduce the potential of the unwanted dust.

If you have a similar application or would like to discuss your process, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

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