Combining Products For Total Blow Off Of Objects With Complex Geometry

EXAIR Super Air Knives are extremely efficient at blowing off flat surfaces. The laminar air flow they generate makes a stripping/sweeping action, as opposed to the turbulent flow from a non-engineered blow off, which really just beats on the surface. If the object being blown off, though, has features such as holes, recesses, grooves, bosses, “nooks & crannies”, etc., it may be challenging to get those features 100% blown off, 100% of the time.

If the object you’re blowing off is flat, the laminar air flow from a Super Air Knife is ideal. They come in lengths from 3 inches to 9 feet long.

Depending on the size & shape of the feature presenting the challenge, the first thing we might recommend is to adjust the angle at which the Air Knife’s flow contacts the surface. For most applications, you can optimize performance by blowing at as low of an angle as practical. You may need to aim the Air Knife at a steeper angle, for example, if you’re blowing off something that’s dense (like shot blast or garnet, as opposed to dust or chips), or if it’s somewhat adherent to surface (like grease or mud, as opposed to water or light oil). This can also work if you’re trying to blow out a hole, recess, or groove in an object.

EXAIR manufactures a wide variety of engineered Air Nozzles, designed for safety, efficiency, and quiet operation.

Other times, a dedicated blow off may be necessary to pick up where the Air Knife leaves off. In situations like that, we can specify an appropriately sized Air Nozzle, Air Jet, Air Amplifier, or maybe even a smaller Air Knife, to provide more complete removal of whatever you need to get off of the object. It’s fairly common to use Air Nozzles for these applications, and our Air Nozzles & Jets catalog section is a great tool that can be used for selection. It lists them all, from smallest to largest, with airflow patterns, performance data, and dimensions.

EXAIR offers solutions for plumbing, installation, and aiming the Air Nozzle too:

  • Swivel Fittings are installed on threaded pipe, and provide 50° of angular movement. Just loosen the lock nut, aim the Nozzle, and re-tighten for rigid & secure placement.
  • Stay Set Hoses are likewise be threaded into 1/4 FNPT connections, with the Air Nozzle secured onto the other end. These come in lengths from 6″ to 36″, with 1/8 FNPT or 1/4 MNPT threads for the Air Nozzle.
EXAIR Stay Set Hoses and Swivel Fittings are ideal for installation and positioning of your Super Air Nozzle.

Metal tubing with compression fittings is another option, that can be used to install & aim an Air Nozzle. Copper tubing is relatively easy to bend by hand. Stainless steel tubing usually requires a tube bender tool, with the advantage that it can’t easily be bent by hand…on purpose or by accident. While metal tubing is certainly an option, it is generally reserved for applications where the ability to readjust is not necessary. The Stay Set hoses and Swivel Fittings tend to work better when flexibility is required.

The copper tube used to have a crimped end that was aimed at the part in the chuck. They simply cut it off and used a compression fitting to install the Super Air Nozzle.

If you’ve got a blow off application that’s not working the way you want it to, it’s highly likely that EXAIR has a solution. We would love to share our ideas with you. Give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
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HollowStream™ Cone Liquid Nozzles for Spray Applications

1/4″ NPT HollowStream Liquid Atomizing Nozzle

When it comes to liquid spraying, EXAIR has a new line of all liquid nozzles.  They are engineered to spin the liquid in order to break the surface tension.  Passing through a precision orifice, the liquid will break into fine particles.  The smaller the particle size, the greater the surface area, which reduces liquid use.  For this blog, I will cover the HollowStream™ Cone Liquid Nozzles

The HollowStream™ Cone Liquid Nozzles produce a liquid ring on the target. This will reduce the liquid usage as compared to the FullStream™ Cone Liquid Nozzles.  They are available in NPT and BP female threads in ¼, 3/8, and 1/2 sizes with varying liquid flow rates. They are all made of 303 stainless steel with a vaneless design to help resist clogging.  They can handle 250 PSIG (17.2 Bar) of liquid pressure and operate at temperatures up to 800oF (427oC).  Some applications would include cooling, quenching, washing, foam breaking, sanitizing, and degreasing.

HollowStream™ Cone Nozzles

To share an application, we have worked with a metal pin manufacturer.  Their process was to harden and temper the carbon steel pins to make them very strong.  There are a few ways to heat-treat metal.  For this company, they heated the pins to a very high temperature.  Then they would quench the pins with oil to reduce the temperature quickly.  After that, they needed to wash the pins to remove the oil.  From there, the pins would travel to the tempering oven.  The wash system was very important, as they needed to remove the oil from the surface of the pins.  The “cleanliness” would affect the tempering process as well as create toxic smoke.  The washing solution was expensive, and they were looking for a way to reduce this amount without sacrificing cleanliness.  We recommended six pieces of the model HL1011SS to cover the work area when the pins came out of the oil bath.  We also matched their current liquid spray usage with the six pieces of the HL1011SS as an assurance for this customer.  When they started using the HollowStream Nozzles, they realized that the liquid surface area was enhanced, and they started to reduce the liquid line pressure.  They were able to reduce the total amount of wash solution by 25%.  As mentioned, when liquids have a larger surface area due to how they are applied, less fluid is required. 

If you have a process where you need to reduce the amount of liquid to save money, EXAIR offers a line of Liquid Atomizing Nozzles as well as Air Atomizing Nozzles.  The design is to reduce the droplet size to increase coverage.  Here is a blog with the Air Atomizing Nozzles for improving Gummy Candy Production.  In either case, if you have questions on how we can reduce costs and improve processes, you can contact an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to help you.   

John Ball
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR Accessories: Mag Bases and Stay Set Hoses

EXAIR Manufactures a variety of intelligent compressed air products that can cool, clean, coat, convey, and conserve.  They’re designed specifically with enhanced efficiencies, OSHA safety, and high quality in mind.  What could make our products even better?  Making them movable, with the ability to aim them exactly where you need them!  EXAIR offers Magnetic Bases and Stay Set Hoses to achieve this.  In this blog, I will cover the features and benefits of both products.

Offered in Lengths of 6″ to 36″

Stay Set Hoses:The Stay Set Hose gives you that possibility of manually adjusting and re-adjusting smaller EXAIR products like Super Air Nozzles and Air Jets.  The hose has a “memory” function, and it will not creep or droop until you physically move it.  They work very well in directing the air flows at specific target areas.  The Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6” (15cm) to 36” (91cm), and they have threaded connections with either ¼” NPT male on both ends or with a 1/8” NPT female X ¼” NPT male thread.  The hoses are made from reinforced synthetic rubber and have a pressure rating of 250 PSIG (17 bar).  They can add versatility to our Safety Air Guns and Blow-off Stations.  If you need positioning for precise blowing or adjustments for different targets, the Stay Set Hoses would be a nice addition to include with your EXAIR products. 

Top Left: 9042 , Top Right 9043, Bottom 9029

Magnetic Bases: If you need a solid mount to steel surfaces or to move your blow-off system to different locations, a Magnetic Base will allow you to do these functions.  It has a 100 lb. (45.5Kg) pulling force to keep the blowing device attached firmly until you want to move it.  They can be mounted in a vertical or horizontal position.  EXAIR offers a single outlet Magnetic Base or a dual outlet Magnetic Base (for multiple blowing products). The bases come with a ¼ turn shut-off valve to easily turn on and off the compressed air to the EXAIR products. If you want to combine the Stay Set Hoses and Magnetic Bases with your EXAIR Air Nozzles and Air Jets, we can create this with the EXAIR Blowoff System.  We can combine multiple parts into a single model number.  At EXAIR, we pride ourselves with great customer service and an “easy to do business” philosophy.  You can contact a friendly Application Engineer to build an efficient, safe, and movable system just for you.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Common Applications for EXAIR’s Line Vacs

Generally, when we’re talking about a Line Vac application it involves the transfer of bulk materials from one place or another. Most applications involve replacing what we call a “bucket and ladder” operation. An operator must fill a bucket or container with the material, climb up a ladder, and then deposit it into a hopper.

One such common application we’ve handled rather frequently, is conveying raw (green) coffee beans from a bulk sack or container up into a hopper for roasting. We’ve worked with large well-known manufacturers, as well as small mom-and-pop type roasters out in Hawaii. To help facilitate this, my colleague John Ball and I shot a quick video with some raw beans we had lying around from a prior customer test:

Line Vacs don’t need to be just about conveying bulk material into a hopper. We’ve seen the Line Vac used to strip any remaining wire or yarn off of a remaining spool for reuse. They’ve also been used by electrical contractors to run wire through underground conduit:

EXAIR offers Line Vacs with different connection styles as well to accommodate different methods of material transfer. The applications above utilized our smooth Line Vacs that are designed to be used with smooth-bore hose or tube. The Threaded Line Vac is offered with NPT threaded connections on the inlet and outlet for use with rigid pipe. For customers operating in the food or pharmaceutical industry, we offer Line Vacs in 316 SS in threaded, smooth, or solely in 316 SS with our Sanitary Flange Line Vac.

The Sanitary Flange Line Vac incorporates ISO 2852 compatible flanges on both the intake and outlet of the Line Vac. In the food/pharmaceutical industries, these types of connection styles are common to allow for easy removal of the system for sanitization purposes. An application I worked on recently involved a customer in the Food & Beverage industry that needed a solution for transporting bulk bags of salt. They’d looked at a high capacity conveyor system to serve this need, only to find out that it cost nearly 10x that of the Sanitary Flange Line Vac. The Model 161200-316 was used to convey this salt easily for them without the need to purchase a large and complicated system. The Line Vac has absolutely no moving parts to wear out and is maintenance-free, so it not only saved them money in purchase price but in subsequent maintenance costs down the line as well.

Heavy Duty Line Vacs operate in the same manner as our standard or threaded units, but are constructed of a hardened alloy steel engineered for use with abrasive media. The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are offered with both smooth or threaded connection styles and also provide a boost in conveyance when compared with our other Line Vacs. The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are ideal for any media that is abrasive in nature or for applications requiring higher conveyance rates over longer distances

If you believe you have a solution in your facility for any of our Line Vacs, act FAST! The promotion is running now through October 31st that includes a FREE 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle.

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

Application Engineer


Twitter: @EXAIR_TD