The Second Step to optimize your compressed air system is to Find and fix leaks in your compressed air system. The reason leaks are important to find and fix is because they can account for… More
EXAIR’s Vortex Tubes are a low-cost, reliable, and maintenance-free solution to a variety of industrial spot cooling problems. With just an ordinary supply of compressed air, the Vortex Tube produces two streams of air: one hot and one cold. This is achieved without any moving parts or refrigerants!!
The Vortex Tube is capable of achieving a temperature drop/rise from your compressed air supply ranging from -50°F to +260°F (-46°C to +127°C). Flow rates range from 1-150 SCFM (28-4,248 SLPM) and refrigeration of up to 10,200 Btu/hr. With all Vortex Tubes constructed of stainless steel, they’re resistant to corrosion and oxidation ensuring you years of reliable, maintenance-free operation.
In addition to providing a range of different Vortex Tubes available to ship same-day from stock, EXAIR also has a few options available for cases where a stock Vortex Tube may not be the right solution. The standard Vortex Tube is suitable for use in environments with ambient temperatures up to 125°F (52°C) due to the plastic generator and Buna o-rings. For more extreme environments and ambient temperatures up to 200°F (93°C), we install a brass generator and replace the Buna o-rings with Viton seals.
All standard Vortex Tubes are adjustable. A small valve is located at the hot air exhaust end of the tube. Using a flat-tipped screwdriver, you can adjust the amount of air that is permitted to exhaust from the hot end. As more air is allowed to escape, the temperature at the cold end of the tube drops even further. The volume of air at the cold end as the temperature drops will also decrease. The percentage of air exhausting from the cold end relative to the total air consumption is referred to as the cold fraction percentage. Lower cold fractions will produce lower temperatures, but there won’t be as much volume. Finding the proper setting for your Vortex Tube can take some adjusting.
As we all know, if there’s a knob to turn, button to press, or adjustment that can be made an operator is inevitably going to tinker with it. Day shift will blame the night shift, night shift blames the day shift, and it can present a problem when the Vortex Tube has been specifically tested and set to achieve the desired cold fraction. If you know the cold fraction you need, but would prefer to prevent it from being able to be adjusted, EXAIR can install a precisely drilled hot plug to set the cold fraction percentage to your specifications and eliminate any potential for it to be changed.
If you’d still prefer to keep the adjustability, but don’t have the capabilities to measure and set it yourself, we can also set any Vortex Tube to the desired cold fraction with the adjustable valve and send it to you ready to be installed. We’ll provide you with a special model number so you can rest assured that any time you need another it’ll come set to your specification.
At EXAIR, we’re committed to providing you with the best solution possible for your application. Sometimes that isn’t going to be achievable with a standard stock product. Just because you don’t see it in the catalog or on our website, doesn’t mean we can’t do it. If you have a unique application and would like more information on getting a special Vortex Tube, contact an Application Engineer today.
We are thankful for your business and appreciate you relying on EXAIR to solve your process and manufacturing problems. Take advantage of any time off you may have and enjoy your family, friends and food!
We will be closed over Thanksgiving on Thursday and Friday November 28 and 29, 2019.
Speed is everything. A micro tube manufacturer was extruding a polyethylene tube for drip type irrigation. This type of irrigation is very common in the desert to confine the watering near the plants in arid regions. The plastic tubes have an 8 mm (0.315”) outer diameter with a 5.5mm (0.217”) inner diameter (reference photo below). They were looking for ways to increase the speed of production.
Their extrusion application included a water bath to cool and harden the material as it came out of the extruder. After the bath, the tube travels directly into an inkjet marking machine. They were using a home-made circular blowing device to remove the water after the dipping process. When they tried to increase their line speeds, this blow-off device was not able to remove enough water from the surface. Thus, the printing was poor, and sections would have to be scrapped.
When they searched for a tube blow-off device, they came across the Super Air Wipe from EXAIR. Unlike the home-made device, this engineered design blows compressed air at a 30-degree angle toward the center in a 360-degree air pattern, just like a cone. It uses a Coanda profile to maximize the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air stream to produce a strong force. As a non-contact wiping device; the Super Air Wipe is very efficient and very powerful.
For this application, I recommended the model 2450 ½” Super Air Wipe Kit. This kit includes our Super Air Wipe, a Filter, a Regulator, and a Shim Set. With the ½” or 13mm opening, it gives ample room to allow the 8mm tube to travel through without touching. For the rest of the kit, the Filter will remove bulk liquids and debris from the compressed air to keep the unit performing optimally and keep the tubes from getting dirty. The Regulator is used to control the amount of force. This helps to not over-use the amount of compressed air required for the job. With a Regulator, you can make fine adjustments to get the proper amount of air while the shims in the Shim Set will give you coarse adjustments. With the Regulator and Shim Set together, you can “dial” in the correct amount of force required for the different speeds. The Super Air Wipe Kits will give you the most versatility in your system to optimize the 360-degree blow-off.
As they removed their home-made unit and attached the Super Air Wipe, they noticed some great things. The speed of production was increased by about 10% which matched the maximum speed of the inkjet printer. They also noticed that the Super Air Wipe is much quieter. With a decibel rating of 77 dBA, the nearby operators are very happy with this choice. One of the top features that they noticed was the cost savings that the Super Air Wipe gives. Because the design uses the “free” ambient air, less compressed air is required. This saves them a lot of money in their electric bill.
Many applications use water in the process, and it can negatively affect printing and labeling on products. EXAIR offers a range of efficient, safe, and effective blow-off devices to remove water from the surface in a non-contact way. For the customer above, the Super Air Wipe was their solution. Speed is everything, but without the proper tools, it is lost. If you have a printing or labeling application, an Application Engineer at EXAIR can help you to maximize that speed.
I recently participated in a spicy wing eating competition here in Cincinnati. A last-man-standing format where contestants were tasked with finishing a single wing in 30 seconds per round. As the rounds increased, so too did the heat level of the sauce the wing was tossed in. The GRAND PRIZE for the daring winner was quite a haul, a $50 gift card to a local wing joint. Why put yourself through this for the chance at winning a $50 gift card I was repeatedly asked. Who knows, maybe I’m crazy. But, anyone who knows me knows I love a good competition and I wasn’t going to go into this one unprepared. Training for the competition was going to be necessary if I wanted to stand a chance.
Several weeks of putting myself through a hellacious bout of pain, misery, and indigestion by way of Ghost Peppers, Trinidad Scorpion Peppers, and Peach Reaper peppers from my garden, I felt like I was ready to go. I started off the morning of the competition with some Peach Reapers in my breakfast burrito (the hottest I had on hand). Through the sweat, tears, and pain (along with a few eye rolls from my wife) I felt as prepared as I could possibly be. Unfortunately, all of my training didn’t quite get me the win. But, a respectable 2nd place finish wasn’t a bad showing. I suppose I’ll have to step my game up for next year…
At EXAIR, we’re committed to providing our customers with the tools necessary to train themselves, their customers, and their employees on the proper ways to use compressed air. From right here on the EXAIR Blog, our YouTube Channel, and the Knowledge Base on our website there’s a ton of valuable information out there for your use. Best of all? It’s Free!
Within our Knowledge Base, you’ll find case studies that highlight examples of applications where we’ve helped customers improve their processes, save money by reducing compressed air consumption, and help improve on worker safety. There’s a list of FAQs categorized by product line, a library of calculators to help estimate the savings you’ll experience, and a list of application examples.
In addition, we also have a library of previously recorded webinars that are free to view at your convenience. With topics such as “Intelligent Compressed Air Solutions for OSHA Compliance”, “Intelligent Solutions for Electrical Enclosure Cooling”, “Optimize Your Compressed Air System in 6 Simple Steps”, “Simple Steps for Big Savings”, and “Understanding Static Electricity” all of the tools are readily accessible to make sure you’re fully prepared and equipped to handle your compressed air system.
Don’t let these free resources go to waste and take the time to train yourself on the available solutions to Intelligent Compressed Air usage. I promise it’ll be a lot less painful than a steady diet of super hot chili peppers!
Don’t feel like we’re leaving you to figure everything out on your own. In addition to all of the resources available to you within the Knowledge Base, EXAIR has a team of highly-trained Application Engineers with experience in a wide variety of industries and processes. There’s a good chance one of us has dealt with the very same application and we’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction. Don’t wait, give us a call!
Air entrainment is the phenomenon that occurs when air (or any gas) under pressure is released from a device in such a way that a low pressure is generated in the immediate area of the air (or gas) discharge. Air (or gas) from the surrounding environment is then pulled (or entrained) into the discharged air stream, increasing its volumetric flow rate. EXAIR Corporation has been engineering & manufacturing compressed air products to take maximum advantage of this phenomena since 1983…and we’ve gotten better & better at it over the past 36 years.
Obviously, the first thing that’s so great about air entrainment is…free air flow. Every cubic foot that’s entrained means that’s a cubic foot that your compressor didn’t have to spend energy compressing. Considering the EXAIR Super Air Knife’s entrainment ratio of 40:1, that makes for a VERY efficient use of your compressed air.
Another thing that’s so great about air entrainment is…it’s quiet. As you can see from the graphic at the top of this blog, the Super Air Knife entrains air (the lighter, curved blue arrows) into the primary compressed air stream (the darker, straight blue arrows) from above and below. The outer layers of the total developed flow are lower in velocity, and serve as a sound-attenuating boundary layer. The sound level of a Super Air Knife (any length…here’s why) is only 69dBA. That means if you’re talking with someone and a Super Air Knife is running right next to you, you can still use your “inside voice” and continue your conversation, unaffected by the sound of the air flow.
I always thought it would be helpful to have more than just a graphic with blue arrows to show the effect & magnitude of air entrainment. A while back, I accidentally stumbled across a stunning visual depiction of just that, using a Super Air Knife. I had the pleasure of talking with a caller about how effective a Super Air Knife might be in blowing light gauge paperboard pieces. So I set one up in the EXAIR Demo Room, blowing straight upwards, and tossed paper plates into the air flow. It worked just as expected, until one of the paper plates got a little closer to the Super Air Knife than I had planned:
As you can see, the tremendous amount of air flow being entrained…from both sides…was sufficient to pull in lightweight objects and ‘stick’ them to the surface that the entrained air was being drawn past. While it doesn’t empirically prove the 40:1 ratio, it indisputably demonstrates that an awful lot of air is moving there.
If you’re looking for a quiet, efficient, and OSHA compliant solution for cleaning, blow off, drying, cooling…anything you need an even, consistent curtain of air flow for – look no further than the EXAIR Super Air Knife. If you’d like to discuss a particular application and/or product selection, give me a call.
I’m one of the newest to join the team of ‘airheads’ here at EXAIR. By airheads I mean application engineers. These guys have forgotten more about compressed air applications than most will ever know. I’m humbled to join this team of compressed air vigilantes.
The cool thing about the group is that everyone comes from a different industry, and brings a unique perspective to the game. My windy road here has come through a couple of industries – Printing, Restaurant Equipment, Automotive, and Label & Packaging – all of which use the intelligent compressed air devices EXAIR manufactures. Most recently I was a product manager in the roll-fed label industry, which uses Line Vacs to pull waste from slitter and rewinders for collection. We also used Super Ion Air Knives to reduce static when marrying silicon coated plastic liner to the label face stock. It’s important to have a consistent pull on the waste so that clean slits can be made in the product. That’s important downstream to the printer and label converters, and even further to the end user who places the finished label on a bourbon bottle.
I’ve also seen the value of Cabinet Coolers a in hot manufacturing environment, where temperatures over 110 degrees could shut down a panel faster than you can say lost profits. One of EXAIR’s latest products, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper would also be invaluable to operators who clean out the attritors, which mix dried pigment into viscous varnish.
I’ve been impressed with the positive team attitude here at EXAIR that clearly flows into product design and our go-to-market. I’m also amazed at the creative wizardry of our marketing team to create product images for our promotional content. If a picture is worth a thousand words, EXAIR’s are worth a factor more. Then there’s the videos presented in this blog by the team of airheads. While none of us has a degree in filmmaking from NYU, the App Engineering department creates incredible videos to help customers understand the intricacy and design of EXAIR products.
With a full team of application engineers ready to offer real time support through online or phone chat, EXAIR takes a B2B experience and makes it seem like a true B2C personal experience.
Out of work I’m a food and history geek. I enjoy travelling the region looking for the weirdest and most unique dishes. I am told there’s a Sharonville Superfecta – four signature dishes from local diners – that I need to try. There’s the Bronx Bomber pizza, a gyro from Athenian Greek Diner, a Sammy Burger, and a float from the Root Beer Stand. I’ve recently taken on a side hobby of fermenting my own sauerkraut and hope to have a supply ready soon.
I look forward to embracing the flow and helping you solve your applications with EXAIR’s robust family of intelligent compressed air products.
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In a recent blog “EXAIR Super Air Knives: Overview”, I shared the features and benefits that puts the “Super” in the Super Air Knives. But, let’s not define ourselves by our widest range of lengths and materials that we stock. EXAIR can also customize the Super Air Knives to fit your requirements. Many manufacturers like to make their standard items and expect the customers to adapt to their design. But at EXAIR, customer service is our primary focus.
EXAIR manufactures our products at one location in Cincinnati, Ohio. So, this gives us the flexibility to do many things like making adaptive configurations with our Super Air Knives. Here are some examples that our customers requested.
- Special lengths: EXAIR stocks standard incremental lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2.74 meters) in aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS materials; or 3” (76mm) to 54” (1,372mm) for PDVF Super Air Knives. But sometimes, the Super Air Knife has to fit into a specific area where a standard length will not work. This is where EXAIR exceeds, and we can make any length metric or imperial between the ranges above.
- Other materials: There isn’t a single material that is inert to all chemicals. In some rare cases, the environment can chemically attack our Stainless Steel or PVDF Super Air Knives. So, a different material may have to be used. For the customer above, they required a PVC material for a phosphorous environment.
- Critical Dimensions: When the Super Air Knives have to adapt inside machines or in tight areas, we can modify the profile. We have two special applications (reference above) that needed a design change for fit and function. A curved Super Air Knife was used to hold tubes on a rotary table; and a thin Super Air Knife that was only 11/16” (17.5mm) thick cleaned a mold for circuit chips.
- Add-ons: EXAIR understands the importance of connecting to our Super Air Knives to get the greatest performance. Our stock product has ¼” NPT inlet air ports along the bottom and one at each end. We have ¼” – 20 threaded holes for mounting along the bottom as well. But if you want threaded holes in a specific location for mounting or need the inlet air ports to be metric threads, EXAIR can accommodate these features.
- Situational Applications: Super Air Knives can have complex or simple changes depending on the application. As an example, EXAIR created a design for a double-sided Super Air Knife to blow a laminar stream of air 180 degrees apart (reference photo above). A simpler proposal was to replace the cap screws in a 316SS Super Air Knife with hygienic screws for food applications to remove crevices for bacterial growth.
- OE Protection: In today’s market, it is important to protect your business. At EXAIR, we can make a special Super Air Knife to blow, dry, or cool in your custom machines. With a unique model number, EXAIR can help support and protect your business for future and replacement business.
Remember, your imagination is the beginning of creation. If you cannot find a specific design to be used in your compressed air application, don’t give up. Contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we can help you. We have a team of engineers that can evaluate the fit and function to create a “Super” blow-off solution. For the customers above, we were able to propose a unique Super Air Knife to work in their application; not the other way around.