EXAIR’s industry leading Super Air Knife dramatically reduces compressed air usage and noise when compared to other blowoff methods. The Super Air Knife is available in lengths ranging from 3”-108” and in Aluminum, 303 Stainless… More
In today’s market, the cost of consumable products are on the rise; especially with paints, oils, and yes, even the cost of water. You can help alleviate some of that cost by being more effective in spraying with less liquid. The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can accomplish both of these objectives. By using compressed air, the liquid can be sheared into smaller micron-sized droplets. As a reference, if the diameter of a particle is reduced by one-half, this will multiply the number of droplets by eight. With a smaller diameter, it will increase the surface area and coverage of the droplets; thus, requiring less liquid in your application. In combination with a variety of spray patterns, you can accurately target the liquid onto the product instead of around the product. EXAIR manufactures three families of Atomizing Nozzles; Internal Mix, External Mix, and the Siphon Fed. In this blog, I will be focusing on the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles.
The External Mix Atomizing Nozzles are designed, like the name suggests, to atomize the liquid outside the nozzle. This means that the liquid and air streams will not come into contact until it reaches the outward atomizing area (reference photo above). Both the air and liquid supply will have to be pressurized, and they can be controlled independently. This type of Atomizing Nozzle will allow for higher viscous fluids, above 300 CPS, to be used in spraying applications. With the external mixing, it will help to reduce the drying effect of the solution and interrupting the system. EXAIR manufactures these nozzles with stainless-steel construction making them compatible with many different kinds of liquids and can be used in many applications like washing, coating, cooling, quenching, and dust control.
EXAIR carries three different body sizes in 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and ½” NPT ports; so, you can create a light mist or a monsoon. The maximum liquid flow rates through each body size is controlled by the air caps and liquid caps. These caps are easily interchangeable for each body size to modify the spray patterns, control the amount of fluid, and reduce any downtime if cleaning is required. The amount of liquid to be applied is easily adjusted by the inlet air pressure, liquid pressure, and the liquid adjusting stem. So, you can dial in the exact amount of fluid required for your process to eliminate any waste or excess. They have a compact design to mount inside tight areas, and we also carry mounting brackets for easy attachment and positioning. Versatility is very important in saving, applying, and spraying costly fluids, and the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles have it.
To help reduce excess fluid even more, EXAIR has a No Drip option. This patented design is used to keep the expensive liquid from dripping out of the Atomizing Nozzles during off cycles. When the compressed air is turned off, a valve inside the body will create a seal on the liquid side. For delicate applications, the unwanted drips will not occur with the No Drip option to ruin the finish of your product. This option also enhances the function of the External Mix Atomizing Nozzle for intermittent processes. It will keep the liquid inside the body of the nozzle; so, when air pressure is applied, the Atomizing Nozzle will give an instant spray. The minimum air pressure required to open the No Drip valve is 30 PSIG (2.1 bar) for the ¼” NPT and the ½” NPT port sizes, and 20 PSIG (1.4 bar) for the 1/8” port size; still allowing for flexibility in compressed air adjustments. Unlike some manufacturers, there is no need to run a separate compressed air line to operate the no drip function. The External Mix Atomizing Nozzles with the No Drip options can give you the best performance in efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility without any drips.
If you need to maximize the liquid dispersion and minimize liquid consumption, the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are the products to use. Even if you have a viscous fluid, the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles can still shear the drops into a fine mist, saving the amount of expensive consumable oils and liquids. If you have an application involving liquid spraying, an Application Engineer at EXAIR can help determine the correct model for you.
On first glance, the enclosure shown above looks to be fairly large for use with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. Our individual Cabinet Coolers have a maximum cooling capacity of 2,800 BTU/hr. (~820W), but we do provide dual Cabinet Cooler systems with capacities up to 5,600 BTU/hr. (~1642W). So, although there are heat loads which are too large for use with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler, we always perform heat load calculations for any potential application because until you run the numbers, you don’t really know.
In this case, however, the customer already knew the required cooling capacity (~3,000 BTU/hr. or 880W) thanks to an existing refrigerant based system already installed (see arrows above). This existing system was doing a great job of keeping the enclosure cool when it was working properly, but it was also prone to maintenance and breakdowns. The facility maintenance technicians had replaced filters as required on their preventative maintenance programs, but the A/C unit still required replacement multiple times. This would lead the maintenance team to open all the doors of the enclosure in an effort to remove heat, but this allowed dust and dirt to enter the cabinet and compromise the electronics inside.
Eventually, the maintenance, required repair, and exposure of sensitive electronics led this customer to search for an alternative solution, and they found the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. Once we determined the required cooling capacity and a suitable unit (model 4750 NEMA 4 Dual Cabinet Cooler System with 3,400 BTU/hr. (~1,000W) of cooling power), the discussion turned to installation and maintenance and we had a conversation something like this:
Customer: How much time do we need to hook up the Cabinet Cooler?
EXAIR: About five minutes.
Customer: That’s it!?
EXAIR: That’s it! I’ll send you a video of the installation process.
Customer: Ok, what about PM (preventative maintenance)?
EXAIR: There isn’t any. Just feed it with clean, filtered compressed air and it will run for years.
Customer: Ok, how do we turn it on and off?
EXAIR: Well, you don’t have to. You just install the thermostat and the system does the rest. It’ll maintain whatever temperature setpoint you chose and comes preset to 95°F (35°C).
Customer: What is the lead time?
EXAIR: They’re in stock and ship same day.
After working through the application and questions from the customer, we were able to provide a sustainable, readily available solution that was a marked improvement from the maintenance prone refrigerant based system. Our Cabinet Cooler allows for easy installation, no maintenance, and years of trouble-free operation. If you have an overheating enclosure contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We’ll be happy to help you find a suitable solution.
If you’ve ever cleaned around the house (and who hasn’t?), you’re probably familiar with atomized liquid spraying…it’s what happens when you squeeze the trigger on that bottle of cleaner that breaks down the stove top grease in the kitchen and the ring-around-the-tub in the bathroom.
There’s a variety of industrial and commercial applications that require an atomized liquid spray too…applications that are beyond the scope of an operator with a trigger-operated spray bottle. That’s where EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles come in. We have three types: Internal Mix, External Mix, and Siphon Fed. Depending on what you want to spray, and how you want to spray it, one of these is likely going to work better than the others for you. Today, we’re going to examine the Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles.
Better mist: Because the liquid & air come together inside the air cap, this results in very fine atomization.
Range of adjustment: Regulating either the liquid or air pressure supply will change the flow rate AND the flow pattern, giving each individual nozzle a wide performance band. The needle valve can “fine tune” the flow and pattern with even greater precision.
Area of coverage: With five patterns (Narrow or Wide Angle Round, Flat Fan, Deflected Flat Fan, and 360° Hollow Circular) and 72 distinct models to choose from, you can get spray patterns from 2″ (1/8 NPT Narrow Round Model AN8010SS) to 13 feet (1/2 NPT 360° Hollow Circular Model AT5010SS.)
Flow rate: Again, because of the many models available, you can get from 0.6 gallons/hour (Model AN8010SS again) to 264 gallons/hour (1/2 NPT Wide Angle Round Model AW5030SS.)
No-Drip option: The standard Models have a needle valve, which, as mentioned above, gives you the ability to make minute changes to the flow rate & pattern. If the application calls for rapid on/off control, or the chance of an errant drip after flow is not stopped might be a problem, the needle valve can be replaced with a No-Drip assembly. This positively shuts off liquid flow, at the exit of the liquid cap, when air pressure is secured.
Easy installation: All of our Atomizing Spray Nozzles have female NPT (1/8, 1/4, or 1/2) ports. The 1/8 and 1/4 NPT models can be adequately supported – and positioned – with a Stay Set Hose, and all models (even the 1/2 NPT) can be used with an appropriately sized Swivel Fitting. If you want to use your own tubes or hoses, we’ve got “clip-in” style Mounting Brackets.
Interchangeability: The only difference between any model of the same-size Atomizing Spray Nozzle is the Liquid and/or Air Cap. If your application’s liquid spray requirements change, or vary, you don’t need to replace the whole nozzle; just one (or in some cases, both) of the caps.
Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles are ideal for liquid viscosity up to 300cP and in situations where the liquid is (or can be) pressure fed. If you’d like to discuss a liquid spraying application and/or product selection, give me a call.
A few weeks ago, for the first time this season, I had to scrape ice off of my windshield before heading to work. Living in the Midwest, this is the first sign that winter is coming. The colder climate doesn’t just alter my typical morning rituals but it also brings with it much drier air. This dry air can create static problems in your facility that will wreak havoc on your processes and sometimes the operators.
I recently had the pleasure of working with a customer in Vietnam that was having some issues with static electricity in a labeling process. The company makes dishwashing liquid and before bottling they must label the PET bottles. They were not able to get the labels to properly adhere to the bottle. This forced them to periodically stop the line and have two operators manually rub the surface of the label to get it to stick properly. They knew there had to be a better way. After spending some time searching the internet for solutions, they stumbled upon the EXAIR website and reached out to us for help.
The solution was to install (2) 112012 12” Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives, one on either side of the bottles. They were installed at about a 45° angle with the airflow pattern against the direction of travel of the bottles. This counter-flow as we call it, maximizes the time in contact that the bottles have with the static eliminating ionized airflow. Mounting them in this manner gives the best possible chance of success in any static eliminating, cleaning, drying, or blowoff application. The airflow is able to reach the bottles much earlier up the line than if it were to be simply blowing perpendicular to the bottles.
Unfortunately in this case the customer was unable to quantify their production gains. But they were able to remove the additional process of manually fixing the labels and could operate continuously without interruption. By eliminating the tedious step of inspecting bottles and fixing the labels, worker morale and job satisfaction was significantly improved.
If the cold, dry winter climate has you worried about static issues in your facility, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to determine a solution from our wide range of Gen4 Static Eliminators.
In most “general” blowoff applications, the conical airflow pattern from a standard round shaped nozzle is ideal when trying to remove dust or light debris from the surface of a part or material. However in certain applications, a focused, laminar flow of air is required to produce the desired result, such as cleaning peanut butter from a fill nozzle or ejecting parts in a stamping operation.
EXAIR manufactures our 1″ Flat and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles, which provide a 1″ and 2″ (respectively) wide, forceful stream of high velocity, laminar airflow while consuming only a small amount of compressed air. Both the 1″ and the 2″ are available in Zinc Aluminum alloy, rated up to 250°F (121°C), or 316 Stainless Steel construction, rated up to 1,000°F (538°C)
Their unique design incorporates a specially designed, replaceable shim, to maintain a critical gap between the cap and body, resulting in the focused airflow. They are shipped from stock with a .015″ shim installed.
Using the optional shim kit, the shims can be changed out to .005”, .010” or .020”, which allow you to increase or decrease the force and flow by either opening or closing the gap, providing more or less force and flow to meet the demand of the application.
(Here’s a short video showing how easy it is to change out the shims)
We also offer our High Power versions of these nozzles which feature a thicker shim installed (0.025″) for applications requiring higher thrust and velocity.
When the topic of Air Amplifiers comes up, there are two avenues to consider – is it the air pressure or the air volume that you wish to amplify? There exists technologies to amplify either parameter, and we will examine them both.
There may be equipment or processes within a facility that operate best at air pressures higher than can be delivered, due to air compressor limitations or the supply system. An Air Pressure Amplifier can take the existing compressed air supply, and boost the pressure allowing for the higher needed air pressure without requiring a dedicated compressor capable of operating at the higher pressure.
An Air Pressure Amplifier is basically an air pump, driven by a portion of the compressed air supply. The pump cycles and compresses the remaining amount of compressed air to a higher outlet pressure. This higher output pressure can be used to operate the equipment or process that required the pressure levels that the base system could not supply. The drawback is that the pump system consumes a good amount of the compressed air volume, to power the pump which reduces the amount of air available for other equipment or processes. This drives up the compressed air consumption for the system, and requires the extra capacity to operate.
The other type of Air Amplifier is the kind that amplifies the air flow volume. EXAIR manufactures this type of amplifier.
The air flow amplification works by taking compressed air (1) and directing into an annular chamber (2). It is then throttled through a small ring nozzle (3) at high velocity. This primary stream of air adheres to the Coanda profile (4) and is directed through the outlet. A low pressure area is created at the center, inducing a high volume flow (5) of surrounding air to be drawn in and added to the main air stream. The combined flow of primary and surrounding air exits as a high volume, high velocity flow.
EXAIR manufactures (2) types of Air Amplifiers, the Super Air Amplifier and the Adjustable Air Amplifier. In addition, a special model for High Temperature applications is available. Sizes range from 3/4″ (19mm) to 8″ (203mm) to meet most air flow requirements. Air amplification ratios start at 12:1 for the 3/4″ model and increase to 25:1 for the 4″ and 8″ models.
Charts and tables are available to help determine the right Air Amplifier for the job.
If you have questions about the Air Amplifiers, or would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
A float glass company purchased an EXAIR model 110230 Super Air Knife kit to clean the surface of glass sheets. The production manager watched the video of the performance of the Super Air Knife, and he was amazed at the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety that they could provide. (We have many EXAIR Product videos here). After they received the Super Air Knife, they mounted it after the annealing process to remove any specks of dirt and debris prior to the final visual inspection. They were getting some false rejections from contamination that remained on the sheets, and they believed that they needed more force to better clean the surface of the glass.
The blowing system was operating at 73 PSIG (5 bar) air pressure, the maximum amount that could be supplied at the machine. With the dynamics of the Super Air Knife, the blowing force could be increased by changing the shim thickness. The plant manager contacted me about the characteristics in force and flow by changing from the standard 0.002” (0.05mm) thick shim to the 0.003” (0.08mm) or 0.004” (0.1mm) thick shim. (These shims are Included in the shim set for aluminum Super Air Knife kits along with a 0.001” (0.025mm) thick shim). As an Application Engineer at EXAIR, I was inquisitive about the application and wanted to do a “forensic” analysis of the system to generate the best suggestion. So, I had him send me pictures of their setup.
With non-conductive materials like glass and plastic, static can be a huge issue. Static forces can easily be generated and will cause dirt and debris to “stick” to a surface. This attraction is very strong and will make it very difficult to remove. If the static force can be neutralized, then the contamination can easily be removed from a non-conductive surface.
With this understanding, my initial suggestion for the company above was to remove the static charges from the surface of the glass with an EXAIR Static Eliminator. With the complimentary design of the Super Air Knife, it is simple to mount an Ionizing Bar directly to the Super Air Knife that they currently installed. I recommended a model 8030, 30” (762mm) long Gen4 Ionizing Bar, and a model 7960 Power Supply to transform the Super Air Knife into a Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife. The positive and negative ions that are generated by the Gen4 Ionizing Bar can be carried by the laminar air flow of the Super Air Knife to treat the surface. This combination can work well to remove static charges up to 20 feet (6m) away. Once the static is removed, the force of the air stream would easily remove any dust or debris from the glass surface.
As an added note from the picture above, I recommended a different position for the Super Air Knife, or soon to be Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife to optimize the blowing area. The glass company had the air knife positioned to blow straight across the surface of the glass. For proper cleaning and better contact time, I suggested to mount the Super Air Knife with the Ionizing Bar about 6” (152mm) above the surface of the glass and angle it to about 45 degrees. This would increase the contact angle and allow for a better blowing force to remove all the debris. By adding the Gen4 Ionizing Bar and adjusting the blowing angle, they were able to reduce the air pressure from 73 PISG (5 bar) to 30 PSIG (2 bar); saving compressed air and reducing false rejections.
Pictures are always helpful in analyzing an application. With the company above, we were able to optimize their cleaning process and reduce the total amount of compressed air required. If you find that you need more force to clean a non-conductive surface, EXAIR Static Eliminators will resolve these static problems. If you would like to discuss your application with an Application Engineer at EXAIR, we can go through the “forensics” analysis for optimization.