Variety – The Key for Successful Applications No Matter the Conditions

 

EXAIR has been manufacturing Intelligent Compressed Air® products since 1983.  In the beginning, the Standard Air Knives and Full Flow Air Knives were very effective at that time.  But as leaders in this market, EXAIR did not want to stop there.  We were able to engineer a more efficient, more powerful, and much safer air knife, the Super Air Knife.  In this blog, I will discuss the features and benefits that the Super Air Knives can offer. 

Bernoulli’s principle explains how a high velocity fluid can generate a low pressure.  The Super Air Knife creates that high velocity air stream to produce a low pressure above and below the opening to entrain ambient air.   What does this mean for you?  It will save you much money by using less compressed air.  The mass of the free ambient air is added into the air stream to give a strong blowing force.  The Super Air Knife has an amplification ratio of 40:1. For every 1 part of compressed air, 40 parts of ambient air is drawn into the blowing air stream.  Ambient air is free, and compressed air is definitely not.  EXAIR was able to engineer a design to use the Bernoulli’s principle to make one of the most efficient air knives in the market place.   

Super Air Knife

As a benefit, they blow a laminar air stream which reduces noise levels and create a consistent force along the entire length.  An even force will give you tighter control for blowing applications which will cut compressed air usage unlike the inconsistent and turbulent air flows caused by drilled pipes, manifolds of nozzles or blower-type systems.  Some other interesting features for the Super Air Knives are that they have a compact design to fit into tight places for blowing and cooling.  The footprint is very small as compared to blower-air knife systems.  They do not have any moving parts to wear or maintenance to do.  They only need clean compressed air to work. 

What else makes the Super Air Knives unchallenged?  We manufacture and stock the widest range in lengths and materials.  To start, Super Air Knives range from 3” to 108” (76mm to 2,743mm) in three different materials; aluminum, 303 stainless steel, and 316/316L stainless steel.  There is no-one else in this industry that can manufacture to those lengths.  EXAIR also offers Super Air Knives in PVDF material with Hastelloy hardware for chemical resistant applications from 3” to 54” (76mm to 1,372mm).  Depending on the temperature requirement, chemical resistance, OSHA and FDA regulations, or application details, we probably will have one on the shelf for you. 

If EXAIR does not stock it, we make special air knives in different lengths and materials to best fit your application.  In some confined areas, the Super Air Knives may have to fit inside a specific width or footprint.  Well, EXAIR can make it to that specific length in a short period.  We have also made special designed Air Knives that were very thin, curved, double-sided, and with distinct mounting holes to easily attach to specific machines or operations.  And if you need a special material, like the PVC Super Air Knife below, we can do that.  EXAIR has a team of Application Engineers that can help you with the design, configuration, and details for special types of Super Air Knives. 

PVC Super Air Knife

Double-sided Super Air Knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also offer the Super Air Knives in kits as a more complete system.  The kit includes a filter, regulator and a Shim Set.  The filter removes the debris and water from the compressed air line to optimize the performance of the air knife as well as keeping your product clean.  The regulator is used to make the “fine” adjustment to the blowing force while the shim set is used as the “coarse” adjustment.  EXAIR sells this kit as one model number for simple ordering, and the accessories are properly sized to not hinder the performance of the Super Air Knife.

Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.

With the today’s cost to make compressed air, it is important to do it as efficiently as possible.  The EXAIR Super Air Knives are the most efficient as well as safe and effective.  And if you need a specific design for your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be glad to help you. 

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR’s 3″ Super Air Knife Replaces Cheap, Inefficient Plastic Nozzles on Beverage Processing Line

I recently worked with a beverage manufacturer in replacing some inefficient and cheap plastic nozzles on one of their processing lines. The customer manufactures a wide variety of various beverages for consumer use, packaging them into juice-box containers. After sealing, the boxes go through a washdown process to remove any residual that may have spilled onto the outside of the container during filling.

Upon exiting the washer, they travel along a 3” wide conveyor where they’re dried by (2) plastic flat nozzles. After drying, the boxes make their way to a printer that marks the manufacturing codes and expiration date on the top of the container. If any residual moisture is present, they do not receive a legible marking. Since the boxes were not always dead-center on the conveyor, they had to stagger two nozzles in order to ensure the top of the box was dried regardless of its orientation on the conveyor.

Their search for a more efficient solution led them to the EXAIR Super Air Knife. Not only was the knife significantly more efficient, but it was also able to dramatically reduce the sound level as well. The current nozzles consume 56.8 SCFM at a pressure of 80 PSIG. The two nozzles were replaced with (1) Model 110003 Super Air Knife and Universal Mounting System. The knife was positioned directly over top of the boxes, covering the full width of the conveyor. In comparison, the 3” Super Air Knife consumes just 8.7 SCFM of compressed air AND we only needed to use one of them. The customer runs two 8-hr shifts per day, 7 days per week. Exactly how much did they save (assuming $0.25/ 1000 SCF cost of compressed air)?

Before EXAIR: (2) nozzles consuming 56.8 SCFM

56.8 SCFM x 16hrs x 365 days/year = 331,712 SCF of compressed air per year

331,712 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $82.93/ year

After EXAIR: (1) 3” Super Air Knife consuming 8.7 SCFM

8.7 SCFM x 16hrs x 365 days/year = 50,808 SCF of compressed air per year

50,808 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $12.70/ year

This equates to a 75% reduction in compressed air usage per installation. The customer had a total of (4) lines running with the same setup and was able to replace each with a 3” Super Air Knife. In addition to the air savings, the sound level was reduced from 85 dBA to just 69 dBA with the Super Air Knife!

Stop wasting your time with cheap and ineffective plastic nozzles. They’re wasting you a ton of money on your bottom line, not to mention can’t stand up to the ruggedness of our Super Air Knife. Replacing any inefficient blowoff products with an engineered solution can really help during these difficult times, as well as improve the working environment for your operators.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR_TD
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

What’s So Great About Threaded Line Vac Pneumatic Conveyors?

Conveyor systems come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations. They can be run at different speeds, and are made of various materials, depending what they’re carrying, and why they’re carrying it. And sometimes, they’re hilarious:

If you’re looking to move solids, in bulk, through pipe, there’s not a simpler way to do it than with an EXAIR Threaded Line Vac.  Like our ‘standard’ Line Vacs, they use compressed air to generate a powerful vacuum flow to get air behind the pieces and carry them along:

Instant conveyor – just add compressed air.

But, while the ‘standard’ Line Vacs are made for use with Conveyance Hose, the Threaded Line Vacs have male NPT threads so you can pipe them in line.  We have a range of options, depending on the nature of your applications:

  • Sizes: 3/8 NPT to 3 NPT.
  • Materials: aluminum, 303SS, 316SS, and hardened alloy.
  • Performance: aluminum, 303SS and 316SS Threaded Line Vacs are made for standard duty; the hardened alloy Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vacs offer higher vacuum performance as well as superior abrasion resistance.
  • Environment: the materials of construction listed above may be important because of the nature of the product being conveyed, but they also have different temperature ratings.  Our Stainless Steel Line Vacs also come in a High Temperature design, in case the material – or the environment – is particularly hot:
    • Aluminum: 275°F (135°C)
    • Heavy Duty Hardened Alloy: 400°F (204°C)
    • 303 or 316SS: 400°F (204°C)
    • High Temp 303 or 316SS: 900°F (482°C)

If you’ve got a conveyor application you’d like to discuss, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Vortex Tubes: What is a Cold Fraction?

Have you ever needed a source of cold air but don’t want to invest in a costly chiller? INTRODUCING Vortex Tubes! Vortex Tubes use compressed air and contain no moving parts to create a cold and hot stream of air from either end of the device. Using the valve located on the hot stream a vortex tube can achieve temperatures as low as -50°F (-46°C) and temperatures as high as 260°F (127°C).

When the vortex tube is supplied with compressed air the air flow is directed into the generator that causes spin into a spiraling vortex at around 1,000,000 rpm. This spinning vortex flows down the neck and wall of the hot tube. The control valve located on the end of the hot tube allows a fraction of the hot air to escape and what does not escape reverses direction and travels back down the center of the tube and exhausts out of the cold end. Inside of the low-pressure area of the larger outer warm air vortex, the inner vortex loses heat as it flows back to the cold end of the vortex and as it exits the vortex expels cold air. The absolute temperature drop that occurs during this process is going to be controlled by the cold fraction of the Vortex Tube and the supply pressure.

The brass screw used to control the cold fraction of a vortex tube

The cold fraction is defined as the amount of the inlet supply air that will exit out of the cold end of the vortex tube. An example would be if I had 10 SCFM supplied to a vortex tube with 60% cold fraction, then 6 SCFM would be exiting the cold discharge. Cold based on the amount of air you allow out of the hot end of the vortex tube you can control the temperature drop of the cold air. A smaller cold fraction which only allows a small amount of air to exit the cold discharge will result in a larger temperature drop; and vise versa a larger cold fraction will result in a much smaller temperature drop.

Table the shows the temperature drop and rise in correlation with the cold fraction and pressure

Here a EXAIR we have designed our vortex tubes to operate optimally at both a high cold fraction and a low cold fraction. The 32XX series designed to give you the best refrigeration, which means it will work well for cold fractions ~60% – 80%. This will give you a smaller temperature drop with more air flow which allows you to keep things cool much easier. This contrasts with the 34XX series which is designed more optimal performance at lower temperatures; this means the optimal cold fraction would be ~20% to 40%. Cold fractions this low will produce very little air flow but the temperature will be very cold (as low as -50°F). This is useful if you need to get an item down to a very low temperature.

If you have any questions about compressed air systems or want more information on any of EXAIR’s products, give us a call, we have a team of Application Engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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