Stepping Over $$$ to Save a Nickel

It perplexes me  how many times I run into blow off applications using open pipes with their ends smashed down. I guess being in the business so long I forget that at one time I too was uninformed how wasteful and inefficient this practice is.

With our nation becoming energy conscious, compressed air conservation should be foremost in the minds of process engineers. The Compressed Air Challenge Organization, a D.O.E. sponsored group, recommends the use of Intellegent Compressed Air Products  like the Super Air Knife, Super Air Amplifier, and Super Air Nozzles.

Here is the latest application that I did with a company that makes brake rotors. In a machining operation they were using open pipe to blow out chips. When they came to me they were focused on chip control and were unaware of  how much compressed air they were wasting and that open pipe is in violation of an OSHA directive.

As you can see in the picture, they were using three 3/8″  tubes.


Consulting the engineering tables, at 80 PSI these will consume 87 SCFM of compressed air each for a total of 261 SCFM. Actual consumption would be less because the ends where squished down Assuming a conservative 30% we estimated 78 SCFM air usage.

They istalled a Model 120020 Super Air Amplifier which uses only 6.1 SCFM of compressed air and delivers 219 SCFM of air onto the product.


Doing the math, we saved 65.8 SCFM of air and delivered 141 CFM more air onto the product which is why this setup blew the chips away more effectively than the open pipe. Sound levels went down to 68 dbA and they became OSHA compliant because the Air Amplifier cannot be dead ended.

Based on a 3-shift, 250-day workyear, annual compressed air savings amounted to $7800. Pretty nice cost savings for the price of a $71 air amplifier!

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

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