What exactly is an Air Amplifier?

We receive inquiries every once in a while for an ‘air amplifier’ where the customer is looking for a way to boost the pressure in their application so that they can do some specific task. The application is not anything special that requires some unusually high working pressure. The situation is that the customer’s compressed air system is poorly designed or the application using compressed air is hugely inefficient which results in an excessive pressure drop at the point of use. If you get enough applications trying to run with poor plumbing and poor set-up in place, the compressed air system can easily become over-taxed which can result in an overall system pressure drop.

An Air Amplifier, as we call it, would be a bit different from what these customers assume about the nature of operation. With our product, an Air Amplifier is a device that takes compressed air and exhausts it out, through an annular orifice, toward a target. In the process of exhausting, the Air Amplifier pulls in surrounding air volume (we measure it in SCFM). The rate at which the Air Amplifier multiplies the air volume moved is the amplification ratio. So, they amplify air volume (SCFM) and not air pressure (PSIG).

The next question becomes, “How would I use your Air Amplifier?”. In many cases, customers will need to move air toward a target for the purposes of cooling that target down fairly quickly. Another use might be to create an airflow in a duct to remove dust, fumes or other light particles. Click here for some interesting application photos

In many cases, customers will be using their compressed air to spot cool some specific area within a process and they are using an open-ended pipe to do so. This condition is extremely wasteful, unsafe and not as effective as it could be. For example, if a 3/8 NPT open pipe were blasting away on a target at 80 PSIG, that pipe would be consuming roughly 95 SCFM to do the task at hand. If that pipe simply had a 2″ Super Air Amplifier screwed right on the 3/8 NPT pipe thread, the air consumption would automatically drop to 15.5 SCFM and the customer would be moving 341 SCFM out toward their target; more than 3 times the air volume they were moving with just the open pipe; and with just 16% of the original compressed air as compared to the open pipe.

Air savings like this single example are an everyday occurence for customers who call in and get help with their cooling, blow-off and drying applications. The really interesting part is that 80 SCFM of air volume is saved from this one application and can now be used in other areas of the plant or just claimed as straight forward air (energy) savings. And so, if we can solve an individual application like this one that frees up compressor capacity for other applications, the other kind of  “air amplifier’ (read pressure booster) really becomes un-necessary for the customers original assumed purpose.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer

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