Vortex Tube Cooling Kit Provides Options

I recently took a call from a customer who was interested in using a Vortex Tube to cool his electronic controller but was unsure which model to use since the controller can reach different temperatures and heat loads during their manufacturing operation. We typically would recommend a Cabinet Cooler System for this type of application but the customer wasn’t able to mount the unit directly to the controller, so I recommended using our Model # 3930 Cooling Kit.

The Model # 3930 Cooling Kit includes our medium size Vortex Tube and all the generators, cold muffler, fitting, tubing and clips to duct the cold air and a filter separator for the supply line. The generator will  determine the flow rate, cooling capacity (Btu/hr.) and air consumption of the Vortex Tube during operation. The temperature drop of the Vortex Tube can be controlled by adjusting the valve in the hot end to change the cold fraction (the percentage of air being exhausted out of the cold end versus the amount of air being exhausted out of the hot end).

EXAIR Vortex Tube Performance Chart

As you can see in the above chart, operating at 80 PSIG supply pressure and having the cold fraction set at 20%, you would see a temperature drop of 115°F from supply temperature. Conversely, if you have the cold fraction set at 80%, you would see a temperature drop of 50°F from supply temperature. Different generators change to total volume of air through the Vortex Tube. A medium cooling kit contains generator sizes 15, 25, 30 and 40. These generators equate to Btu/Hr values of 1000, 1700, 2000 and 2800. The versatility of the medium Vortex Tube cooling kit allows customers to determine what volume of air, in combination with the cold fraction, will best suit the application. To change the generator you simply remove the cold cap and o-ring.

Vortex Tube Exploded View

Vortex Tube Exploded View

By ordering the Cooling Kit, the customer could change out the generator to provide more or less cooling capacity and airflow, while still allowing for easy adjustment of the cold fraction % via the hot end valve.

If you have a similar application, contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

What If Your Cabinet Is In An Extremely Hot Area?

As the weather starts to warm up we have already started getting calls about customers that are preparing for Summer time by installing Cabinet Cooler Systems on their enclosures.   This is not a lengthy process, in fact, we can hold races in the office to see who can do the calculations the fastest.  If we have a few simple pieces of information, we can even do the calculations and have a recommendation for the correct Cabinet Cooler System for your cabinet while you are on the phone with us.  What kind of information might we need you ask, just take a look at the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide below.  The only tools you will need are a tape measure and a thermometer.

EXAIR's Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide

EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide

So what happens if your ambient external air temperature is above 125°F?  For EXAIR, that is not a problem.  We offer a full line of High Temperature Cabinet Cooler Systems.  These are ideal for those really hot environments that may be near a furnace, boiler, or other hot process.  The best part is, we will know whether this is needed without you even having to ask for it.  All we need is the information on the Sizing Guide.

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EXAIR’s Dual High Temp Cabinet Cooler System Stands Up To Extreme Conditions

 

Whether your enclosure is in an everyday machine shop, out building with pumps and sensors, or right next to a steel mill, EXAIR will provide the best possible solution to keep the internals safe. Don’t let the summertime heat sneak up on you and cause you problems all you have to do is contact myself, or any one of my team members and we will help as quickly as possible.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Super Air Knife Cools Welded and Lacquered Seam in Metal Packaging Production

IMG_0290

Can form to be cooled by Super Air Knife

On a recent trip to Europe, I was invited to visit a packaging manufacturer who was using EXAIR equipment in a variety of applications. This particular application dealt with the cooling of metal spray cans after they were welded on the seam that runs the length of the can form and after that same seem had been sprayed with lacquer and dried using hot air to keep the welded seam from rusting.

The cans were formed into their round shape from a flat sheet that had all the artwork applied. Then, using a magnetic conveyor similar to the photo on the right above, the machine moves the can form past a welding head to secure the two sides together. The welding process puts quite a bit of heat into the metal and so the customer immediately cools the can with a 72” Aluminum Super Air Knife for that same distance along the travel of the conveyor. The can then enters an area where there is a small spray applicator to add the lacquer to the welded joint. After that, the can traverses through a heated tunnel to dry the lacquer. Finally, the can is cooled by another set of Aluminum Super Air Knives as you see in the photo below.

IMG_0294

Super Air Knives remove heat from the welded seam of a metal can

 

The heat affected area was quite small in relationship to the airflow area that was generated by the Super Air Knife at a few inches distance away from the can form. So, the cooling power that could be developed with a large quantity of regular, room temperature air was quite sufficient to get the can form to cool to the proper temperature before moving on to the next operation.

The Super Air Knife in this application was operating at 1 BARG inlet pressure and provided continuous coverage all along the cooling length of the conveyor. By cooling this metal seam quicker, the customer was able to increase their throughput on this process by roughly 30%.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com

 

Being a Manufacturer Who Improves Manufacturing Has Benefits – For You

On many of occasions EXAIR has benefitted from our own products. One of the fertile areas for testing, product development, and customer feedback are our own manufacturing and assembly processes. Yes, EXAIR is a real factory in Ohio with employees, machinery, and equipment that uses our products everyday. Being a production facility leaves us best suited to understand the abilities, challenges, and opportunities of our customers. Today, I want to point out how two of our products have helped us to make Intelligent Compressed Air products that exceed your expectations. The Ultrasonic Leak Detector and Chip Trapper have both been studied at our facility to measure and understand the real benefits and capabilities of our products for our customers. Below is their story.

Leak Detector

Ultrasonic Leak Detector, Model 9061

 

Famously, one of the original case studies for our Ultrasonic Leak Detector took place at 11510 Goldcoast Dr Cincinnati, OH. (That’s EXAIR Corporation’s address). As the biggest rival against wasted compressed air, having it at EXAIR would be inconsistent with our own philosophy – we just can’t have it. Our President, Bryan Peters wrote about the benefits of the Ultrasonic Leak Detector in a blog “Free Money!…”. In the blog, he details the mystery of the compressed air costs during times when our plant was not running. Compressed air was so expensive that was costing us money while we were closed. Using the ultrasonic leak detector, EXAIR was able to find our leaks and fix them. The leaks in our system were miniscule compared to some old and very large compressed air systems. But even with our relatively small leaks we were able to save ONE MILLION CF per year of compressed air. This lost compressed air results in significant energy consumption as your compressors try to keep up with the demand caused by the leaky air lines. Please stop wasting money and energy on compressed air leaks. Find them today with EXAIR Ultrasonic Leak Detector.

EXAIR's new Chip Trapper

EXAIR’s Chip Trapper

At EXAIR, we also deal with a  variety of metalworking coolants as we manufacture aluminum, brass, and stainless steel parts. Before we started using our Chip Trapper, our water based coolant would last around 2 months. After those six weeks, we would vacuum out the coolant. After the coolant is pumped out, we would then shovel out the chips that had settled in the bottom of the sump. This task is time consuming, and the smell is awful from the rancid coolant. We found that by using a Chip Trapper weekly. We could extend our coolant life to six months. Some may say that cleaning the coolant sumps weekly is adding work. That is an old mentality though because by removing chips from the coolant weekly we save hours of labor we used to consume every two months and clean up our coolant in minutes not hours.  Here is a video to learn more. Our machinists loved our final prototype so much they kept it. You know how machinists are. Don’t mess with their tools.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

 

Friction Measurement

I had a customer wanting to reject a container off a conveyor belt.  The container held fruit, and when an optic detected a reject, they wanted to operate a solenoid to have a nozzle blow the container into the reject bin.  They had a range of containers that went from 6 oz. (170 grams) to 5 lbs (2,270 grams).  He wanted me to suggest one nozzle for all sizes, as they would automatically regulate the pressure for the full range of container sizes.  In looking at the largest size, this container will need the most force to remove.  The two factors that affects the force in this application is weight and friction.  When it comes to friction, it is generally an unknown for customers.  Here are a couple of things to help in determining the friction in your application.

Strawberry Delight

Strawberry Delight

Friction is a dimensionless number that represents the resistance created between two surfaces.  We have two types; static friction, ms, and kinetic friction, mk.  Static friction is the maximum amount of resistance before the object begins to slide.  Kinetic friction is the amount of resistance that is created when the object is sliding.  So, Static friction is always greater than kinetic friction, ms > mk.  For this application, we will have the air nozzle shoot horizontally to hit the target.  This is the most common and efficient way.

Let’s take a look our customer’s application.  We have a system to reject a non-conforming part with air.  The conveyor is a urethane belt.  The container is plastic.  We need to determine the correct nozzle to reject the 5 lb (2,270 gram) container.

Being that the conveyor belt is only 12” (30.5 cm) wide, we can determine that if we get the part moving, it will continue off the belt and into the reject bin.  The equation for the maximum amount of force required to move the container is Fs = ms * W(Equation 1).

Fs – Static Force – lbs (grams)

m– Static Friction

W – Weight lbs (grams)

One way to determine the amount of force is to use a spring scale.  The spring scale should have a maximum indicator to help tell you the maximum amount of force.  You will have to attach the scale to the container on the conveyor belt. Static friction is the resistance between two surfaces; so, you will have to use the same conditions as required for the operation.  Keep the scale parallel to the conveyor.  While slowly pulling on the scale, watch the dial.  Once the part begins to move, record the weight.  For the exercise above, it showed 1.82 lbs (826 grams) of force to move the 5 lb (2,270 gram) object.

Another way would be to determine the static friction, ms.  Static friction can be found by the angle at which an object starts to move.  By placing the container on a section of supported urethane conveyor belt and lifting one end of the conveyor belt until the object starts to slide, you can measure the angle or the height of the lift.  As an example, we take 3 foot (0.9 meter) of supported urethane conveyor belt and we lifted one end to a height of 1 foot (0.3 meters) before the 5 lb (2,270 gram) container moved.  To determine static friction, it is the tangent of the angle that you lifted, ms = tan(B) (Equation 2 below).  In this example, B = 20o.  Therefore Equation 2 gives us, ms = tan(20o) = 0.364.  If we plug this into Equation 1, we get the following:

Imperial Units                                                    SI Units

Fs = ms * W                                                         Fs = ms * W

= 0.364 * 5 lbs                                                    = 0.364 * 2,270 grams

= 1.82 lbs of force                                               = 826 grams of force
Now that we have the static force, we want to be slightly higher than that.  In looking at the force requirements that are in the EXAIR catalog, it shows that a model 1104 nozzle has a 1.9 lb (850 grams) of force.  This is at a 12” (30.5 cm) distance with a pressure of 80 psig (5.5 bar).  This nozzle will be able to slide the largest containers into a reject bin. With pressure manipulation, the customer can also use this same nozzle for the smaller containers.  If you have any applications that need products to be moved, you can always contact the application engineers at EXAIR to help you with a solution.

Variety of Nozzles

Variety of Nozzles

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Image courtesy of Chobist, Creative Commons License

Super Air Knife Used in Mining Application

If you were to look at a graphical representation of the exports from some countries (such as Chile), copper, copper alloys, and other metals would dominate over 50% of the graph.  In order to get all of those metals exported out of the country, they first have to be mined and, in many cases, separated from other, undesirable items, such as rocks or dust.  And, in order to separate the materials, many end users place the products on a conveyor and blow off what isn’t wanted.

We receive calls and emails at EXAIR regularly for these types of applications.  Recently, I received one such email about an application in need of dust and dirt removal from a conveyor during a mining operation.  The conveyor belt had become overrun with dirt and debris that couldn’t be removed by conventional means.  So, the end user sought an alternative, and permanent solution.

It was at this point that the Super Air Knife was considered, and after measuring the width of the conveyor we realized a stock model 110018 would work well.  Following installation of the Super Air Knife, the dust and dirt was removed to within an acceptable level, and the end user sent me the pics below.

SAK in belt blow off 1

Model 110018 mounted above a conveyor

SAK in belt blow off 2

After the 110018 Super Air Knife

If you have an application that may benefit from an EXAIR solution, contact one of our Application Engineers.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Force And Flow…Which One Is The Right Tool For The Job?

If you’re even a casual, occasional reader of the EXAIR Blog, you know we write an awful lot about efficiency…namely, the ability of engineered products to conserve compressed air, while optimizing its effectiveness. Oftentimes, these blogs are inspired by a conversation we’ve had with a user of simple and inexpensive (but wasteful and unsafe) blow off devices, such as open-end tubing, or drilled pipes. The first thing the caller wants to talk about is the force produced by one of our products…will it be the same as what’s being currently used?

The quick answer is no. In fact, if you’re looking for maximum force, there’s no better way to get it than simply blowing compressed air out the end of an open pipe. This has to do with nothing more complicated that grade school science – converting the potential energy (due to the compression of the air) to kinetic energy (what happens when it’s put into motion.) See, with an open-end blow off, almost all of the potential energy is converted to force. Plain old brute force. And it works GREAT for blowing stuff around…the larger the opening, and the higher the supply pressure; the more air will flow, and faster. Thing is, to produce a good blow off, you don’t need maximum force.

EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to use some of that potential energy of the compressed air to entrain large amounts of “free” air from the surrounding environment. That’s the purpose of the jets recessed between the fins of our Super Air Nozzles, and the Coanda profile of our Air Knives, Air Wipes, & Air Amplifiers.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier are engineered to entrain enormous amounts of air from the surrounding environment.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier are engineered to entrain enormous amounts of air from the surrounding environment.

These designs reduce the amount of compressed air that is used, which reduces the load on your air compressor, which makes everyone happy (OK, maybe not that happy, but pretty happy still.) They also mean that your blow offs will be quieter, and safer.

Perhaps your application calls for higher force. If that’s the case, EXAIR’s Air Knives, Air Amplifiers, and Air Wipes can be fitted with thicker shims for additional flow and force. So can our Flat Super Air Nozzles. And our largest High Force Super Air Nozzles are capable of generating up to 23lbs (10.4KG) of force.

Perhaps, though, your application calls for the highest force that can only be achieved with an open-end blow off. If that’s the case, you can still meet OSHA compliance through the use of extra protective equipment, pressure relief valves, guarding devices, etc. But the costs of those measures can make the cost of engineered products pale in comparison, so I highly recommend you make sure of what you need.

If we can be of any assistance with that, give us a call.  We can discuss your application, and get you the right tool for the job.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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