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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