Blowing Aluminum Chips From A Machine Spindle

Machine spindle in need of efficient blow off

When a CNC tool change occurs, it is not uncommon for there to be some residual debris still in the workspace.  The machining process creates chips, fines, and material strings which can litter the machine from top to bottom.  Most of these chips are collected or blown away, but sometimes debris can elude these collection methods.

Such was the case for an EXAIR customer earlier this week.  Their existing systems were doing a decent job of keeping the workspace debris contained, but there was a limitation when it came to the machine spindle.   When the collet of the spindle would change, small chips and fines would contaminate the area.  These chips and fines would then disrupt the surface-to-surface contact between the spindle and collet, resulting in improper fit and an inability to use the tooling.

Alternate view of the workspace

What this application needed was an efficient way to blow off the spindle, but there was a catch – the blow off couldn’t be any closer than 12”, to allow any tool changes to take place without crashing.  Fortunately, we have a wide variety of air nozzles with a full range of force values.

So, we only needed to determine the compressed air supply available for the application.  From there, we would be able to determine applicable nozzles and their force values, thereby determining which nozzle/s to use.

Normally when I inquire about compressed air supply the customer has a reciprocating or screw compressor, producing a few hundred SCFM.  In this case, the customer had centrifugal compressors producing over 25,000 SCFM of compressed air!  But, while this creates some excess in terms of compressed air availability, it doesn’t change our approach to the solution.  The blow off solution should still use the least amount of compressed air possible.

We came to select model HP1125SS to provide the needed blow off, using two nozzles aimed at the spindle from a distance of 12”.  Just prior to tool changes and/or collet changes, and during the change process, the HP1125SS nozzles will turn on, removing any chips, strings, fines, or residual coolant from the area.  Each HP1125SS nozzle will produce 2.2 pounds of force at the required distance of 12”, enough to remove any debris found in the machining center.

Through a phone call and a series of emails we were able to help this customer find a solution to their blow off needs.  If you have a similar need or an application you think could benefit from an EXAIR solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.


Lee Evans
Application Engineer

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