Not All Quick Disconnects Are Equal

Quick disconnect pneumatic fittings have been a staple in any manufacturing facility I have ever visited in my 10+ years as part of the manufacturing world.   The fact is, they have been around for a lot longer than 10 years.   The style we see most often is the 1/4″ Quick Disconnect Fitting, and we are typically troubleshooting a lack of air volume problem because they are not sized properly for the application.  These can be found in any industrial supply companies catalog, your local hardware stores, and even auto parts stores.   Quick Disconnects are even sold with certain EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping products, the key being they are properly sized.

Properly sizing the quick disconnect is a critical step in the process of deciding how to lay out your piping system as well as how to ensure products operate at optimal performance.  As you can see in the picture above, the two quick disconnects on the left are both larger quick disconnects as well as larger NPT thread sizes.   The two on the right are smaller and probably a bit more common to see.  Also notice the thread sizes on each, these are also manufactured in many other NPT thread options.   The through hole on the quick disconnects is decided by the size of the QD, not the thread size on the other end.   The example I am illustrating is comparing the 3/8 NPT and 1/4 NPT quick disconnects: Even though you can have 3/8 NPT threads, your throat diameter of the QD is still restricted to .195″ I.D., the same as the 1/4 NPT.  This can be a large restriction on a product with a 3/8 NPT thread size.

The Inner Diameters of the Quick Disconnects

Also to be noted is that all QD’s of the same size are not made equally, tests have shown that you can lose as much as 20 psi through a quick disconnect and up to 40 psi when not properly matched with the female QD.   This leads to the next step which is to ensure that you are not purchasing a QD on appearance.  MAke sure to choose the QD designed to permit the amount of air you need to operate your point of use product without a volume or pressure loss.

These two points are reasons why quick disconnects can diminish your point of use compressed air product performance.  If you have questions on which size to use with your EXAIR product or need help determining why your point of use product is not performing how you would like, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Remove Irritants in the Work Place

Saving Money and Compressed Air
Save Money, Reduce Noise, and Minimize Compressed Air Use

We are having a mild winter in Cincinnati, Ohio, and even though the poison ivy seems dead, you can still catch it. My sweetheart was collecting brush, and in two days, she broke out.  She had a rash on her arms, legs, face, and stomach.  And if you ever had poison ivy, you know how itchy it is.  The problem is that if you itch it, you can spread it.

It started me to think of things that are a nuisance in manufacturing, like noise exposure to personnel and wasted costs within processes. The Intelligent Compressed Air Products by EXAIR can reduce noise levels and electrical costs.  One very simple exercise would be to locate all your open pipes that use compressed air.  They can be located on machines to blow off debris and even on the end of air guns.  For every open type pipe, place an EXAIR Super Air Nozzle on the end of it.  You will notice very quickly that the noise level is reduced.  It can drop the noise by as much as 40 decibels.  The other thing that you will notice is your monthly electric bill.  By adding our Super Air Nozzles to the end of your inefficient blow off pipes, you can be saving over $1,000/year for every open type pipe.

If you have poison ivy, I would suggest calamine lotion or here are some additional tips. If you have high noise levels and high energy costs, then I would suggest EXAIR products.  You can discuss how EXAIR can save you money and reduce your noise level by contacting one of the Application Engineers at EXAIR.

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

Vortex Tubes & Back Pressure

EXAIR Vortex Tubes are designed and manufactured to be the ideal solution for spot cooling applications.  They are ideal for end of arm tooling, in process checks, post welding, even to try and set a molten material before additional processing.   The Vortex Tubes work amazing with direct exposure to the point that needs to be cooled.   What if I had a 12″ wide weld that I was trying to cool in order to keep the heat from warping the material, could I simply connect a Super Air Knife that is 12″ long to the cold air output of a Vortex Tube?   The answer is you physically can, but the performance will not be optimal.

Cooling with the Vortex Tube
The EXAIR  Vortex Tube

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EXAIR Super Air Knife
EXAIR Super Air Knife

The reason behind this is the Vortex Tubes performance continues to diminish as back pressure increases.  Once you reach 3 psig of back pressure you will begin to see decreased cooling in the cold air flow, once you reach 5 psig of back pressure the temperature out of the cold end of a vortex Tube can be as much as 5 degrees Farenheit warmer than without any back pressure at all. While a  Vortex Tube is capable of feeding cold air into a Super Air Knife it will be under significant back pressure and eliminate much of its cooling capacity. The Super Air Knife also becomes a heat sink which absorbs a great deal of the Vortex Tube’s cold air.

How an EXAIR Vortex Tube Works
How an EXAIR Vortex Tube Works.

To think about why the Vortex Tube reacts that way, think of the Vortex Tube as a pipe tee.   If you put compressed air into one leg and put no restrictions on the other two, a.k.a. the hot and cold end, the air flows freely out both open legs,  now if you start to restrict flow by adding piping and other restrictions, a.k.a. a Super Air Knife, onto one leg and leave the other leg open, then you will simply get decreased flow out of the restricted side and more flow out of the open leg. The good news is, if you have an application where a slight back pressure on the cold outlet is not avoidable then you can compensate for this and we can help you as long as we know all the variables.

That still doesn’t really help me with cooling my 12″ wide weld. What I would recommend in the scenario of cooling a longer length would be to try and control the volume of the area you need to cool.  In other words, if you could put a tube around the weld area where you can blow just the cold air down this cooling tunnel then you would have a controlled volume of air that will be much easier to maintain a cool temperature and keep the airflow against the surface of the part.

If you would like to discuss a cooling application, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Heavy Duty Line Vac Moves Glass Bead and Does Not Wear

IMG_5688 (640x480)
Crushed glass test media

The question came in the other day about whether our Line Vac product has ever been used to transport glass beads before. Our Line Vacs have been used in a variety of applications from Cleaning up a CNC Sawing Application to Transferring Alumina Desiccant and keeping tension on a Trim Scrap Removal Application. So we are quite familiar with the creative ways in which a Line Vac can be used to make industrial conveying and tensioning applications more effective.

The real question that the customer was asking though is, “Will your Line Vac product hold up to abrasive material moving through it?” The answer is yes, it will. We have engineered a material and hardening process for our Heavy Duty series of Line Vac product, which gives superior resistance to abrasion from the kinds of materials that are intentionally used to “blast away” surface rust, debris, or paint from surfaces, usually to prepare them for some sort of coating. In fact, during the testing phase of development, we tested a variety of very harsh, abrasive materials through the Heavy Duty Line Vac  continuously, long term, until we arrived at just the right combination of material and hardening process that provided us with little to no wear effect from the abrasive material.

150100 Heavy Duty Line Vac
150100 Heavy Duty Line Vac

So, whether you have a job to clean up after a bead blast operation or need to transfer an abrasive material from one tank to another, the Heavy Duty Line Vac product is definitely something you will want to consider for the job.

Contact us to discuss your application today!

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
EXAIR_NR

 

 

Ion Air Gun Used by the Quality Control Department

A Quality Control department had static issues when analyzing color swatches. Their production process was screen printing on polycarbonate sheets.  They had our Super Ion Air Knives and Ion Bars in their production process to remove static and debris.  During the die cutting operation, a color swatch was removed for QC to inspect.  They would use an instrument to verify the color and clarity.  During the inspection, they would periodically have a rejection.  In inspecting the swatches, they noticed a lot of debris that was collected on the surface.  This would affect the reading of the instrument.  They tried to wipe off the debris, but because of the static build-up on the surface, it was hard to remove all of it.  Being that they were familiar with EXAIR products, they contacted us and I suggested our Ion Air Gun.  The ions would remove the static while the air flow would remove the dust.  Once in use, the reliability of the inspection instrument was much improved.

Ion Air Gun
Ion Air Gun

One of our more versatile Static Eliminator products is the Ion Air Gun. You can turn the unit on and start blowing ionized air to remove static and contaminants from lenses, sheets, plastic wrap, plastic products and other materials holding a static charge.  It comes with a 3 meter cable to give you a long reach and a High Velocity Air Jet that produces a large amplification ratio to reduce the amount of compressed air use.  The ergonomic, light-weight, and rugged design makes it an effective air gun to remove both static and debris.

In this instance, the Ion Air Gun was a nice accessory for the QC department to clean surfaces before inspection. It made their job more effective and less time consuming.  If static is a big issue, you can always contact an Application Engineer for help.

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

Enjoy Your Family and Friends

As many of us gather together for the holidays we may get to see (or have to see) family members and old friends we do not normally visit. I particularly enjoy this time of year (not only for the food) but I get to see my 2 cousins, 1 who lives in Texas and the other in North Carolina. This is the only time we can ALL get together and this year is a little more special as one of my cousins gets to meet our new son for the first time.

My family celebrates the same way a lot of families do, by preparing a lot of food, complete with all the trimmings. As most families have their own tradition, mine isn’t much different. After we say grace, we start at one end of the table and work our way around so everyone has a chance to give thanks for their blessings. I personally am thankful for more than words could ever express. I have a beautiful wife, who supports me through all life’s craziness. I’m blessed beyond measure to have 2 wonderful, healthy boys who I cherish more than anything and a family I can confide in and turn to whenever needed.

The other thing I have been particularly blessed with is my job. I have an awesome job! I am truly thankful that I work for a company who values it’s customers and it’s employees just the same. I have only been here a short time, but it has truly been the best year and a half of my career.

Our offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday of this week and next week so our employees can celebrate Christmas and the new year with their families. Everyone has a tradition, and whatever yours is, I hope you celebrate to the fullest and enjoy each other’s company. We never know what tomorrow brings so be thankful for the days you have and live life to it’s fullest. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN