A customer called me to help solve an issue with his dust collection system. They manufacture steel pipe in the range from ½” (13mm) to 6” (152mm) diameter. An operation was to cut the pipes to length and blow out the shavings. The pipe was laying flat, and they would slide one end of the pipe into an 8” (203mm) wide slot. This slot was located on the side of a sheet metal plenum. The plenum was the containment area and the entrance to their dust collection system. An operator would blow compressed air into the opposite end of the pipe to remove all the small shavings from inside the pipe and into the containment area. The slot had vinyl slats to help keep the metal shavings inside the plenum. The issue occurred with the larger diameter pipes. Because of the volume of air required to blow out the larger pipes, it would overcome the vacuum level and the metal shavings would migrate out. Thus affecting the integrity of the dust collection system.
The slot was 60” (1.5 meters) long and 8” (203mm) wide. I suggested our Super Air Knife kit, model 110260. The customer mounted the Super Air Knife above the slot to shoot air across the opening. It was roughly 3″ (76mm) away from the side and aimed slightly back toward the bottom of the slot. This would ensure any contamination to remain inside the plenum. When the customer had a batch of larger pipe, he would turn on the Super Air Knife. The air curtain barrier had enough force to keep the debris inside the plenum. The metal shavings remained inside the containment area, and it kept the area clean and safe.
Instead of purchasing a larger vacuum or dust collection system, a quick and simple solution was to use the EXAIR Super Air Knife. If you ever come across a situation where you need help with process challenges, you can always call EXAIR and speak to one of our Application Engineers.