I have a manufacturing background primarily with automotive and plastic injection molding. I used compressed air but I will admit that I did not know the difference between Laminar and Turbulent air flow. You’ll often hear EXAIR refer to laminar vs turbulent flow when discussing our blow off of products. I will briefly describe the difference between the two and hopefully we all learn something new. In any blow off process or application, laminar airflow is going to be much more effective at eliminating pressure drops, blowing product and reducing noise levels than the turbulent air flow. To read more about the math behind it, check out my colleague John Ball’s previous post here.
A good example of an EXAIR product that delivers a laminar air flow are our Super Air Knives. The super air knife offers a more efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs or conveyors. They deliver a uniform sheet of “Laminar” airflow across the entire hard-hitting force. The Super Air Knives deliver a uniform sheet of air that has the same force across the entire length.
The efficiency of EXAIR’s Super Air Knife delivering the laminar air flow becomes more valuable when comparing the effectiveness to a blower operated knife or fans. A fan “slaps” the air, resulting in a turbulent airflow where the airflow particles are irregular and will interfere with each other. A laminar airflow, by contrast, will maintain smooth paths that will never interfere with one another, which allows for maximum velocity and can produce higher force levels.
EXAIR had a customer needing help applying icing on snack cakes. As baked sponge cakes moved down a conveyor, a continuous ribbon of icing was applied to the individual cakes. Trying to make a clean break in the icing was next to impossible. Mechanical blades needed constant cleaning. Compressed air through a series of holes in drilled pipe used too much air, was noisy and did not make a clean break.
The solution was using an EXAIR Stainless Steel Super Air Knife. A photo eye detected space between cakes turning the compressed air on at the precise moment to apply a uniform airflow and velocity against the ribbon of icing, creating a nice clean break. The stainless steel Air Knife was the best choice for this application. Since there was no contact with the icing, no additional cleaning was required. The Laminar flow of the Super Air Knife had uniform velocity across the entire length and broke the ribbon of icing evenly. This successful result would never have been possible with turbulent air from drilled pipe, nozzles or a blower.
The Super Air knives are just one of many of EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air products. When planning your next project that requires compressed air please contact one of our many Application Engineers for assistance. EXAIR takes pride in our products and customer service.