So… You went and got yourself a Super Air Knife. Now what?

So you went and got yourself a Super Air Knife and now you need to mount it, and start “cutting”. There are a few things we need to review in order to get these installed and functioning correctly. First, let’s take a moment and make sure that your compressed air system has enough air to run this Super Air Knife at its optimal level. Number 1-9 of the top 10 reasons these do not work are linked to the customers lack of air to the Super Air Knife. Step one of this process is to make sure that you have a pressure gauge at the point of use of your Super Air Knife. Knowing that your plant runs 120 psig throughout the system is not a measurement, there are many things that can inhibit this performance from point A to the point of use… Engineering best practices are to have a pressure gauge at each point of use.

Next, we need to make sure your compressor is large enough. At 80 psig, you will need 2.9 SCFM per INCH of Super Air Knife (see table below). 3rd grade math tells us that a 36″ Super Air Knife will need 104.4 SCFM to run efficiently at 80 psig. When given the correct amount of air, this should feel as if you are driving down the road at 50 MPH and you put your hand out the window. This 50 MPH example is true for any length of air knife, at 80 psig, as long as there is enough SCFM. If your Super Air Knife does not feel this way, it is not getting the air it needs…

Back to the 104.4 SCFM. A general rule of thumb is that 1 HP give us @4 SCFM. So in this example, you will need at least a 27 HP compressor to run this 36″ Super Air Knife, and ONLY this Super Air Knife. When sizing EXAIR products, we have to look at the air pressure, and the air volume. One will not work without the other.

Now as we look at this 27 HP (108 SCFM) of compressed air coming to this 36″ Super Air Knife, we need to address how it is getting to the Super Air Knife. How far away from the air compressor is it? Even though the inlet size on the Super Air Knife is 1/4″ NPT, the line from the compressor needs to be big enough to bring the right amount of air to the Super Air Knife. Right off the bat, I can see that any line smaller than a 3/4″ will not work, regardless of how close it is to the compressor. I can also see that this 3/4″ line will only work if the Super Air Knife is 20′ or less away from the compressor. When you bump the line size to 1″, this will allow you to be up to 100′ away. If you have questions on your line sizes, please feel free to ask us to help.

So now that we are confident you have the right amount of air at the point of use, we are ready to mount this bad boy. Obviously we want to look at the angles and positioning, and something we call counter flow. We generally want the air from the Super Air Knife stay in contact with the surface it is cleaning (blowing, cooling, warming, coating, covering etc…) for the maximum amount of time possible. To accomplish this, we need counter flow as seen in the picture to the right. Basically the air is blowing in the opposite direction that the belt is moving.

The last part to discuss here is the physical practicalities of mounting the Super Air Knife. One option is our handy dandy Universal Air Knife Mounting kit seen here to the left. These are a perfect solution for easy and quick installation. You can simply adjust the angles and tighten. You can eventually add thread lock, or something similar for permanent installation. You may need more than one. We recommend one for Air Knives up to 23″, for those 24″-54″ Air Knives we recommend two, 55″-71″ = three, 72″-95″ = four and 96″-108″ = five of these.

This is not the only way to mount these. There are size 1/4″-20 screws every 2 inches in the Super Air Knives. You can simply remove these screws, and attach any type of brace, or mounting bracket to these holes. If our screws are not long enough to fit your bracket, these are pretty easily found locally.

The Super Air Knives is an amazing tool. It can assist in many ways. If you would like to discuss more about these, or any other EXAIR product, please reach out.

Thank you for stopping by,

Brian Wages

Application Engineer

EXAIR Corporation
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Cover picture by PIRO4D and licensed by Pixabay

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