How To Make Your Own Air Wipe – And Why You Shouldn’t

If you have the right tools and a basic knowledge of metalworking, it’s not all that difficult to make a device to blow off wire, hose, or tubing that can be passed through. You just drill a hole through the center of a piece of bar stock (for the material to pass through), drill a couple of angled holes from opposite outside surfaces to the center hole you just drilled (for the air to blow through) and tap the start of those holes to thread your air supply line fittings into. You can even get fancy and cut it in half axially & hinge one side, so you don’t have to thread your material through it every time.

Will it work? Probably marginally. Will it be loud & inefficient? Definitely. Is there a better solution? Yes…and EXAIR has a shelf full of them.

What I described in my opening paragraph is a typical ‘block type’ air wipe device. If you don’t have the aforementioned right tools or metalworking acumen, you can buy them from a number of sources. They’re usually pretty cheap, and with a little engineering, their marginal performance can be improved, but there’s no getting around the noise level and inefficient compressed air use. The added air consumption, in fact, will steal your savings on the low purchase price in a hurry.

Come October, EXAIR will have been making quiet, efficient, and safe compressed air products for 40 years. Among these engineered products is our line of Air Wipes.

On the left is one of the ‘block style’ air wipe devices I described above. On the right is an EXAIR Super Air Wipe.

Engineered products like our Air Wipes offer a host of benefits. Consider:

  • Effectiveness. The block styles, by design, blow air through open-ended holes in the passage. Not only is this (again, by design) unevenly distributed around the perimeter of the material passing through, it’s also turbulent in nature…the force of the air flow really just impinges, or beats, on the surface. The EXAIR Air Wipe, by comparison, generates an even, steady 360° converging air flow that, by design, is laminar in nature…this makes for a stripping/sweeping action for superior cleaning/drying/blowoff of the material passing through.
  • Low sound level. The air flow coming out of the internal holes in the block style device can be ear-piercingly loud. An open ended discharge like that converts the potential energy of the compressed air to kinetic energy in the form of force, and noise. The EXAIR Air Wipe uses a relatively lower flow of compressed air to entrain surrounding air which, when forced to converge on the material via the Air Wipe’s Coanda profile, results in a much lower sound level. The Model 2399 3/8″ Super Air Wipe shown above, for example, generates a sound level of only 82dBA with an air supply pressure of 80psig.
  • Efficiency. Even if the holes in the block style device are as small as 1/4″ in diameter, they can still be flowing as much as 33 SCFM, each, with a supply pressure of 80psig. The 3/8″ Super Air Wipe, by comparison, uses only 11.1 SCFM @80psig.
  • Ease of installation. This is where the block style comes closest to competing, but the EXAIR Air Wipe still wins out. While both of the products in the above photos are a split design (meaning you don’t have to thread the material through), the EXAIR Air Wipes only require one air supply line (due to the connecting hose assembly that evenly distributes air to both halves), and the smaller ones (like the 3/8″ and 1/2″ models) can be supported by the air supply line itself, if you use pipe.

EXAIR makes Air Wipes as small as 3/8″, and as large as 11″. Standard Air Wipes feature aluminum construction, polyester shims, and a PVC/rubber/brass connector hose. Super Air Wipes have stainless steel shims & hardware, a braided stainless steel connector hose, and come in aluminum or stainless steel construction. And they’re all on the shelf, available for immediate shipment.

Air Wipe Kits come with the Air Wipe itself, a Shim Set, an Automatic Drain Filter Separator, and a Pressure Regulator w/Gauge.

EXAIR Air Wipes are just one product line of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products. If you have a blowoff, cooling, cleaning, or drying application you’d like to discuss, give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
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