Liquid Spray Nozzles Improve Gummy Candy Production

One of the more popular treats for kids and adults are gummies.  They can be sweet, sour, and in different shapes and colors.  A candy company that makes gummy bears was looking for a better way to spray food-grade oil onto their product.  They contacted EXAIR about our Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles. 

We discussed their setup and process for making the gummy candies; or in this case gummy bears.  The sugary mixture is poured into molds that are coated with corn starch.  The corn starch helps to keep the gummy from sticking to the mold.  Once hardened, the bears will be released from the molds and travel through a stainless-steel spinning drum.  In here, they apply a light food-grade oil onto the bears.  This process will hide the starch and give the candy that glazed and colored feature.  The drum was near 60” (1.52 meters) long and spun at 19 RPM.  The gummy bears would tumble along the length of the drum at a designed production rate of 2000 Kg/hr. (4,400 Lbs./hr.).  They used drip tubes along the top to apply the food-grade oil onto the gummy bears.  They noticed that the color was not as good and the coverage was spotty.  The oil pump was metered in a range of 0.35 – 3 gal/hr. (1.32 – 11.3 l/h).  The temperature inside the drum could reach up to 150oF (65oC), and the viscosity of the food-grade oil ranged between 190 – 400 cps.  In order to get the best results for quality, they had to reduce their production rates to about 1,700 to 1,800 Kg/hr. 

To determine the correct solution, we had to dive a bit more into their application.  The details of the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are measured with water as the liquid.  Since they are using an oil at different temperatures, the specific gravity will change slightly.  For their oil, the specific gravity is 0.92 at 20oC and 0.89 at 65oC.  We can use Equation 1 to convert the required flow rate from the food-grade oil to water.

Equation 1:

Q1 = Q2 * SQRT (SG2 / SG1)

Q1 – Flow of water (gph)

Q2 – Flow of oil (gph)

SG1 – Specific Gravity of water

SG2 – Specific Gravity of oil

The Specific Gravity of water is 1.  With the range of specific gravity for the oil, we can calculate the range that is needed as indicated by water.  Then we can make a selection as referenced by our data in the catalog.  Since we want to make sure that we can cover the range of the metered oil pump, we will use the maximum flow rate of 3 gph.  In adding the values, we get the following:

@20oC  Q1 = 3 gph * sqrt(0.92) = 2.88 gph

@65oC  Q1 = 3 gph * sqrt(0.89) = 2.83 gph  

Since the viscosity ranges above 300 cps., I recommended the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles to be mounted along the length of the rotating drum.  The External Mix can handle viscous liquids up to 800 cps.  Unlike the drip method, the EXAIR Liquid Atomizing Spray Nozzles use compressed air to shear the oil into small droplets and to disperse the oil in a wide pattern.  With the smaller particle size, we can get more coverage area which will allow them to use less food-grade oil.  The coverage area on the gummy bears was near 15” (38cm) as they rolled down the drum.  I also recommended the No-Drip option to allow for versatility in their process.  The No-Drip option for the Atomizing Nozzles is a very nice option which will stop the liquid solution from dripping when not in use.  When they needed to apply the oil, they would just turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzle.  It made it very easy to control.  This was important to reduce excess usage and non-conforming parts. It also keeps the inside of the drum oil free during cleaning cycles.   

EB2010SS

From the data above, I recommended three pieces of the model EB2010SS, No Drip External Mix Wide Angle Flat Fan Pattern.  The spray pattern was 14” (35.6cm) wide to cover part of the 60” (1.52m) length of the drum.  With an estimated 1 gph for each nozzle, we would be able to spray the maximum requirement as calculated above (2.88 gph).  After installation, they were able to get a consistent deep color of the gummy bear at the maximum production rate of 2,000 Kg/hr.  They also noticed that with the fine particle spray, they were able to use less oil.  With the three pieces of the model EB2010SS, they were able to reach maximum production rates with less food-grade oil and reduce scrap rates.

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you.  You can contact an Application Engineer for help.  For the customer above, they were able to create those gummy treats for kids and adults.  Yummy.

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

Picture: Giant Gummy Bear by Alexas_FotosPixabay licence.

Vortex Tubes Cool a UV Scanner

Copper smelting furnace

Safety is important when it comes to gas furnaces; and with large ovens, equipment is used to protect workers and equipment.  A copper company was using natural gas for smelting, and they had a UV scanner to monitor the flames.  If the burners go out, the scanner will turn off the gas valves to stop a potential explosion.   As with many instruments, it is important to keep the electronics cool for proper measurements.  In this case, they were having issues with accuracy from the high heat.  They contacted EXAIR for a solution. 

Air path flow for UV scanner

With their UV scanner, it was designed for a “cooling” device already.  This was basically compressed air that would blow around the instrument.  Because of the location, the compressed air was heating up to 125oF (52oC).  This heat would not cool the scanner properly, and it was causing unreliable readings and premature shutdowns.  They gave me the design specifications, and the scanner required 3.2 SCFM (90 SLPM) of air at atmospheric pressure with a maximum of 77oF (25oC).  I mentioned that we had the perfect solution to keep the UV scanner cool and operational; the EXAIR Vortex Tube.   This product can take elevated temperatures of compressed air and reduce it to lower temperatures.   It is a low cost, reliable, maintenance-free solution that uses compressed air to produce cold air as low as -50oF (-46oC).  With a range of cooling capacities from 135 BTU/hr to 10,200 BTU/hr, I was sure that we could meet the requirements for proper cooling. 

To determine the correct size, I had to look at the temperature drop and the flow requirement.  The temperature had to decrease from the 125oF (52oC) incoming compressed air to at least 77oF (25oC).  This would equate to a 48oF (27oC) temperature drop.  The other requirement was the amount of air flow, 3.2 SCFM (90 SLPM).  With the chart below, I see that we are able to get a 52oF (29oC) temperature drop at a 70% Cold Fraction and 40 PSIG (2.8 bar) inlet pressure.  EXAIR Vortex Tubes are very adjustable to get different outlet temperatures by changing the inlet pressure and the Cold Fraction.  The Cold Fraction (CF) is the amount of air that will be coming out the cold end.  With a 70% CF, that means that the adjusting screw on the hot end of the Vortex Tube is turned to allow 70% of the incoming compressed air to go out the cold end.  So, with that information, we can size to the correct model. 

In comparing the above information to the catalog data at 100 PSIG (6.9 bar), we have to consider the difference in absolute pressures.  With an atmospheric pressure of 14.5 PSIG (1 bar), the equation looks like this:

Qv = (Qc / CF) * (Pc + 14.5 PSIA) / (Ps + 14.5 PSIA)

Qv – Catalog Vortex Tube flow (SCFM)

Qc – Cold Air Flow (SCFM)

CF – Cold Fraction

Pc – Catalog Pressure – 100 PSIG

Ps – Supply Pressure – PSIG (Chart above)

From this equation, we can solve for the required Vortex Tube: 

                Qv = (3.2 SCFM / 0.7) * (100 + 14.5 PSIA) / (40 + 14.5 PSIA) = 9.6 SCFM. 

In looking at the catalog data, I recommended our model HT3210 Vortex Tube which uses 10 SCFM of compressed air at 100 PSIG.  The HT prefix is for our High Temperature models for use in temperatures in the range of 125oF to 200oF (52oC to 93oC).  So, after installing, the Vortex Tube was able to supply 73oF (23oC) air at a flow of 3.3 SCFM (94 SLPM); keeping the UV scanner reading correctly and accurately. 

Sometimes compressed air by itself is not enough to “cool” your instruments.  The EXAIR Vortex Tubes can reduce the temperature of your compressed air to very cold temperatures.  If you believe that your measuring equipment is being affected by elevated temperatures like the company above, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to find the correct solution for you. 

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

EXAIR Line Vacs™: Air Operated Conveyor Promo

EXAIR Line Vacs

As an Application Engineer, I get the pleasure to speak to many companies about finding a simple, long-lasting, powerful and quiet type of transfer system.  Companies have operators that climb steps to dump bags of material into hoppers above.  This can be dangerous and is not ergonomic.  Other applications would include a compact way to remove scrap from a process; or budgetary constraints to convey material from point A to point B.  If your company has to tackle any of these issues, EXAIR can help you.  We manufacture Air Operated Conveyors that do not have any moving parts, very compact in design, and have a high throughput capacity.  They can attach easily to standard hoses, pipes, or sanitary flanges.   These inexpensive conveyors are designed to make conveyance safer and ergonomically better for your staff.  EXAIR calls this product line, Line Vacs™

Line Vacs can convey many things.

Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design generates a high velocity to create a powerful vacuum on one side.  Once the product reaches the throat area of the Line Vac, the compressed air will carry the product the rest of the way.  We can reach horizontal distances up to 100 feet (30 meters) and vertical heights up to 20 feet (6 meters).  EXAIR manufactures a variety of Line Vacs in different sizes, styles, and materials.  Here is an overview of the Line Vacs that EXAIR offers.

Lightweight and durable aluminum is the most popular choice, but we make them in stainless steel (Types 303 and 316) for heat and corrosion resistance. For extreme heat, the High Temperature option affords protection to 900F (482C) in either 303SS or 316SS.

Line Vacs:  Our standard Line Vac is the most versatile product in this family.  We have two types of connections, slip-on ends for hose connections and threaded ends for pipe connection.  EXAIR can also mix the connection types on each end.  They range in diameters from 3/8” (10mm) up to 5” (127mm).  We manufacture the Line Vacs in aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS; but don’t let that deter you from asking for special types of materials.  We have a high temperature version that can withstand temperatures up to 900oF (482oC).  These Line Vacs work great in applications for loading plastic pellets in hoppers, discarding scrap pieces, trim removal, and transferring material.  If an operator has to place a bag of dry material on his shoulder to climb stairs, a Line Vac would be a much better alternative.

Heavy Duty Line Vac Family

Heavy Duty Line Vacs:  They are made from a hardened alloy steel for abrasion resistance.  The generators inside these Line Vacs are more powerful than the standard models; so, that they can convey heavier materials at higher conveyance rates.  They can reach rates as high as 40 lbs./min. (18.2 Kg/min) of material.  With the hardened alloy construction, they are great for sand blasting materials, ceramic, glass and steel shot.  They are manufactured with inlet and outlet connections for ship-on hoses or threaded pipes.  EXAIR stocks the Heavy Duty Line Vacs in the range from ¾” (19mm) to 3” (76mm) for both hose and NPT connections.  These Line Vacs are our most powerful design with great wear resistance.      

Light Duty Line Vacs

Light Duty Line Vacs:  On the other end of the Line-Vac spectrum, EXAIR created the Light Duty Line Vac.   They use much less compressed air than the other Line Vacs which is great for moving lightweight materials over short distances.  They can also be used for removing smoke and fumes from a work area.  The Light Duty Line Vac ranges from ¾” (19mm) up to 6” (152mm) diameter for slip-on hose connections.  This two-piece design provides an effective way of moving material at a lower cost.  It can be used in applications like hopper loading, fiber tensioning, filling operations, and smoke removal.   For moving material within a short distance, the Light Duty Line Vac could be the proper product to use. 

Sanitary Flange Line Vacs

Sanitary Flange Line Vacs:  Our latest engineering design within the Line Vac family is the Sanitary Flange Line Vacs.  They can convert pipes into a useful conveyor for bulk material and waste removal.  They use an ISO2852 flange for easy disassembly and cleaning to reduce bacterial entrapment.  They ae made from 316 stainless steel material for superior corrosion resistance.  They come in four different sizes to fit the sanitary flanges from 1 ½” up to a 3” flange.  For sensitive applications where cleanliness is a major requirement, the Sanitary Flange Line Vac are manufactured for these conditions. 

With all of the EXAIR Line Vacs above, they can be sold as kits.  A kit will include a filter, regulator and a bracket.  (Bracket are not sold with all types and sizes.)  The filter will help keep the Line Vac clean as well as the product that it being conveyed.  The regulator is a great tool to vary the conveyance rates for better control.  The bracket helps to mount the Line Vac to a sturdy base for support.      

If you need to convey solid materials in a quick and easy way, an EXAIR Line Vac could be a solution for you.  We have them in a variety of formats to match your application.  They are compact, quiet, and simple to use without any moving parts.  As compared to a conveying system which are bulky and rigid, the Line Vacs are flexible and inexpensive.  Ergonomically, they can save the back-wrenching labor of picking up bags, climbing stairs, and dumping material into hoppers.  For our U.S. and Canadian customers, we are running a promotional ad.  You will receive a 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle, a $75.00 value, for free from now until the end of October 2021 with a qualified purchase online.  If you would like to discuss your conveying application further, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We may have the perfect solution for you. 

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Need to Remove Stubborn, Sticky & Difficult Debris from a Surface? Try this.

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Model 1244-48 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

EXAIR has designed a new type of nozzle called the Super Air Scraper.  This nozzle combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle.  Together, it creates a mechanical force with an air force to remove stubborn sticky material.  This patent-pending nozzle can be added to the EXAIR Soft Grip Air Gun to create a powerful scraping tool. 

Model 1144 Super Scraper Nozzle

Let’s breakdown the nozzle.  The Super Air Scraper nozzle is a model 1144 which has a ¼” NPT female connection.  The model 1144-A includes a ¾ – 32 UN adaptor for connecting to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun extensions.  The scraper can be changed when worn with a replacement blade; model 902007.  To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set, model 1132SS, can be used to modify the blowing force.  With these combinations, the nozzle complements the scraper as an effective way to clean with compressed air. 

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To control the pressurized air to the nozzle, EXAIR attached the 1144-A Super Air Scraper to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, model 1244.  This gives a comfortable and ergonomic way to use and operate this product.  We offer different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length.  With the extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installed an additional foam grip sleeve.  This gives additional leverage for scraping material at a distance like at the floor level.  Chip Shields are also offered to prevent blow-back onto the operator.  You can view the details of the new product at this link on our website: Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To give some ideas for applications, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can be used for removing tape, gasket material, caulk, adhesive, paint, labels, and more.  With the addition of air, the detached material is blown away during scraping, keeping the area clean to target the remaining “stuck” material.  If gummy or flaky substances are a nuisance for workers, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can keep the machine or work station clean and operational. 

Just like all cataloged items for EXAIR, we stock these parts for same day shipment with orders placed before 2 p.m. EST.  For U.S. and Canadian customers, we offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee to see how great this product can work for your application.  If you have sticky, flakey, or greasy substances that need to be removed, the Soft Grip Safety Air Scraper is up to the challenge.  If you have any questions about the product or your “gummy” situation, you can contact an Application Engineer for help. 

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