Back Blow Nozzles Clean Inside Metal Tubes

A manufacturing plant EXAIR worked with made cast aluminum tubes for the automotive industry.  After the parts were cast, a machining operation would clean the ends.  This left coolant and metal shavings inside the tube.  Before going to assembly, they had to clean the part.  They created a two-tube fixture (reference picture above) to fit the 25mm tubes in place.

Two home-made nozzles were used to fit inside the tubes to blow compressed air.  The nozzles were attached to the ends of two 17mm pipes which supplied the compressed air.  A cylinder was used to push the nozzles from the top of the aluminum tube to the bottom then back up again.  The liquid emulsion and debris would be pushed downward into a collection drum.  When they started operating their system, the inside of the tubes still had contamination inside.  They wanted to improve their process, so they looked for an expert in nozzle designs, EXAIR.

Back Blow Air Nozzle Family

EXAIR designed and manufactures a nozzle for just this type of operation, the Back Blow Air Nozzles.  We offer three different sizes to fit inside a wide variety of diameters from ¼” (6.3mm) to 16” (406mm).  They are designed to clean tubing, pipes, hoses, and channels.  The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” the entire internal surface from coolant, chips, and debris.  For the application above, I recommended the model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle.  This 316SS robust design would fit inside the tubes above.  The range for this Back Blow Air Nozzle is from 7/8” (22mm) to 4” (102mm) diameters.  The customer did have to modify the function of the equipment by placing the cylinder and the rods under the aluminum tubes.  The reverse airflow would still push the contamination into the collection drum that was placed underneath the tubes.

After installing the model 1006SS onto the rods, the cleaning operation became more efficient.  Not only was the entire internal diameter getting clean, they were able to turn off the compressed air until they reached the top of the tube.  With the model 1006SS, they only needed one pass to clean.  This cut the air consumption in half, saving them much money by using less compressed air.  In addition, they were able to speed up their operation by 20%.  Cleaner tubes, less time, cost savings; they were happy that they contacted EXAIR for our expertise.

Reverse Air Flow

If you need to clean the inside of tubes, hoses, pipes, etc., EXAIR has the perfect nozzle for you, the Back Blow Air Nozzles.  EXAIR can also offer these nozzles on our VariBlast, Soft Grip and Heavy Duty Air Guns for manual operations.  They come with Chip Shields and extensions that can reach as far as 72” (1829mm).  Or like the customer above, automate the system to get a great non-contact cleaning.

If you require any more details, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help.

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

Shot Blasting Media and Dust Problems Solved with EXAIR’s HEPA Vac

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

Have you ever heard an electric vacuum toward the end of its life?  It gets an irritating high-pitch noise caused by the bearings going out.  A customer was hearing this annoying sound after only two months of use.   Their application was shot blasting metal parts.  The shot blast media was very dusty and carried everywhere around the room.  After use, they would use a shop vac to clean the machine and around the area.   When they started to hear that “moan” from their electric vacuum, they knew that they would have to purchase another unit.  Additionally, they noticed a lot of dust migrating into the work environment from the shop vac, creating a breathing hazard for the operators.  After their second electric vacuum failed, they started looking for a better choice.

Sand Blasting Equipment

When they contacted EXAIR about these issues, EXAIR had a great solution for them.  I recommended our model 6399, 55-gallon Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System.  This system comes with a drum, drum dolly, heavy duty accessories, HEPA Filter, and a robust vacuum system.  The heavy-duty accessories are easy to use to vacuum in tight spaces.  The HEPA filter inside the drum has an efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 micron.  So, the dust will remain in the drum and not migrate back into the ambient air.  The HEPA filter media is pleated to give a large surface area of 36.7 ft2 (3.4 m2).  Packed inside a supported cylindrical, it will allow for great amount of debris before changing.  With the shop vac above, the surface area of the filter was very small causing the filter to plug and under-perform.  The EXAIR Heavy Duty vacuum generator is made from a hardened-alloy steel construction which is very resistant to wear.  It does not have any moving parts or bearings to wear.  For this application, the generator is perfect for the shot blast media.  The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac only requires compressed air to operate, not an electric motor which can fail from dusty environments.  The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System only has a decibel level of 82 dBA which makes it very quiet compared to shop vacs.  With clean compressed air as the engine for the vacuum, this system can last for years; not months.

When the company above started to use the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac, the first thing that they noticed was how quiet it operated.  That constant loud noise from their electric vacuum was gone, making it a better working environment for the operators.  They also noticed that the dust was not getting back into the environment, reducing the dust nuisance.  If you find that your electric vacuums are breaking down or you would like to reduce the noise levels, EXAIR has a large line of Industrial Housekeeping Products.  You can contact an Application Engineer to see if we have the right vacuum product for you.

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

The Super Air Knife Vs. a Homemade Drilled Pipe Solution

A drilled pipe has been used for many years to blow compressed air across a span for cleaning, cooling, and drying.  They are a simple tool that was created from spare parts and many holes.  The cost to make this type of product is not expensive, but to use this product in your application is very expensive.  Similarly, an incandescent lightbulb is inexpensive to purchase, but it will cost you much more in electricity than a LED light bulb.  Since 1983, EXAIR has been innovating safe and efficient products to be used in compressed air systems.  In this blog, I will compare the drilled pipe with the Super Air Knife.

Even though you can find the components relatively easily to design your own drilled pipe, this blow-off design is very costly and stressful to your compressed air system.  Typically, the holes along the pipe are in a row next to each other.  As the airstream leaves from each hole, it will hit the airstream from the one next to it.  This will cause turbulent air flows which has inconsistent forces and loud noises.  Also, with turbulent air flows, the ability to entrain the surrounding ambient air is very small.  We call this the amplification ratio.  The higher the amplification ratio, the more efficient the blow-off device is.  For a drilled pipe, the amplification ratio is near 3:1 (3 parts ambient air to 1 part compressed air).

A colleague, Brian Bergmann, wrote a blog about the amplification ratio of the EXAIR Super Air Knife.  (Read it HERE.)  This blog demonstrates how EXAIR was able to engineer an efficient way to blow air across a span.  The unique design of the Super Air Knife creates an amplification ratio of 40:1 which is the highest in the market.   Unlike the drilled pipe, the gap opening runs along the entire knife for precise blowing.  This engineered gap allows for laminar air flow which has a low noise level, a consistent blowing force, and maximum amplification ratio.  With these benefits, the Super Air Knife can reduce the amount of compressed air required, which will save you money and save your compressed air system.

In comparing the drilled pipe to the Super Air Knife, I will relate both products in a simple cooling application.   Thermodynamics expresses the basics of cooling with an air temperature and an air mass.  Since both products are represented in the same application, the air temperature will be the same.   Thus, the comparison will be with the amount of air mass.  In this example, the customer did some calculations, and they needed 450 Lbs. of air to cool the product to the desired temperature.  At standard conditions, air has a density of 0.0749 lbs/ft3.  To convert to a volume of air, we will divide the weight by the density:

450 lbs. / (0.0749 lbs./ft3) = 6,008 ft3 of air

To meet this requirement, reference Table 1 below.  It shows the volume of air required by your compressed air system to meet this demand.  As you can see, your compressor has to work 13X harder to cool the same product when using a drilled pipe.  Just like the LED light bulbs, the Super Air Knife has more efficiency, more innovation, and uses less compressed air.  In turn, the Super Air Knife will save you a lot of money in electrical costs.  If you would like to see how much the Super Air Knife can save compared to the drilled pipe, we have that information in this blog.  (Read it HERE.)  For my reference, it will reduce the stress of your compressed air system.

if you would like to compare any of your current blow-off devices with an innovative EXAIR product, you can contact an Application Engineer.  We can do an Efficiency Lab to shine an LED light on saving energy and money with your compressed air.

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

The Super Air Knife and the Amplification Ratio

Super Air Knife

The EXAIR Super Air Knife has a 40:1 amplification ratio.  So, what does this mean?  The definition of ratio is a relation between two amounts showing the number of times one value is contained within the other.  For the Super Air Knife, it is a value that shows the amount of ambient air that is drawn into the compressed air.  With an amplification ratio of 40:1, that means that there are 40 parts of ambient air for every 1 part of compressed air; which helps make the most efficient air knifes available in the market.

Super Air Knife has 40:1 Amplification Ratio

Most people think that compressed air is free, but it is most certainly not.  Because of the amount of electricity required, compressed air is considered to be the fourth utility for manufacturing plants.  To save on utility costs, it is important to use compressed air very efficiently.  So, the higher the amplification ratio, the more efficient the compressed air product.  Manufacturing plants that use open fittings, copper tubes, and drilled pipes for blowing are not efficiently using their compressed air system.  These types of products generally have between a 5:1 to 10:1 amplification ratio.  When EXAIR began, they knew that there was a better way in saving compressed air by increasing the amplification ratio.

EXAIR initially created a line of air knives called the Standard Air Knife and Full-Flow Air Knife.  They utilize a Coanda effect to blow air at a 30:1 amplification ratio.  These air knives were much more efficient for blowing air than the open fittings, tubes and drilled pipes.  But, EXAIR knew that we could design a more efficient air knife, the Super Air Knife which has a 40:1 amplification ratio.

I like to explain things in every day terms.  For this analogy, the amplification ratio can be represented by gas mileage.  Like your car, you want to get the most distance from a gallon of gas.  With your compressed air system, you want to get the most utilization for blowing.  With an EXAIR Super Air Knife, it has a 40:1 amplification ratio.; or, in other words, you can get 40 mpg.  If you use the EXAIR Standard or Full Flow Air Knife, you can get 30 mpg.  But, if you use drilled pipes, copper tubes, etc. for blowing, then you are only getting 5 to 10 mpg.  If you want to get the most “distance” from your compressed air system, you want to check the “gas mileage” of your blow-off components.

EXAIR can “tune up” your blow-off systems to make them efficient and safe by contacting an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to help you.

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

E-Vacs: Shrinking Foam Packages

In-Line E-Vac Family

A foam manufacturer was looking for a way to reduce the size of their shipping packages.  The type of product was a polyurethane open-cell foam that they would place inside plastic bags to ship.  With shipping charges, the dimensional weight, not actual weight, is used, and it can be very costly.  Since it was open-cell foam, they wanted to evacuate the air from the plastic bags.  This would decrease the package volume and reduce shipping costs dramatically.

The company gave me some details on the product and their process.  The polyurethane foam had a density of 1.1 lb./ft3 (18 Kg/M3), and they were bagging pieces of the foam in plastic bags with the dimensions of 30” long by 10” diameter (0.75m long by 0.25m diameter).  They attempted to use a shop vac to reduce the volume; but, it was too loud and too cumbersome for their process.  They also noticed that the vacuum level was not enough to maximize the shrinkage.  They searched the internet for a better way, and they found the E-Vac™ Vacuum Generators.  They contacted EXAIR to get more information.

The EXAIR E-Vacs use compressed air to create a vacuum by a venturi method.  It can reach vacuum levels up to 27” Hg (91 kPa).  They are very compact and lightweight, and they do not have any moving parts to wear.  So, they are very durable and long lasting in systems with cycling or continuous operations.  In comparison, a typical electric vacuum has a vacuum pressure near 6” Hg (20 kPa).  With the EXAIR E-Vac having a vacuum level 27” Hg (91 kPa), we can draw out much more air to reduce the volume.

At EXAIR, we pride ourselves on customer service.  With this application, I was able to setup a representative sample for testing.  I shot a short video to show the power of our smallest E-Vac.  The video shows a representative sample with a smaller bag.  You can see the volume change with polyurethane foam.

In addition to the video, I was able to calculate the time to evacuate the package to 27” Hg (91 kPa).  EXAIR manufactures seven different sizes of High Vacuum E-Vac Generators with different flow ranges.  The above customer requested an evacuation time in about 30 second.  With Equation 1, I can determine the correct E-Vac size to meet the requirement.

Equation 1:  q = V * ln(p0 / p1)  / t
q = Vacuum flow rate (SCFM)

V = enclosed volume (ft^3)

p0 = atmospheric pressure (“Hg)

p1 = end vacuum pressure (“Hg)

t = evacuation time (min)

Details:
Volume of cylindrical plastic bag: V = 1.36 ft3

Atmospheric air pressure: p0 = 29.92” Hg

Final absolute air pressure: p1 = (29.92” Hg – 27” Hg) = 2.92” Hg

Time to evacuation: t = 0.5 min.

Thus,

q = V * ln(p0 / p1) / t

q = 1.36 ft3 * ln(29.92” Hg / 2.92” Hg) / 0.5 min

q = 6.3 ft3/min or 6.3 SCFM

From the specification on our E-Vac, I was able to recommend the model 810013M.  At 80 PSIG, this model has a vacuum flow rate of 6.85 SCFM; plenty enough to hit the target time.  After installing the E-Vac in their packaging process, they were able to reduce the size by almost 70%.  This was very helpful in reducing the dimensional weight for each shipment; saving the company and their customers much money.

If you would like to send samples in for vacuum test or need calculations for performance improvements, EXAIR Application Engineers will be happy to assist you.  EXAIR always likes to go that extra mile for our customers.

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

EXAIR Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles: Deflected Flat Fan & Hollow Circular Pattern

EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles

In today’s market, the cost of consumable products are on the rise; especially with paints, oils, and yes, even the cost of water.  You can help alleviate some of that cost by being more efficient when spraying.  The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are designed to accomplish this objective of saving fluid.  With the help of compressed air, the liquid can be sheared into smaller micron-sized droplets.  For reference, if the radius of a particle is reduced by one-half, this will increase the number of droplets by eight.  With smaller diameter particles, the surface area and coverage will increase; thus, reducing the liquid requirement in your application.  EXAIR manufactures three families of Atomizing Nozzles; Internal Mix, External Mix, and the Siphon Fed in three different body sizes to accommodate for the different liquid flow rates.  In this blog, I will be discussing the Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles with two specific spray patterns; the Deflected Flat Fan and the 360o Hollow Circular Pattern.

To start, the Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles are designed; like the name suggests, to atomize the liquid inside the nozzle.  The pressurized liquid and compressed air are separated until they get into the “mixing” chamber.  The mixing chamber is created by two types of caps; a liquid cap and an air cap.  The liquid cap is designed to create a high velocity air stream to “break” up a small liquid droplet.  The air cap is then used to create the spray pattern for applying the liquid material more effectively.  The Deflected Flat Fan and the 360o Hollow Circular Pattern are the air caps.

Deflected Flat Fan Air Cap

The model AD1010SS, deflected flat fan atomizing spray nozzle, sprays small micron-sized particles at a right angle.  This type of air cap works very well to direct the atomized fluid like paints and coasting onto surfaces.  These nozzles are also useful for spraying liquids in close quarters like inside ductwork or enclosures.  The viscosity of the pressurized liquid has to be under 300 CPS, and it can spray as much as 6.9 GPH (26 LPH) of fluid.  The model AD1010SS has ¼” NPT inlets and has a manual liquid valve to precisely control the amount of fluid being sprayed to eliminate any runs.  EXAIR also offers a No-Drip option with this Atomizing Nozzle; model AD2010SS.  This option will not allow the liquid to drip from the nozzle when not in use.  This is a great option for reducing liquid waste from drips and for intermittent spraying.   If a right-angle spray pattern is required, both models will work well to accomplish this.

 

360 Hollow Circular Pattern Air Cap

The 360o Hollow Circular Pattern Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzle sprays the atomized liquid outward in all directions.  This works well for applications where wide areas are needed to be covered.  It can also be used inside pipes and ductwork that needs to be covered around the circumference.  With liquid water applications, they are the primary atomizing nozzles for humidification and dust suppression.  The small particles of water can be sprayed in the ambient air to increase the relative humidity as well as “clinging” to dust particles to weigh them down.  This type of atomizing nozzle is manufactured in two types of body styles; the AT1010SS, ¼” NPT inlets, and the AT5010SS, ½” NPT inlets.   The AT1010SS has a maximum spray volume of 14.7 GPH (55.7 LPH) while the AT5010SS has a maximum spray volume of 150 GPH (568 LPH).  The unique design of the air cap creates a very wide spray diameter up to 53” (135 cm) for the AT1010SS and 156” (396 cm) for the AT5010SS.  As with the Deflected Flat Fan, these atomizing nozzles are available with the No-Drip option; AT2010SS and AT6010SS respectively.

If you need to maximize your liquid dispersion and minimize liquid consumption, the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are the products to use.  With the Deflected Flat Fan and 360o Hollow Circular Pattern, we can direct the spray patterns to better suite your application.  If you require any additional information on these nozzles or any of the other EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles, an Application Engineer will be happy to help you.

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

 

EXAIR Has a New Product: The Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

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

EXAIR has designed a new nozzle called the Super Air Scraper.  This nozzle combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle.  It creates a mechanical force with a compressed 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.

Let’s breakdown the nozzle.  The 2″ 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 get pressurized air to the nozzle, EXAIR attached the 1144-A Super Air Scraper nozzle to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun.  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 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 3 p.m. EST.  We offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee to allow you to see how great this product can work in your application.  If you have a sticky, flakey, or greasy substance that needs 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