How to Position and Mount your Air Knife

Today I wanted to start a series about installing EXAIR products, so I figured starting with our selection of hard hitting air knives was the best place to start!

We talk to users, and potential users all the time about how to install an Air Knives. And the answer is…it depends. But, it’s almost always quick and easy.

The EXAIR Super Air Knife. There are a few ways to hold one in place:
*There are 1/4″-20 tapped holes, every 2″ along the bottom. These can be used to bolt it to just about anything you want to bolt it to.
*The 1/4″-20 cap screws can also be replaced with fasteners of sufficient length to allow use of a bracket. In fact, this is what we use for…
*The Universal Air Knife Mounting System – it’s a quick and convenient way to support an Air Knife. It’s especially beneficial to precisely position the Super Air Knife for optimum performance.
*Last but not least, Super Air Knives 24″ and longer need to be plumbed to both ends for proper performance. If you hard pipe it in, it’ll be as well supported as the piping.

EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.
EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.

The best way to mount a Super Air Knife in a blowing application so that you achieve the maximum force, time in contact and of course, effectiveness.

There is a term we use, “counter-flow”, to describe the opposing travel of target material/conveyor (red arrow) and the airflow coming from an Air Knife (blue arrow). By having opposing flows, the Air Knife is able to blow the debris, contamination, water or other fluid back into the direction from which it came. Sometimes a catch pan can be used to collect and re-use the fluid.

Air Knife Aimed in the opposite direction of the belts travel. (Counter Flow)

Finally, in the photo above, note that the Super Air Knife is mounted up-side down. We generally recommend this kind of orientation with the cap of the Super Air Knife being closest to the material being blown off. This allows you to get the air knife a bit lower and closer to the target material. The lower the angle, the better. This allows for a longer time in contact between the Super Air Knife and the target material. When the target material spends more time in the high velocity flow, the more likely you are able to impart the desired effect whether that be drying, cooling, blowoff or static elimination. To find a good mounting angle to start, I recommend customers use the front, angled edge of the Super Air Knife cap as a guide for what part of the Super Air Knife to keep parallel to the moving surface. This is a great reference from which blowing angle can be optimized.

Poor Position Good Position

If you’d like to find out more about how easy it is to install an EXAIR Compressed Air Product, give me a call.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Static Season is in Full Swing, Super Ion Air Knives can Remove the Shock!

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is a powerful static eliminator that prevents jamming, tearing, shocks and dust build up by neutralizing static and blowing away the debris.

They combine the quiet and efficient Super Air Knife with the compact design of the rugged Gen4 Ionizing Bar resulting in a total solution to remove static electricity from plastics, webs, sheet stock and other product surfaces. Removing the static helps reduce or eliminate the process issues that the static electric causes, allowing for greater production speeds, improved product quality and a cleaner product. Some of the issues static causes include, dirt and dust buildup on surfaces, misreads for sensors, poor quality from ink jets, poor print quality on printed surfaces, and personnel getting shocked.

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife floods an area or surface with static eliminating ions. With a uniform airflow across its length, misalignment to critical surfaces like webs is avoided.  The force can be adjusted from a light breeze, to a full out blast of air. The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is electrically powered, is shockless and has no moving parts.

How It Works

gen4siak_hwrks_800x
How The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Works

In the diagram above, compressed air flows through an inlet (1) into the plenum chamber of the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife. The flow is directed to a precise, slotted orifice. As the primary airflow exits, it creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length, pulling in in surrounding air (2). An electrically powered Gen4 Ionizing Bar (3) fills the curtain of air with positive and negative charges. The air stream delivers the static eliminating ions to the product surface (4) where it instantly neutralizes static and cleans off dust and other particulates.

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives are powerful tools, and very quickly dissipates 5kV of static even at low compressed air supply pressures. At 5 PSIG, only 3.7 SCFM (0.3 BAR, only 105 SLPM) of compressed air per foot of length is required!!  Sound levels are also very low, resulting in quiet operation.

super ion air knife performance

Added Features –

  • Compressed Air Inlets are provided on each end and the bottom of the Super Air Knife
  • Thicker shims can be installed easily if more force is needed.
  • Emitter points are durable stainless steel
  • The high voltage cable is armored to resist cuts and abrasion, and has integral grounding.  Threaded bayonet connector is fully assembled and ready to use
  • Electromagnetically shield cable protects sensitive electronics
  • Gen4 Ionizing Bars and Power Supplies are UL Component Recognized to U.S and Canadian safety standards and are CE and RoHS compliant
  • Power Supplies are 115/230 VAC selectable and come with 2 or 4 outlets
  • Standard lengths from 3″ to 108″ (76mm to 2743mm) are offered, and custom lengths are available to meet your process needs

Successful applications include web cleaning, pre-paint dust removal, shrink wrapper machinery, printing equipment, package cleaning,and bag opening/filling operations.

If you have questions about Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives, other types of Static Elimination products,  or any of the 16 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Video Blog: How-to Install EXAIR’s Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters

The Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters can be installed on pressurized compressed air systems and pipes. This avoids the downtime necessary to depressurize the compressed air system and keeps your processes up and running.

Watch the video below to learn how simple it is to install EXAIR’s Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Why Use Compressed Air Knives – Super Air Knives and their Options

EXAIR has been manufacturing Intelligent Compressed Air® products since 1983.  In the beginning, the Standard Air Knives and Full Flow Air Knives were very effective at that time.  But as leaders in this market, EXAIR did not want to stop there.  We were able to engineer a more efficient, more powerful, and safer air knife, the Super Air Knife.  In this blog, I will discuss the features and benefits that the Super Air Knives can offer. 

Bernoulli’s principle explains how a high velocity fluid can generate a low pressure.  The Super Air Knife creates that high velocity air stream to produce a low pressure above and below the opening to entrain ambient air.   What does this mean for you?  The low pressure entrains the surrounding ambient air, adding it into the total airflow, and uses less compressed air.  The mass of the free ambient air is added into the air stream to give a strong blowing force.  The Super Air Knife has an amplification ratio of 40:1. For every 1 part of compressed air, 40 parts of ambient air is drawn into the blowing air stream.  Ambient air is free, and compressed air is definitely not.  EXAIR was able to engineer a design, using Bernoulli’s principle, to make the most efficient air knives in the marketplace.   

Super Air Knife

Another benefit is they blow a laminar air stream which reduces noise levels and create a consistent force along the entire length.  An even force will give you tighter control for blowing applications which will cut compressed air usage unlike the inconsistent and turbulent air flows caused by drilled pipes, manifolds of nozzles or blower-type systems.  Some other interesting features for the Super Air Knives are that they have a compact design to fit into tight places for blowing and cooling.  The footprint is very small as compared to blower-air knife systems.  They do not have any moving parts to wear or maintenance to do.  They only need clean compressed air to work. 

What else makes the Super Air Knives unchallenged?  We manufacture and stock the widest range in lengths and materials.  To start, Super Air Knives range from 3” to 108” (76mm to 2,743mm) in three different materials; aluminum, 303 stainless steel, and 316/316L stainless steel.  There is no-one else in this industry that can manufacture to those lengths.  EXAIR also offers Super Air Knives in PVDF material with Hastelloy hardware for chemical resistant applications from 3” to 54” (76mm to 1,372mm).  Depending on the temperature requirement, chemical resistance, OSHA and FDA regulations, or application details, we are confident there is one on the shelf for your application. IF you order by 2pm, EXAIR will ship same day.  

If EXAIR does not stock it, we make special air knives in different lengths and materials to best fit your application.  In some confined areas, the Super Air Knives may have to fit inside a specific width or footprint.  Well, EXAIR can make it to that specific width in a short period.  We have also made special designed Air Knives that were very thin, curved, double-sided, and with distinct mounting holes to easily attach to specific machines or operations.  And if you need a special material, like the PVC Super Air Knife below, we can do that.  EXAIR has a team of Application Engineers that can help you with the design, configuration, and details for special types of Super Air Knives. 

PVC Super Air Knife
Double-sided Super Air Knife

We also offer the Super Air Knives in kits as a more complete system.  The kit includes a filter, regulator and a Shim Set.  The filter removes the debris and water from the compressed air line to optimize the performance of the air knife as well as keeping your product clean.  The regulator is used to make the “fine” adjustment to the blowing force while the shim set is used as the “coarse” adjustment.  EXAIR sells this kit as one model number for simple ordering, and the accessories are properly sized to not hinder the performance of the Super Air Knife.

Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.

With the today’s cost to make compressed air, it is important to do it as efficiently as possible.  The EXAIR Super Air Knives are the most efficient as well as safe and effective.  And if you need a specific design for your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be glad to help you. 

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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