Ever had that spot that you needed to blow off but no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t reach the spot with piping? Well here at EXAIR we’ve got a solution for you; Introducing the swivel fitting! When blowing off various parts it is better to have an angled sweep of air rather than blowing directly across or directly down onto the part. EXAIR’s Swivel fittings provide a movement of 25 degrees from the center, meaning a total of 50 degrees.
For more information on EXAIR’s Swivel Fittings, Stay Set Hoses, or any EXAIR‘s 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.
Cody Biehle Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook
The 5th step in the 6 steps to optimizing your compressed air system highlights the use of intermediate storage of compressed air near the point of use. Secondary, or intermediate Receiver tanks are installed in the distribution system to provide a source of compressed air close to the point of use, rather than relying on the output of the compressor.
Compressed air receiver tanks are an integral part to many compressed air distribution systems. Compressed air is stored at a high pressure after drying and filtration, but just upstream of point of use devices. The receiver tank is charged to a pressure higher than what is needed by the system, creating a favorable pressure differential to release compressed air when needed.
Think of a compressed air receiver tank as a “battery”. It stores the compressed air energy within a system to be used in periods of peak demand, helping to maintain a stable compressed air pressure. This improves the overall performance of the compressed air system and helps to prevent pressure drop.
They can be strategically placed to provide a source of compressed air to intermittent high volume compressed air applications. Rather than having to pull from the compressor, a receiver tank can be sized to provide the short-term volume of air for a particular application. In a previous post, we’ve highlighted how to calculate the necessary receiver tank based on the air consumption and duration of the application.
EXAIR offers from stock a 60-gallon receiver tank designed specifically for these higher-usage intermittent types of applications. Model 9500-60 can be installed near the point of high demand so that you have an additional supply of compressed air available for a short duration. The tank comes with mounting feet and is designed to stand up vertically, saving floor space. The tank meets American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) pressure vessel code.
If you have an application in your facility that’s draining your compressed air system, a receiver tank could be the ideal solution. Give us a call and one of our Application Engineers will be happy to help evaluate your process and determine the most suitably sized receiver tank.
EXAIR offers a wide variety of different Safety Air Guns to allow you the flexibility to build the perfect air gun for any application. Installed with EXAIR’s engineered Air Nozzles at the tip, you can rest easy knowing that your operators are safe from the risks associated with excessive noise and dead-end pressure while also keeping air consumption to a minimum. With sizes as small as 4mm and up to 1-1/4” and everything in-between, the possibilities are nearly endless.
In addition to offering three styles of Safety Air Guns (VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty), we also have a variety of accessories available that can customize them even further. Chip Shields are a durable polycarbonate shield used to protect the operator from any chips, savings, or coolant that could be blown back towards them while performing any blowoff process. They’re available installed on any of our VariBlast, Soft Grip, or Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. If you purchased a Safety Air Gun, but didn’t get a Chip Shield, don’t worry! Retrofit kits are available as well to allow you to install them after the fact.
For applications that don’t permit the operator to come close, rigid pipe extensions are available in lengths ranging from 6” (152mm) – 72” (1829mm). To add any extension onto a Safety Air Gun model number, simply add the length required as a suffix to the standard model number. For example, a Model 1210-48 would be a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with a 48” extension installed.
Have a hard to reach area that requires a slight bend or angle to reach? Not only is the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun available with rigid extensions, but also can be used with one of our Stay Set Hoses. Stay Set Hoses are used for applications where frequent re-positioning is required. The hose has “memory” and will not creep or bend. If you need to get around a tight corner or into a difficult space, the Stay Set Hose can be installed on the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with lengths ranging from 6”-36”.
In addition to accessories for the Safety Air Guns themselves, 12’ coiled hoses are also available with 1/8 NPT, ¼ NPT, and 3/8 NPT swivel connections. These are great for preventing tangled air lines and keeping the area neat and tidy!
With all of these options available for same day shipment from stock and backed by our unconditional 30 day guarantee, there’s no excuse not to try them out! Order now through September and receive a FREE Model 1126 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle!
ISO 8573-1:2010 is the international standard for Air Quality Classes. It lays the ground rules for acceptable levels of pollutants, particulate, moisture, and oil in a compressed air source.
Specification Example: ISO 8573-1:2010 [2:2:1]
This indicates Class 2 for particles, Class 2 for water, and Class 1 for oil.
Though the standard has detailed standards for maximum particle size, maximum pressure dew point and maximum oil content for different industries and/or environments (see Slide show above) we can generalize a bit and express the levels of air quality like this:
Plant Air – general plant compressed air used for air tools, nozzles etc. Instrument Air – found in laboratories, paint and powder coat booths, used for climate control. Process Air – used in food and pharmaceutical applications, electronics applications. Breathing Air – used for breathing respirators, breathing tanks and hospital air systems.
Achieving the different levels of air quality can be done with 3 basic types of filtration. 1. Particulate – a filter element removes particles larger than the opening in the filter material. Typically done with particles greater than 1 micron. 2. Coalescing – use different methods to capture the particles; 1) direct interception – works like a sieve, 2) Inertial impaction – collision with filter media fibers, 3) Diffusion – particles travel in a spiral motion and are captured in the filter media. 3. Adsorption – the filter element holds the contaminants by molecular adhesion.
The higher the class your air needs to be the more of these filtration methods you will use. Adsorption will remove more and finer particles than a simple particulate filter. And many applications will use a combination of these methods.
EXAIR products, all of which need a source of “clean, dry air” will operate very well utilizing a source of plant air and only a particulate filter. Your process, dictate if you need to supply additional filtration methods for better air quality. For example, an automotive plant using compressed air to blow parts off will not need the kind of filtration a food handling facility will need while blowing a food product off. If you are using a lubricated compressor or have lubricant in your compressed air lines from another source, you will want to use a coalescing oil removal filter.
EXAIR stocks 5 micron particulate filters which are properly sized for each individual product as an option for our customers if they choose. We also stock coalescing oil removal filters for customers who may need to remove oil from the air. Replacement filter elements are also available and should be replaced at least twice a year, depending on the quality of your air.
Remember to ask about filtration if you have any concerns about your air quality. We can assist in sizing up the proper filters to get the air quality we recommend for proper operation and longevity of our products.
Most of EXAIR’s line of Intelligent Compressed Air Products have no moving parts and require no maintenance. The caveat to the “no maintenance” aspect is proper filtration at the point of use. Many products have very tight orifices that could get clogged from any contaminants such as particulate, condensate, and lubricant. EXAIR recommends point of use filtration to be installed just upstream of any EXAIR Product for this purpose.
There are three primary types of compressed air filters: particulate, coalescing, and adsorption. Each have their own inherent characteristics and can be used in conjunction with one another. Each style is used to handle a different form of contaminant that’s present within the distribution system of your compressed air supply.
Particulate filters – Particulate filters are available with different filtering mechanisms that allow you to control the particulate size that will be filtered out. The higher the level of filtration, the greater the pressure drop you’ll experience at the outlet of the filter. Styles are also available with either a polycarbonate bowl or metal bowls, depending on the application and environment.
Any filter with a polycarbonate bowl should have a metal guard on the outside to provide protection for personnel should a failure occur. In these styles of filters, compressed air is forced through a filter element that blocks any particulate contained within the air supply.
These filter elements are generally a sintered bronze material with filtration levels from 40-5 micron possible. Over time, the filter elements can clog and increase the pressure drop at the discharge of the filter. They’re relatively inexpensive and should be replaced yearly to maintain optimum performance and mitigate pressure drop. They also remove liquid drops as well from the air supply, containing them within the bowl. Styles with both manual-drains and automatic-drains are available that will drain the bowl of excess moisture automatically through the bottom of the filter.
Coalescing Filters – The coalescing filter is used to remove very fine water vapor as well as any residual oil. These filters are highly recommended to be installed just prior to any dryer that contains a media that would be compromised by any lubricant passing through it. Coalescing filters utilize an element typically made up of glass fibers that “coalesce”, or combine, the fine water vapor and oil aerosols until the droplet size becomes large enough that it drops off into the bowl or filter housing. With a coalescing filter, the most common cause of pressure drop increase is due to particulate clogging the filter element. Because of this, a particulate filter should always be installed just prior to any coalescing filters.
Adsorption Filters – The final type of compressed air filter is the adsorption filter. Where the particulate filters can remove the majority of contaminants and the coalescing filters the residual oil, they are not capable of removing lubricant vapors or oil. That’s where the adsorption filter comes in. In addition to removing the finest oil vapors, they also can eliminate odors from the compressed air supply. The oil vapors and odors adhere to activated carbon within the filter, removing them from the air supply. These filters are commonly found within the food processing industry, where any contaminants in the air supply could impact the integrity of the product.
In this blog, I would like to turn your attention to our accessories that support our Intelligent Compressed Air® Products. EXAIR products use compressed air to coat, conserve, cool, convey and clean. To maximize the performance, it is important to have the controls and options to increase their “flexibility”. EXAIR offers these items as Accessories. Pneumatic applications come in many variations and forms, and Accessories can help you to adapt to your application and to remove any “guess work”.
Here are the different categories and explanations of each item that EXAIR recommends for our products. With their defined functions, they can help you in different areas to enhance your pneumatic experience.
Filter Separators remove bulk liquid and contamination from the compressed air stream. EXAIR stocks a range of sizes from ¼” NPT ports to 1 ¼” NPT ports. They use a 5-micron filter and a mechanical baffle to remove slugs of liquid from your compressed air system. Most Filter Separators have an auto-drain to automatically remove the buildup of liquid inside the bowl. I would consider the Filter Separator as a minimum level of protection required to protect your EXAIR products.
The Oil Removal Filters remove very small particles of dirt and oil from the compressed air; making it even cleaner. The 0.03-micron media of the Oil Removal Filter will “coalesce” the fine liquid particles into large droplets. Thus, allowing gravity to remove it from the compressed air stream. EXAIR offers different sizes ranging from ¼” NPT to 1 ½” NPT ports. As a note, Oil Removal Filters are great for removing very fine particles, but if you have a system with lots of water, I would recommend a Filter Separator upstream of the Oil Removal Filter for optimal filtration.
Pressure Regulators control the amount of air pressure being supplied to your EXAIR products. This is important if you are trying to save compressed air, control the force, or convey material. EXAIR, being a leader in compressed air savings, recommends to use the minimum amount of air pressure to do the job. This will save compressed air and save you money. Regulators have a characteristic called “droop”. Droop is the amount of air pressure that it drops downstream when you start flowing compressed air. If the regulator is not sized properly, you can “starve” your pneumatic component, causing loss of function. EXAIR properly sizes our regulators in our kits to make sure that you won’t “starve” our product.
EXAIR also offers Mounting Brackets for the regulators and the filters to help support them to a wall or structure. To connect filters and regulators together without a pipe nipple, we also have Coupling Kits for sizes up to ¾” NPT. And for combination kits which includes a filter and a regulator, we offer the Mounting Bracket and Coupling Kit together for a set.
Reclassifying Mufflers are designed to have two functions. They can reduce noise levels by 35 dB and remove oil mist from the exhaust air. Cylinders and valves that exhaust pressurized air may have oil in the line to keep the seals from sticking. When exhausted, it can create a fine mist which is dangerous for operators. The Reclassifying Mufflers can reduce the loud noise as well as collect any contamination from the exhaust air.
Sintered Bronze Mufflers are simple in design, cost effective, and easy to install. They have a minimal back pressure to not restrict operations of the pneumatic device. They come in sizes from #10-32 thread to 1-1/2 NPT. For a quick and simple way to reduce noise, the Sintered Bronze Mufflers are in stock for fast delivery.
Straight-Through Mufflers offer a way to reduce noise levels without worrying about clogging. They have an aluminum shell lined with sound absorbing foam, and they can reduce the noise level by 20 dB. EXAIR offers them with two ports from ¼” NPT to ¾” NPT. This can allow you to connect other items like blowing hose kits while reducing noise.
Heavy Duty Mufflers have an outer aluminum shell with an internal stainless steel screen that can protect the components from environmental contamination, and can also keep contaminant like rust from being ejected at high speed into the work area. They have a typical noise reduction of 14 dB.
Manual Valves allow for operators to turn on and off their system by hand. The full-flow ball valves range from ¼” NPT to 1 1/4” NPT in size and will not restrict flow. EXAIR also offers a manual foot pedal valve for hands-free operations. This ¼” NPT Foot Valve has a 3-way operation and works great if the operator has to use both hands in their process.
Solenoid Valves are a way to turn on and off the supply of compressed air electrically for automated systems. We offer solenoids in three different voltages; 110Vac, 240Vac, and 24Vdc. EXAIR has a large range of flows with ports ranging from ¼” NPT to 1” NPT. All models are UL listed and are CE and RoHS compliant.
Swivel Fittings are a great way to securely install and aim EXAIR nozzles. They are dynamic as they can be adjusted and set to a flow direction with 50-degrees of movement. They are made from 303SS or 316SS for corrosion resistance with ports ranging from 4mm to 1” NPT.
Compressed Air Fittings are a nice arrangement to connect different compressed air items together. We offer a range of hex and close nipples, couplings, reducers, tees, elbows, crosses and bulk head fittings. If you need a quick way to connect directly to your pneumatic system, we may have it on the shelf.
Magnetic Bases are designed for a solid mount to steel surfaces and for easy portability of your blow-off system to different locations. It has a 100 lb. (45.5Kg) pulling force to keep the blowing device attached firmly until you want to move it. They can be mounted in a vertical or horizontal position. EXAIR offers a single outlet Magnetic Base (for one blow-off device); a dual outlet Magnetic Base (for multiple blowing products); and a single outlet Swivel Magnetic Base (to offer more flexibility to orientation). The bases come with a ¼ turn shut-off valve to easily turn on and off the compressed air to the EXAIR products.
Receiver Tanks are used to store compressed air. They can be used at the air compressor or as secondary reservoirs for intermittent demand. They help your compressed air system with pressure variations and high demand loads. EXAIR offers a model 9500-60 Receiver Tank that has a capacity of 60 gallons, is rated to 200 psig, and meets ASME pressure vessel code.
Conveying Hoses are used with our Air Operated Conveyors or Line Vacs. The hoses are made from a durable PVC semi-flexible hose with six different diameters from ¾” I.D. up to 3” I.D. The conveyance hoses can slip easily to the ends of the Line Vacs or to tubes for an easy transition. EXAIR can cut-to-length Conveying Hoses up to 50 feet (15m); in increments of 10 feet (3m).
Coiled Hoses get compressed air from the piping system to the EXAIR product. They are made of a durable abrasion-resistant nylon material that is 12 feet long (3.6 meters). They have swivel fittings at the end to allow for easy uncoiling, and a spring strain relief to keep the hose from kinking. The coiled design makes it easy to reach around the work area and retract back to the substation. This will help to keep the hose off the ground where potential dangers could occur. We offer 3 different connection sizes; 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and 3/8” NPT.
Compressed Air Hoses is another way to supply EXAIR products. They are useful if you need to reach from overhead sources or around equipment. They are made from a reinforced synthetic rubber in 3/8” I.D. and 1/2” I.D. diameters. We can make specific lengths up to 50 feet (15m). They are rated for 250 PSIG (17 bar) air pressure, and the hose material works well for long-lasting protection against ozone, weathering and temperatures up to 158oF (70oC). They come standard with two male ends in ¼” NPT or ½” NPT.
Stay Set Hoses give you that possibility of manually adjusting or re-adjusting Super Air Nozzles. The hose has a “memory” function; so, it will not creep or droop until you physically move it. They work well to direct air flows in unique ways at specific target areas. They can be used with Super Air Nozzles, Safety Air Guns and Blow-off Kits. The Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6” (15cm) to 36” (91cm), and they are offered with ¼” NPT male on both ends or with a 1/8” NPT female and a ¼” NPT male connections. These hoses are rated for 250 PSIG (17 bar) and are made from reinforced synthetic rubber.
The ETC, or Electronic Temperature Control, is a digital temperature controller with a LED screen for precision monitoring and adjusting temperatures in a Cabinet Cooler System. The controller has easy-to-use buttons to raise or lower the desired internal cabinet temperature. Once set, the ETC will hold the temperature to +/- 1 oF (+/- 0.5 oC). The LED displays the internal temperature for continuous monitoring. The ETC comes complete with the controller and a solenoid valve in two different voltages, 120Vac and 240Vac.
The thermostat is a way to control a solenoid valve electrically to turn on/off a Cabinet Cooler System at a set temperature. It is preset at 95°F (35°C), but it can be adjusted to other desired temperatures. It has an accuracy to hold the set temperature within +/- 2 °F (1 °C). It can handle voltages from 24V to 240V, AC (50/60 Hz) or DC. They are UL Recognized and CSA certified.
In todays fast-paced world, there is a need to get your devices operating as quickly as possible. With EXAIR Accessories, they can help you to do that. Not only will you have confidence, as you are using the items from the manufacturer, but it will minimize downtime, setup, and malfunctions that can occur if using other types of accessories. If you would like to discuss the proper options with your EXAIR products, an Application Engineer will be happy to help you.
My colleague, Lee Evans, wrote a blog about calculating the size of primary receiver tanks within a compressed air system. (You can read it here: Receiver Tank Principle and Calculations). I would like to expand a bit more about secondary receiver tanks. They can be strategically placed throughout the plant to improve your compressed air system. The primary receiver tanks help to protect the supply side when demands are high, and the secondary receiver tanks help systems on the demand side to optimize performance.
I like to compare the pneumatic system to an electrical system. The receiver tanks are like capacitors. They store energy produced by an air compressor like a capacitor stores energy from an electrical source. If you have ever seen an electrical circuit board, you notice many capacitors with different sizes throughout the circuit board (reference photo above). The reason is to have a ready source of energy to increase efficiency and speed for the ebbs and flows of electrical signals. The same can be said for the secondary receiver tanks in a pneumatic system.
To tie this to a compressed air system, if you have an area that requires a high volume of compressed air intermittently, a secondary receiver tank would benefit this system. There are valves, cylinders, actuators, and pneumatic controls which turn on and off. And in most situations, very quickly. To maximize speed and efficiency, it is important to have a ready source of air nearby to supply the necessary amount quickly.
For calculating a minimum volume size for your secondary receiver tank, we can use Equation 1 below. It is the same as sizing a primary receiver tank, but the scalars are slightly different. The secondary receivers are located to run a certain machine or area. The supply line to this tank will typically come from a header pipe that supplies the entire facility. Generally, it is smaller in diameter; so, we have to look at the air supply that it can feed into the tank. For example, a 1” NPT Schedule 40 Pipe at 100 PSIG can supply a maximum of 150 SCFM of air flow. This value is used for Cap below. C is the largest air demand for the machine or targeted area that will be using the tank. If the C value is less than the Cap value, then a secondary tank is not needed. If the Cap is below the C value, then we can calculate the smallest volume that would be needed. The other value is the minimum tank pressure. In most cases, a regulator is used to set the air pressure for the machine or area. If the specification is 80 PSIG, then you would use this value as P2. P1 is the header pressure that will be coming into the secondary tank. With this collection of information, you can use Equation 1 to calculate the minimum tank volume. So, any larger volume would fit the requirement as a secondary receiver tank.
Secondary Receiver tank capacity formula (Equation 1)
V = T * (C – Cap) * (Pa) / (P1-P2)
V – Volume of receiver tank (cubic feet)
T – Time interval (minutes)
C – Air demand for system (cubic feet per minute)
Cap – Supply value of inlet pipe (cubic feet per minute)
Pa – Absolute atmospheric pressure (PSIA)
P1 – Header Pressure (PSIG)
P2 – Regulated Pressure (PSIG)
If you find that your pneumatic devices are lacking in performance because the air pressure seems to drop during operation, you may need to add a secondary receiver to that system. For any intermittent design, the tank can store that energy like a capacitor to optimize the performance. EXAIR stocks 60 Gallon tanks, model 9500-60 to add to those specific locations, If you have any questions about using a receiver tank in your application, primary or secondary, you can contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We can restore that efficiency and speed back into your application.