EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifiers Helps Clear the Smoke

Smoky Foundry

Smoky Foundry

An overseas customer had a problem with their coal blasting furnace. As the workers would open a 1.2 meter by 1.2 meter door to shovel in coal, the foundry would fill with smoke.  This was a hazard and a nuisance for the crew.  They saw articles about how EXAIR Air Amplifiers were used in smaller ovens for exhausting hot flue gases, and they wondered if the EXAIR Air Amplifiers could be used for something much larger.

He sent me an email with some additional details about their furnace system. They had a fan that was mounted in the stack that had a capacity of 50 m^3/min.  This was fed into a filtration collection system to remove the residue byproducts.  The temperature inside the furnace was approximately 450 deg. C.  From this information, I could calculate the required velocity to keep the smoke inside the furnace.

Smoke starting to migrate out of the opening

Smoke starting to migrate out of the opening

In sizing this application, I determined that I could use an equation from Heskestad and Spaulding. This equation was developed to find the minimum velocity required to keep smoke from egressing into corridors during fires.  In this case, we were keeping the smoke from egressing into the foundry.  The formula looks like this:

V = 0.64 * Sqrt(g * H * (T – To)/T)      Equation 1

V – Velocity (m/s)

g – Gravitational acceleration (9.8 m/s^2)

H – Height of Opening (meters)

T – Avg. Fire Temperature (Kelvin)

To – Avg. Space Temperature (Kelvin)

In this equation, we are mainly fighting the forces of the temperature difference from inside the hot furnace area to the outside cooler area.  The outside area was near 40 Deg. C, and this gave me the temperature difference.  In converting these temperatures to the absolute temperature, Kelvin.  I calculated the fire temperature, T, to be 450 Deg. C + 273 = 723 Kelvins; and the space temperature, To, to be 40 Deg. C + 273 = 313 Kelvin.

In placing the given information into Equation 1, the minimum velocity could be found.

V = 0.64 * Sqrt(9.8 m/s^2 * 1.2m * (723K – 313K)/ 723K)

V = 1.65 m/s

 

If the velocity could be maintained at this mark of 1.65 m/s, then the smoke could not egress into the plant.  They had a stack fan that was flowing 50 m^3/min, or 0.83 m^3/sec.  We can determine the velocity that the stack fan was producing by calculating the flow over an area:

V = Q/A      Equation 2

V – Velocity (m/s)

Q – Flow (m^3/sec)

A – Area (m^2)

 

With a door opening of 1.2m by 1.2m, or 1.44m^2, the velocity can be calculated by placing the known values into Equation 2:

V = (0.83 m^3/s) / (1.44m^2)

V = 0.58 m/s

Now we can see why they were getting smoke pluming from the coal furnace into their facility. They required a minimum of 1.65 m/s, and the stack fan was only drawing 0.58 m/s.  If we take the difference, we can determine how much additional velocity will be required to keep the smoke within the furnace: 1.65 m/s – 0.58 m/s = 1.07 m/s.

 

To determine how much air flow would be needed to create a velocity of 1.07 m/s through the door opening, I just had to rearrange Equation 2 to determine the flow, Q.

Q = V * A = 1.07 m/s * 1.44 m^2 = 1.54 m^3/s

To better correlate the flow data, I converted 1.54 m^3/s to 92.4 m^3/min of air flow.

EXAIR's Adjustable Air Amplifier

EXAIR’s Adjustable Air Amplifier

EXAIR Air Amplifiers are designed to have large amplification ratios (the ratio between the amount of ambient air being moved compared to the amount of compressed air used).  This makes them perfect as an efficient air mover.  Being that this was a furnace application, the High Temperature Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier was required.  This Air Amplifier has a temperature rating of 374 deg. C, and it can be easily mounted at a safe distance to meet this temperature requirement.  The largest unit that we stock is the model 6034, a 4 inch (10cm) Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier.  It has a 24:1 amplification ratio that can create an outlet flow of 34 m^3/min.  (It would only need 1.42 m^3/min of compressed air at 5.5 bar to create this outlet flow).  For this customer to reach the 92.4 m^3/min to keep the smoke from escaping, he would need to install three units (3 * 34 m^3/min = 102 m^3/min).  He mounted the Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers to some extraction wyes in their stack and added solenoids to them.  So, when the crew opened the door to load the coal, the Air Amplifiers would operate to keep the exhaust smoke from filling the room.  The company and operators were very satisfied as it made the environment clear to see and safe to work.

If you have an application where smoke and fumes are a nuisance, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if an Air Amplifier would work in your application.

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

Even Our Customers Are Sending “Holiday Gifts”

Lately, it certainly has felt like Christmas here at the factory.  Two customers sent in some sample parts  for us to test and provide solutions for their application issues.  Opening the box is like unwrapping a present, what surprise will we find inside?

The first customer currently uses the Line Vac to convey (3) different parts from the floor to a hopper for the assembly process.  (2) of the (3) parts transfer very well, but the third conveys a little too slowly. Having all three parts here at EXAIR allows us to set up testing and determine what the root cause is and recommend a solution that will work equally well for all three parts.

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The second is interested in our vacuum technologies to pick and place some fiber board material products.  Due to the curved surfaces and porous material, getting a good vacuum could be a challenge. By having the sample parts here, we can utilize our Demo Room, and try various E-Vacs with various vacuum cup designs and possibly the Line Vac or Air Amplifiers  to develop a good suction on each item.

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When it isn’t possible to send in samples, we will stand behind the EXAIR Unconditional Guarantee – purchase a stocked catalog item, and you have 30 days to try it your facility, in your process, under your real world conditions.  If after the 30 days you aren’t satisfied, send it back for a full refund – and try something else!

To discuss your application and find out information about sending in material samples to confirm that an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

High Temperature Capability

Last week, a customer called in to talk about their application.  After aluminum and steel machining operations, parts are run through a washer system. The drying portion utilized a Super Air Amplifier to dry the sides and a Super Air Knife to dry off the top. The wash temperature was running at 185°F.  The customer wanted to review the application and make sure the EXAIR products utilized in the process were rated to this temperature and to check on high the products could go, since the maximum possible temperature for the washer was listed as 250 °F.

air-knife-air-amplifer

Drying Section – Utilizing EXAIR Air Amplifier (near top) and Super Air Knife

The Super Air Amplifier is rated to 275°, above the maximum possible condition.  The Super Air Knife was pre-installed with a stainless steel shim, enabling a maximum temperature rating of 400 °F. Both of the components are rated for temperatures in excess of the maximum possible washer temperature condition, and the customer felt confident with the system design.

EXAIR has several options in the Air Amplifier and Super Air Knife product families to allow for operation in high temperature applications.  For the Air Amplifier, the Super Air Amplifier and Aluminum Adjustable Air Amplifier have a maximum temperature rating of 275°F.  The Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier is rated to 400°F, and for the hottest of conditions, the High Temperature Air Amplifier is rated to 700°F.

Relating to Super Air Knife, the aluminum Super Air Knife is rated to 180°F.  With a stainless steel shim installed, the maximum increases to 400°F. The PVDF Super Air Knife, used in applications where chemical resistance is needed, can withstand temperatures up to 275°F. And for the most extreme temperature environments, the Type 303 and Type 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knives are rated up to 800°F.

To discuss your application and how an Air Amplifier and Super Air Knife or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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High Temperature Air Amplifier Cools High Tech Mirror Glass

We recently worked with a customer that manufactures mirrors for the automotive industry.  Today’s mirrors are evolving and becoming more and more complex, including functions such as auto-dimming, and navigation and backup camera display.

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Mirror manufacturing involves many steps, one step is the application of the reflective material.  Silver can be deposited chemically, but other materials such as aluminum and gold, and for scientific grade mirrors, silicon oxides and silicon nitrides are applied via an evaporative process within a vacuum chamber.  The metal is heated under the condition of vacuum until it vaporizes and is then deposited on the glass.  Many layers may be deposited depending on the mirror type and reflective properties desired.

Our customer came to us and said they were interested in utilizing the Super Air Amplifier technology in the glass cooling process. After reviewing all of the details of the application, including the ambient temperature conditions, we recommended the EXAIR High Temperature Air Amplifier, model 121021, as the right choice for the cooling application.

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Model 121021, High Temperature Air Amplifier

The  model 121021 High Temperature Air Amplifier was developed for moving hot air and to be able withstand high temperature ambient conditions. This special design is rated for environments up to 700°F and its surface is protected from heat stress by a mil-spec coating process developed for the aircraft industry. It uses just 8.1 SCFM of 80 PSIG compressed air, has an amplification ration of 18:1, and a sound level of only 72 dBA. This highly efficient and quiet air amplifier was the right choice, and the customer has reported back that they ‘have been working good’ in the application. They are also used to circulate hot air in ovens or keep even temperatures on large rotational molds. They also solve heat/cooling problems in glass manufacturing, primary metals, heat treating and power generation. They are the right choice for rugged, high temperature processes.

EXAIR makes other specialty Air Amplifiers, including models made for specific customer applications.  These include designs with flange mounting for exhausting flue gases from a  furnace and a design with a PTFE plug to help pull sticky material through a process while preventing the material from depositing on the Air Amplifier.

To discuss your application and how an Air Amplifier would help out, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

 

Mirror Photo Credit – Steve Damron – via Creative Commons Licensei

Adjustability=Flexibility=Wide Ranging Performance

Recently, I moved into a new house, and it didn’t have bathroom vent fans.  In order to prevent mold and mildew growth from the humid shower air; we decided to install them ourselves.  Going to the local home goods store, we were faced with a wall of options, with factors such as noise level, CFM rating and of course price.  Going over the myriad of possibilities was headache inducing and of course, the bathroom size was borderline between a small and mid-size unit. The decision came down to – pay more and oversize it or risk installing an undersized unit.  If only they made a unit to cover a wide variety of conditions.

Here at EXAIR, we make many types of Intelligent Compressed Air Products.  Many times, when we are talking to customers, the right size or performance needed isn’t quite clear.  Fortunately, many of the products we make are flexible, and allow for adjustability and increased range of performance to best match the specific need of the application.

For example, The Super Air Knives and Super Air Wipes have available Shim Sets to increase or decrease the air gap and change the force and flow.  The shims are easily installed, and come in a wide choice of sizes. Super Air Knives are available, from stock, in aluminum, 303SS, 316SS, and PVDF. Super Air Wipes are made from aluminum or 303 SS.

The Super Air Amplifiers also have available patented Shim Sets to fix the air flow at a predetermined setting. Adjustable Air Amplifiers have an infinitely adjustable air gap which can easily be set to match the application needs if a predetermined flow is not preferred. Adjustable Air Amplifiers also have a smaller footprint than Super Air Amplifiers and can also use the aforementioned shims to preset the air flow in applications where space is limited. These are available in 303 stainless steel and aluminum. We also have a high temperature option.

adjustable Air Amplifier

Adjustable Air Amplifier

Within our already enormous and flexible Air Nozzles & Jets product line, the Flat Super Air Nozzles have available Shim Sets to provide the ability to adjust the force and flow for blowoff or cleaning operation.  The model 1009 Adjustable Air Nozzle has an adjustable gap setting, allowing you to “tune in” the force and flow to meet the application requirement.  Also, the Adjustable Air Jet provides an adjustable gap setting to control the air flow performance. Flexibility also comes from the available materials of zinc/aluminum, aluminum, 303SS, 316SS and PEEK thermoplastic.

For vacuum generation, the Adjustable E-Vac allows for the vacuum and flow rate to be easily adjusted.  With a simple turn of the unit, the vacuum and flow levels can be changed to overcome porosity and increase or decrease the lifting power.

Adjustable EVac

Adjustable E-Vac

There are several other Intelligent Compressed Air Products that EXAIR manufactures that offer the adjustability and flexibility, such as Vortex Tubes and Adjustable Spot Coolers.

If only EXAIR manufactured bathroom fans, I could have ensured making the right choice and be able to match the performance to exactly meet my application needs.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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Custom, Flanged Air Amplifier Solves a Fume Evacuation Problem

We blog about this topic quite a bit, and almost every section of our catalog has a page set aside just for special / custom product configurations that have been created by request from many of our customers.

This is the latest and greatest special that I have seen roll through the production area here at EXAIR.   This is a special 4″ 303 Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier with a 4″ Tri-Clamp flange on the discharge side and a 6″ Tri-Clamp flange on the suction side of the amplifier.

 

This had been an ongoing project with the customer that started with them testing a stock Adjustable Air Amplifier in the application to ensure that the performance would meet their needs.  The application was to boost a low flowing fume exhaust that was causing slow downs in their production line.  Fans and other traditional methods would require maintenance and would wear out.  The stock Adj. Air Amplifiers exceeded their performance needs but did not easily mount into their duct work because they used all standard size tri-clamp fitting in the ducting, so the next step was to see if we could manufacture a Special Adjustable Air Amplifier just for their needs.  The dimensions of the existing Adjustable Air Amplifier came close enough we were able to easily create a Flanged Adjsutable Air Amplifier that would clamp straight into their existing duct work, exceed their performance expectations, help their process, and be ready to ship within a very reasonable lead time.

Like we have said before, if a stock, cataloged, product doesn’t fit your application exactly, contact us and let us find a way to customize and fit the need.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Don’t Cry, EXAIR Air Amplifiers Will Help Remove the Fumes

Bitumen is a black viscous product that is used in asphalt, road surfacing, and roofing materials. Much of this product is moved by either railcars or tractor trailers to other industries.  Some precautions are needed when handling this product as the fumes can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose.

Fumes coming out of hatch below platform

Fumes coming out of hatch below platform

 

A plant that manufactures bitumen contacted EXAIR to see if we had a product that could improve their existing system. They were using a 6” (15 cm) venturi type air mover that was large and cumbersome.  It had a funnel that extended from the outlet by 4 feet (1.2m), and it weighed over 22 lbs (10 Kg.)  The air consumption of this unit was 81 SCFM (2,294 SLPM) of compressed air at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar).  They had to maneuver this heavy device by hand around an elevated platform.  The platform was designed with two smaller platforms that are positioned over the vehicles that they are filled for transport. One platform extended over a rail for railcars and the other platform extended over a driveway for tankards.  The air mover had to be moved and positioned near the filling areas to capture the fumes.  It was heavy, awkward, and in the way.

Their filling procedure was to place the air mover near the opening of the hatch to remove the irritating fumes away from the operators. The filling pipe was 4 inch (10cm) in diameter, and it was spring assisted for easy positioning.  Depending on the vehicle type, they would open a hatch ranging from 12 inches (30.5cm) to 16 inches (40.6cm) in diameter to fill.  The operator would then position the air mover near the opening, insert the fill pipe, and start filling.  The air mover was turned on to draw the vapor coming out of the hatch.   Because of its weight and size, the air mover had to be positioned on the platform at the edge of the hatch opening.  This was not optimum as some of the fumes could still escape at the farthest point away from the air mover.  Once the railcar or tanker was filled, they would move everything to the opposite platform to fill the next vehicle. Because of the design of the platforms and the size and weight of the air mover, there was a high possibility for personnel to become injured from the re-positioning process.  The customer wanted a more effective and ergonomic solution.

Railcar Filling Area

           Railcar Filling Area

The customer added some additional details about his operation. Because bitumen is a tar-like substance, it sticks and gets on everything, they would place dirty parts in an oven to melt the bitumen off the surfaces.  With this high temperature requirement and the size of the opening of the hatches that had to be covered, I suggested a 4 inch (10cm), Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier, model 6034.

EXAIR Air Amplifiers, have a large amplification ratio (the ratio between the amount of ambient air being moved compared to the amount of compressed air used).  The suggested model, is set for a 24:1 amplification ratio.  This helps greatly to draw in the fumes and smoke in the surrounding area to increase overall effectiveness and to reduce compressed air consumption.  With the size and weight of the EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifier being much smaller than their present solution, they could mount it directly onto the side of the spring-assisted pipe used to fill the tankers with the product.  (The weight of the model 6034 is only 9 lbs. (4.1 Kg))  This was a major ergonomic success.  They did not have to worry about their operators hurting themselves moving a big, heavy, air mover, and it allowed the mouth of the Air Amplifier to be positioned right over the opening of the hatch.  This helped to catch all the fumes.  As a bonus, the model 6034 consumes only 50 SCFM (1,416 SLPM) of compressed air at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar).  The Adjustable Air Amplifier allowed for a reduction of 38% in compressed air usage when compared to the old method.  By switching to the EXAIR Air Amplifier, it saved them time, pain, money, and tears from eye irritation.

EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifier

EXAIR’s Adjustable Air Amplifier

If you have an application where smoke and fumes are a nuisance,  Air Amplifiers are a great way to pack a lot of power into a small space for a variety of blowing and venting applications.

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

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