I received an email from an engineer that was looking at our Super Air Nozzles. They currently were using four blow-off lines that were made from 6mm ID copper tubes. The system was designed to blow out holes after machining. The engineer was in charge of the task of optimizing 25 machining stations similar to this one. He was familiar with EXAIR products from his previous employment, and he recognized the waste of compressed air by using open pipe. He purchased four Nano Super Air Nozzle, model 1110SS, for a trial. He was impressed with the performance, the low sound level, and the engineered design in safety. But, for upper management in his company, he had to show a cost savings in order to change all the stations in the facility. He asked me to help him in calculating the compressed air savings.
He gave me some additional details about their application. He was using the compressed air about 30% of the time throughout an 8 hour day at a pressure of 80 PISG. He wanted to present the savings per day, week, and year as well as the payback period in his evaluation. I have performed many of these calculations for other customers and was happy to help. It is sometimes easier to speak in terms of savings, as everyone can relate to money, especially management.
Flow: 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle – 8.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG
The Calculator tells us you will see a ROI (Return on investment) is less than 5 days! And will save you $3,033.00 over a full year on compressed air generation cost alone!
Don’t be fooled by the initial cost of a tube, pipe, drilled holes, or a substandard nozzle. You can see by the facts above, if you use any additional compressed air in your blow-off application, it will cost you a lot of money in the long run. If you need any help in calculating how much money EXAIR products can save you, you can use our Air Savings Calculator from our website, or you contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help you.
Whenever there is a discussion about fluid dynamics, Bernoulli’s equation generally comes up. This equation is unique as it relates flow energy with kinetic energy and potential energy. The formula was mainly linked to non-compressible fluids, but under certain conditions, it can be significant for gas flows as well. My colleague, Tyler Daniel, wrote a blog about the life of Daniel Bernoulli (you can read it HERE). I would like to discuss how he developed the Bernoulli’s equation and how EXAIR uses it to maximize efficiency within your compressed air system.
In 1723, at the age of 23, Daniel moved to Venice, Italy to learn medicine. But, in his heart, he was devoted to mathematics. He started to do some experiments with fluid mechanics where he would measure water flow out of a tank. In his trials, he noticed that when the height of the water in the tank was higher, the water would flow out faster. This relationship between pressure as compared to flow and velocity came to be known as Bernoulli’s principle. “In fluid dynamics, Bernoulli’s principle states that an increase in the speed of fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in static pressure or a decrease in the fluids potential energy”1. Thus, the beginning of Bernoulli’s equation.
Bernoulli realized that the sum of kinetic energy, potential energy, and flow energy is a constant during steady flow. He wrote the equation like this:
Not to get too technical, but you can see the relationship between the velocity squared and the pressure from the equation above. Being that this relationship is a constant along the streamline; when the velocity increases; the pressure has to come down. An example of this is an airplane wing. When the air velocity increases over the top of the wing, the pressure becomes less. Thus, lift is created and the airplane flies.
With equations, there may be limitations. For Bernoulli’s equation, we have to keep in mind that it was initially developed for liquids. And in fluid dynamics, gas like air is also considered to be a fluid. So, if compressed air is within these guidelines, we can relate to the Bernoulli’s principle.
Steady Flow: Since the values are measured along a streamline, we have to make sure that the flow is steady. Reynold’s number is a value to decide laminar and turbulent flow. Laminar flows give smooth velocity lines to make measurements.
Negligible viscous effects: As fluid moves through tubes and pipes, the walls will have friction or a resistance to flow. The surface finish has to be smooth enough; so that, the viscous effects is very small.
No Shafts or blades: Things like fan blades, pumps, and turbines will add energy to the fluid. This will cause turbulent flows and disruptions along the velocity streamline. In order to measure energy points for Bernoulli’s equation, it has to be distant from the machine.
Compressible Flows: With non-compressible fluids, the density is constant. With compressed air, the density changes with pressure and temperature. But, as long as the velocity is below Mach 0.3, the density difference is relatively low and can be used.
Heat Transfer: The ideal gas law shows that temperature will affect the gas density. Since the temperature is measured in absolute conditions, a significant temperature change in heat or cold will be needed to affect the density.
Flow along a streamline: Things like rotational flows or vortices as seen inside Vortex Tubes create an issue in finding an area of measurement within a particle stream of fluid.
Since we know the criteria to apply Bernoulli’s equation with compressed air, let’s look at an EXAIR Super Air Knife. Blowing compressed air to cool, clean, and dry, EXAIR can do it very efficiently as we use the Bernoulli’s principle to entrain the surrounding air. Following the guidelines above, the Super Air Knife has laminar flow, no viscous effects, no blades or shafts, velocities below Mach 0.3, and linear flow streams. Remember from the equation above, as the velocity increases, the pressure has to decrease. Since high-velocity air exits the opening of a Super Air Knife, a low-pressure area will be created at the exit. We engineer the Super Air Knife to maximize this phenomenon to give an amplification ratio of 40:1. So, for every 1 part of compressed air, the Super Air Knife will bring into the air streamline 40 parts of ambient “free” air. This makes the Super Air Knife one of the most efficient blowing devices on the market. What does that mean for you? It will save you much money by using less compressed air in your pneumatic application.
We use this same principle for other products like the Air Amplifiers, Air Nozzles, and Gen4 Static Eliminators. Daniel Bernoulli was able to find a relationship between velocities and pressures, and EXAIR was able to utilize this to create efficient, safe, and effective compressed air products. To find out how you can use this advantage to save compressed air in your processes, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help you.
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
Compressed air, as a utility, dates back to ancient Egypt, where metal alloy production was enhanced by using bellows devices to force air into furnaces in order to generate the extremely high temperatures needed to meld iron ores. Major industrial use began in the mid-19th century, as pneumatic drills became popular for tunneling and mining operations. With the development and large scale production of the modern air compressor in the 20th century, many other uses for compressed air were discovered.
Among the most prevalent of these additional applications is cleaning & blow off. Mechanical or chemical methods such as washing, scrubbing, brushing, wiping, etc. often take time and considerable effort, when a quick blast of high velocity air from a pressurized source can make quick work of debris and/or moisture removal. Thing is, unfettered discharge of high pressure air without concern for safety or efficiency has consequences:
Open end blow offs without a relief path for the air in case the device is dead ended, can have enough energy to break the skin, causing a dangerous and potentially fatal condition known as an air embolism. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifically addresses this danger in 29 CFR 1910.242(b).
They’re also incredibly loud, usually higher than 100 decibels, which exceeds OSHA’s noise exposure limits per 29 CFR 1910.95(a).
As if that wasn’t enough, they can waste an awful lot of compressed air too. The U.S. Department of Energy even goes so far as to classify it as an Inappropriate Use of Compressed Air.
Given these drawbacks, you might wonder why ANYONE would do such a thing! Well, that’s the nature of our business at EXAIR Corporation: manufacturing quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products for industry. Among these are the first engineered products developed by EXAIR: Air Nozzles and Jets. No matter what your blow off needs are, we’ve got a solution. Consider:
Durability. Some environments where blow off is required are downright aggressive: high heat, exposure to corrosive chemicals, etc. With these situations in mind, we offer Air Nozzles & Jets in a variety of materials of construction, as shown to the right:
Zinc Aluminum alloy
Types 303 and 316 Stainless Steel
PEEK (polyether ether ketone) thermoplastic
Range of operation. Any blow off device’s performance can be varied by regulating the compressed air supply pressure. EXAIR offers several products with even greater ability for change:
The Model 1009 (Aluminum) and 1009SS (303SS) Adjustable Air Nozzles have a micrometer-like dial that allows you to very precisely set the flow & force to exact requirements.
Adjustable Air Jet Models 6019 (brass) and 6019SS (303SS) feature similar operation with a micrometer-like gap adjuster/indicator.
Our 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles (available in Zinc Aluminum or 316SS) have a replaceable shim. The standard models have a 0.015″ thick shim installed, and the High Power models have 0.025″ thick shims. We also offer individual shims, and sets, ranging from 0.005″ to 0.030″ thicknesses.
High Velocity Air Jets come in brass or 303SS, and also have replaceable shims. The one that comes installed is 0.015″ thick. The Shim Set gives you a 0.006″ and 0.009″ shim.
Function. Most of our Air Nozzles generate a high velocity air stream coming straight from its end. We’ve also engineered some nozzles for specific applications:
Model 1144 2″ Super Air Scraper is our popular 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with a corrosion resistant scraper blade, making quick work of removing stubborn materials like tape, gaskets, labels, grease, paint, or sealant. It’s particularly handy when installed on a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with an appropriate length of pipe extension.
Back Blow Air Nozzles are made to clean out inside diameters or blind holes. Three sizes are available for ID’s of 1/4″ to 16″.
If you’d like to find out more about how EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can help you get the most out of your compressed air system, give me a call.
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EXAIR manufactures three different sizes of Back Blow Air Nozzles to clean inside tubing, pipes, hoses, and channels. The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” the entire internal surface clean from coolant, chips, and debris. They are constructed of 316SS, making these nozzles robust and durable.
Our smallest Back Blow Nozzle is the Model 1004SS. It has a M4 X 0.5 male thread and can clean diameters ranging from ¼” (6.3mm) to 1” (25.4mm). Model 1006SS has a ¼” NPT air connection for cleaning inner diameters ranging from 7/8” (22mm) up to 4” (102mm). Our largest Back Blow Air Nozzle is the model 1008SS. It has a 1” NPT connection, and it can be used inside diameters ranging from 2” (51mm) to 16” (406mm).
Now, what can make these unique types of air nozzles even more useful? Attaching them to an EXAIR Safety Air Gun. In this blog, I will go through each of our Back Blow Safety Air Guns that EXAIR can offer from stock.
The unique feature that sets the VariBlast apart from other small air guns is the force variability. The valve is designed to control the opening to allow for a variable force with the same nozzle. The VariBlast is made from a durable cast aluminum construction for tough industrial use. It has a rugged ergonomic grip with a user-friendly trigger. The compressed air inlets are located in two different positions to select the best fit for your application.
With the model 1004SS Back Blow nozzle, the VariBlast Compact Back Blow Safety Air Gun is a small but powerful tool that can clean inside smaller pipes, tubes, and hoses. They come standard with extension tubes and a Chip Shield. The extension tubes range from 6” (152mm) to 36” (914mm) to extend deep inside cavities and openings. The Chip Shield is made from a durable polycarbonate material that will protect your operators during use.
The next air gun in this series is the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun. With an ergonomic soft handle and full-grip trigger, the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun can be used for hours without fatigue. EXAIR offers two types of Back Blow Nozzles with the Soft Grip; model 1004SS and model 1006SS.
As a “bigger cousin” to the VariBlast above, the Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun with the model 1004SS has extensions ranging from 6” (152mm) to 36” (914mm) as well as a Chip Shield. The Soft Grip with the model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle has extensions that range from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length with a Chip Shield. Both of these types of Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Guns are great products in allowing you to clean inside a greater variety of diameters and lengths.
For rough industrial environments, EXAIR offers the Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. They come with a composite rubber grip and a wide curved trigger. It has a 3/8” NPT inlet for increased compressed air flow for those “tough” cleanings.
The Heavy Duty Back Blow Safety Air Gun comes standard with the model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle, an extension pipe, and a Chip Shield. The extensions lengths can range from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm). If you need a tough air gun for rugged areas to clean inside pipes and tubes, the Heavy Duty Back Blow Safety Air Gun could be the best candidate for your application.
As our largest model, the Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun has the strongest blowing force. They can clean large areas inside pipes, channels, and tubes ranging from 2” (51mm) to 16” (406mm) in diameter. It has a soft foam grip for easy handling and a spring-loaded manual valve that will turn off if dropped. The model 1008SS Back Blow Nozzle is mounted to an extension that is either 1 foot (0.3m), 3 feet (0.9m), or 6 feet (1.8m) in length. With a 1” NPT inlet, the Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun will generate a strong blast of air for cleaning and removing troublesome material.
If you need to clean inside tubes, hoses, channels, pipes, etc., EXAIR has the perfect product, the Back Blow Air Nozzles. They can remove the dirty coolant, chips, and debris in a non-contact way. EXAIR offers these nozzles with our VariBlast, Soft Grip, Heavy Duty, and Super Blast Safety Air Guns for manual cleaning operations. EXAIR stocks these Safety Air Guns for fast delivery. And if you are located in the U.S.A or Canada, we offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee. You can try them out and see how effective, safe, and powerful they are in improving your internal cleaning processes. If you need more details, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help you.
Return on Investment, or ROI, is the ratio of profit over total investment. Many people use it to check stocks, financial markets, capital equipment, etc. It is a quantitative way in determining the validity for an investment or project. You can use the ROI value to give a measurable rate in looking at your investment.
For a positive ROI value, the project will pay for itself in less than one year. Any negative values would represent a high-risk investment. In this blog, I will compare the ROI when replacing a ¼” NPT open pipe with a model 1122 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. Let’s start by looking at Equation 1 to calculate the Return on Investment:
Equation 1: ROI = (Total annual savings – Total Project Cost) / Total Project Cost * 100
The second part of the equation, Total Project Cost, is the cost of the nozzles plus the labor to install them onto the machine. The model 1122, 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle, has a price of $70.00 each. The cost of a ¼” NPT Pipe that is roughly 2” long is around $1.50 each. What a difference! How could EXAIR been in business for over 35 years? Let’s continue on with the Return on Investment…
The amount of time required to install the nozzles to the end of a pipe is 1/2 hour (generously). The labor rate that I will use in this example is $75.00 per hour (you can change this to your current labor rate). The labor cost to install a nozzle is $35.00. The Total Project Cost can be calculated as follows: ($70 – $1.50) + $35.00 = $103.50. The next part of the equation, Total annual savings, has more complexity in the calculation, as shown below.
As a reference, EXAIR Super Air Nozzles for compressed air would be considered like LED light bulbs for electricity. The open pipes and tubes would represent the incandescent light bulbs. The reason for this parity is because of the amount of energy that the EXAIR Super Air Nozzles can save. While LED light bulbs are a bit more expensive than the incandescent light bulbs, the Return on Investment has a high percentage, or in other words, a short payback period. On the other hand, the open pipe is less expensive to purchase, but the overall cost to use in your compressed air system is much much higher. I will explain why.
To calculate the Total Annual Savings, we need to generate a blow-off scenario (You can use your actual values to calculate the ROI for your project). In this example, I will compare the ¼” NPT open pipe to the 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. (The reason behind this comparison is that the model 1122 can screw directly onto the end of the 1/4” NPT pipe.) The amount of compressed air used by a 1/4” NPT open pipe is around 140 SCFM (3,962 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). The model 1122 has an air consumption of 21.8 SCFM (622 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). At an electrical rate of $0.08 per Kilowatt-hour, we see that the cost to make compressed air is $0.25 per 1000 standard cubic feet, or $0.25/1000SCF. (Based on 4 SCFM per horsepower of air compressor).
To calculate an annual savings, let’s use a blow-off operation of 8 hours/day for 250 days a year. Replacing the ¼” NPT open pipe with a model 1122, it will save you (140 SCFM – 21.8 SCFM) = 118.2 SCFM of compressed air. To put this into a monetary value, the annual savings will be 118.2 SCFM *$0.25/1000SCF * 60 Min/hr * 8hr/day * 250 day/yr = $3,546/year. Now if you have more than one blow-off spot in your facility like this, imagine the total amount of money that you would save.
With the Total Annual Cost and the Project Cost known, we can insert these values into Equation 1 to calculate the ROI:
ROI = (Total annual savings – Total Project Cost) / Project Cost * 100
ROI = ($3,546 – $103.50) / $103.50 * 100
ROI = 3326%
With a percentage value that high, we are looking at a payback period of only 9 days. You may look at the initial cost and be discouraged. But in a little over a week, the model 1122 will have paid for itself. And after using it for just 1 year, it will save your company $3,546.00. Like with any great idea, the LED light bulb clicked on in my mind. What could be the total savings if you looked at all the blow-off applications in your facility?
In my experience, a loud blowing noise from your equipment is generally coming from an open pipe or tube. With these “cheap” ways to blow compressed air, it will cost your company a lot of money to use as shown in the example above. If you would like to team up with EXAIR to set up ways to increase savings, improve productivity, and increase safety, you can contact an Application Engineer to get started. It can be as simple as screwing on a Super Air Nozzle.
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.
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.
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.