This video blog showcases just why engineering even the small details of a compressed air product can have a large impact on compressed air savings, safety, and efficiency. This is why it is critical to know whether the company you are dealing with originally designed the product you purchased or if it is merely a copy.
Using EXAIRSUniversal Air Knife Mounting System greatly ease’s the installation of all Air Knives (Except PVDF). It will save you the time and expense of designing and fabricating your own mounting system which will maximize your uptime and keep your staff focused on key plant tasks!
Many times when we provide the air consumption of an EXAIR product, we get a response like…. “I’ve got plenty of pressure, we run at around 100 PSIG”. While having the correct pressure available is important, it doesn’t make up for the volume requirement or SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) needed to maintain that pressure. We commonly reference trying to supply water to a fire hose with a garden hose, it is the same principle, in regards to compressed air.
When looking to maintain an efficient compressed air system, it’s important that you use properly sized supply lines and fittings to support the air demand (SCFM) of the point-of-use device. The smaller the ID and the longer the length of run, it becomes more difficult for the air to travel through the system. Undersized supply lines or piping can sometimes be the biggest culprit in a compressed air system as they can lead to severe pressure drops or the loss of pressure from the compressor to the end use product.
Take for example our 18″ Super Air Knife. A 18″ Super Air Knife will consume 52.2 SCFM at 80 PSIG. We recommend using 1/2″ Schedule 40 pipe up to 10′ or 3/4″ pipe up to 50′. The reason you need to increase the pipe size after 10′ of run is that 1/2″ pipe can flow close to 100 SCFM up to 10′ but for a 50′ length it can only flow 42 SCFM. On the other hand, 3/4″ pipe is able to flow 100 SCFM up to 50′ so this will allow you to carry the volume needed to the inlet of the knife, without losing pressure through the line.
We also explain how performance can be negatively affected by improper plumbing in the following short video:
Another problem area is using restrictive fittings, like quick disconnects. While this may be useful with common everyday pneumatic tools, like an impact wrench or nail gun, they can severely limit the volumetric flow to a device requiring more air , like a longer length air knife.
For example, looking at the above 1/4″ quick disconnect, the ID of the fitting is much smaller than the NPT connection size. In this case, it is measuring close to .192″. If you were using a device like our Super Air Knife that features 1/4″ FNPT inlets, even though you are providing the correct thread size, the small inside diameter of the quick disconnect causes too much of a restriction for the volume (SCFM) required to properly support the knife, resulting in a pressure drop through the line, reducing the overall performance.
If you have any questions about compressed air applications or supply lines, please contact one of our application engineers for assistance.
If you need a reliable, consistent flow of cold air, look no further than the EXAIR Vortex Tube:
Getting the performance you want comes down to answering two simple questions:
What temperature do I need?
Vortex Tubes produce a DROP in temperature, so your compressed air supply temperature is our starting point to determine what the actual cold air temperature will be. The magnitude of the temperature drop is dependent on two factors:
Compressed air supply pressure – the higher the pressure, the higher the temperature drop.
Cold Fraction setting of the Vortex Tube – this is the percentage of the air supply that’s directed to the cold end. The same temperature drop is produced, regardless of model, for a given Cold Fraction. The lower the Cold Fraction, the greater the temperature drop (and hence, the lower the air temperature.)
EXAIR has two distinct series, or types, of Vortex Tubes:
3200 Series are used when Cold Fractions above 50% are desirable. This provides maximum refrigeration…high flows and temperature drops that are optimal for many spot cooling applications such as tool cooling, setting hot melt adhesives, quick cooling of soldering/brazing, etc.
3400 Seriesare used for lower Cold Fractions (below 50%) and generate VERY cold air flow…as low as -50°F. Some common applications for these are cryogenic lab sample cooling, circuit testing, or freeze seals in certain piping systems.
Cold Fraction is adjusted by turning the Hot Air Exhaust Valve to let more, or less, hot air out, as shown in this short video:
What flow do I need?
Both the 3200 and 3400 Series Vortex Tubes are offered, from stock, in twelve distinct models of each series. These are defined by the compressed air consumption, and the cold air flow is determined by the Cold Fraction setting.
Small Vortex Tubescome in three Models for each series, and consume 2, 4, or 8 SCFM when supplied with compressed air @100 psig.
Medium Vortex Tubescome in five Models for each series, and consume 10, 15, 25, 30, or 40 SCFM @100 psig.
Large Vortex Tubescome in four Models for each series, and consume 50, 75, 100, or 150 SCFM @100 psig.
Converting a Vortex Tube to a different Model (in the same size class) is as easy as changing the Generator (and the Taper Sleeve, for the Small Vortex Tubes):
So, for example, if you have a Model 3210 (10 SCFM consumption, 1,000 Btu/hr rated cooling) set to an 80% Cold Fraction, supplied with compressed air @100 psig & 70°F, it’s making a 16°F cold air flow of 8 SCFM. If your situation calls for more flow, you can change the Generator…for example, if you convert it to a Model 3240 (40 SCFM, 2,800 Btu/hr rated cooling) – leaving the Cold Fraction at 80%, you’ll now get 32 SCFM of 16°F air.
What if you need colder air? You can convert this same Medium Vortex Tube to a Model 3440 (40 SCFM consumption, max cold temperature) by changing the Generator again…and if you lower the Cold Fraction to 20%, it’ll make a -53°F cold flow of 8 SCFM.
Powerful and versatile, EXAIR Vortex Tubes are suitable for a wide range of applications requiring a consistent and reliable flow of cold air. For help in selecting the right one for your needs, give me a call.
The following short video explains the differences between the 3 styles of Air Knives offered by EXAIR – The Super, Standard and Full-Flow. All of these Models are IN STOCK, ready to ship, with orders received by 3:00 PM Eastern.
If you need additional assistance choosing your EXAIR Air Knife, please contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247.
A tubing manufacturer called looking for a better way to dry their 3″ (O.D.) tubes after a rinse application. In their current setup, the tubes are being cut by a band saw, which uses flood coolant to keep the blade cool and evacuate chips. After the tubes are cut, they are then bundled together and dipped into a rinse tank to remove the cutting fluid and any machining debris on the surfaces. The tubes are then fed, one by one, through a series of blower driven air knives placed around the outside of the tubing to dry and clean them before a painting and bar code process. The air knives were working somewhat, but they were seeing some residual streaking on the surface of the tubes that needed to be manually cleaned by hand, slowing down the process.
I recommended the customer use our 4″ Standard Air Wipe in their application. EXAIR Air Wipes provide a 360° uniform, high velocity airflow that adheres to the outside surface, as it passes through the throat of the device. Here is a short video we made showing the cleaning power of our Standard Air Wipes.
The Standard Air Wipe is available in stock sizes from 1/2″ up to 11″. The aluminum construction and PVC hose (included on sizes up to 4″) is suitable for most “general” industrial environments with ambient temperatures reaching as high as 150°F. We also offer Stainless Steel Super Air Wipes, which have the same performance as the Standard, for processes requiring superior corrosion resistance and/or where higher temperatures are possible, up to 800°F.
For help selecting the best product to fit your particular need, please contact an application engineer for assistance.