Where Can’t I Use An EXAIR Super Air Knife?

Considering the material options available, there are very few places you CAN’T use a Super Air Knife. Most often, we find those to be due to extreme elevated temperature, like this one:

A caller from a glass manufacturing company wanted to replace a drilled pipe in a cooling application. Thing is, glass makers deal with their product in molten form, which is HOT…the ambient temperature that this drilled pipe is exposed to reaches 800°C, or 1,472°F.  Because of the temperature, and corrosive atmospheric elements (SO2 is also present, as if the heat wasn’t bad enough,) they have to replace the drilled pipe every so often, and wanted to explore other solutions.

Now, this was a rare case where a Super Air Knife would not have necessarily offered an improvement over a drilled pipe:

  • The air flow from the drilled pipe is primarily straight from their compressed air system.  Since the Super Air Knife entrains air from the surrounding environment at a rate of 40:1, the resultant flow would be very close to the 800°C ambient temperature…and not as effective at cooling as the much cooler compressed air supply temperature.  It wouldn’t have helped to reduce consumption if it simply didn’t work.
The Super Air Knife takes a supply of compressed air (1), discharges it through a gap that runs the length of the Air Knife (2,) and entrains an enormous amount of “free” air from the surrounding environment (3.)
  • Another great thing about the Super Air Knife is that it’s dramatically quieter than any other method of compressed air blowing.  Of course, if you find yourself in a 800°C sulfur dioxide environment, hearing protection is the least of your concerns.

    When supplied at 80psig, the EXAIR Super Air Knife produces a hard hitting, powerful curtain of air, with a sound level of only 69dBA.
  • EXAIR Super Air Knives (and all of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products) are compliant with OSHA Standard 1910.242(b) which limits the outlet pressure of a compressed air blowing device used for cleaning to 30psi…this protects personnel from high velocity debris and air embolisms.  Again, not a concern in an unoccupied (and uninhabitable) space.

Again, that’s a rare case…a very specific exception to a broadly inclusive rule, in light of the options EXAIR offers.  Consider:

  • Aluminum Super Air Knives are durable, lightweight, and suitable for most any installation in a typical industrial/commercial environment.  They’re good to 180°F (82°C) and are fitted with stainless steel fasteners to eliminate corrosion in damp environments.  The polyester shim can be replaced with a custom stainless steel shim, increasing the temperature rating to 400°F (204°C) if needed.
  • Type 303 Stainless Steel Super Air Knives offer higher tensile strength, and are good to 800°F (427°C.)  They are popular in applications with factors like high heat, corrosive environments, frequent spray down cleaning, outdoor installations, etc.
  • Type 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knives are often specified in food and pharmaceutical applications, due to their even higher resistance to chemical attack and pitting.  They’re also rated to 800°F (427°C) and have the same high tensile strength as the Type 303 Stainless Steel models.
  • Some situations call for better corrosion resistance than these high grades of austenitic stainless steels – and that’s where EXAIR’s PVDF Super Air Knife comes in.  Fitted with PTFE shims and Hastelloy© C-276 hardware, they are especially well suited for processes involving the harshest of corrosive agents, such as electroplating, solar cell manufacturing, and lithium ion battery production, just to mention a few.  They would, in fact, be ideal for the SOenvironment at the glass factory, if it weren’t for the temperature…they’re rated to 275°F (135°C.)

Performance is identical, regardless of construction materials, and all EXAIR Super Air Knives come in lengths from 3″ to 108″ (except PVDF…those go up to 54″ lengths) and ship quickly from our well maintained inventory.  Aluminum and Stainless Steel models can be coupled together for even longer flow lengths.  Plumbing Kits and Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems make for easy and quick installation, and all Super Air Knife Kits come with an Automatic Drain Filter Separator, a Pressure Regulator, and a Shim Set for reliability, clean air flow, and total performance control.

If you need a reliable, cost effective, safe, quiet, and efficient curtain of air, EXAIR’s Super Air Knives are what you’re looking for.  If you’d like to discuss a particular application and/or product selection, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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No Drip, External Mix, Atomizing Spray Nozzle Overview

 

No Drip ASN
EXAIR’s No Drip, External Mix, Atomizing Spray Nozzle In Action!

EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles are used to clean, coat, or cool parts and they also lend themselves very well to humidification and dust control.  They are constructed from rugged and durable 303 SS to provide corrosion resistance and they can operate in temperatures up to 400°F (204°C). All EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles are also CE compliant.

Atomizing Nozzles are separated into 5 categories – Internal Mix, External Mix and Siphon Fed, Deflected Flat Fan, and Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern.  They are available in 1/8″, 1/4″ & 1/2″ NPT to make it easy to provide the coverage and flow rate you need for nearly any application.  For today’s focus, we will discuss the No Drip External Mix Atomizing Nozzles.

External Mix Atomizing Nozzles have the highest flow rates and are ideally suited where precise liquid flow is required and both the air and liquid are pressurized.  Also the External Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles can easily atomize liquids with a viscosity above 300 cP (Centipoise).

Centipoise is defined as a dynamic viscosity measurement unit. A Centipoise (cP) is a non-SI (non-System International) measurement unit of dynamic viscosity in the centimeter gram second (CGS) system of units.

Centipoise Chart

Our patented No Drip feature positively stops the liquid flow when the supply air pressure drops below 20 PSIG for 1/8″ NPT Nozzles or 30″ PSIG for the 1/4″ or 1/2″ NPT. By incorporating this feature into the design, it eliminates the need for any additional valves or supply lines.  They are available in flow rates that range from less than 2 GPH (7.57 LPH) for our Model EF9010SS 1/8 NPT No Drip External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern and up to 303 GPH (1,147 LPH) for the Model EF6010SS 1/2 NPT No Drip External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern.

When making a selection, below are some points to consider:

  1. Volume of liquid required?
  2. What is the viscosity of the liquid?
  3. What type of spray pattern fits the application?

If you would like to discuss External Mix No Drip Air Nozzles or any of EXAIR’s safe, quiet & efficient compressed air products, I would enjoy hearing from you…give us a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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The Adjustable Spot Cooler – Cold Air to -30°F (-34°C) From Your Compressed Air Supply

The Adjustable Spot Cooler is a low cost, reliable , maintenance free way to provide spot cooling to a myriad of industrial applications. Simply turn the knob, and the temperature can be changed to suit the needs of the process. The Adjustable Spot Cooler delivers precise temperature settings from -30°F (-34°C) to room temperature.

Adjustable Spot Cooler
Adjustable Spot Cooler

The Adjustable Spot Cooler utilizes the Vortex Tube technology that converts compressed air into a cold air stream. To learn more about EXAIR vortex tubes, click here.

  • It can produce temperatures form -30°F to +70°F (-34°C tp +21°C)
  • Parts included for flow rates of 15, 25 and 30 SCFM (425, 708, 850 SLPM.) The unit comes from the factory set at 25 SCFM (708 SLPM)
  • It can produce refrigeration up to 2,000 BTU/hr (504 Kcal/hr.)

A swivel magnetic base allows for easy mounting and portability, you can move it from machine to machine as needed. The flexible cold air outlet tubing holds its position and is easy to aim. Most importantly, there are no moving parts or CFC’s, ensuring maintenance free operation.

asc_onlathecmyk
The Adjustable Spot Cooler maintains critical tolerances on machined plastic parts

How the Adjustable Spot Cooler WorksThe Adjustable Spot Cooler incorporates a vortex tube to convert a supply of compressed air (1) into two low pressure streams, one hot and one cold. With the turn of a knob, the temperature control valve (2) allows some hot air to flow through a muffling sleeve and out the hot air exhaust (3). The opposite end provides a cold air stream (4) that is muffled and discharged through the flexible hose, which directs it to the point of use. The swivel magnetic base (5) provides easy mounting and portability.


The Adjustable Spot Cooler can produce a wide range of air flows and temperatures as determined by the temperature control valve knob setting and the generator installed. The generator controls the total SCFM (SLPM) of compressed air consumption, and is easy to change. From the factory, the 25 SCFM (708 SLPM) generator is installed, producing up to 1,700 BTU/hr (429 Kcal/hr) of cooling. For less cooling, the 15 SCFM (425 SLPM) generator can be installed, providing up to 1,000 BTU/hr (252 Kcal/hr) of cooling. And for more cooling, the 30 SCFM (850 SLPM) generator can be installed, providing up to 2,000 BTU/hr (504 Kcal/hr) of cooling.

Adjustable Spot Cooler Specifications

Two (2) Systems are available as shown below, and include the 15 and 30 SCFM (425 and 850 SLPM) generators, a filter separator, and either a single or dual point hose kit.

Adjustable Spot Cooler Systems3825_3925 adj spot cooler

If you have questions about the Adjustable Spot Cooler 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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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Shot Blasting Media and Dust Problems Solved with EXAIR’s HEPA Vac

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

Have you ever heard an electric vacuum toward the end of its life?  It gets an irritating high-pitch noise caused by the bearings going out.  A customer was hearing this annoying sound after only two months of use.   Their application was shot blasting metal parts.  The shot blast media was very dusty and carried everywhere around the room.  After use, they would use a shop vac to clean the machine and around the area.   When they started to hear that “moan” from their electric vacuum, they knew that they would have to purchase another unit.  Additionally, they noticed a lot of dust migrating into the work environment from the shop vac, creating a breathing hazard for the operators.  After their second electric vacuum failed, they started looking for a better choice.

Sand Blasting Equipment

When they contacted EXAIR about these issues, EXAIR had a great solution for them.  I recommended our model 6399, 55-gallon Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System.  This system comes with a drum, drum dolly, heavy duty accessories, HEPA Filter, and a robust vacuum system.  The heavy-duty accessories are easy to use to vacuum in tight spaces.  The HEPA filter inside the drum has an efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 micron.  So, the dust will remain in the drum and not migrate back into the ambient air.  The HEPA filter media is pleated to give a large surface area of 36.7 ft2 (3.4 m2).  Packed inside a supported cylindrical, it will allow for great amount of debris before changing.  With the shop vac above, the surface area of the filter was very small causing the filter to plug and under-perform.  The EXAIR Heavy Duty vacuum generator is made from a hardened-alloy steel construction which is very resistant to wear.  It does not have any moving parts or bearings to wear.  For this application, the generator is perfect for the shot blast media.  The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac only requires compressed air to operate, not an electric motor which can fail from dusty environments.  The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System only has a decibel level of 82 dBA which makes it very quiet compared to shop vacs.  With clean compressed air as the engine for the vacuum, this system can last for years; not months.

When the company above started to use the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac, the first thing that they noticed was how quiet it operated.  That constant loud noise from their electric vacuum was gone, making it a better working environment for the operators.  They also noticed that the dust was not getting back into the environment, reducing the dust nuisance.  If you find that your electric vacuums are breaking down or you would like to reduce the noise levels, EXAIR has a large line of Industrial Housekeeping Products.  You can contact an Application Engineer to see if we have the right vacuum product for you.

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

What’s In My Air, And Why Is It Important?

Everyone knows there’s oxygen in our air – if there wasn’t oxygen in the air you’re breathing right now, reading this blog would be the least of your concerns. Most people know that oxygen, in fact, makes up about 20% of the earth’s atmosphere at sea level, and that almost all the rest is nitrogen. There’s an impressive list of other gases in the air we breathe, but what’s more impressive (to me, anyway) is the technology behind the instrumentation needed to measure some of these values:

Reference: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, edited by David R. Lide, 1997.

We can consider, for practical purposes, that air is made up of five gases: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor (more on that in a minute.)  The other gases are so low in concentration that there is over 10 times as much carbon dioxide as all the others below it, combined.

About the water vapor: because it’s a variable, this table omits it, water vapor generally makes up 1-3% of atmospheric air, by volume, and can be as high as 5%.  Which means that, even on a ‘dry’ day, it pushes argon out of the #3 slot.

There are numerous reasons why the volumetric concentrations of these gases are important.  If oxygen level drops in the air we’re breathing, human activity is impaired.  Exhaustion without physical exertion will occur at 12-15%.  Your lips turn blue at 10%.  Exposure to oxygen levels of 8% or below are fatal within minutes.

Likewise, too much of other gases can be bad.  Carbon monoxide, for example, is a lethal poison.  It’ll kill you at concentrations as low as 0.04%…about the normal amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

For the purposes of this blog, and how the makeup of our air is important to the function of EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products, we’re going to stick with the top three: nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor.

Any of our products are capable of discharging a fluid, but they’re specifically designed for use with compressed air – in basic grade school science terms, they convert the potential energy of air under compression into kinetic energy in such a way as to entrain a large amount of air from the surrounding environment.  This is important to consider for a couple of reasons:

  • Anything that’s in your compressed air supply is going to get on the part you’re blowing off with that Super Air Nozzle, the material you’re conveying with that Line Vac, or the electronics you’re cooling with that Cabinet Cooler System.  That includes water…which can condense from the water vapor at several points along the way from your compressor’s intake, through its filtration and drying systems, to the discharge from the product itself.
  • Sometimes, a user is interested in blowing a purge gas (commonly nitrogen or argon) –  but unless it’s in a isolated environment (like a closed chamber) purged with the same gas, most of the developed flow will simply be room air.

Another consideration of air make up involves EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators.  They work on the Corona discharge principle: a high voltage is applied to a sharp point, and any gas in the vicinity of that point is subject to ionization – loss or gain of electrons in their molecules’ outer valences, resulting in a charged particle.  The charge is positive if they lose an electron, and negative if they gain one.  Of the two gases that make up almost all of our air, oxygen has the lowest ionization energy in its outer valence, making it the easier of the two to ionize.  You can certainly supply a Gen4 Static Eliminator with pure nitrogen if you wish, but the static dissipation rate may be hampered to a finite (although probably very small) degree.

At EXAIR Corporation, we want to be the ones you think of when you think of compressed air.  If you’ve got questions about it, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Air photo courtesy of Bruno Creative Commons License

No Drip, Atomizing Spray Nozzle, Siphon Fed Overview

EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles are used to clean, coat, or cool parts and they also lend themselves very well to humidification and dust control.  They are constructed from rugged and durable 303 SS to provide corrosion resistance and they can operate in temperatures up to 400°F (204°C).  All EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles are also CE compliant.  The No Drip Atomizing Nozzles are available in (5) types – Internal Mix, External Mix, and Siphon FedDeflected Flat Fan & 360° Hollow Round Pattern.

For today’s topic we will focus on EXAIR’s Siphon Fed No Drip Atomizing Nozzle.  They provide the same great performance as the standard atomizing nozzles with the added benefit of positive liquid flow stoppage when the compressed air supply is shut off.

No Drip ASN
EXAIR’s No Drip Atomizing Nozzle In Action

The No Drip option eliminates post spray liquid flow that can result in unwanted drips that can ruin the finish on painted or coated surfaces.  Also, liquid loss due to post spraying cycle drips is eliminated saving  you money on expensive materials such as chemicals or coatings.  When the compressed air is turned-off, the No Drip nozzle positively seals off the liquid flow, eliminating the chance for drips or wasted liquids. Only one compressed air line is required, as this single line that is used to create the atomized liquid flow also operates the no drip feature.

No Drip Atomizing Nozzles require a minimum air pressure of 20 PSI for the 1/8 NPT models and 30 PSI for the larger 1/4 & 1/2 NPT sizes to turn on.  This is similar to a check valve and the pressure required to open the valve which can be referred to as the “cracking pressure”.

The Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles require no liquid pressure to operate and can be used with either gravity or siphon feeds.  The 1/8 NPT & 1/4 NPT can draw liquid up to 36″ vertically and the 1/2 NPT size up to 24″ vertically!  They are designed to be used with liquids up to 200 cP and can spray either a round or flat fan pattern for the 1/8 NPT & 1/4 NPT.  The 1/2 NPT nozzle is available in the round spraying pattern only.

Centipoise is defined as a dynamic viscosity measurement unit. A Centipoise (cP) is a non-SI (non-System International) measurement unit of dynamic viscosity in the centimeter gram second (CGS) system of units.

Centipoise Chart

Don’t forget the optional Mounting Bracket that is available.  Naturally there are (3) sizes available to fit the size nozzle you are using (1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 NPT).  They are constructed from 301 SS and allow any Atomizing Spray Nozzle to be easily attached to a wall, frame or other surface.

Some key points to consider when determining which Atomizing Spray Nozzle will work best in your application are:

  1. Volume of liquid required for your process?
  2. What is the viscosity of the liquid?
  3. What type of spray pattern fits the application?

If you would like to discuss No Drip Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles or any of EXAIR’s safe, quiet & efficient compressed air products, I would enjoy hearing from you…give us a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s to enjoying the company of good friends and family. Everyone at EXAIR wishes all of you a happy Thanksgiving, and would like to express our gratitude for being our customers and vendors – we appreciate you.

EXAIR will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23 to be with our family and friends.

Enjoy the holiday,
The entire EXAIR Team