Atomizing Nozzle Used in Copper Forming Applications

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EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle, Narrow, Round Spray Pattern

 

Copper and its alloys are used in a variety of products from consumer goods like musical instruments, drawer and door pulls, wind chimes, electrical contacts and many other, similar parts that you do not see on more complicated pieces of equipment such as HVAC systems.

Comparatively speaking, copper is quite a malleable metal. That’s what makes it so useful for manufacturing processes such as expanding, reducing, flaring, beading and other similar processes that don’t necessarily involve a cutting or grinding action on the material, but rather a tool that comes into contact with the material to impart a specific shape that makes the made part beneficial to some other product or process.

And so, in the metal forming process, you generally have a hardened alloy tool that comes into contact with the soft copper (or brass) to impart one of the above mentioned effects to the material. With the metal forming process, you have friction that needs to be reduced substantially to aid in the forming process while maintaining the tool integrity and keeping heat generation to a minimum. There are a variety of oil-based lubricants that companies who specialize in this kind of processing, will use to lubricate the raw part prior to forming.

This is the point within the process where EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can play a significant role in application of the lubrication. By atomizing the lubricant, the customer can have a controlled, even application of the lubricant to the tooling and/or material surface prior to putting the material through the forming operation. By applying a controlled layer of atomized lubricant, the customer can apply the lubricant in a sparingly manner to conserve on how much is used for each part formed. They get the benefit of the lubrication without over-doing it and wasting excess volume of lube applied. This, in turn, allows for a cleaner and safer processing area as well as measurable cost savings for the lubricant as well.

For lower viscosity lubricants (< 300 cP) that require only a light application of material, we have model AN1010SS which can provide a Narrow, Round spray pattern to coat smaller parts. If the part is larger or perhaps starts out as a sheet, we do also have model AW1030SS which can provide a Flat, Wide Angle spray pattern. If the lubricant has a viscosity that is higher than 300 cP, we also have a series of External Mix Atomizing Nozzles with similar spray flow patterns that can be selected for high precision adjustment of the liquid flow and droplet size to suit any need.

If you are in the metal forming industry and you are concerned with application of lubricants in your applications, we be glad to help you pick an Atomizing Nozzle to suit your needs. Contact us to discuss your application.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

High Temperature Application Needs High Temperature Filtration

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Two 42″ stainless steel Super Air Knives in need of proper filtration of the compressed air supply

In an undisclosed application, two 42” stainless steel Super Air Knives (shown above) are positioned to provide a needed blowoff function.  The exact purpose of the blowoff wasn’t revealed, but this OEM requested various shims for these knives along with suitable filtration.  Shims, which can be field installed into the knife to adjust the air gap and air flow due to different thicknesses, will directly affect the volume of air and force out of the knife. Determining model numbers and pricing for the requested shims is straightforward, but providing the required filtration proved to be a bit more challenging.

Whenever considering filtration, the first step in product selection is to consider what needs to be filtered from the air; for example, water, dirt, or oil.  This customer needed a method to remove both water and dirt, as well as oil particulate from the compressed air.

The next step is to consider the potential greatest flow (required by the knives) through the filters, which, in turn, requires having knowledge of the intended operating pressure for the application and the air gap set by the shims.  These knives are to be operated at a maximum pressure of 87 PSIG, creating a maximum flow potential of about 260-520 SCFM depending on the chosen shim.  (3.1 SCFM per inch of length for each knife when operating at 87 PSIG * 42 inches per knife * 2 knives = ~260 SCFM;  6.2 SCFM per inch of length for each knife when operating at 87 PSIG and having the additional shims installed * 42 inches per knife * 2 knives = ~520 SCFM)

Lastly, we have to give consideration to the environment into which the filters will be installed.  For example, will the filters be exposed to any kind of wash-down process using specific chemicals; and, what is the ambient temperature in the environment?  The purpose of these questions is to uncover any environmental specifications or limitations.

In this application, those questions uncovered a need to place these filters into a hot environment with temperatures up to 300°F.  Given that our stock filter options have maximum operating temperatures of 120°F, we needed to explore an application-specific solution.

So, the Engineering team at EXAIR sprung into gear to find a suitable, high temperature option, which we in turn presented to the OEM user, offering a specific solution for their specific application.  The high temperature filters for this application are suitable for temperatures up to 450°F with flow rates as high as 600 SCFM at 100 PSIG – a perfect fit!

If you have application-specific needs, we’re happy to discuss and brainstorm potential solutions.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

EXAIR Has Solutions For Skin Problems (Really)

The EXAIR Chip Trapper filters solid debris from your coolant that can not only clog the supply lines to the tooling, but also provide a LOT of surface area for the growth of bacteria. This can really foul the air in a machine shop, and sometimes, it can mess with your skin, causing a rash or infection. Honestly, this isn’t a HUGE problem…I’ve fielded a handful of calls about it over the years, though, so when I got the call from a machinist last week who wanted to talk about a possible solution for a skin problem, I immediately thought of the Chip Trapper.

Well, immediately after I thought about this old commercial (I’ve written before about how I watched way too much television growing up. Don’t judge.)

Turns out, though, his problem wasn’t bacterial – it was an allergic reaction he was having with a specific additive in the coolant used on a particular machine tool. He mentioned that it was a mist coolant application, so I immediately thought of the Cold Gun Aircoolant System.

Of, course, right after I thought about this commercial (seriously; stop judging.)

To my knowledge, it’s the first time we’ve ever applied a Cold Gun to solve a skin problem – we’re almost always looking at them to avoid the mess of coolant spray, or to increase tool life in situations where traditional machine tool coolant is impractical (or impossible) to use.

With four distinct models to choose from, we've got a Cold Gun System to meet your needs.

With four distinct models to choose from, we’ve got a Cold Gun System to meet your needs.

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR products can save you from:

*Excessive compressed air consumption
*High sound levels
*Static charge problems
*Heat damage to your electronics
*Labor intensive “bucket and ladder” bulk conveyance operations
*Trips to the dermatologist (no, really)

Then give me a call.  We can even talk about vintage TV commercials (I won’t judge either.)

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Will Water Move Through EXAIR Air Knives and Air Wipes? (Images included)

Today, I would like to discuss a question that comes up time and time again over the years.  “What happens when I put water through a Super Air Knife?” That raised another question from myself of what about a Super Air Wipe?

The answer is quite simple, it will come out, just not as good as compressed air does.   The engineering and design for Super Air Knives were all based around compressed air use.  With any good product of course comes the question in time, how else can we use this?   A number of applications for the Super Air Knife is blowing moisture off a part that has been applied through a series of wash/rinse nozzles.  What if the knife could apply the liquid and then a second knife could remove the liquid.  Below are some images from testing that was done on a Stainless Steel Super Air Knife at various gap sizes and various pressures.    The “best” performance visually was from operating the air knife with .004″ gap and approximately  a 17 PSIG inlet pressure (this is for a 12″ Super Air Knife).

Water flowing through a 12" Stainless Steel Super Air Knife

Water flowing through a 12″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife

As you can see in the photos, the water does flow fairly well immediately out of the knife, and becomes more turbulent as it gets further away from the knife.   The stream actually begins to break up and thus the effective distance of the knife may be reduced when using it to flow liquids.   This is not going to perform like a pressure washer, the maximum distance for the stream of liquid before it completely fell off was around 10′ from the discharge point.   If this were to be used to remove loose debris or to cover a part in water to help cool the part the stream would be more than enough to perform.

As noted above the operating pressure was fairly low, and the gap was at a .004″ thickness.  I recently tested a 1″ Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe as well.  The shim gap was once again set to .004″ thick to permit a better flow and a low pressure, approximately 10-12 psig inlet pressure.  As you can see the flow of water is not as smooth as the air flow out of a Super Air Wipe but if a light rinsing process was needed, or a water cooling process, this would work well.

1" Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe w/ Water

1″ Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe w/ Water

 

So the answer to the main question at hand is yes, a Super Air Knife and Super Air Wipe will both operate with a pressurized liquid source under the correct circumstances.   While they do not operate exactly like they do with compressed air, the results still prove useful in certain applications.

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

Stainless Super Air Knife Used In Seafood Application

I was recently contacted by an Alaskan seafood company that was looking for a better solution for blowing off the conveyors in their processing procedure. This particular company has their own dedicated fisherman that actually catch their own seafood and freeze it right onboard their state-of-the-art vessels to ensure they are providing the freshest product. Once they return to land, the fresh catch is transferred via belt conveyors into their processing plant where it passes through their rigorous safety and quality protocol and packaged for shipment.

The seafood passes through a wash/rinse process where it then passes under a section of aluminum pipe with drilled holes to blow off any residual solution remaining on the product. The issue with the current setup were two fold: First, the drilled pipe was creating a sporadic airflow, which wasn’t providing effective blowoff, causing the product to fail inspection and the need for an operator to manually clean the product or worse, scrap it altogether. Secondly, the drilled aluminum pipe was unable to hold up to the corrosive nature of the environment due to the salt in the air and was beginning to break down and contaminate the product. The customer was thinking of just upgrading the pipe to stainless and while this would provide better compatibility with the environment, it still wouldn’t remedy the need for a more balanced airflow.

After further discussing the application, I recommended the customer use our 24″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife. The Super Air Knife produces a high velocity, even sheet of air across the length of the knife, in contrast to the disrupted flow they were seeing from the drilled pipe. In addition, the Stainless Steel construction provides the needed corrosion resistance to withstand the aggressive, salt water atmosphere and minimize the possibility of contaminating their product.

Super Air Knife

Super Air Knife – Available in aluminum, 303ss or 316ss in lengths from 3″ up to 108″.

Although not a concern to this particular customer, I explained another benefit of using the Super Air Knife over the drilled pipe and that would be the compressed air usage.  Drilled pipe wastes a ton of air and puts a high demand on the air compressor, resulting in high operating costs. The Super Air Knife is a much more efficient solution as it only consumes 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife when operated at 80 PSIG, keeping the operating cost down while providing superior blow off results.

If you have a similar need or to discuss your process, please contact one of our application engineers for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
mailto:justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Conveying Valve Keepers with a Line Vac Air Operated Conveyor

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Valve keepers

In some of my previous blogs I’ve written about rebuilding engines at home, usually finding a decent car that suffered top-end engine damage.  Sometimes the root cause is a lack of oil pressure, other times it is a failed component in the valve train, or something as simple as a broken timing belt.  In any case, these rebuilds tend to involve removing the cylinder heads from the engine, disassembling them and replacing the damaged components.

Capture

These valve keepers need to be pneumatically conveyed

A commonly damaged component with timing belt or valve train failure is the valve.  And, removing the valve means removing the valve keepers, which are the items shown above.

I received an email from our distributor in Italy, searching for a solution to convey these valve keepers at a rate of approximately 5000 per hour over a distance of 3 meters and a height of 4 meters.  The valve keepers are quite light, weighing just 0.29 grams each – a perfect fit for use with the Line Vac.

When considering a conveyance application we take into account several variables such as:

Bulk density of the material

Shape/size of the material

Conveying distance

Conveying height

Required conveyance rate

Available compressed air supply

Given the need to convey 5000 valve keepers per hour at a weight of 0.29 grams/valve keeper, we only needed to move ~1.5kg per hour for this application.  When considering the height and distance involved, and the size of the valve keepers, we can comfortable convey these units with a ¾” Line Vac or a 1” Line Vac.  Using 10.7 and 14.7 SCFM, respectively, these options provide a suitable solution with a low compressed air demand.

If you have an application in need of a compressed air solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

1st photo credit to Benjamin Hirsch (Creative Commons License)

A Lot Can Happen In Five Years

Five years ago, I wrote a blog about my (then) 11 year old son’s first-ever week away from home at Boy Scout Summer Camp. He’s departing again this weekend, but his troop has decided to venture “out of Council” this year, to Camp Howard W. Wall…it’s on the south coast of the island of St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands.

They met last week to cover the final (and finer) details of international travel, flight schedules, logistics, etc., and activities…Camp Friedlander has a “blob:”

But Camp Wall has an OCEAN:

Just to put the distance into perspective...

Just to put the distance into perspective…

I’ve been thinking a LOT about the changes I’ve seen in the wide-eyed kid I dropped off at a camp that I drive past twice a day, and the smirking teenager that I’m driving to the airport on Sunday morning. And those changes are providing perspective on not only how fast those five years have passed, but how much can happen in that span.

In 2011, I was a wide-eyed “Dread Newbie” at EXAIR.  One of my very first meetings with the rest of the gang was to be trained on our brand new Atomizing Spray Nozzles…we only had three styles to choose from, but two of them came in four distinct models, and one came in FIVE. They were ALL Internal Mix, because hey, who doesn’t like the maximum range of adjustability that comes with being able to vary your flow rate and spray pattern size by adjusting liquid AND air supply pressures?

OK; it turns out that was just the beginning…within the year, our Engineering Department had developed:

External Mix – three styles, thirteen distinct models, to allow for independent adjustment of flow rate (by liquid pressure) and spray pattern (by air pressure.)

Siphon Fed – two styles, seven distinct models, that could be siphon OR gravity fed, for situations where it’s not practical to pressurize the liquid supply.

And, four years after that, looking back, it seems like THAT was just the beginning…we now have:

*Two sizes – the original 1/4 NPT and the new(er) 1/2 NPT.
*Sixteen styles – each available with our No-Drip option (so technically I guess we have thirty-two)
*Forty-five distinct models – we’ve got a flow rate/spray pattern combination for just about any application

And, like the rest of our catalog products, they’re all in stock, ready to ship today, on time, like we do 99.97% of the time…that’s actually one thing that HASN’T changed in the 17 years that we’ve been keeping track.

If you’d like to talk about Spray Nozzles…or any EXAIR products (old or new,) give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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