EXAIR Corporation’s Research & Development team often finds themselves at odds with our Marketing department, who thinks R&D, through their constant introduction of new ideas & products, is trying to turn our catalog into something resembling a phone book.
I do not believe that is their aim or intention, though (and to be fair, Marketing doesn’t either.) Honestly, we just want to help folks in a wide range of industries solve problems. And a diverse range of engineered compressed air products is our tried-and-true, successful method for doing so.
Today I’m going to focus on the Internal Mix nozzles with the patented No Drip Functionality.
The No Drip option eliminates the occurrence of post spray liquid flow that results in unwanted drips that can mar a finish on painted or coated surfaces. Also, excess liquid loss is minimized saving on expensive materials like chemicals or coatings. When the compressed air is shut-off, the No Drip nozzle positively seals off the flow, eliminating the chance for a drip or lost liquid. Only one compressed air line is needed, as the line to combine and atomize the liquid also provides the no drip operation and control. At the 41 second mark in the video below you can see the No Drip in Action!
The Internal Mix type operates under the principle that the air and liquid come together and mix ‘internal’ to the nozzle. This type provides the finest atomization and smallest droplet size. The Internal Mix type of nozzle can be used with liquids up to 300 centipoise in viscosity. Both the air and liquid sides are pressure fed. The No drip Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles are best for pressure fed applications not requiring independent air and liquid control.
The No Drip Atomizing Nozzles are available in (3) sizes – 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 NPT – to provide a wide range of flow rates and pattern sizes. The No Drip feature does not impact the flow rates compared to the standard models. Minimum air pressure operation is 30 PSIG for the 1/4 and 1/2 NPT, and just 20 PSIG for the 1/8 NPT models.
Like the standard Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles, spray patterns include narrow and wide angle round, flat fan, deflected flat fan and a 360° hollow circular pattern offering a wide selection to best meet the application needs.
Operation at up to 180 spray cycles per minute is possible. Air and Liquid Caps can be switched out to change the pattern and flow rates.
No post spray drip
Easily used with EFC
Minimizes air and liquid consumption
All stainless steel construction
Interchangeable liquid and air caps
If you need an Atomizing Spray Nozzle or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
The supply side of a compressed air system has many critical parts that factor in to how well the system operates and how easily it can be maintained. Dryers for the compressed air play a key role within the supply side are available in many form factors and fitments. Today we will discuss heat of compression-type dryers.
Heat of compression-type dryers are a regenerative desiccant dryer that take the heat from the act of compression to regenerate the desiccant. By using this cycle they are grouped as a heat reactivated dryer rather than membrane technology, deliquescent type, or refrigerant type dryers. They are also manufactured into two separate types.
The single vessel-type heat of compression-type dryer offers a no cycling action in order to provide continuous drying of throughput air. The drying process is performed within a single pressure vessel with a rotating desiccant drum. The vessel is divided into two air streams, one is a portion of air taken straight off the hot air exhaust from the air compressor which is used to provide the heat to dry the desiccant. The second air stream is the remainder of the air compressor output after it has been processed through the after-cooler. This same air stream passes through the drying section within the rotating desiccant drum where the air is then dried. The hot air stream that was used for regeneration passes through a cooler just before it gets reintroduced to the main air stream all before entering the desiccant bed. The air exits from the desiccant bed and is passed on to the next point in the supply side before distribution to the demand side of the system.
The twin tower heat of compression-type dryer operates on the same theory and has a slightly different process. This system divides the air process into two separate towers. There is a saturated tower (vessel) that holds all of the desiccant. This desiccant is regenerated by all of the hot air leaving the compressor discharge. The total flow of compressed air then flows through an after-cooler before entering the second tower (vessel) which dries the air and then passes the air flow to the next stage within the supply side to then be distributed to the demand side of the system.
The heat of compression-type dryers do require a large amount of heat and escalated temperatures in order to successfully perform the regeneration of the desiccant. Due to this they are mainly observed being used on systems which are based on a lubricant-free rotary screw compressor or a centrifugal compressor.
No matter the type of dryer your system has in place, EXAIR still recommends to place a redundant point of use filter on the demand side of the system. This helps to reduce contamination from piping, collection during dryer down time, and acts as a fail safe to protect your process. If you would like to discuss supply side or demand side factors of your compressed air system please contact us.
A company was needing to dry vegetables after a washing system. They currently had three blower air knives (as shown in the photo above) to remove the water before packaging. The issues that they presented to me were in two parts. They were not able to generate enough force to remove enough water from larger products like cauliflower and broccoli. And, the heat from the blower system was affecting the appearance of the thinner vegetables like snow peas. They purchased the blower-style air knives under the belief that they would save money by not using compressed air. They found out quickly that it was not a true statement especially when it comes to the total cost of ownership.
When comparing the EXAIR Super Air Knife to a blower-type air knife, there are many features that should be reviewed. For the customer above, they used an 18” (457mm) wide conveying system to wash more than twenty different fruits and vegetables. So, they needed versatility to dry the different types of products. With the Super Air Knife, we have a simple way to adjust the force by changing the inlet air pressure. So, we can blow air at a light breeze for the snow peas to a very strong force to dry the cauliflower and broccoli. With the engineered design of the Super Air Knife, we can achieve a 40:1 amplification ratio. That means for every 1 part of compressed air, we are able to entrain 40 parts of ambient air. This unique feature allows for the Super Air Knife to be very efficient with your compressed air as well as keeping the blowing air at ambient temperatures. The design of a blower system allows the air to become hot, turbulent, and limited in force. As noted in the photo above, they had to use three blower knives to try to remove the liquid water. With the Super Air Knife, I recommended just one air knife to do the job. They decided to try an EXAIR model 110218SS 18″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife Kit to see if their concept of “saving money” with the blower-type air knife was valid.
To better explain the concept, I divided the comparisons into different categories. You can decide if the Super Air Knife would be a better product than the blower-type air knife. It sure was for the customer above.
Blower System – They are an expensive product when you have to include a blower, ducting, and a knife. To have any flexibility, a control panel with a VFD will be needed. A capital expenditure is typical for a complete system.
Super Air Knife – It is a fraction of the cost. With their system above, we were roughly 1/10 the cost. A capital expense would not be required for ordering a Super Air Knife to remove the water.
Blower System – The intake filter has to be changed periodically as well as the motor and belt has to be checked as a preventive maintenance. Being that the blower motor is a mechanical device, the bearings and belts will wear and have to be replaced. Without proper maintenance, things can break prematurely. Loss of production will cost you much money.
Super Air Knife – They do not have any moving parts to wear out. Only compressed air is needed to operate. The maintenance requirement is to change the compressed air filter once a year.
Compressed air usage:
Blower System – This device does not need any compressed air to work, but it does use an electric motor. For this customer, they had a 7.5KW blower motor. With the inherent design of blower-type air knives, they have a reduced blowing force and turbulent air flow. This combination required the maximum power output on the 7.5KW blower motor.
Super Air Knife –With their unique design, it has one of the highest efficiencies in the market place. It can entrain 40 parts of ambient “free” air with every 1 part of compressed air. With laminar flow and the power of compressed air, the Super Air Knives can be used at a much lower air pressure. To compare with the electric blower motor above, the Super Air Knives would use 10KW of compressor power to operate at the highest force rating. So, at lower air pressures, the blower motor and compressor requirement will be very similar.
Blower System – With the turbulent air flow, the blower units are very loud. If operators are working near the system, they would need PPE for hearing protection, or elect to purchase (for even more money) a sound enclosure which some of the blower manufacturers offer.
Super Air Knife – These units are very quiet. Even at a higher pressure, the sound level is only 72 dBA at 100 PSIG (6.9 Bar). This level is well below the maximum noise exposure for hearing safety as marked in OSHA 29CFR 1910.95(a).
Blower System –Just to begin, the installers will have to run electrical wires, controls, and ducting. The foot print is large and will need space to install. They will have to drill holes in the floor to hold the blower in place, and perhaps build an attenuation chamber. This can take days with no production to start operating. And time is money.
Super Air Knife –They are compact and do not take up much space. They mount easily into a system. You can run a plastic tube or rubber hose to the Super Air Knife from a compressed air source. If you use the Universal Mounting Kit, they will only need a 1/2″ hole for attaching. Even if a fabricator has to make a bracket to fit into their system, the timing is in hours not days.
Blower System – Besides being quite loud, blower systems get very hot as a function of the operation. While this may be sold as a benefit for some applications, it is considered a significant drawback for drying fruits and vegetables. The air can reach a target temperature of 180°F (82°C).
Super Air Knife – The advantage for the Super Air Knife is the amplification ratio. The total volume of air that comes from it is 40 parts ambient and 1 part compressed air. So, the temperature of the airflow is going to be the same as the ambient environment surrounding the Super Air Knife.
The total cost of ownership is quite clear when you look at loss of output, loss of product, and breakdown of equipment. After reviewing the information above, it was easy for them to try the model 110218SS Stainless Steel Super Air Knife Kit. When they replaced the blower-type air knives, the customer did share some information with me.
First, they were amazed at the ease of installation and the compact design. The customer also mentioned the amount of force that could be created by the Super Air Knife. They were able to increase and decrease the required force to remove the liquid water from all the different fruits and vegetables. This gave them the flexibility that they were looking for in their process. And of course, the maintenance time and cost were eliminated.
Compressed air can be expensive, but if you use EXAIR products, you can use the compressed air very efficiently. You do not have to sacrifice other areas within the total cost of ownership. If you have a similar application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to discuss the benefits of using the EXAIR Super Air Knives over a blower-type air knife.
EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles are used to atomize fluids in a wide range of different spray patterns. They utilize a small amount of compressed air which mixes with the liquid supply to create a fine mist of atomized liquid. EXAIR manufactures Atomizing Spray Nozzles in (3) different varieties: Internal Mix, External Mix, and Siphon Fed. For this blog, I’m going to focus on just the External Mix variety.
On all External Mix Atomizing Nozzles the volume of liquid is easily adjusted by adjusting the valve stem on the standard Atomizing Nozzle, or by regulating the liquid pressure (the only option with the No-Drip style). Increasing the liquid pressure will result in an increased liquid flow rate.
The External Mix nozzles have the highest flow rates and can be used with liquids with a viscosity greater than 300 centipoise (cP). Since the air and liquid are mixing just outside of the nozzle, thicker liquids have a lesser chance of clogging in the nozzle. Both the liquid stream and the air stream will come into contact with each other just outside both the air and liquid caps. The compressed air breaks the liquid up into very small particles, allowing you to use much less liquid than a liquid only nozzle.
This makes them very effective in applications that utilize expensive paints, oils, or other liquids. Rather than wasting the expensive materials, the nozzle can be set to precisely dispense only what is necessary to achieve a successful application. The External Mix Atomizing Nozzle is available in the standard configuration as well as the No-Drip style.
The No-Drip Atomizing Nozzle is used in a variety of applications where any liquid dripping from the nozzle after the air supply has shut off would cause a problem. This is common in painting applications where any paint dripping would affect the quality.
The External Mix Atomizing Nozzle is available in (3) different sizes: 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and ½” NPT. If your application could benefit from utilizing the fine atomized spray of liquid look no further than EXAIR’s Atomizing Nozzles. With all sizes and configurations available from stock, we can get one out to you quickly!
Many times EXAIR products are used to help sort materials based on their weight or their density by providing a consistent force against a series of targets that should be of the same density or weight, but when they are not, the airflow can be “tuned” to remove the non-conforming parts.
In this case, our customer (a packaging automation specialist) was working with a form fill and seal machine that was dedicated to making pouches 2” x 8” and filling them with a food product. In some cases, the pouches would not become filled with product and needed to be removed from the line. So, our customer devised a way to mount model 6042 2” Adjustable Air Amplifier along-side the travel of the pouches and set the input pressure and air gap setting to get optimum vacuum capture velocity to suck away empty ones and leave the full ones in-tact. Above you can see a photo that the customer took while mocking up the application at their facility. You can see the hose connected to the output to direct the empty pouches to a wire basket below.
A couple of things in this application made use of the Adjustable Air Amplifier the best choice. The first was the funnel-shaped suction area on the back side of the Adjustable Air Amplifier. This optimizes the Air Amplifier’s ability to draw in ambient air to propel it to the outlet. In doing this the un-filled, light-weight, plastic pouch becomes caught in the high velocity stream and thus gets carried away as desired. The second thing is that since compressed air is the source of power, the customer has infinite adjustability over the amount of suction force that they can apply to the pouch in the application. They can adjust the air gap opening on the Adjustable Air Amplifier to have a coarse adjustment of air consumption as well as vacuum level. Then, they have a finer adjustment that a pressure regulator can provide to really dial in the suction force as they need it to be for removal of the empties.
The idea here is that while Air Amplifiers are generally used for their output flow to cool targets and provide a significant Blowoff force, they can also be used to draw in not only smoke and fumes but also other lightweight items like the empty pouches above.
If you have a need to set up any kind of sorting process, maybe just to separate two different recycling streams or perhaps it is a need to perform a quality control function as shown above, think about EXAIR and our many solutions in this area.
A few weeks ago I was on vacation with my family. My wife and I had taken our three daughters to Columbus, OH for three days after camping in a tent for a few days. One of the focal points to the trip was COSI, the Center of Science and Industry. In case you live anywhere near Columbus, OH and have not heard of how amazing this interactive museum is, you should definitely check it out. This isn’t your normal museum.
While the Mythic Creatures exhibit and the Jim Henson exhibit were both absolutely amazing for my 9, 6 and 4 year old daughters, it was also entertaining for my wife and myself. Now you may be asking what does this interactive science place and trip with kids have to do with EXAIR.
Well, while my daughters and I were watching this enormous pendulum that knocks ball bearings off boxes every few minutes I could hear that all too familiar, gentle sound of compressed air blowing every now and then. I couldn’t however see where the noise was coming from.
As we wandered through the different sections I saw several examples of compressed air use but none were the exact sound or display I had heard. When we were walking through the Space exhibit just above where the pendulum was located and that gentle sound was getting closer. All of a sudden I saw it. Next thing I know I look up and my 6 year old was using a joystick to control a scaled down Lunar Lander propelling it in circles. This was where the sound was coming from.
While I was amazed by this interactive piece I could tell they were using compressed air and I was curious as to how it was working. That’s when I noticed the distinct design of our Nano Super Air Nozzle on the bottom of the Lander. Here’s a close up picture, well as close as the handrail would allow me to get without over reaching.
The interesting part to this is how this setup gives an idea of the amount of thrust given off by a nozzle that only consumes 8.3 SCFM of compressed air when powered at 80 psig inlet pressure. These nozzles can easily be fitted to blast debris or moisture out of small pockets or hard to reach areas. They also can be used to help direct product that may be getting diverted to a new conveyor. And, obviously, they can be used to propel scale models of lunar landers.
If you would like to discuss any application for point of use compressed air, and I do mean ANY, give us a call. If I can’t help with the application we will at the very least do our best to send you in the right direction.