EXAIR currently offers a multitude of configurations when it comes to the Line Vac – air operated conveyors product line. One of the easiest to install and best suited for food, pharmaceutical, chemical or other sanitary environments is the Sanitary Flange Line Vac¯.
These are offered in four standard pipe sizes, 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″ and 3″. The models are only available from stock in 316 stainless steel. The sanitary flange is designed to be compatible with ISO 2852. These can easily be used with a “Tri-Clover” clamp and gaskets of varying materials to fit your needs. They have no internal moving parts and offer a compact, high throughput, quiet conveyance for parts, gases or ingredients.
With the sanitary flange design installation or removal are simplified in order to remove the unit for cleaning or reversing. If you would like to discuss just how easy these are to upgrade your existing system or to install into a new system, please contact an Application Engineer.
Metallurgically speaking, stainless steel is a steel alloy with the highest percentage contents of iron, chromium and nickel, with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass, and a maximum of 1.2% of carbon by mass.
Stainless steels are widely regarded for the corrosion resistance that they exhibit. As the chromium content is raised, the corrosion resistance increases as well. The addition of molybdenum also increases the corrosion resistance to reducing acids and against pitting attacks in chloride solutions. By varying the chromium and molybdenum content, different grades of stainless steel are produced with each suited for varying environments. Due to the resistance to corrosion and staining, stainless steel is ideal material for many applications, especially in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries.
The 300 series stainless steels are considered chromium-nickel alloys and is the largest group and most commonly used. Of the different compositions within the 300 series family, Type 304 stainless is the most widely used followed by Type 316, which has 2% molybdenum added to provide greater resistance to acids and to localized corrosion caused by chloride ions.
Table below shows the nominal composition by mass content for 316 stainless steel
Because 316 stainless steel provides a high level of corrosion resistance, resists pitting, and has good strength properties, EXAIR manufactures many of its products from 316 stainless steel material so that they can be used in the harshest of environments.
And, you don’t have to wait months or even weeks, as we keep all of these in stock, ready for shipment.
If you have questions about any of the 15 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.
The EXAIRSuper Air Knives are used in many applications ranging from part drying, to web cleaning, to conveyor blowoff, and many other uses. For most processes, the aluminum models provide the performance required and withstand the environmental conditions present.
Ambient temperature limits for the aluminum models is 180°F (82°C). EXAIR also offers the air knives in types 303 and 316 Stainless Steel, which increase the temperature limit to 800°F (427°C) and provides a great degree of corrosion resistance. For the harshest, most corrosive environments, an air knife constructed of Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) with a temperature limit to 275°F (135°C) is available.
But what can we do about those applications where the increased corrosion resistance isn’t needed and the temperatures do not approach anywhere near to 800°F (427°C)?
The solution to this situation is an aluminum air knife with a custom stainless steel shim. The aluminum material is rated to 400°F (204°C) and the shim is good to 800°F (427°C) so this knife can be used in those hotter environments up to 400°F (204°C). This option helps to keep the cost of the knife low, by utilizing the lower cost aluminum for the body and cap.
The table below details the materials of construction options for the Super Air Knife – a wide array of material offerings to suit even the hottest, harshest conditions.
We recommend consulting with an Application Engineer to review the application, process, and environmental conditions, and we can present best options.
And don’t forget, the shims can be further customized for special blowoff requirements. See the blog that my colleague, Russ Bowman, posted here.
If you have questions about Super Air Knives or any of the 15 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.
Piping systems have been a hallmark of human civilization for almost as long as people have been living in community with each other. Evidence of complex earthen pipe systems, with flanged fittings & asphalt sealants, date to 2700 BC. These were used for crop irrigation, potable water distribution, and wastewater removal in ancient civilizations from the Mediterranean to the Far East.
Over the centuries, new ways to use pipe led to new ways to make pipe. Scientists and engineers figured out ways to make pipe stronger, lighter, cheaper, and in a variety of materials. One of the more recent milestones is the development of sanitary piping and fittings. The stringent cleanliness controls in certain industries (food and pharmaceutical, I’m looking at you) require highly corrosion resistant materials of construction. The inside & outside surfaces of the pipe have to be finely finished so that they can be thoroughly and positively cleaned, with no crevices, “nooks & crannies,” etc., for material to gather or cling. And since regular cleaning & sterilization is performed, the fittings must be able to be made & unmade in a manner that still provides for positive sealing when the system is restored to operation.
EXAIR Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors have always been well suited for applications like this. With their open, unobstructed throats and smooth bores, they’re intuitively easy to clean, by design. And we’ve made them, for years, in Type 316 Stainless Steel – the preferred material of construction for many food and pharmaceutical applications. Many users in these industries were able to install them in sanitary piping systems by welding the flanges on our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, or by installing adapters on our Threaded Stainless Steel Line Vacs.
In the spring of 2017, EXAIR released the Sanitary Flange Line Vac with those same users in mind – eliminating the need to weld or thread flanges onto existing products. They feature the same conveyance power as our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, and can even be modified to meet Heavy Duty Line Vac performance, if needed. There are four sizes: 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, and 3″…which covers the most popular size range of sanitary pipe systems.
While the sanitary piping systems are certainly most often found in those cleanliness-critical food & pharma type applications, other users incorporate them because of the smooth, continuous bore of the pipe and fittings, as opposed to a threaded pipe system, where the OD of the pipe threads into the ID of the fittings, causing a “step” in the throughput. Because sanitary fittings mate via face-to-face flange seals, this eliminates that “step” which can make for a catch-point for certain items. It’s for this very reason that a popular ammunition manufacturer uses sanitary pipe systems to convey shell casings…because they tumble with such turbulence in the air flow, they are especially prone to hanging up on any kind of catch-point. So, they use sanitary piping & fittings, long radius elbows, and EXAIR Model 161150-316 1-1/2″ Sanitary Flange Line Vacs.
EXAIR has a wide selection of engineered compressed air products that are “textbook” solutions for certain applications, but also make perfect sense for use in places you might not have thought of. If you have a bulk material conveyance operation you’d like to discuss, give me a call.
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High Temperature – For enclosures that reside in high temperature ambient conditions such as near furnaces, boilers, or ovens, EXAIR offers a High Temp version, with special internal components designed to withstand the elevated temperatures. Cabinets near sources of high heat certainly need to be kept cool, and the EXAIR High Temperature Cabinet Cooler is specially suited to for use in these locations.
Non-Hazardous Purge (NHP) – Cabinet Cooler Systems with this feature provide a continuous positive purge within the enclosure to prevent contaminants from entering through small holes or conduits. Especially suited for dirty and dusty environments, the NHP Cabinet Cooler Systems provide a slight positive pressure inside the enclosure. This is done by passing 1 SCFM (28 SLPM) of air through the cooler when the the solenoid is in the closed position. When the thermostat reaches the set-point temperature and energizes the solenoid, the full line pressure of air is delivered to the Cabinet Cooler providing the full cooling capability, and still keeping the positive pressure. When the internal temperature cools to the set-point, the solenoid closes and the system returns to the 1 SCFM (28 SLPM) of air flow condition.
Type 316 Stainless Steel NEMA 4X Cabinet Coolers – For enclosures that are in food service, pharmaceutical, harsh, and/or corrosive environments, and any application where 316 stainless steel is preferred, the Cabinet Coolers are available in the Type 316 stainless material. The systems are UL Listed for wash down environments, ensuring the enclosure electrical contents remain cool and dry under any condition. Noted applications include on ocean going ships, power plants, medical device manufacturing facilities, and bakeries.
Please note that the High Temperature, Non-Hazardous Purge and Type 316 Stainless Steel Cabinet Coolers are each available from stock! No waiting for these special models.
I was recently contacted by a manufacturer of specialty food products that was looking to increase productivity on one of their packaging lines. In order to do so, they needed a longer Super Air Knife.
They manufacture a variety of different products, but this application was involving small snack-size blocks of cheese. They’re placed into individual plastic containers and before they seal the packaging any residual particles must be blown off or it will affect the seal. Any residual particles of cheese around the container would allow air to come into contact with the product and affect shelf-life.
In the current setup, they were using EXAIR’s Model 110012SS-316 a 12” 316 grade Stainless Steel Super Air Knife and the Model 9060 Universal Mounting System. They wanted to add in an additional two rows of cheese to help increase throughput. To do so, he needed an overall width of 18”. We do have an 18” available from stock, but rather than having a spare 12” model lying around he wanted to try and utilize what he had without having to purchase an entirely new knife.
Fortunately, EXAIR’s Super Air Knives can be coupled together to create a wide variety of different lengths. From stock, the Super Air Knife is available from 3”-108”. With the help of a Super Air Knife Coupling kit, we can achieve much longer lengths. In this case, although we did have an 18” knife available, we could also couple the existing 110012SS-316 (12”) with our Model 110006SS-316 (6”). This option was a bit cheaper than going with a new knife, and still allowed them to utilize the 12” that they already had.
While this isn’t the typical place we’d recommend a coupling kit, it was an option that allowed the customer to save a bit of money but still get the same effect that they’d achieve with the 18” single piece knife. We also manufacture a wide variety of custom knives per customer specifications. If you’ve got an odd application that you don’t think is best served by a stock offering, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to take a look at your application and help recommend the most suitable product.
EXAIR’sSuper Air Knives are the go to when you need to dry your parts as they’re traveling along a conveyor. The high velocity, laminar airflow from the Super Air Knife does a fantastic job of stripping away moisture, leaving your part dry for the next stage of the process. With models available in both 303 & 316 Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and polyvinylidene fluoride and at lengths ranging from 3″-108″, there’s a knife for every application.
I was recently working with a customer that manufactures knee replacement devices. He was designing a new blowoff station to eliminate having to have operators manually dry the parts after a washing operation. He created a test rig to test out his theory of using Super Air Knives. While conducting his tests, he was having issues completely removing the water from the parts. Due to some of the grooves and pockets, the underside was not drying in one pass. This led to him having to manually blow the parts off after they exited the basket. This would not be acceptable as the purpose was to remove the operator from this part of the process. After taking a look at some photos of the setup, I noticed that he had the knives angled so that the airflow was blowing perpendicular to the parts. In doing this, the amount of time that the part is exposed to the airflow is greatly reduced. In any blowoff application, maximizing the time & contact that the part has with the airflow is critical in maximizing effectiveness. By angling the knives so that the parts were exposed to the airstream just as they exited washing, he was effectively able to dry the parts in one pass.
We’re frequently contacted by customers who may have the right product for the application, but are not seeing the results they expected. EXAIR has a highly trained team of Application Engineers that are ready and waiting to help you optimize your installation. In addition, EXAIR offers an unconditional 30 Day Guarantee on all stock products. We want you to have an opportunity to test the product out in your application before committing to the purchase. In doing this, we have the unique opportunity to work with you as you troubleshoot the application. If you have an EXAIR product installed and still aren’t seeing the results you expect, give us a call. We’d be happy to look into your setup and determine if there’s anything that can be done to enhance the performance.