Thinking Outside of the Box

Over the years of working at EXAIR, I have spoken to thousands of customers. The applications we discuss can run the full range that is showcased in the Solutions section of our website. It is always fun to approach applications when we have to think outside of the box for a solution. Throughout the Application Engineering department, our level of experience here combined with the customer’s knowledge of their setup, sometimes results in a solution that is not straightforward. Sometimes, we have to think outside of the box.

What kind of application may we have encountered where the obvious solution wasn’t the one that worked? One of the best applications that came to mind for me is when a customer was attempting to lift/pick up a very porous piece of filter media like the pre-filter from a Heavy Duty HEPA Vac. This material is extremely lightweight and porous. When hearing from a customer, I want to pick this material up, my mind quickly goes to the E-Vac Vacuum generators which are used to generate vacuum to operate suction cups.

In-Line E Vac picking up a block of cut extrusion.

With this material however, the vacuum flow needed is quite extensive and there is another product which is going to be a more efficient use of compressed air. That product, the Super Air Amplifier. As you can see in the photo below, a 2″ Super Air Amplifier easily lifts the porous material and because the suction side is a nominal hose size a hose can easily be attached if needed. The image shows a single amplifier lifting a larger sheet from a bench, these could be organized in an array like suction cups to pick materials up.

Model 120022 – 2″ Super Air Amplifier picking up a porous pre-filter material.

The moral of the story is to keep an open mind for solutions, while one path will always work other paths may become a more efficient manner. These solutions don’t always fit inside a box nice and neat. The Super Air Amplifier fit this because the amount of air entrained is tremendous and can easily be utilized to pull low vacuum force/high flow applications. This is very similar to fume evacuation which would be a “normal” application for the Super Air Amplifier.

If you want to discuss any point of use compressed air application with us, contact an Application Engineer and let us help you determine the solution your job needs.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Air Amplifiers – Air Pressure or Air Flow Volume

When talking about Air Amplifiers there are two (2) kinds when considering what best fits your needs. An amplifier that is used to increase pressure above your compressor’s ability are also known as air boosters. These boosters are sometimes needed for specific processes which demand much higher pressures. Amplifiers that increases the volume flow rate of your compressed air or nitrogen are the type of amplifier that EXAIR manufactures. 

EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifiers will increase the volume of air on to a target or being circulated in an environment. EXAIR’s Air Amplifiers use the Coanda effect pulling in large volumes of surrounding air to produce high volume, high velocity outlet flows up to 25 times their consumption rate.

Air Amplifiers have no moving parts and are basically maintenance free. EXAIR’s amplifiers operate on a source of clean compressed air and do not use electricity. The outlet flows are easily adjusted by opening or closing the air gap. By regulating the supply pressure you can tune in your outlet flow to meet your specific needs. Vacuum and discharge ends of the Air Amplifier can be ducted, making them ideal for drawing fresh air from another area or for moving smoke and fumes away.

Super Air Amplifier Family

EXAIR has 5 standard sized Air Amplifiers ranging from 3/4″ (19mm) to 8″ (203mm) plus an Adjustable Air Amplifier . If you have a specific application EXAIR can manufacture Air Amplifiers to fit your application. If you have a project and think EXAIR’s Air Amplifier or any of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products please contact me or any of our qualified Application Engineers to discuss your project.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Cooling Parts? Super Air Amplifiers May Be For You

Super Air Amplifier Family

When working with a cooling application, many customers will immediately look to the Vortex Tube and Spot Cooling product lines. While this may be the best solution for some applications, cold air is not always the best method that we have available for cooling. EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifiers are very effective at reducing the temperature of a part without requiring cold air, when the temperature differential between the Super Air Amplifier’s airflow and the temperature of the part is significant. Due to their ability to entrain large amounts of ambient air, we can move a lot of volume of air across the surface of the part and quickly lower the temperature.

I like to compare this to blowing on a hot cup of coffee just as it’s been brewed. The temperature of the air coming from your mouth is around 98.6°F, the same as your body temperature. Coffee can be as hot as 185°F when fresh. Due to the temperature differential between your breath and the hot coffee, we’re able to achieve a reasonable amount of cooling just by simply blowing across the surface. Typically, when the target temperature of the hot part or material needs to be around ambient temperature or higher, a Super Air Amplifier can be a good choice. 

While many applications utilize the outlet flow of the Super Air Amplifier to blow off, clean or cool a part or material, the ability of the Super Air Amplifier to entrain large amounts of ambient air can also be utilized to convey light materials or to draw in dust, smoke, or fumes from the surrounding environment. As the plugs on the exhaust side of the Super Air Amplifiers come in sizes of ¾”, 1-1/4”, 2”, 4”, and 8” the exhaust flow can be ducted with standard size hose.

EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifiers utilize a patented shim design to maintain critical positioning of component parts. This allows a precise amount of compressed air to be released at exact intervals toward the center of the Super Air Amplifier. This creates a constant, high velocity outlet flow across the entire cross-sectional area. Free, ambient air is entrained through the unit, resulting in high amplification ratios. The balanced outlet airflow minimizes wind shear to produce sound levels far lower than other similar air movers.

Patented Super Air Amplifier Shims

Super Air Amplifiers are supplied with a .003” thick shim that is ideal for most applications. Flow and force can be increased by replacing the shim with a thicker .006” or .009” shim. The flow of air is also controlled by adjusting the input pressure supplied to the amplifier. Higher pressures increase both the force and flow, while lower pressures decrease both force and flow. All Super Air Amplifiers are available in kits that come with a shim set as well as a suitably sized pressure regulator and auto-drain filter.

EXAIR has a solution for you if you need to move A LOT of air. Reach out to an Application Engineer today if you have an application that you believe could be served with a low-cost, simple solution!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Proper Filtration Eliminates the Need for Maintenance of Super Air Amplifier in Brewing Application

EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifiers utilize a patented shim design to maintain critical positioning of component parts. This allows a precise amount of compressed air to be released at exact intervals toward the center of the Super Air Amplifier. This creates a constant, high velocity outlet flow across the entire cross-sectional area. Free, ambient air is entrained through the unit, resulting in high amplification ratios. The balanced outlet airflow minimizes wind shear to produce sound levels far lower than other similar air movers.

As with any EXAIR Product, we always recommend the installation of a particulate filter. If there is any oil present in your air supply, an oil filter is also recommended after the particulate filter. Nearly all of our products have no moving parts to wear out and will never require maintenance so long as they’re supplied with clean, condensate free, oil-free air. If the air is not filtered prior, anything contained within the air is going to be passed through into your process. Debris could  also eventually clog up the tight orifices in the product itself. Eventually the debris/oil will end up clogging it up and stop performing as it should. This leads to downtime while the root cause of the issue is sorted out, and subsequent maintenance of the product that has been clogged.

I recently worked with a brewing company that had a machine with one of our ¾” Model 120020 Super Air Amplifiers installed. It was used on a canning line and would dry off the cans after a washing operation before being marked with a date code. Up until recently it had worked just fine without any issues. Now they were noticing residual moisture leftover on the cans that was preventing a legible date code from being marked on the outside. Further investigation led them to determine that the outlet flow from the amplifier had been reduced to almost nothing. Since their compressor delivers oil-free air and they used stainless steel piping, they didn’t think it was necessary to install a filter.

The Super Air Amplifier is a maintenance-free product, when supplied with clean, condensate free air of course. After removing the plug from the body, they noticed a significant amount of oil present inside the plenum chamber and around the shim. This was clogging up the nozzle and restricting airflow through the unit. The photo below shows the inside of the amplifier prior to cleaning. The fine-toothed shim at the bottom is hardly even noticeable. In looking upstream, they noticed an oiler that was necessary for many of the other pneumatic components of the machine. This same air supply was being used to supply the compressed air to our Super Air Amplifier.

At our instruction, they installed an oil-filter on a new line dedicated just to this amplifier. And after cleaning the Super Air Amplifier the problem drying off the cans immediately stopped and they were back up in running in no time. Now that they had removed the oil from their air supply, this issue won’t return and they can begin operating the way we intend it to, maintenance free!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD