Two Types of Air Amplifiers – Volume and Pressure

When the topic of Air Amplifiers comes up, there are two avenues to consider –  is it the air pressure or the air volume that you wish to amplify?  There exists technologies to amplify either parameter, and we will examine them both.

There may be equipment or processes within a facility that operate best at air pressures higher than can be delivered, due to air compressor limitations or the supply system. An Air Pressure Amplifier can take the existing compressed air supply, and boost the pressure allowing for the higher needed air pressure without requiring a dedicated compressor capable of operating at the higher pressure.

An Air Pressure Amplifier is basically an air pump, driven by a portion of the compressed air supply.  The pump cycles and compresses the remaining amount of compressed air to a higher outlet pressure. This higher output pressure can be used to operate the equipment or process that required the pressure levels that the base system could not supply. The drawback is that the pump system consumes a good amount of the compressed air volume, to power the pump which reduces the amount of air available for other equipment or processes.  This drives up the compressed air consumption for the system, and requires the extra capacity to operate.

The other type of Air Amplifier is the kind that amplifies the air flow volume. EXAIR manufactures this type of amplifier.

AirAmplifiers

The air flow amplification works by taking compressed air (1) and directing into an annular chamber (2). It is then throttled through a small ring nozzle (3) at high velocity. This primary stream of air adheres to the Coanda profile (4) and is directed through the outlet. A low pressure area is created at the center, inducing a high volume flow (5) of surrounding air to be drawn in and added to the main air stream. The combined flow of primary and surrounding air exits as a high volume, high velocity flow.

salworksani

EXAIR manufactures (2) types of Air Amplifiers, the Super Air Amplifier and the Adjustable Air Amplifier.  In addition, a special model for High Temperature applications is available.  Sizes range from 3/4″ (19mm) to 8″ (203mm) to meet most air flow requirements.  Air amplification ratios start at 12:1 for the 3/4″ model and increase to 25:1 for the 4″ and 8″ models.

Charts and tables are available to help determine the right Air Amplifier for the job.

If you have questions about the Air Amplifiers, or would like to talk about 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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Super Air Knives vs. Other Alternatives

There are many ways to blowoff, cool, and/or dry materials.  A few of these methods are the drilled pipe, an array of flat nozzles, using a blower driven air knife and the EXAIR Super Air Knife.  We’ll examine each in further detail, for blowoff of water after a bottling cleaning operation.  Testing was done at 60 PSIG of supply pressure.  The blower utilized a 10 hp motor and was a centrifugal type spinning at 18,000 RPM.  Sound levels were taken with product not present to test the sound of each of the blowoff types.

SAK black1 (2)

pipe-black (2)Drilled pipe is a common blowoff because it is very inexpensive and easy to make.  But drilled pipe performs poorly.  The low cost to make the drilled pipe is quickly outpaced by the inefficiency and high compressed air costs.  The holes are easily blocked and the noise level is excessive, both of which violate OSHA requirements.  Also, the air pattern across the length can be very inconsistent, with areas of low flow and areas of turbulent flow.

flatnozzle (2)Flat air nozzles installed along a length of pipe is another inexpensive option, but it can be a poor performer.  The flat nozzles are available in many materials, from many manufacturers.  The flat nozzles do offer some efficiencies, but similar to drilled pipe, the operating costs and noise levels are high. Air pattern across the length can be inconsistent with areas of high and low flows, leading to incomplete drying or cooling. Also, many of these nozzles are made from plastic material which breaks or cracks when it it hit which causes additional expense and maintenance to replace broken nozzles.

blower (2)A blower air knife can prove to be an expensive and noisy option.  Typically, the initial purchase price is high.  Operating costs are lower than the drilled pipe and flat nozzles and in line with the Super Air Knives.  The blowers can be very large and space for two 3″ diameter hoses requires extra mounting space compared to low profile other options. Noise levels are high, at 90 dBA.  Annual costs for bearing and filter maintenance can be significant.

gh_SAK_750x696EXAIR Super Air Knives performed exceptionally well in removing the water in one pass due to the strong, laminar flow of air.  Sound level was low at just 69 dBA, well within OSHA requirements for an hour 8 hour exposure time. Safe operation is assured, as the Super Air Knife design cannot be dead-ended.  Maintenance costs are low, as the Super Air Knife has no moving parts to breakdown or wear out.

Air-Knife-Blowoff-Comparison
** A pair of 12″ Super Air Knives was used for this comparison

Ultimately, the Super Air Knife is a low cost way to blowoff, dry, clean and cool.

If you have questions about Super Air Knives, or would like to talk about any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Adjustable Air Amplifiers Solve Cooling and Air Circulation Problems

An EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifier

An EXAIR Air Amplifier is a compressed air-driven device designed to utilize a small volume of compressed air and transform it into a large volume airflow.  This is done by throttling the compressed air through a small gap within the Air Amplifier, and allowing a controlled volume to escape.  This escaping compressed air flow adheres to a Coanda profile, changing its flow direction and resulting in an entrainment of ambient air.  The end result is an amplification of as much as 25x the output airflow compared to the inlet compressed air flow.  And, this already amplified volume of air continues entraining air as it exhausts from the Air Amplifier, resulting in further amplification.

But, what if you are uncertain of the air volume needed in your application?

When exploring any solution, there are bound to be uncertainties.  There may be application parameters which will change or remain unknown, a need to produce multiple airflow volumes within a given space, or simply a desire to have variability in the solution package.  If any of these apply, an Adjustable Air Amplifier is worth consideration.

EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifiers utilize the same approach mentioned above to entrain ambient air, while allowing infinite adjustment of the incoming compressed air.  This translates to an infinite adjustment of the output airflow, allowing for fine tuning in an application to move the maximum volume of air with minimal compressed air use.

Arrows and text identify the components of an Adjustable Air Amplifier

To adjust compressed air consumption of an Adjustable Air Amplifier, simply loosen the locking ring, turn the “plug” within the “body” to increase or decrease the airflow, and retighten the locking ring.  There are no parts or components to change, just an easy, simple adjustment.

Aluminum and Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers

Our adjustable units are available from stock in aluminum and 303 grade stainless steel, and in sizes from ½” to 4” in outlet diameter.  This range of size and materials (from stock) allows for proper sizing and adjustability within an application, while maintaining the integrity based on materials requirement.

For applications with high ambient temperatures and a desire to take advantage of the adaptability of Adjustable Air Amplifiers, a High Temperature Adjustable Air Amplifier is available upon request with our Application Engineers. These units withstand ambient temperatures of 700F (374C) and are useful to circulate hot air within ovens to provide consistent temperatures. They have been used within large rotational molds to prevent hot spots to maintain even material thickness. High Temperature Adjustable Air Amplifiers solve circulation and cooling problems with zero maintenance or breakdown concerns.

No matter the material of construction or application temperature, EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifiers allow infinite adjustment of input and output flows while entraining a huge volume of ambient air.  This ability, to entrain high volumes of ambient air with small volumes of compressed air, is an expertise of EXAIR, which serves us well in helping customers with applying this principle to do work.  For example, if you were to need to cool a cast part and needed a large volume of airflow to complete the task, we can not only provide the products to do so, but also the engineering support to help determine the required air volumes.

Let us help you find an efficient solution to your application today.  We’re available by phone (1-800-903-9247), email (techelp@exair.com), online chat (www.exair.com), and our social media handles (@EXAIR_LE).

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Custom Air Amplifiers To Meet Most Any Requirement

When I think of “special” in regard to Air Amplifiers, I’m more inclined to think of the applications they can be used in. I mean, the Air Amplifier itself is about as straight-forward as an engineered compressed air product can be:

Air Amplifiers use the Coanda Effect to generate high flow with low consumption.

Considering the simplicity of the product itself, they can be used for a large variety of “typical” applications:

  • Cooling
  • Drying
  • Cleaning
  • Ventilation
  • Fume Exhausting
  • Dust Collection

There are no shortage of “special” applications either.  They’re used successfully in Air Operated Conveyance applications (when the stronger vacuum head of a Line Vac isn’t required) and we’ve even got a customer who uses one instead of an E-Vac Vacuum Generator for a “pick & place” operation…they’re picking up small, porous fiber discs (sort of like a coffee filter) one at a time, and the E-Vac wanted to pick up a good part of the whole stack, no matter how low they turned the pressure.  And of course, I can’t think of anything more special about Air Amplifiers than this:

You have to read it to believe it.  Follow the link and click on “Case Study: Roaring Banana Breath”

With fifteen distinct models to choose from in a range of sizes (3/4″ to 8″,) materials (aluminum or Stainless Steel) and even a High Temperature model that’s rated to 700°F (374°C), we’ve still made a fair number of Custom Air Amplifiers too…thirty-four, to be exact, as of this writing.

I won’t bore you with all the details – I can’t, actually, because some of them are proprietary* – but here are some “regular” examples of “special” accommodations:

  • Connections: EXAIR Air Amplifiers have smooth bores on the inlet & outlet plenums that you can hose clamp a hose (or round duct) to if you need to get air flow from, or to, one place or another.  Sometimes, though, they’re going in to an existing system, so we’ve made them with flanges (150#RF and Sanitary Tri-Clamp, for example) or threads (NPT or BSPP.)  If you want to use something other than a standard hose or duct line, we can help.
  • Material of construction: Our durable, lightweight aluminum Super & Adjustable Air Amplifiers are just fine an awful lot of the time.  Our type 303 Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers will hold up to heat and corrosives.  We’ve also in PTFE (Teflon™) as well as a range of metal alloys to meet specific corrosion or wear conditions.  If your environment calls for a little something extra, we can help.
  • Assembly: Super Air Amplifiers are fitted with a stock shim that gives you published performance.  We’ve got other thicknesses, though, if you need more (or less) flow, though.  Adjustable Air Amplifiers are, well, adjustable…you just thread the plug in/out of the body until you get the results you want.  Sometimes the user knows what shim they want in a Super Air Amplifier, or what gap their Adjustable Air Amplifier needs to be set to, and we can assemble it accordingly.  If you have a ‘tried-and-true’ performance setting and want it met right out of the box, we can help.
  • Assembly, part 2: Good engineering practices call for lubrication on O-rings and threaded connections, and we use high quality, general purpose compounds when assembling our Air Amplifiers.  These are detrimental, however, in certain situations (silicone exclusion areas, I’m looking at you.) If certain chemicals or compounds are prohibited by your application, we can help.

*Let’s say you’ve done the “heavy lifting” to call out one (or more) of these special design features.  If we make a custom product (and that’s not just Air Amplifiers, by the way) using directions based on your time and labor, we’ll treat that product as proprietary to you, and you alone.

EXAIR has 208 catalog pages worth of Intelligent Compressed Air Products on the shelf…8 of those pages are our Air Amplifiers.  If you want to talk about customizing one to meet your needs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Super Air Amplifiers – Adjustability for Blowoff, Drying, Cooling, Circulation and Ventilation

The Super Air Amplifier is a powerful, efficient, and quiet air mover. Applications currently in place include blowoff, drying, cooling, circulation and ventilation. Sizes from 3/4″ to 8″ are available to best match the air volume that is necessary to achieve the process goals. There are a couple of ways to change the performance of the Super Air Amplifier if either a small or large change to the output flow is required.AirAmplifiers

The chart below shows the Total Output Flow for each of the 6 models. As an example, the Model 120021 or 121021, when operated at 60 PSIG of compressed air supply, will have a total output flow of 120 SCFM. These same devices when operated at 80 PSIG will have a total flow of 146 SCFM. By simply using a pressure regulation device on the compressed air supply, the output performance can be tuned to match the desired outcome.

Capture

For those applications where much greater flow and/or force is needed, the option of installing a thicker shim is available.  The Super Air Amplifiers are supplied with a 0.003″ shim installed (the 8″ model 120028, has a 0.009″ shim as standard) and can be fitted with shims of thicknesses of 0.006″ or 0.009″ (the 8″ model has an optional 0.015″ shim.) Installation of a thicker shim increases the slotted air gap, allowing for a greater amount of controlled air flow.  As a general rule, doubling the shim thickness will double the air flow rates.

Super Air Amplifier Shims
Patented* Shim Design for Super Air Amplifiers

The Super Air Amplifier design provides for a constant, high velocity outlet flow across the entire cross sectional area,.  The balanced outlet flow minimizes wind shear to produce sound levels that are typically three times quieter than other air movers. By regulating the compressed air supply pressure and use of the optional shims, adjustability and flexibility of the unit is wide ranging and sure to meet your process needs.

If you have questions regarding the Super Air Amplifier, or would like to talk about any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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*Patent #5402938

Super Air Amplifiers vs. Fans – Why are Amplifiers More Effective at Cooling & Drying?

Super Air Amplifier
Super Air Amplifiers entrain ambient air at a rate of 25:1!!

When seeking a suitable solution for cooling or drying your parts, you may be tempted to try out a low-cost fan to get the job done. While fans do a great job of keeping you cool during the warmer months, they’re not the best choice for cooling or drying parts. Have you ever noticed that when standing in front of a fan the flow pattern is not consistent? This is due to the nature in which the fan blades create that air flow by “slapping” the air as they spin rapidly. The air flow that exits from the fan is turbulent and is not as effective as the laminar air flow pattern that is produced by EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifier. The Super Air Amplifier utilizes a patented shim design that maintains a critical position of the air gap and creates a laminar air flow pattern that will exit the outlet of the unit.

fan data2

In addition to providing laminar air flow more conducive for cooling and drying, the Super Air Amplifier provides much more air that can be directed at the target. A standard 2.36” x 2.36” DC operated fan provides anywhere from 12-27 CFM at the outlet, depending on the model. For comparison, a Model 120022 2” Super Air Amplifier will provide 341 SCFM at the outlet when operated at 80 psig. At just 6” away from the outlet, this value increases to 1,023 SCFM!! When compared to the fan outlet air flow, the Super Air Amplifier produces more than an 1,100% increase in air volume!

When replacing a fan with a Super Air Amplifier, the process time can be dramatically reduced. The increase in air volume significantly reduces the contact time that your part will need to be exposed to the air flow, allowing you to increase your line speed and decrease the overall production cost of the part. This is achieved due to the nature in which a Super Air Amplifier draws in air from the ambient environment. At amplification ratios as great as 25:1, the Super Air Amplifier is the best way to move a lot of air volume across the part with very little compressed air supplied to it. Check out the video below for a good representation of the air entrainment of a Super Air Amplifier.

In addition to providing laminar airflow and increasing the volume of air, the Super Air Amplifier is also infinitely adjustable through one of two ways. Each size Super Air Amplifier has a shim set that can be purchased. Swapping out the stock shim for a thinner shim will reduce the compressed air consumption, force, and flow. Installing a thicker shim will increase it. Additionally, the force and flow can also be adjusted by regulating the input supply pressure through the use of a pressure regulator. With sizes ranges from ¾” up to 8”, there’s a Super Air Amplifier for all applications. Give us a call today to see how you can optimize your process by replacing your fans with one or more Super Air Amplifiers.

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

Air Amplifiers – What is an Amplification Ratio?

On Friday my colleague, Russ, blogged about the Super Air Amplifier (see that BLOG here, including a video demo)  In discussing the Air Amplifiers, the topic of amplification was mentioned. Today, I’d like to expand a bit further the amplification aspect of the Air Amplifier performance.

As the name of the device implies, the compressed air used by the Air Amplifier is added to, and thus ‘amplified’, the total output flow of the unit. Depending on the size and type of Air Amplifier, the amplification ratio starts at 12:1 and goes up to 25:1, with the ratio being the output flow to the compressed air usage.

AirAmplifiers.jpg
Super Air Amplifier and Adjustable Air Amplifier

EXAIR offers (2) types- the Super Air Amplifier and the Adjustable Air Amplifier.  The Super Air Amplifier uses a patented shim technology to maintain a precise gap, which controls the compressed air flow and expansion through the unit.  As the expanded air flows along the Coanda profile, a low pressure area is created at the center which induces a high volume flow of surrounding air into the primary air-stream.  The combined flow of primary and surrounding air exhausts from the Air Amplifier in a high volume, high velocity flow.  The larger diameter units have a greater cross sectional area with larger low pressure areas, resulting in greater amplification ratios.

The Below table shows the amplification ratios.

SuperAirAmplifierPerformance

The Adjustable Air Amplifier does not use a shim, but rather has an infinitely adjustable gap, allowing for fine adjustment of performance.  Force and flow is changed by turning the exhaust end to adjust the gap, and is then locked into place. The method of the amplification is the same as for the Super Air Amplifier, and the amplification ratios are similar and shown below.

AdjustableAirAmplifierPerformance

The Super Air Amplifiers and Adjustable Air Amplifiers are ideal for use in applications and processes that require cooling, drying and/or cleaning of parts, or the ventilation of confined areas or weld smoke or the exhausting of tank fumes.

If you have questions regarding the Air Amplifier, or would like to talk about any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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