Two Types of Air Amplifier: Pressure vs Volume Amplifiers

In the compressed air world, when we talk about an “air amplifier” it can mean one of two things: either a pressure air amplifier, or a volume air amplifier. How do we differentiate the two and what types of applications does each serve?

A pressure air amplifier works as an air pump to increase the pressure of the supplied air, generating pressures ranging from 30 psi up to as much as 1500 psi in some specialized types of pressure amplifiers. Pressure air amplifiers operate only off of the supplied compressed air and do not require a source of electricity to drive the piston amplifying the pressure. They are available in both single-acting and double-acting varieties with the double-acting being the most efficient.

Pressure-type air amplifiers are used in applications where a specific product or process must have a higher pressure than the compressor system can deliver. This includes applications such as: air clamps, presses, pressure testing, air brakes, and also blow molding. The drawback to these products is that the increase in pressure does result in a reduction in volume of air. A point of use receiver tank and over-sizing of the overall system is generally a good practice to ensure sufficient operation.

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On the other side of the amplifier spectrum lies EXAIR with our volume amplifying amplifiers. EXAIR manufactures two different styles of volume air amplifier: The Super Air Amplifier and Adjustable Air Amplifier. These products utilize Bernoulli’s Principle and the coanda effect to draw in large amounts of ambient air that mixes with the supplied compressed to project a hard hitting force of laminar airflow, much greater than what is supplied.

EXAIR’s Adjustable Air Amplifiers are available in both Stainless Steel and Aluminum from sizes ranging from ¾”-4” on the air outlet. The outlet can be ducted or it can be used as-is. The air gap of the Adjustable Air Amplifier is infinitely adjustable, allowing you to regulate both the air consumption and outlet flow from a “breeze” to a “blast”. In addition to the standard Adjustable Air Amplifiers, we also have a High Temperature Air Amplifier available that is capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 700°F.

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aal-vacuum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Volume air amplifiers can be used in a variety of blowoff, conveying, drying, cooling, and venting applications. With a range of different sized Super Air Amplifiers and Adjustable Air Amplifiers, EXAIR has a solution for you if you need to move A LOT of air for a variety of reasons. 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

Custom Air Amplifiers: Customization to Fit Your Needs

EXAIR’s line of Air amplifiers can be found in thousands of applications across the world from everything as simple as blowing parts off to exhausting fumes. The Air Amplifier comes in two different styles either the Super Air Amplifier or the Adjustable Air Amplifier. Super Air Amplifiers come in a stock Aluminum Body with a diameter that ranges from ¾” to 8”. This differs from the Adjustable Air Amplifier which comes in either type 303 Stainless Steel or Aluminum and are Sized from ¾” to 4”.

Super Air Amplifiers are supplied with a .003″ (0.08mm) slotted air gap which is ideal for most applications. Flow and force can be increased by replacing the shim with a thicker .006″ (0.15mm) or .009″ (0.23mm) shim. Model 120028 is supplied with a .009″ (0.23mm) air gap. A .015″ (0.39mm) shim is available for Model 120028.

Even though there is a wide variety of sizes and materials for the Stock Air Amplifiers they don’t always match a customer’s specific need or application. Over the years EXAIR has produced a slew of different custom Air Amplifiers for a customer’s specific need and the following are just a few of what we have done.

  • Depending on the environment certain specific materials may be required like the food industry which requires specific Stainless Steel for various applications. One customer had a special PTFE plug made for the Adjustable Air Amplifier to help pull a sticky material through the process. The PTFE helped prevent the material from depositing on the inside diameter of the Amplifier.
  • For applications where mounting may be an issue, special attachments have been made to assist. For instances where an Amplifier may need to be mounted to a pipe, we manufactured a custom Stainless-Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier with class a 150 raised face flange.
  • Applications that are in a hot environment may require a special high temperature version which has be developed to operate in areas up to 700°F. The High Temperature Air Amplifier was so widely sought after that we turned it into a stock item.

No matter what your application is EXAIR is capable to work with you to create custom solutions for your application. Whether you need a different material, size or shim thickness, EXAIR is able to meet your requirements. These Air Amplifiers represent only one of our many product lines that can be custom made to your specifications. 

For more information on EXAIR’s Air Amplifiers or help with customizing any of EXAIR‘s 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.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers – Circulate, Blow, Dry, Cool, Vent

Super Air Amplifier

EXAIR manufactures a volume-type amplifier called the Super Air Amplifier. Not to be confused with its cousin, the pressure-type amplifier which increases air pressure, these devices increase the volume of air. This is a great benefit for circulating, cooling, blowing, drying and transferring materials like smoke fumes or lightweight items. With a range of applications, the EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers can be a simple solution for your company.

Super Air Amplifier – flow region

Why an EXAIR Super Air Amplifier? Like a fan, they are designed to move air. But fans use motors and blades to push the air toward the target. The fan blades “slap” the air which creates turbulent air flows and loud noises. The Super Air Amplifiers does not have any blades or motors to move the air. It just uses a Coanda profile and a patented shim to create a low pressure to draw in the air. With physics, it is much easier to pull than it is to push. The method in pulling air through the Super Air Amplifier makes a more efficient, uniform, and quiet operation to blow air.

How It Works

To expand, Coanda was named after a Romanian aerodynamic pioneer, Henri Coanda where he found a fluid flow phenomenon. He stated that “a jet of fluid emerging from an orifice to follow an adjacent flat or curved surface and to entrain fluid from the surroundings so that a region of lower pressure develops” (1). Since air is a fluid, it will react in the same way. The EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers create a high velocity air stream along an engineered profile. So, as the air “hugs” the profile, a low pressure is created which will draw in ambient air. The ratio between the volume of air produced compared to the volume of compressed air needed is called the amplification ratio. The higher the ratio, the more efficient the blowing device is. With the EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers, we can reach amplification ratios up to 25 to 1.

Super Air Amplifier Family

EXAIR manufactures and stocks five different sizes ranging from ¾” (19mm) up to 8” (203mm) in diameter. One of the unique features with the Super Air Amplifiers is that the inlet and outlet can be ducted for remote positioning. They are very compact and can fit into tight places. They do not have any moving parts to wear, or need electricity to run; or require any maintenance. They only need clean compressed air to work. One of the unique features of the EXAIR Super Air Amplifier is the patented shim which optimizes the low-pressure to draw in more ambient air. For extracting welding smoke, increasing cooling capacities, and moving material from point A to point B; the more air that can be moved, the better the performance. And the patented shim inside the EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers provides that. As an added bonus, they are OSHA compliant for safety and meet the standards for noise level and dead-end pressure.

Patented Air Amplifier Shims

EXAIR offers the Super Air Amplifiers in kits for a more complete system. The kit will include a filter separator, a pressure regulator and a Shim Set. The filter can remove debris and water from the compressed air line to keep the Super Air Amplifier and your product clean. The regulator is used to make “fine” adjustments to the blowing volume while the Shim Set is used as a “coarse” adjustment. The Shim Set includes different thicknesses of shims to set the gap. The Super Air Amplifiers come standard with a 0.003” (0.08mm) thick shim for the sizes ¾” (19mm) up to 4” (102mm), and a 0.009” (0.23mm) thick shim for the 8” (203mm) size. The Shim Set will include (1) 0.006” (0.15mm) and (1) 0.009” (0.23mm) shim for the models 120220 through 120224 or (1) 0.015” (0.39mm) shim for the model 120228. EXAIR sells these kits as one model number for simple ordering and for proper sizing of the accessories to not hinder the performance of the Super Air Amplifiers.

120224DX

To optimize the system even more, EXAIR also offers a Deluxe Kit for the Super Air Amplifier models. This will include the accessories in the kit above, plus an Electronic Flow Control, or EFC. This exclusive instrument uses a photoelectric eye to start a timing sequence to control a solenoid valve. So, when a part is not in front of the Super Air Amplifier, the compressed air is turned off. This will save you even more money and maximize your efficiency to only blow air when needed. They can be ordered with the kits by placing a “DX” at the end of the model number, such as 120224DX.

With the today’s cost to make compressed air, it is important to use it as efficiently as possible. The EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers have the ability to give effective blowing to remove debris, dry parts, transport material, or cool objects without using a large amount of compressed air. EXAIR has the Super Air Amplifiers in stock and as always, EXAIR offers a 30-day unconditional guarantee for our customers in the U.S. and Canada to try them out. If you have any questions about the Super Air Amplifiers or if you would like to discuss your application, an Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to help you.

 

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

(1) Note: Coanda effect by Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coand%C4%83_effect

2″ Super Air Amplifier Exhausts Welding Fumes

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.

AirAmplifiers

While most applications utilize the outlet flow of the Super Air Amplifier to blow off 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.

Recently I worked with a customer on an application to install the Model 120022 Super Air Amplifier in welding booths. They did have a current fume extraction system in place, but due to the distance between the vent hoods and the operation some of the fumes were still not being captured. The suggestion was to install a 2” Model 120022 at each booth near the origin of the welding fumes. As 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. The placed a 2” ID hose onto the exhaust of the Super Air Amplifier which allowed the fumes to be captured into the intake of the amplifier and be carried towards the vent hood.

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This eliminated a safety issue for the operators and was much less expensive than redesigning the entire welding booths and current extraction system. With no moving parts to wear out, the Super Air Amplifier requires absolutely zero maintenance when supplied with clean, dry compressed air. After installing onto each of their welding booths, operators were pleased with the performance and we were able to eliminate the safety hazard for this facility.

With a range of different sized Super Air Amplifiers as well as a line of Adjustable Air Amplifiers, EXAIR has a solution for you if you need to move A LOT of air for a variety of reasons. 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

Video Blog Cooling Comparison: EXAIR’s 2″ Super Air Amplifier vs. Fan

Super Air Amplifier

EXAIR‘s line of Adjustable and Super Air Amplifiers are the ideal solution for cooling hot parts. Using a small amount of compressed air, they’re designed to entrain massive amounts of free ambient air from the environment. This free air mixes with the primary air stream, achieving entrainment ratios of up to 25:1!

To demonstrate the dramatic difference between the Super Air Amplifier and a standard fan, I created a side-by-side video of the two. Using the 2″ Model 120022 Super Air Amplifier at just 40 PSIG (9 SCFM air consumption) check out just how effective we were at cooling down a stainless steel block:

When fast cooling of a hot part is necessary, look no further than EXAIR’s Adjustable and Super Air Amplifiers. They’re all in stock and can ship same day to the US & Canada with an order placed by 3:00 ET!

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

 

Adjustable Air Amplifier Transfers Plastic Bag Scrap

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.

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Model 6042 Aluminum Adjustable Air Amplifier rejects empty pouches.

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.

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

Many Air Knife Materials and Shim Options to Suit Your Application

The EXAIR Super 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.

Super Air Knives
Aluminum, Stainless Steel and PVDF Super Air Knives

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.

Air Knife Temperature Table

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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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