Drilled pipes, like the one shown above, are all too common in industrial settings for processes where a wide surface area needs to be treated. Their popularity can be attributed to how cheap and easy they are to make but in actuality they are very expensive to operate, as they waste large amounts of compressed air, and are very dangerous to operate.
We frequently take calls from customers looking for a more energy efficient, safer solution to replace these types of blowoffs. EXAIR manufactures 3 different styles of Air Knife – the Super, Standard and Full-Flow – that are the ideal solution for wide coverage applications. Today, I would like to provide an overview of our award wining Super Air Knife.
The Super Air Knife is our most efficient air knife in regards to compressed air usage, using only 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife length @ 80 PSIG. It is also the quietest on the market today at only 69 decibels. The Super Air Knife provides the highest air velocity of the 3 styles offered by EXAIR and produces 2.5 ounces of force per inch at 80 PSIG operating pressure. We offer stock lengths from 3” up to 108” in single piece construction with available materials of aluminum, 303ss and 316ss. We also offer PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) up to 54” for harsh environments.
The Super Air Knife provides a laminar airflow across the entire length with hard-hitting force. They also give a 40:1 amplification rate meaning they entrain 40 parts of the surrounding room air for every 1 part of compressed air used, producing a large volume outlet flow.
For applications requiring an air knife length longer than 108″, we offer a coupling bracket kit that allows you to connect two Super Air Knives together for a seamless, uninterrupted flow. Kits are available in aluminum, 303ss or 316ss to match the construction of the knife.
In addition, we also offer plumbing kits as an accessory item. For aluminum Super Air Knives, we offer cut to length nitrile/PVC hose and brass fittings and for stainless steel and PVDF knives we offer 316ss cut-t0-length pipe and fittings.
If you have any questions on how the Super Air Knife might fit into your process, please contact an Application Engineer.
Intelligent Use of Compressed Air – Most industrial facilities have at least one air compressor. The compressor is used to power anything from pneumatic tools, air powered equipment, compressed air cylinders, blowoffs and many more types of operations. Improper use of compressed air can lead to unnecessary energy costs, high noise levels and dangerous exposure of personnel to high pressure air.
The EXAIR Super Air Knife uses only 1/3 of the compressed air of typical blowoffs.
By taking advantage of the Super Air Knife’s highly efficient design and the action of air entertainment, the Super Air Knife draws in large amounts of surrounding free outside air into the air stream. The result is a strong powerful air flow made up of a small amount of compressed air and a large amount of ambient air.
Compressed air flows through an inlet (1) into the plenum chamber of the Super Air Knife. The flow is directed to a precise slotted orifice. As the primary airflow exits the thin slotted nozzle (2), it follows a flat surface that directs the airflow in a perfectly straight line. This creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length of the Super Air Knife. Velocity loss is minimized and force is maximized as room air (3) is entrained into the primary air stream at a ratio of 40:1. The result is a well defined sheet of laminar airflow with hard-hitting force and minimal wind shear is delivered.
By using a Super Air Knife – and the advantage of the high amplification via air entertainment – for part blowoff, cooling, or drying you can reduce energy costs, reduce noise levels, and eliminate harmful dead end pressures. Other air knives typically entrain surrounding air at a ratio of 30:1 or less.
EXAIR offers the Super Air Knife with materials of construction of aluminum, Types 303 and 316 Stainless Steel, and PVDF to cover a wide variety of application temperatures and environments. Other materials may be possible, pending review by our Product Design Engineers. The Super Air Knives are offered as the knife only, as part of a full kit, which also includes a shim set, auto drain filter separator, and pressure regulator. The Super Air Knife can be fitted with Plumbing Kits and/or Electronic Flow Control making installation easier and help to save on air usage.
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.
EXAIR will be giving away a free Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with the purchase of any EXAIR Super Air Knife from November 1st through December 31st, 2017. This special promotion will apply to all Super Air Knife orders, whether aluminum, stainless steel, or PVDF. Use the promotional model number during the promotional period and receive a free model 1210, a value of $81.00! The Soft Grip Safety Air Gun is a Top Pick, and provides the ideal combination of forceful flow, quiet noise level and low compressed air usage. To get the special promotional item, use the special part numbers as detailed in the link below.
The Super Air Knife is the latest generation of the EXAIR engineered air knives with dramatically reduced compressed air usage and noise compared to other types of blowoffs. The Super Air Knife is truly a more efficient tool for cleaning, drying or cooling parts, webs, or conveyors. The air flow is a uniform sheet of laminar air across the entire length with a hard-hitting force.
Replacing a noisy blowoff with a Super Air Knife results is a significant reduction in sound. Operation at a high pressure of 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar) leads to a sound level of just 69 dBA for most applications. Air amplification ratios (entrained air to compressed air) of 40:1 is produced. It also meets OSHA maximum dead-end pressure and noise requirements, for safe operation in the vicinity of plant personnel.
Typical applications for use include-
Post wash part drying
Sheet cleaning in strip mills
Part or component cooling
Web drying or cleaning
Environmental separation (air curtain)
Pre-paint blowoff and cleaning
Bag opening/filling operations
Scrap removal on converting operations
Take advantage of the Promotional Offering by clicking on the link at the top of the page. Qualified orders receive the free model 1210 Soft Grip Safety Air Guns as shown below.
If you have questions about Super Air Knives, Safety Air Guns, 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.
When we compare the EXAIR Super Air Knife to other methods of providing a curtain or sheet of air flow in terms of operating cost, efficiency, safety, and sound levels, the Super Air Knife is ALWAYS the clear choice.
The Super Air Knives successfully replace these, and many other methods of providing a curtain or sheet of air flow all the time, while saving compressed air and decreasing noise. The word “replace” oftentimes means “do the same job as.”
What you’re about to read is NOT one of those times.
A paper products manufacturer has a machine that treats a specialty product, and the process generates ozone (O3) at levels that would exceed personnel exposure limits, so they need to be contained. They installed a long piece of drilled pipe to blow an air barrier, but they could only run the machine at about 65% of their desired capacity before the ozone level in the operators’ area exceeded their limits.
This company was familiar with several of our product lines already…they had several Cabinet Cooler Systems, a Reversible Drum Vac, and Super Air Knives in a variety of applications, so they knew how they worked. Since the barrier needed to be 120″ long, though, this was going to be a much larger scale than they were used to.
Still, the installation of two Model 110060 60″ Aluminum Super Air Knives, coupled with our Model 110900 Air Knife Coupling Kit, was quick and easy. Then came the good part: they found they were able to operate the machine at 100% capacity, while keeping the ozone at a safe level in the operators’ area.
Then came the better part: The machine was pretty loud (we couldn’t do anything about that,) at 93dBA when it was running. With the drilled pipe in operation, it was 94.5dBA. When they took that out and installed the Super Air Knives, there was no net increase in noise level…it remained at 93dBA.
THEN came the even betterpart: Compressed air consumption was reduced to about 30% of what the drilled pipe was using. Right in line with our table above. Just another validation of the trustworthiness of our published data. As EXAIR’s President is fond of saying, “Claims are easy, proof is hard.”
If you’re looking for a quiet, efficient – and effective – solution for a compressed air product application, give me a call.
A tier 2 automotive company makes small metal boxes with a process which includes laser welding and a vision inspection system. The machine was programmed to weld different components onto the metal enclosure. During the welding operation, an optical sensor would check the quality of the welds. The vision system used a lens to protect the sensor from welding slag and debris. After a few operations, they started seeing false positives in the welding areas, and the metal enclosure would be flagged for rejection. In investigating the issue, they found that the lens was getting dirty from the welding operation. Because of the sensitivity of the sensor, it would detect the debris and marks on the lens and signal for poor weld. The lens was doing its part in protecting the sensor from damage; but, they needed a way to shield the lens from dirt and slag during the welding operation and visual inspection.
With this process, the machine would weld metal fasteners onto an enclosure by laser. The optical sensor would move along the welded areas to check the quality. In a lead/lag operation, the vision system would check the welds after a few seconds of cooling. So, both operations were occurring at the same time but at different intervals. When they started to see the rejection rate increase, they would have to stop the operation, clean the lens, and verify the integrity of the welds. In some cases, they would have to replace the 1 ¼” diameter lens especially if a piece of welding slag marred the surface. With incorrect rejections and lens cleaning, downtime was hurting their production rates and cost.
This customer wanted to use compressed air because it is a powerful and invisible way to create a shield. Since EXAIR is a leader in efficient and effective ways to use compressed air, they contacted us for help. Initially, I suggested a Super Air Knife to deflect any slag and debris from the lens surface. I showed a prior solution to a very similar issue; “Air Shielding a Laser Lens” (Reference below). But, because of the proximity to the part and the limitation in space, the Super Air Knife configuration in the solution below would make it impossible to use. They were looking for a product that could be mounted either flush or behind the surface of the lens and still protect it.
To accommodate for this request, we had to direct the compressed air stream at an angle. EXAIR manufacturers a product that can do just that, the Super Air Wipe. The design of the Super Air Wipe blows compressed air at a 30-degree angle toward the center in a 360-degree air pattern, just like a cone. It can be placed around the lens and still be able to create a “wall” of air to block any slag or debris from hitting the lens.
I recommended the model 2452SS, 2” Super Air Wipe Kit. This Super Air Wipe has the body, braided hose, hardware, and shims that is made from stainless steel. It can handle the high heat loads from the welding process as well as to allow for easy cleanup after a day of operating. The kit includes a filter, to keep the compressed air clean; a regulator, to finely tune the force requirement; and a shim set. The shim set includes two additional sets of shims that can be added to increase the force of protection if needed. With the kit, the customer can “dial” in the correct amount of force needed to keep the lens clean without using excessive amount of compressed air.
As an added benefit of saving compressed air, the Super Air Wipe uses the Coanda effect to maximize the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air stream. This makes the unit very efficient and very powerful. The Super Air Wipe was mounted just behind the lens like the customer required (Reference mock picture below), and the sensor could examine the welds without any interference with the metal enclosure.
Visual inspections systems are highly accurate pieces of equipment, and a dirty lens will affect the performance. EXAIR has many ways to keep the lens clean with a non-contact invisible barrier to protect sensors, cameras, and lasers. If you have a similar application, you can contact an Application Engineer to determine the best way to keep the lens clean and your equipment functional. After mounting the Super Air Wipe, the customer above eliminated any false rejections, and dramatically decreased any downtime for cleaning or replacing the lens in his welding machine.
I recently had the pleasure of helping a long-time user of our Super Air Knives with a challenging application. They already use quite a few of our Model 110012SS 12″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knivesto clean & dry their nonwoven material as it’s being rolled for packaging. They like them because they’re quiet and efficient, but also because they’re durable…this particular product off-gasses a mildly corrosive vapor, which used to corrode other equipment in the area. Not only does the Stainless Steel Super Air Knife resist corrosion itself, the air flow keeps these vapors contained. Two birds, one stone.
They have a new product…same kind of material, but much wider…that needed to be blown off, and the identified the Model 110060SS 60″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife as a “no-brainer” solution. Thing is, it had to be a pretty even air flow across the length, and a 60″ Super Air Knife has to get air to four ports across its length for optimal performance. And, they wanted to install it at a point where it would serve not only as a blow off, but as a vapor barrier, just like the 12″ Super Air Knives they’re already so fond of. The space was a little limited, though, so they opted for the Model 110060SSPKI 60″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife with Plumbing Kit Installed, which allowed them to simply run an air supply line to both ends.
If you want to find out more about an engineered solution for your compressed air application – cleaning, drying, vapor barrier, or all of the above – give me a call.
The EXAIR Super Air Knife is THE ideal, efficient, and quiet solution for most any blow off application. We know this for a fact; we’ve been making them for years, folks all around the world have been buying them for years, and they keep coming back for more. They’re popular enough that over the years, we’ve introduced Mounting Systems and Plumbing Kits for ease of installation, and when Coupling Kits (to join multiple Super Air Knives together for greater lengths) became big sellers, we “upped our game” and started making Super Air Knives up to nine feet (108″) long. And certain applications (I’m looking at YOU, lumber and paper industries) order multiples of THOSE, and our Coupling Kits. Quite literally, there’s no job too big for EXAIR Super Air Knives.
No matter how long they are, though, the laminar, high velocity curtain of air they generate only moves in one direction. So, if there are significant geometric features (holes, bosses, recesses, “nooks & crannies,” etc.) to be blown off, we’ll have to look at something supplemental.
Enter the EXAIR Blowoff Systems…it doesn’t get any easier than this: an EXAIR engineered Super Air Nozzle, attached to a flexible, repositionable Stay Set Hose, mounted to a Magnetic Base. Put a hard hitting, high velocity, pointed flow of air right where you want it. If the next piece is different, that’s no problem – just bend the hose to re-aim the air flow.
No matter what the requirements of your blow off application are, we have an efficient, quiet, and safe solution. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.