Mounting Options for EXAIR’s Super Air Knife

 

Super Air Knife installed using the Universal Air Knife Mounting system.

The key towards a successful Super Air Knife  application is making sure it’s installed properly. Using the chart on the installation & maintenance guide to ensure your plumbing is properly sized is the first step. This ensures that an adequate volume of compressed air is able to reach the knife, without causing an unnecessary pressure drop.

super air knife pipe size

Once you’ve planned out the distribution of compressed air to the Super Air Knife you must consider how to mount it in your application. Across the bottom of the knife are ¼-20 tapped holes spaced out evenly every 2” along the knife. A 30” Model 110030 will have (15) holes, a 60” 110060 (30), and so on. These holes are tapped through to allow you to mount the knife to best suit the application.

If you’d rather have a more “out of the box” solution, EXAIR offers our Universal Mounting System. It gives you the ability to mount onto a conveyor rail or machine frame and provide precise positioning for all of EXAIR’s Super Air Knives, Standard Air Knives, Full-Flow Air Knives, as well as the Standard and Super Ion Air Knives. Each system comes with (2) 1/2-13 x 5” long bolts, 2’ long stainless steel rod, mounting hardware, angle bracket, and adjustable swivel clamps. Check out the video below for a demonstration of the adjustability you can achieve with the Model 9060 Universal Mounting System.

Another critical factor to consider is the mounting position of the knife. If the material is moving along a conveyor, the knife should be positioned as closely as possible with the airflow oriented against the direction of travel of the material. By doing so, we increase the amount of time that the material is in contact with the airflow. We call this term counter-flow. Maximizing the time in contact with the laminar airflow from the Super Air Knife gives us the best chance at a successful result. Whether we’re talking about cooling, drying, or cleaning, the longer that the material is in contact with the laminar airflow the better the results will be.

air knife counter flow

In this photo, the Super Air Knife is positioned upside down at an angle above a conveyor belt, against the direction of travel. We recommend installing the Super Air Knife in this orientation as it allows the airflow to get closest to the material being blown off. They’ve used their own brackets to allow the knife to be adjusted when blowing residual dust off of a conveyor for a mining application. The dust on the belt would build up over time and was difficult to remove. By installing a Super Air Knife, they’re able to continuously remove the dust from the conveyor belt before it becomes a problem.

If you have an application that would be better served with one of EXAIR’s Super Air Knives, give us a call. An Application Engineer is ready to assist you in selecting the proper material, length, and mounting method.

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

The Super Air Knife: It’s Super Easy To Install

One of the more commonly asked questions about one of our more commonly asked-about products is:

“How do you install a Super Air Knife?”

Well, I’m glad you (or, in this case, “they,”) asked! There are several options, and they’re all pretty simple:

The Universal Air Knife Mounting System – right out of the box, the 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting System is ready to go. It gives you a complete range of motion, so changes to the angle, direction, and distance of the air flow to the target are quick and easy. Multiple systems provide secure support for longer Air Knife lengths.

The 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are perfect for simple, fast installation and positioning.
The 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are perfect for simple, fast installation and positioning.

The Air Knife Plumbing Kit – Air Knives 24″ and longer need to be supplied at multiple inlets.  A Plumbing Kit comes with everything you need to get that down to just one (lengths to 54″) or two (lengths to 108″) 1/2 NPT connections, saving you from hunting down the fittings and hose or tube, while ensuring you get sufficient air flow for optimum performance.

Plumbing Kits

The Super Air Knife Itself (part 1) – because the Air Knife cap & body are held together with a series of Stainless Steel cap screws, there’s a 1/4″-20 tapped hole, about 3/8″ deep, every 2″ along the bottom of the body. These are commonly used to install the Air Knife to an acceptable mount.

If you've got something to hold it to, mounting a Super Air Knife with 1/4"-20 fasteners is a snap!
If your equipment already has rails or a frame, mounting a Super Air Knife with 1/4″-20 fasteners is a snap!

The Super Air Knife Itself (part 2) – like I said above, when they get longer than 24″, an Air Knife needs to be supplied at both ends to ensure proper air flow across the entire length. There are MANY Super Air Knives installed over conveyor belts (a “textbook” application) that are simply supported by hard piping to both ends. The Air Knife is, essentially, as well supported as the piping.

Use the supply piping to adequately support longer lengths of Super Air Knives
Use the supply piping to adequately support longer lengths of Super Air Knives.

The Super Air Knife Itself (part 3) – I saved “part 3″ to talk about the 3” Super Air Knife specifically…see what I did there? These short, compact units can actually be supported and plumbed properly, using a Magnetic Base and a Stay Set Hose.

Install and reposition a 3" Super Air Knife using any steel surface with a Mag Base & Stay Set Hose.
Install and reposition a 3″ Super Air Knife using any steel surface with a Mag Base & Stay Set Hose.

If you’ve got an application for a Super Air Knife, we can help you get in installed, in a snap. Call me; let’s talk!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Counter-flow – How to Mount Air Knives for Maximum Effect

counter flow
Example: Counter-flow arrangement

As with any tool, there can be a right way and a wrong way to use the tool. In this article I will explain the best way to mount a Super Air Knife in a blowing application so that you achieve the maximum force, time in contact and of course, effectiveness.

There is a term we use, “counter-flow”, to describe the opposing travel of target material/conveyor (red arrow) and the airflow coming from an Air Knife (yellow arrow). By having opposing flows, the Air Knife is able to blow the debris, contamination, water or other fluid back into the direction from which it came. Sometimes a catch pan can be used to collect and re-use the fluid. In the photo above, note that the air knife is oriented to blow from right to left and the parts are travelling on the conveyor belt from left to right. This is a simple example of how we set up counter-flow.

Also, with regard to effective Air Knife mounting strategies; the Super Air Knife in the photo is mounted using our Universal Air Knife Mounting System which allows for maximum flexibility for positioning and stability of the Air Knife once set. The Universal Air Knife Mounting System is another great accessory that you can recommend to clients to make the set up very easy. Of course a suitable compressed air filter and pressure regulator should be used for clean air and adjustability of force in the application.

Finally, in the photo above, note that the Super Air Knife is mounted up-side down. We generally recommend this kind of orientation with the cap of the Super Air Knife being closest to the material being blown off. This allows you to get the air knife a bit lower and closer to the target material. The lower the angle, the better. This allows for a longer time in contact between the Super Air Knife and the target material. When the target material spends more time in the high velocity flow, the more likely you are able to impart the desired effect whether that be drying, cooling, blowoff or static elimination. To find a good mounting angle to start, I recommend customers use the front, angled edge of the Super Air Knife cap as a guide for what part of the Super Air Knife to keep parallel to the moving surface. This is a great reference from which blowing angle can be optimized.

If you find yourself with an Air Knife application and are unsure about how to proceed with mounting it, the idea explained above is one of the core foundations we utilize for solid Air Knife mounting technique.

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