Super Air Knife – Free Air Via a 40:1 Amplification Ratio

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.

LSAKpr_2mb
Long Super Air Knife with Plumbing Kit Installed and using the model 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Kit to Blowoff Laser Cutting Debris

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.

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  • 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.

Brian Bergmann
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.

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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

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.

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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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Video Blog: Which EXAIR Air Knife Is Right For You?

The following short video explains the differences between the 3 styles of Air Knives offered by EXAIR – The Super, Standard and Full-Flow. All of these Models are IN STOCK, ready to ship, with orders received by 3:00 PM Eastern.

If you need additional assistance choosing your EXAIR Air Knife, please contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

Cooling Punch Points with a Super Air Knife

A stamping facility had a high speed perforating operation. The idea was to punch holes into a matrix at a fast feed rate.  In their operation, they started to see issues with the punched holes, and they also noticed that the punch points were prematurely failing.  With a tight punch-to-matrix clearance, heat was building up from the friction.  This effect was galling the material and affecting the hole appearance and dimensions.  They also noticed heat damage to the punch points.  They either had to slow their process down, or find a way to cool the punch points.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help.

To remove heat, you need to have a fluid moving across the material to carry the heat away. For this customer, the fluid would be air.  Just like a hot cup of coffee, you can cool it by blowing across the top of it.  In this instance, EXAIR can blow a lot of air with using very little amount of compressed air.  Because of the gap opening of the tool die was narrow, I suggested the Super Air Knife.  It has a compact design and can blow nicely between the upper and lower die.  With slight modifications, they were able to mount the Super Air Knives right into the base set.  Because the tool die was a “bowl” type design, I suggested that they should use two pieces of the model 110206 Super Air Knife.  They could mount one to each side to make sure to hit all the punch points.  (Reference the picture below).

Punch Press with a Super Air Knife
Punch Press with a Super Air Knife installed

EXAIR Super Air Knives are the most efficient compressed air knives in the market. It is designed to have a 40:1 amplification ratio.  That means for every one part of compressed air, it will entrain 40 parts of the free ambient air.  As with the coffee reference above, the more air that you can blow, the better the cooling effect.  With the Super Air Knife, we can reach a velocity of 11,800 feet per minute at 80 PSI.  After the customer installed the Super Air Knives, they were able to increase production by 10%.  Also, they found that the punch points were lasting twice as long.  They were so impressed with the effectiveness of the Super Air Knives, they mounted them to all their punch press machines.

Super Air Knife
Super Air Knife

If you find that heat is affecting your process, EXAIR could have a product to help you. We have a variety of efficient air movers to cool your parts.  As for this customer above, we were able to increase production and extend the life of their tools.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Don’t Cry, EXAIR Air Amplifiers Will Help Remove the Fumes

Bitumen is a black viscous product that is used in asphalt, road surfacing, and roofing materials. Much of this product is moved by either railcars or tractor trailers to other industries.  Some precautions are needed when handling this product as the fumes can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose.

Fumes coming out of hatch below platform
Fumes coming out of hatch below platform

 

A plant that manufactures bitumen contacted EXAIR to see if we had a product that could improve their existing system. They were using a 6” (15 cm) venturi type air mover that was large and cumbersome.  It had a funnel that extended from the outlet by 4 feet (1.2m), and it weighed over 22 lbs (10 Kg.)  The air consumption of this unit was 81 SCFM (2,294 SLPM) of compressed air at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar).  They had to maneuver this heavy device by hand around an elevated platform.  The platform was designed with two smaller platforms that are positioned over the vehicles that they are filled for transport. One platform extended over a rail for railcars and the other platform extended over a driveway for tankards.  The air mover had to be moved and positioned near the filling areas to capture the fumes.  It was heavy, awkward, and in the way.

Their filling procedure was to place the air mover near the opening of the hatch to remove the irritating fumes away from the operators. The filling pipe was 4 inch (10cm) in diameter, and it was spring assisted for easy positioning.  Depending on the vehicle type, they would open a hatch ranging from 12 inches (30.5cm) to 16 inches (40.6cm) in diameter to fill.  The operator would then position the air mover near the opening, insert the fill pipe, and start filling.  The air mover was turned on to draw the vapor coming out of the hatch.   Because of its weight and size, the air mover had to be positioned on the platform at the edge of the hatch opening.  This was not optimum as some of the fumes could still escape at the farthest point away from the air mover.  Once the railcar or tanker was filled, they would move everything to the opposite platform to fill the next vehicle. Because of the design of the platforms and the size and weight of the air mover, there was a high possibility for personnel to become injured from the re-positioning process.  The customer wanted a more effective and ergonomic solution.

Railcar Filling Area
           Railcar Filling Area

The customer added some additional details about his operation. Because bitumen is a tar-like substance, it sticks and gets on everything, they would place dirty parts in an oven to melt the bitumen off the surfaces.  With this high temperature requirement and the size of the opening of the hatches that had to be covered, I suggested a 4 inch (10cm), Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier, model 6034.

EXAIR Air Amplifiers, have a large amplification ratio (the ratio between the amount of ambient air being moved compared to the amount of compressed air used).  The suggested model, is set for a 24:1 amplification ratio.  This helps greatly to draw in the fumes and smoke in the surrounding area to increase overall effectiveness and to reduce compressed air consumption.  With the size and weight of the EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifier being much smaller than their present solution, they could mount it directly onto the side of the spring-assisted pipe used to fill the tankers with the product.  (The weight of the model 6034 is only 9 lbs. (4.1 Kg))  This was a major ergonomic success.  They did not have to worry about their operators hurting themselves moving a big, heavy, air mover, and it allowed the mouth of the Air Amplifier to be positioned right over the opening of the hatch.  This helped to catch all the fumes.  As a bonus, the model 6034 consumes only 50 SCFM (1,416 SLPM) of compressed air at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar).  The Adjustable Air Amplifier allowed for a reduction of 38% in compressed air usage when compared to the old method.  By switching to the EXAIR Air Amplifier, it saved them time, pain, money, and tears from eye irritation.

EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifier
EXAIR’s Adjustable Air Amplifier

If you have an application where smoke and fumes are a nuisance,  Air Amplifiers are a great way to pack a lot of power into a small space for a variety of blowing and venting applications.

John Ball, Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb