What’s The Big Deal About Clean Air?

Compressed air isn’t called manufacturing’s “Fourth Utility” (the first three being electricity, water, and natural gas) for nothing. Pneumatic tools are popular because they’re often so much lighter than their electric counterparts. Compressed air can be stored in receiver tanks for use when other power supplies are unavailable or not feasible. Many compressed air operated products can be made to withstand environmental factors (high/low temperature, corrosive elements, atmospheric dust, oil, other contaminants, etc.,) that would make electric devices very expensive, unwieldy, or impractical.

One of the most valuable considerations, though, is that your compressed air system is, by and large, under your control.  The type and capacity of your air compressor can be determined by your specific operational needs.  The header pressure in your supply lines is based on the applications that your air-operated devices are used for.  And the performance & lifespan of every single component in your compressed air system is determined by the care you take in maintaining it.

I covered the importance of compressed air system maintenance in a blog a while back…today, I want to focus on clean air.  And, like the title (hopefully) makes you think, it’s a REALLY big deal.  Consider the effects of the following:

Debris: solid particulates can enter your air system through the compressor intake, during maintenance, or if lines are undone and remade.  If you have moisture in your air (more on that in a minute,) that can promote corrosion inside your pipes, and rust can flake off in there.  Almost all of your air operated products have moving parts, tight passages, or both…debris is just plain bad for them.  And if you use air for blow off (cleaning, drying, etc.,) keep in mind that anything in your compressed air system will almost certainly get on your product.

Your compressed air system may be equipped with a main filter at the compressor discharge.  This is fine, but since there is indeed potential for downstream ingress (as mentioned above,) point-of-use filtration is good engineering practice.  EXAIR recommends particulate filtration to 5 microns for most of our products.

Water: moisture is almost always a product of condensation, but it can also be introduced through faulty maintenance, or by failure of the compressor’s drying or cooling systems.  Any way it happens, it’s also easy to combat with point-of-use filtration.

EXAIR includes an Automatic Drain Filter Separator in our product kits to address both of these concerns.  A particulate filter element traps solids, and a centrifugal element “spins” any moisture out, collecting it in the bowl, which is periodically drained (automatically, as the name implies) by a float.

Point of use filtration is key to the performance of your compressed air products, and their effectiveness. Regardless of your application, EXAIR has Filter Separators to meet most any need.

Oil: many pneumatic tools require oil for proper operation, so, instead of removing it, there’s going to be a dedicated lubricator, putting oil in the air on purpose.  Optimally, this will be as close to the tool as possible, because not all of your compressed air loads need oil…especially your blow offs.  If, however, a blow off device is installed downstream of a lubricator (perhaps due to convenience or necessity,) you’ll want to do something about that oil. Remember, anything in your system will get blown onto your product.

If this is the case, or you just want to have the cleanest air possible (keep in mind there is no downside to that,) consider an EXAIR Oil Removal Filter.  They come in a range of capacities, up to 310 SCFM (8,773 SLPM,) and the coalescing element also offers additional particulate filtration to 0.03 microns.

In closing, here’s a video that shows you, up close and personal, the difference that proper filtration can make:

If you’d like to discuss or debate (spoiler alert: I’ll win) the importance of clean air, and how EXAIR can help, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Stay Set Hoses & Magnetic Bases – Precise Positioning for your Blowoff Application!

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Once you’ve selected an engineered compressed air nozzle for your blowoff application, you’ll likely need a solution to mount and position it as well. In some applications you may be able to simply replace the old solution with a similar thread, but if the installation is a bit more complex, or if it is a new installation entirely, you’ll need a means to do so. Here’s where EXAIR’s Stay Set Hoses and Magnetic Bases come into play.

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EXAIR’s Stay Set Hoses are available from 6”-36” in length with ¼ NPT male threads on each end, or a ¼ NPT male on one end and 1/8 NPT female on the other. The Stay Set Hoses are rigid and allow you to maintain precise positioning of the blow off nozzle. The hoses have “memory” and will not creep or bend. They’re easily repositioned as well, making them an ideal solution for applications that may require moving them around due to varying parts.

Stay Set Hoses can also be installed on any Soft Grip Safety Air Gun. Simply adding a suffix to the end of the any of the Soft Grip Air Gun model numbers will come with the Stay Set Hose installed. For example, the gun below is a Model 1230-36SSH. A Model 1230 Safety Air Gun, with a 36” Stay Set Hose installed. Having a Stay Set Hose on your air gun can allow you to reach into tight or awkward places that a traditional air gun won’t permit.

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Model 1230-36SSH

In addition to the Stay Set Hoses, EXAIR also has Magnetic Bases available as well. The powerful magnet permits both horizontal and vertical mounting. A manual valve is also included that will allow you to vary the force and flow. Magnetic bases are available with one or two outlets and can be combined with any of our nozzles and Stay Set Hoses to create your own customized blowoff system.

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(2) 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles w/ Dual Magnetic Base and 12″ Stay Set Hose

No matter the application, EXAIR has a solution for your blowoff. Give an Application Engineer a call today and we’ll help you determine EXACTLY what you’ll need with all parts available from stock!

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

Super Air Nozzles; Rebates, Environmental Protection, and Energy Savings.

Family of Nozzles

Recently, I wrote a blog, “Flat Super Air Nozzles: Build Your Own System Overview”.  It described how the Flat Super Air Nozzles could be used singly or joined together with accessories for flexibility in your application.  In addition, it demonstrated the amount of compressed air savings and reduction in energy consumption to save you money.  Tyler Daniel, a colleague, wrote a similar blog on “ROI – Is it Worth the Investment?”  He explains the quick payback or ROI (Return on Investment) by using EXAIR Super Air Knives.  In both posts, the word “Super” is intertwined with the product name.  To expand a bit further, the word, “Super” is more than just a word.  It is about cost savings, efficiency, and energy conservation.   In this post, I will dive a bit more into the reasons why EXAIR uses the word, “Super”, and how it can help you.

When EXAIR started to manufacture compressed air products, we created a culture in making high quality products that are safe, effective, and efficient.  Being leaders in this industry, we created a program, the Efficiency Lab, to compare blow-off devices with EXAIR products in noise levels, flow requirements, and force measurements.  With calibrated test equipment, we compare the data in a qualified report to share with our customers.  This information can be helpful to determine the total amount of air savings and safety improvements that EXAIR products can offer.

With the total amount of energy savings that the EXAIR products can provide, EXAIR was able to partner with Energy Star and the Environmental Protection Agency.  This commitment by EXAIR for reducing energy to protect the environment for future generations is a cornerstone for our business model.  Compressors use electricity to produce compressed air.  In most industries, they consider compressed air as a fourth utility.  If you have pneumatics in your facility wouldn’t it be best to use it, and the electricity it requires, as efficiently as you can?

In conjunction with the Efficiency Lab, we created a Cost Savings Calculator.  It is a quick way to view payback periods and annual savings when using EXAIR products.  As an example, I used a 1” Flat Super Air Nozzle, model 1126, and compared it to a 1/8” open pipe.  (The reason behind the comparison is that the model 1126 can screw onto the end of the 1/8” NPT pipe.)  With an operation of 24 hours/day for 250 days a year, the amount of air used by an 1/8” open pipe is near 70 SCFM (1,981 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar).  The model 1126 has an air consumption of 10.5 SCFM (297 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar).  By putting the information in the Cost Savings Calculator, it determined that the ROI was in 2.1 days.  The annual savings was $5,355 per year.  Imagine if you replaced ten blow-off spots in your facility, the amount of money that could be saved.  Here is the worksheet below:

Why did I bring this up?  Besides showing the “hidden” extra cost that is wasted when using sub-standard blow-off devices, it also shows the amount of compressed air that was saved.  By using the model 1126, we were able to save 21,420,000 cubic feet of air per year (596,043 cubic meters of air per year).  With this amount of energy savings, people take notice.

The people that did take notice were the utility companies that make electricity.  Depending on your location, electrical suppliers initiated a rebate program to use engineered nozzles in your facility.  Similar to other energy saving rebates, like LED lightbulbs and high efficiency furnaces, the electrical providers notice a big savings when using EXAIR products.  If you qualify, the total cost to purchase and implement the EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are reduced.  (Even if a rebate program has not been implemented in your area, the idea of saving energy and compressed air makes it very profitable and environmentally sound in changing over to EXAIR products).  The website is DSIRE.  “DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.”  Check it out to see if your area has instituted a rebate program.

When EXAIR uses the word “Super”, it is much more than just an adjective.  It shows the quality and precision that EXAIR uses in manufacturing our products, and the amount of cost and energy savings that can be generated.  Being backed by Energy Star, EPA, and rebate programs, EXAIR can help companies to upgrade their pneumatic systems.  Together, we can save energy, improve the environment, and reduce compressed air.  If you would like to discuss how EXAIR can work for you, you can contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to see if we can put the word, “Super”, into your compressed air program.

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

What Is Entrainment?

Entrainment is defined in the simplest of terms as: to draw in and transport (something, such as solid particles or gas) by the flow of a fluid.

EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air® products use the principle of entrainment to give you more volume than the compressed air being introduced from your air compressor.  This is very important considering that the standard cost for compressed air is $0.25 per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet (SCF) and is commonly called the 4th utility. Any pipe, manifold, or fitting can be modified to blow compressed air, however, these homemade blow offs will be very noisy and waste a tremendous amount of compressed air.  In contrast EXAIR’s intelligent compressed air solutions are engineered to be very quiet and use conservative amount’s of compressed while multiplying the output volume through entrainment.  They also comply with OSHA safety standards.

Let’s consider the EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle as an example. It comes with either a 1/4 MNPT or 1/4 FNPT threads and will produce 13 ounces of force at a distance of 12″ from the nozzle. All while consuming a relatively modest 14 SCFM of compressed air. To produce that much force using that small amount of air, the Super Air Nozzle is intelligently designed and manufactured to exacting standards to maximize the entrainment of the surrounding ambient air.

To explain how this works compressed air is used to induce the primary air flow. This primary air flow is a high velocity jet of air that creates a low pressure area around nozzle which entrains the ambient or free air. The air streams combine past the tip of the nozzle creating a powerful blast of air. The Super Air Nozzle can entrain air up to 25 times more than the primary compressed air feed.  All EXAIR’s Super Air Nozzle’s create this level of air entrainment.

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EXAIR Super Air Nozzle entrains ambient air up to a 25:1 ratio

In addition to entraining a significant amount of air, the Super Air Nozzle also reduces the noise level. Most homemade nozzles are not well constructed so, the hole(s) that allow the air to escape may have sharp jagged edges which will induce noise or turbulence. Even commercial nozzles with cross drill holes create a tremendous amount of wind shear which leads to an ear splitting compressed air squeal. The smooth design of the Super Air Nozzle creates a laminar flow of air that reduces the noise of the nozzle to 74 dBA at a distance of 3′ from the nozzle. For reference a 1/4″ open tube can easily create noise levels over 100 dBA. Using EXAIR compressed air nozzles can greatly reduce the amount of noise in and around your shop.

Last but certainly not least the EXAIR Super Air Nozzle complies with OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.242, which requires that all nozzles that use compressed air over 30 PSIG must provide a point of relief in case the nozzle is dead ended and OSHA Standard 29 CFR – 1910.92 (a) for maximum allowable noise exposure. EXAIR Super Air Nozzle uses multiple orifices that are recessed, so that the air always has a path of escape. Many homemade nozzles do not have any provision to protect from dead ending and are very loud which does not comply with the OSHA noise standards.

If you would like to discuss increasing the efficiency of your compressed air usage, quieter compressed air products and/or any EXAIR product,  I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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Flat Super Air Nozzle: Build Your Own System Overview

Flat Nozzle Blow-off Kit

EXAIR manufactures a variety of nozzles that are OSHA safe, high quality, and very efficient.  In this blog, I would like to discuss the features and benefits of the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles and how to build a system to fit your application.

The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are manufactured to blow a wide forceful stream of air.  Their patented design creates a high velocity, laminar air stream with minimal air consumption and low noise.  They come in two sizes; 1” (25mm) and 2” (51mm), and EXAIR stocks them in two different materials, zinc-aluminum alloy and 316 stainless steel.  With a metal construction, breakage is not a concern and performance is not sacrificed even in the harshest of environments.  I have seen many plastic flat nozzles that were broken in applications.  The noise level was loud, and compressed air was wasted.  The unique patented shims inside the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles give three improvements to the design and function.   First, they come in different thicknesses to create a wide range of forces.  In conjunction with a regulator, you can “dial” in the correct amount of force from a breeze to a hurricane without overusing your air compressor.  The patented design also allows an even force across the entire width of the air nozzle.  Lastly, they help to entrain the free ambient air; so that less compressed air is required.  The high efficiency design will save you money.  The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are effective in uniform blowing; efficient; and superior in quality and durability.  You can watch a video blog on the importance of using our patented shim.

(Click on photo to go to blog)

To show the different types and styles of Flat Super Air Nozzles that EXAIR stocks, you can correspond to the model number make-up sheet below.

To give force adjustments to the individual Flat Super Air Nozzles, EXAIR offers a way to change the thickness of the shim to better suit your application.  You can increase or decrease the force of the nozzle by just removing two screws and changing the shim inside.  This is a unique feature as most competitive flat nozzles do not allow you to do this.  EXAIR offers different thicknesses of the patented shims in our Shim Sets.  The chart below corresponds the appropriate Shim Set to the Flat Super Air Nozzle.

Flat Super Air Nozzle to Shim Set Chart

What can make the Flat Super Air Nozzles even better?  More flexibility.  The Stay Set Hoses can add that flexibility to the Flat Super Air Nozzles.  They are designed to manually position the Flat Super Air Nozzle to accurately target the air stream.  They allow maneuverability to locate the nozzle at different heights or angles; and once positioned, the Stay Set Hose will hold the nozzle in place.  They come in different lengths from 6” (152mm) to 36” (914mm).  We carry two different styles of connections to adapt to any of the Flat Super Air Nozzles.  You can select the different lengths of Stay Set Hoses (SSH) to the Flat Super Air Nozzle by the model number make-up sheet below.

To build your system even further, EXAIR also can offer a Magnetic Base to your Stay Set Hoses and Flat Super Air Nozzles.  The Magnetic Base has a powerful magnet on the bottom to securely attach the blow-off nozzles vertically or horizontally.  This feature is great if you need to move the nozzles to different areas in your application.  EXAIR manufactures a one-outlet and a two-outlet design.  Each outlet has a ¼ turn valve to manually turn on or off the nozzle and only require one air supply inlet.  To add this product to the Flat Super Air Nozzle with the Stay Set Hose, you can use the model number make-up sheet below.

With the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles, you can take advantage of the durability, safety, and efficiency for your blow-off device.  In addition, you can build a system that will best suit your requirements.  You can add different lengths of Stay Set Hoses and/or different Magnetic Bases.  With these combinations grouped into one model number and in stock for quick shipments, it makes it simple to purchase from EXAIR.  Just to let you know, they also come with a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try them out.  If you need any help in building your optimum blow-off system, you can speak to an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  They will be happy to assist you.

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

Air Nozzles, Air Jets and Swivels

EXAIR’s Engineered Air Nozzles and Air Jets provide a superior solution to minimize compressed air usage and reduce noise levels for compressed air blow-off operations.

Air Nozzles and Jets – when compared to commonly used open copper tubes or pipes the compressed air savings can be as high as 80%. With less compressed air, sound levels are greatly reduced.  A 10 dBA noise level reduction is typical.  All EXAIR Air Nozzles and Jets meet OSHA guidelines for dead end pressure and sound level exposure requirements.

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EXAIR has engineered air nozzles for virtually any application 

EXAIR Nozzles are designed and manufactured to take advantage of the Coanda (wall attachment of a high velocity fluid) effect which can amplify the airflow up to 25 times. The compressed air exits through the small holes on the nozzle which entrains the surrounding air. The effect from this is a high volume, high velocity blast using less compressed air.  EXAIR manufactures many sizes and styles of air nozzles from the smallest, but quite powerful Atto Super Air Nozzles to our largest 1-1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle.  We also offer Flat Super Air Nozzles, and the Back Blow style nozzle for cleaning out tubes, pipes, channels or holes from 1/4″ to 16″ in diameter.

All of our Air Nozzles are engineered to meet or exceed OSHA Standard 1910.24(b) for 30 PSIG dead end pressure, they cannot be dead-ended as there is always a route for the air to escape so the outlet pressure will never reach 30 PSIG. In addition, our products are going to meet the OSHA Standard CFR 29 – 1910.95(a) for allowable noise exposure levels.
EXAIR Air Jets also utilize the Coanda effect to produce air motion in their surroundings.  A small amount of compressed air (1) is throttled through an internal ring nozzle above sonic velocity.  A vacuum is produced, pulling in large volumes of surrounding, or ‘free’ air, through an around the jet (2).  The exit flow is the combination of the two air sources (3).

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How an Air Jet Works

EXAIR manufactures Air Jets in two types, High Velocity, and Adjustable with materials of construction of brass and Type 303 Stainless Steel.  The High Velocity Air Jet uses a changeable shim to set the gap, controlling the force and flow of the air.  The Adjustable does not use a shim, and has a micrometer gap indicator and locking ring to allow for varying force and flow performance.

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EXAIR Air Jets – High Velocity type on the left, Adjustable type on the Right
Swivel Fittings available from M4 up to 1″ NPT

EXAIR’s Swivel Fittings make it easy to adjust the position of the Air Nozzles and Air Jets.  The fittings allow for movement of 25° form the center axis for a total movement of 50°.  There are nine different models available and all of them are made from stainless steel

If you would like to discuss blow off, noise levels, dead end pressure or any of EXAIR’s intelligent compressed air usage solutions, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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Video Blog: With EXAIR Products, Engineering Maximizes Efficiency

This video blog showcases just why engineering even the small details of a compressed air product can have a large impact on compressed air savings, safety, and efficiency.  This is why it is critical to know whether the company you are dealing with originally designed the product you purchased or if it is merely a copy.

 

 

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com @EXAIR_BF