Back Blow Air Nozzles Clean Out Pipe, Tubes and Holes

Round SS Tubes

A metal fabricator used a cutting machine to cut different sizes and shapes of stainless steel tubing.  The process was automated and the machine would cut two tubes at a time.  After the cutting operation, the machine would deposit the tubes into a nearby bin.  The operator would then stack the tubes in a wooden container as shown above.  Before the tubes could be transported to another department, the operator would have to clean the inside of each tube.  The current method was to attach a rag to the end of a rod and pushed it inside the tube to remove any coolant and chips that remained from the cutting operation.  Of course, the ability to clean thoroughly with a rag is reduced greatly after a short time of use.  The cleaning process was very time consuming, and when the rag was not changed in a timely manner it did not clean effectively.  The inside of the tubes would get marred from the excess chips that remained on the rag.  This would visually affect the surface finish of the stainless steel.  They emailed me the application detail as they were looking for a non-contact way to clean the inside of the tubes.

The first question from the customer was if we could customize our air nozzles to clean the different diameters and shapes that they were cutting.  EXAIR has made special air nozzles to accommodate unique applications, but I wanted to first make sure that EXAIR did not have a manufactured nozzle in stock to fit this application.  I requested the dimensional information, and the customer sent me the sizes and shapes of the tubes that were ran through their cutting machine.  (Reference Table 1 below).

EXAIR manufactures three different sizes of Back Blow Air Nozzles that are designed to clean inside tubing, pipes, hoses, and channels.  They can range from internal diameters from ¼” (6.3mm) to 16” (406mm).  The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” the entire internal surface clean and can remove coolant, chips, and debris.  In reviewing the dimensions from Table 1 above, I was able to recommend just one Back Blow Air Nozzle for all the tubes; even the square and rectangular ones.  It was model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle.  This 316SS robust designed nozzle can fit inside and clean tubes with internal dimensions ranging from 22mm to 102mm, and it was perfect for all of these tubes.

Soft Grip Safety Air Gun w/ Back Blow Air Nozzle

The customer indicated to me that the tubes were all cut to identical lengths at 550 mm (21.7”).  Being that this was a manual operation, I suggested the Back Blow Air Nozzle with our Soft Grip Safety Air Gun.  This ergonomically designed Safety Air Gun is designed for hours of use without fatigue.  In combination with the nozzle, we are able to add extensions and chip shields.  With extensions, EXAIR has a range of lengths from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm).  With the designated length above, I recommended the model 1206SS-24-CS which has the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, the model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle, a 24” (610mm) extension, and a chip shield.

The configuration allowed for the operator to reach through the tube to clean with only a one-time pass.  The CS designation is for a chip shield which will protect the operator from any excess debris and coolant.  With the model 1206SS-24-CS, the operator could now pick up a tube, use the Soft-Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun to remove the debris and coolant from within the round tubes, square tubes and rectangle tubes.  Also, they did not have to worry about changing the rags when it got dirty.  What an amazing purchase for this company, as they increased the speed of the cleaning operation by 70% without affecting the inside finish of the stainless-steel tubes.

If you need to clean the inside of tubes, hoses, pipes, etc., EXAIR has the perfect nozzle for you, the Back Blow Air Nozzles.  EXAIR can attach these nozzles on our VariBlast Compact, Soft Grip and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns for easy-to-use manual operations.  For this customer above, they were glad that they contacted EXAIR about their application.  If you require more details, you can share your application with an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help.

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

 

Choosing the Best Chip Vacuum for Your Application

One Christmas, a long time ago, my Mother In Law gave me a beautifully wrapped present, and a great big smile.  I opened it up…it was an extension cord.  One of those heavy duty orange, indoor/outdoor, 100 foot long models.  I returned her smile, while thinking about all the things I might be able to use it for…and not coming up with anything really solid.

As the family continued to open presents, she disappeared into the other room, and came back with a much larger package and handed it to me…still with that great big smile.  It was a convertible string trimmer; one that worked as a ‘weed eater’ or, with a twist of the handle, an edger.  And it was electrically operated…NOW I knew what the extension cord was for.  As great and useful a gift it was – eighteen years on, and I’m almost competent at edging the sidewalk – I got a valuable lesson from it: accessories make a great gift better.  Since then, I’ve always thoughtfully considered:

  • If I give someone a battery operated gift, I give them batteries too.
  • If it comes with its own rechargeable battery, I carefully open the package and charge it up, before I wrap it up.
  • If accessories are available, I think about how they might use it.  I’ve even presented them with the accessory first, in tribute to my wonderful wife’s wonderful Mom.
  • If there’s a “deluxe” or “premium” version, sometimes it’s worth it to just go all out…again, after consideration of how they might use it.

Now, this is not only the case with presents…many household, commercial, or industrial products offer Deluxe or Premium packages…like the EXAIR Chip Vac System.

At the most basic level, a Model 6193 Chip Vac System for 55 Gallon Drum is all you need to turn an existing drum into a powerful, reliable, durable industrial vacuum.  It comes with a lid & latch ring, Filter Bag, 10 foot vacuum hose, a set of plastic tools, and of course, the Chip Vac itself.  All you need for simple, on-the-spot cleanup purposes.

Model 6193-30 is also available for your existing open-top 30 Gallon Drum.

Sometimes you might have (literally) more ground to cover: the Model 6293 Deluxe Chip Vac System adds a Drum Dolly for mobility, and a Tool Holder to keep the attachments handy.

Deluxe Chip Vac Systems come with a Dolly and Tool Holder in 5 Gallon (left,) 30 Gallon (center,) and 55 Gallon (right) sizes.

Other times, you may just be looking for a complete system, ready to handle everything, right out of the box.  Enter the Model 6393 Premium 55 Gallon Chip Vac System, which adds a heavy duty steel drum, an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools & Static Resistant Vacuum Hose, and a 20ft Compressed Air Supply Hose with Pressure Gauge & Shutoff Valve.

Premium Chip Vac Systems are ready for any cleanup job, right out of the box, and come with 30, 55, or 110 Gallon Drums.

Or, if you’re looking for something lightweight & compact, the Model 6193-5 Mini Chip Vac System comes complete with a 5 gallon drum, and the Model 6293-5 Deluxe Mini Chip Vac System adds a Drum Dolly.

The Mini Chip Vac System comes complete with a 5 Gallon Drum, and the Deluxe System adds a Drum Dolly for mobility.

With no moving parts to wear and no electrical components to burn out, the EXAIR Chip Vac is a virtually maintenance free replacement for noisy, damage-prone electric vacuums.  If you’d like to find out just how handy they are, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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What’s Wrong With My Reversible Drum Vac? Most Likely – Nothing.

If you need to clean up spills, pump out a sump, or basically just move liquid from one place to another, the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac is what you’re looking for.  The Model 6196 Reversible Drum Vac System is all you need to turn a closed top steel drum into a powerful two-way pumping system. They’re reliable (no moving parts), durable (stainless steel construction), safe (no electricity), they install quickly, they’re compact, and portable. They’re also very low maintenance…in fact, if you supply the Reversible Drum Vac with clean air, it’ll run maintenance free, darn near indefinitely.

That’s not to say things can’t go wrong…Murphy’s Law still applies…but most anything that can go wrong with the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac can be identified fairly easily, and remedied fairly quickly. Here’s a rundown of “the usual suspects:”

  • Vacuum leaks.  Even small leaks can be a big problem…a crack or split in the hose, a worn hose cuff, a damaged seal, even a hairline crack in the drum or lid…if air can enter anywhere other than the suction end of the hose, vacuum performance can suffer.  The first thing to do in most any troubleshooting procedure is a visual inspection, and the Reversible Drum Vac is no exception.  We stock the gaskets for the vacuum hose quick connect, as well as the drum lid seals.
Make sure the gasket is clean, in good condition                  The hose cuff should fit snugly on the quick connect
and properly seated.                                                                                             elbow’s barbs.
Pay particular attention to drum lid penetrations.               The drum itself can also be susceptible to corrosion.
All EXAIR Industrial Vacuum drum lids come with an EPDM seal glued in place. If it gets rolled (center) or damaged (right) it’ll need to be replaced to ensure optimal vacuum performance.
  • Compressed air supply, part 1. There are some tight passages in the  Venturi chamber inside the Reversible Drum Vac; this is how the vacuum is generated.  Any contaminants such as dirt or rust can accumulate in these passages, hampering the ability to draw its rated vacuum levels.
    Actual photos of dirt, debris, and contamination we’ve found in Reversible Drum Vacs sent in for Factory Refurbishment Service (ask an Application Engineer for details.)

    Use of a Filter Separator (like our Model 9004 Automatic Drain Filter Separator) with a 5 micron particulate element is recommended.  If the Reversible Drum Vac does get dirty inside, though, it can be cleaned pretty easily…here’s a video that walks you through the process:

  • Compressed air supply, part 2.  The Reversible Drum Vac will produce rated performance when supplied with compressed air at 80psig.  Make sure you can get enough air to it; if your supply line is too long and/or too small in diameter, you’ll get line loss…and poor performance. Use a 3/8″ ID compressed air hose, or a 1/2″ ID if it’s longer than about 10 feet, and avoid any restrictions like quick connect fittings.
  • Compressed air supply, part 3.  If you want to fill the drum a little faster, you can increase the supply pressure to 100psig or so.  Too high of a supply pressure can actually degrade vacuum performance, though.  Excessive pressure can create enough flow to overwhelm the Venturi, hampering its ability to generate vacuum.
  • Safety Shutoff Valve Float.  The Reversible Drum Vac provides overflow prevention via a plastic float that rises when the drum is full.  This breaks the vacuum so that no more liquid can be pumped into a full drum.  When the float rises, you’ll hear a change in pitch.  If you hear this, and the drum isn’t full, remove the Reversible Drum Vac from the drum lid and turn it upside down/right side up a few times.  The float should move freely, all the way from the bottom to the top of its chamber.  If it doesn’t, remove it and make sure the float, o-ring, and the inside of the chamber are clean.  Certain chemicals can cause the float and/or o-ring to swell, which will impede its free movement.  If the body of the Reversible Drum Vac is damaged (pro tip: don’t drop it) that can also cause the float to hang up and not work properly.
If the float doesn’t move freely, remove it (snap ring pliers not included,) clean and reassemble.

Like I said, these are just the first things you want to look for, and it’s highly likely you’re going to solve the problem before you reach the end of this list.  If your Reversible Drum Vac (or any EXAIR product) isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, though, don’t hesitate to call an Application Engineer.  Chances are, the vacuum unit is just fine and just needs a fresh gasket, a little cleanup, or a new drum. We want to make sure you get the most out of our products.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun – Blow Chips Loose and Vacuum Them Away in One Step!

Last week, we looked at the Vac-u-Gun, and you can take a look at that blog here.

This week I wanted to present the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun, a special iteration of the Vac-u-Gun, designed to provide a solution to the troublesome process of cleaning cavities and drilled holes.

The Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun is a low cost solution to quickly remove chips and debris from grooves and drilled holes where blow gun could create potentially hazardous flying debris. The Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun is simply positioned over the hole, and the trigger squeezed and then a small blow tube delivers a a stream of air to dislodge and lift the chips while the large suction tube vacuum them away. The operator is protected form flying debris since all chips and debris is contained within the clear suction tube. The device is capable of cleaning holes up to 1-1/4″ (32mm) diameter and 18″ (457mm) deep!

How does the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun work?

dhvghowani
How the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun Works

 


Compressed air, normally 80-100 PSIG (5.5 – 6.9 bar), flows through the inlet (1) into an annular plenum chamber (2) when the trigger is pressed. A small amount of air is injected into the blow tube (3) to provide agitation and lift to the chips or debris. The larger airflow is injected into the the throat of the gun through directed nozzles (4). The jets of air create the vacuum at the intake (5) which draws the material in and accelerates it through the unit. The chips, debris or other particulates can then be exhausted into a filter bag or hose attached to the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun System.


 

We have found many applications where the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun is beneficial- including removing chips and debris in:

Holes in fixtures, drilled plastics, T-slots’groove cleaning , coolant evacuation from parts, woodworking, tapped holes, cavity evacuation, and many more!

There are many advantages to the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun, and some are:

Low cost, no moving parts/maintenance free, durable die cast construction, eliminates shock hazard – no electricity, meets OSHA pressure requirements, safe operation – no flying chips, lightweight and portable, and quiet.

The Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun uses less compressed air than ordinary blow guns, and the amplified output flow is 12 times the air consumption rate.

Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun Specifications

Note that the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun should not be operated without a filter bag or vacuum hose attached to the exhaust.

There are three (3) Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun System options-

Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun Systems

The Model 6094 is the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun only.

The Model 6194 comes with a reusable bag and clamp for debris collection.

The Model 6394 comes with the reusable bag and a 10′ (3m) section of vacuum hose for transferring the debris to a collection point.

If you have questions about the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun or any of the 16 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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Shot Blasting Media and Dust Problems Solved with EXAIR’s HEPA Vac

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

Have you ever heard an electric vacuum toward the end of its life?  It gets an irritating high-pitch noise caused by the bearings going out.  A customer was hearing this annoying sound after only two months of use.   Their application was shot blasting metal parts.  The shot blast media was very dusty and carried everywhere around the room.  After use, they would use a shop vac to clean the machine and around the area.   When they started to hear that “moan” from their electric vacuum, they knew that they would have to purchase another unit.  Additionally, they noticed a lot of dust migrating into the work environment from the shop vac, creating a breathing hazard for the operators.  After their second electric vacuum failed, they started looking for a better choice.

Sand Blasting Equipment

When they contacted EXAIR about these issues, EXAIR had a great solution for them.  I recommended our model 6399, 55-gallon Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System.  This system comes with a drum, drum dolly, heavy duty accessories, HEPA Filter, and a robust vacuum system.  The heavy-duty accessories are easy to use to vacuum in tight spaces.  The HEPA filter inside the drum has an efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 micron.  So, the dust will remain in the drum and not migrate back into the ambient air.  The HEPA filter media is pleated to give a large surface area of 36.7 ft2 (3.4 m2).  Packed inside a supported cylindrical, it will allow for great amount of debris before changing.  With the shop vac above, the surface area of the filter was very small causing the filter to plug and under-perform.  The EXAIR Heavy Duty vacuum generator is made from a hardened-alloy steel construction which is very resistant to wear.  It does not have any moving parts or bearings to wear.  For this application, the generator is perfect for the shot blast media.  The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac only requires compressed air to operate, not an electric motor which can fail from dusty environments.  The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System only has a decibel level of 82 dBA which makes it very quiet compared to shop vacs.  With clean compressed air as the engine for the vacuum, this system can last for years; not months.

When the company above started to use the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac, the first thing that they noticed was how quiet it operated.  That constant loud noise from their electric vacuum was gone, making it a better working environment for the operators.  They also noticed that the dust was not getting back into the environment, reducing the dust nuisance.  If you find that your electric vacuums are breaking down or you would like to reduce the noise levels, EXAIR has a large line of Industrial Housekeeping Products.  You can contact an Application Engineer to see if we have the right vacuum product for you.

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

Reversible Drum Vac Quickly Empties Sump In Close Quarters

I had the pleasure of talking with an operator in a power generating plant recently. A small sump, in a hard-to-access location, needed to be emptied periodically, or it would overflow and make a big mess. They didn’t have room for a “great big” (his words) 30 or 55 gallon drum, and it was difficult to use an electric shop vac because there wasn’t an outlet nearby (it’s a very humid location in the steam plant) so they had to rig an long extension cord through a doorway and down to the lower mezzanine.

They DO have compressed air available…in fact, there was an unused port on a manifold that supplied other pneumatic equipment, right next to the sump. He thought it sounded like an ideal application for the Mini Reversible Drum Vac.

And it was. They put a Model 6196-5 Mini Reversible Drum Vac System on the floor, next to the sump, and empty it (usually 1-2 gallons) on the night shift. They also got a 6569-20 20ft Vacuum Hose, which they use to pump the drum contents into an internal drain system.

Reversible Drum Vac systems are available from 5 to 110 gallon capacity

No more hassles with the electric shop vac and extension cord. No more overflow messes. The most they have to do now is change to the 20ft hose when they empty the drum.

If you’d like to find out how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can make your life easier, give me a call.

EXAIR Industrial Vacuums: Dry Vacuums

Our Industrial Housekeeping vacuums utilize compressed air energy to create a powerful and effective vacuum capable of with standing the harshest of environments. These vacuums have no moving parts to wear out or replace, run quietly and are built to be placed upon your own drum or may be purchased with a drum.

EXAIR has three dry/solid vacuum systems available they are the Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac and the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac.

The EXAIR Chip Vac picks up wet or dry chips and delivers them directly into an ordinary open-top drum.  The Chip Vac is used to clean chips from fixtures, floors and work surfaces of machining centers, lathes, saws, mills and other industrial equipment.  The Chip Vac is the ideal choice for quick and efficient cleaning.  The Chip Vac can also be used to vacuum wood or plastic chips and can be used occasionally for dusty materials since it incorporates a filter bag to keep the surrounding air clean.

The 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Chip Vac’s consume 40 SCFM @ 80 PSI while the 5 Gallon size consumes 33 SCFM @ 80 PSI.  All 4 models are rated at a super quiet 77 dBA!

chipvac_family
5, 30, 55, and 110 Gallon Chip Vacs

The Heavy Duty Dry Vac like the Chip Vac can attach to ordinary open-top drums.  Designed to withstand tough industrial environments the proprietary hardened alloy pump deliver powerful performance with superior abrasion resistance.  They are used for a wide variety of applications that include abrasive materials such as steel shot, garnet, metal chips and sand!  Please know that while very powerful it is still suitable for general applications such as vacuuming floors, machines, work stations and industrial equipment.

The 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Heavy Duty Dry Vac’s consume 68 SCFM @ 80 PSI and have a sound level of 82 dBA.

6397
Available in 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Sizes

Finally the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac has the added benefit of the HEPA quality filter system.  Filtration per IEST-RP-CC-007 to 99.97% minimum filtration at the 0.3 micron level ensures performance meets the needed criteria.  Like the Chip Vac and the Heavy Duty Dry Vac it will attach to ordinary open top drums as well.

The 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Heavy Duty HEPA Vac’s consume 68 SCFM @ 80 PSI and have a sound level of 82 dBA.

6399
Available in 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Sizes

When you look at the EXAIR vacuum producing units, you will notice there is not an electrical cord.  That is because the EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Products utilize compressed air for operation, therefore they do not have the same issues with wear, breakdown and failures as electrical type vacuums. Quite simply there are no moving parts in the vacuum units to wear out or break.  They are maintenance free, just make sure the air supply is clean & dry, and they will operate for a long time due to the fact that there are no motors and bearings to wear out and no impellers to clog.

If you would like to discuss Industrial Housekeeping or any EXAIR product,  I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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