EXAIR Safety Air Guns: Quiet, Safe, And Efficient Blowoff (Literally) In The Palm Of Your Hand

One of the more popular uses in industry for compressed air is blowing off parts or products, and one of the more convenient methods of doing so is by use of a handheld blow off device.  Given this combination of popularity and convenience, the manufacture and use of air guns is prolific.  They come in all shapes & sizes, and can be made simply and cheaply.

Simple and cheap is fine, in most cases, for the air gun itself.  The part that the air comes out, however, can make all the difference in the world when looking at the cost of operation, environmental effects, and the ability to use the device safely:

  • Cost of operation: the simplest design of an air gun is a trigger device that starts & stops the flow of compressed air through an open discharge.  Throttling this down through a narrow passage increases the velocity of the air flow, making for a more powerful blast of air.  Thing is, this still uses a LOT of compressed air to create that powerful blast…much more than an engineered product. 
  • Environmental effects: By this, I mean noise.  Air guns with a simple open discharge can be LOUD – over 100 dBA in many cases.  It’s been well documented, for a long time, that high noise exposure is bad for operators’ health…and not just in the obvious manner of hearing loss.  Among these other effects are high stress, hypertension, and sleep disorders.
  • Safe use: Open ended blow offs are in violation of OSHA’s directive 1910.242(b,) which regulates the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes.  The big hazard is dead-ending the device into your body…the pressurized air can literally tear your skin open, and inject itself inside.  This creates a dangerous and often life-threatening condition known as an embolism.
Thumb guns are a perfect example of the above mentioned “popularity and convenience.”  They can be made efficient, quiet, and safe by replacing the open end discharge fitting with an engineered product like the EXAIR Super Air Nozzle.  Chip Shields provide additional protection for blown back particulate as well.

EXAIR Corporation offers a diverse line of Safety Air Guns that address all three of these items:

  • Our Super Air Nozzles use a smaller amount of compressed air flow to entrain an enormous amount of “free” air from the surrounding environment to generate a resultant high volume, high velocity air flow.  So you get the same job done, using less compressed air.
  • Another benefit to their specific design is that the entrained air forms a boundary layer that attenuates the sound level of the primary flow, resulting in extraordinarily quiet operation, while still producing a very usable air flow.
  • And…they’re fully compliant with OSHA 1910.242(b) because they can’t be dead ended.

If you’re looking for additional encouragement to try one out, consider this:  Order an EXAIR Safety Air Gun right now, and get a FREE Model 1126 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle.  This versatile little engineered blow off device has a number of applications…not the least of which involves its installation on an air gun.

Whichever Safety Air Gun you buy, you get to try a 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle too.

If you’d like to talk about efficiency, sound level reduction, and safety in regard to your use of compressed air (hand held or other,) give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Know How Much Money You Can Save with EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab

 
Free testing. Verifiable data. EXAIR Efficiency Lab.

When it comes to buying new gear for any kind of outdoor hobby the research almost becomes a full-time job to decided what to get. When I’m hanging 200 ft. in the air off of a single rope, I want to make sure that my harness, rope, and all my other gear is top notch and not going to fail me as my literal life is hanging on the line. Sometimes it would be nice to have a professional climber standing there telling you all of the pros and cons, what they like and dislike about it, and weather it’s worth the buy. Outdoor gear is expensive and climbing equipment is no exception, in an ever-changing world of innovation new things are coming out every week and is just to hard for one person to keep up with.

Similarly, EXAIR has multiple product lines, many new products, and countless applications for our products. That is where our Application Engineers come in; as experts on our products and their applications we can provide in-depth knowledge on the various uses and expected outcomes. 

EXAIR’s Products in action

EXAIR has been making compressed air products since 1983, and have since created a culture of making high quality, safe, and efficient compressed air products. With this in mind we started the Efficiency Lab program for people to take advantage to test your current pneumatic blow-off device and compare it to an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air product. We will generate a detailed report on our findings and send it to you for your review. This free service provided to U.S. and Canadian companies allows people to test and look into possible upgrades and cost savings.

During my time as a project and process engineer at Valeo and Tyson I wish I had known about this service.  The Efficiency Lab allows you to look at what your current process is, whether it is an open-ended pipe or some other nozzle and have EXAIR compare it to an EXAIR product for free. Its like getting a free inspection of all your gear and having an expert help you find the best replacement if needed.

You may be wondering why we offer this service; it’s simple, compressed air can be expensive and we want to save you money. Not only are open ended pipes unsafe and can violate OSHA Standards on both dead-end pressure and noise level, but they also use a lot of compressed air. To operate an 1/8” open pipe you are looking at over $2000 a year for just one pipe; there isn’t a single plant that is just going to use one pipe. That is a lot of money that can add up over time, which could easily be saved by changing out what you are using.

The Efficiency Lab is quite simple to use. The simplest way is to contact us (my info below) and we can exchange the information needed to get your product into EXAIR. Once received, we will proceed. We will then calibrate the equipment and standardized procedures to test for noise level, air consumption, and force generated. Based off of this information we will recommend a similar product. Don’t be afraid, let us take care of the hard part of choosing which product is best for your application. If you cannot send any product in, use our  Product Efficiency Survey to provide as many details as possible. 

If you have any questions about compressed air systems or want more information on any of EXAIR’s products, give us a call, we have a team of Application Engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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When Air Flow, Not Force, Makes The Difference

I recently had the pleasure of talking with a CAGI Certified Compressed Air Systems Specialist, who was working with a client to improve energy efficiency in the use of their compressed air. One particular application that was particularly taxing on their system is the use of hose barb fittings (basically, an open blow device) to fold over a cardboard box flap on a packaging line.

We discussed the possibility of trying something out, but the client wanted to look at some data, showing what their expected savings could be. Hose barb fittings are quite common, and they DO focus the flow of a compressed air discharge into a forceful little blast, which is quite effective at folding a box flap.

The client’s main concern was the force applied. In truth, there’s no better way to maximize force than by discharging a compressed gas directly through an open ended device. Excessive force, however, isn’t the only way to solve an application like this, as I proved in a test in our Efficiency Lab.  Here’s what happened:

EXAIR 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles can be fitted with a variety of shims for variable performance.
  • All of them folded the box flap easily.  The Model HP1125 folded it just as far as the hose did in the test I rigged, and with a 37% reduction in compressed air consumption.  The others folded it very nearly as far, with 62% (Model 1122) and 70% (Model HP1126) reductions.
  • Not to mention the drastic reduction in noise levels.

Lastly, I documented it all in a short video:

We field calls all the time from callers wanting to know how much force our Intelligent Compressed Air Products can generate.  Applications like part ejection do indeed require a certain amount of force to, say, move an object in motion from a conveyor belt…that’s just physics.  Most blow off applications (and folding over a flat box flap, for instance,) just need air flow…which engineered products from EXAIR Corporation can handle just fine, and at a fraction of the compressed air use & sound levels associated with open end blowing devices.

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR Corporation can help save you money on compressed air consumption, and ear plugs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Air! image courtesy of Barney Moss  Creative Commons License

The Makeup of Earth’s Air

Most people know that oxygen, makes up about 20% of the earth’s atmosphere at sea level, and that almost all the rest is nitrogen. But did you know there’s an impressive list of other gases in the air we breathe

whats in air
Reference: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, edited by David R. Lide, 1997.

We can consider, for practical purposes, that air is made up of five gases: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. But because water vapor is a variable, this table omits it, water vapor generally makes up 1-3% of atmospheric air, by volume, and can be as high as 5%.  Which means that, even on a ‘dry’ day, it pushes argon out of third place!

There are numerous reasons why the volumetric concentrations of these gases are important.  If oxygen level drops in the air we’re breathing, human activity is impaired.  Exhaustion without physical exertion will occur at 12-15%.  Your lips turn blue at 10%.  Exposure to oxygen levels of 8% or below are fatal within minutes.

But here at EXAIR we care about how compressed air can be used efficiently to better your process! 

Any of our products are capable of discharging a fluid, but they’re specifically designed for use with compressed air – in basic grade school science terms, they convert the potential energy of air under compression into kinetic energy in such a way as to entrain a large amount of air from the surrounding environment.  This is important to consider for a couple of reasons:

  • Anything that’s in your compressed air supply is going to get on the part you’re blowing off with that Super Air Nozzle, the material you’re conveying with that Line Vac, or the electronics you’re cooling with that Cabinet Cooler System.  That includes water…which can condense from the water vapor at several points along the way from your compressor’s intake, through its filtration and drying systems, to the discharge from the product itself.
  • Sometimes, a user is interested in blowing a purge gas (commonly nitrogen or argon) –  but unless it’s in a isolated environment (like a closed chamber) purged with the same gas, most of the developed flow will simply be room air.

Another consideration of air make up involves EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators.  They work on the Corona discharge principle: a high voltage is applied to a sharp point, and any gas in the vicinity of that point is subject to ionization – loss or gain of electrons in their molecules’ outer valences, resulting in a charged particle.  The charge is positive if they lose an electron, and negative if they gain one.  Of the two gases that make up almost all of our air, oxygen has the lowest ionization energy in its outer valence, making it the easier to ionize than nitrogen.  You can certainly supply a Gen4 Static Eliminator with pure nitrogen if you wish, but the static dissipation rate may be lesser.

If you want to learn more about the compressed air or any of our point of use compressed air products, you can contact an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to help you.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Air photo courtesy of Barney Moss Creative Commons License