Traffic And Fluid Dynamics


Earlier this morning I heard that a high speed chase that started in Michigan ended near Cincinnati, Ohio. My first thought was that, due to traffic, the chase became a jam.  Depending on the time of day, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to go anywhere, no matter how much you want it to happen (a circumstance many of us experience).

Similarly, when there is inadequate sizing of a compressed air line, no amount of desire is going to deliver the air where it needs to be.  Imagine every air molecule in the pipe is a car on the road.  When demand spikes and all those air molecules need to go to the same place, they have to have sufficient space to do so, just like vehicles on the road need enough lanes to prevent backup.  When the demand for compressed air reaches the maximum flow rate of the pipe, this is called saturation.  When the demand for compressed air exceeds this saturation point, end use items such as air nozzles or air tools are going to be starved for air.  The air might get there, but it will be late, and the earlier air molecules will be long spent, leading to underperformance of the item.

Unfortunately for those of us who fight traffic daily, fluid flow mechanics don’t apply to traffic flow.  But, fortunately for those of us who use compressed air as a utility, compressed air IS bound by fluid mechanics.  So, if we can quantify the compressed air demand in a system, we can design the system with enough capacity and volume capability to perform as needed.

EXAIR Application Engineers are well versed in helping our customers determine line sizes and providing support for our products on their systems.  If you need help with an EXAIR product and how it integrates into your compressed air system, contact an Application Engineer.

If only we could call city engineers to help with traffic…

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Real Toys For Engineers!

Optima Exhibition 2

Earlier this week I was in a conversation with our Nicaraguan distributor, Optima Industrial.  We were discussing the results of a recent exhibition, products gaining traction, and the direction in which the market is headed.  During the recent exhibition in Nicaragua, one customer came to the Optima display booth exclaiming “Wow, you have real toys for engineers!”.  I’ve heard that before, and it’s always a pleasure to hear it again.

Fast forward two days to a phone call from an injection mold company, and the theme came up again.  The end user on the other end of the line had an application that needed to be cooled, and the choice was split between a Super Air Knife and a Super Air Amplifier.  In this particular case, the Air Amplifier would have moved a great deal of air, but the complexities of the surface area to be treated meant that a wider, laminar airflow pattern was more beneficial.  So, a series of Super Air Knives on the top and sides of the molded item were chosen.

But, as the conversation carried on, we got into the topic of the Cold Gun.

“How does it work?”

“The Cold Gun uses the same technology as a Vortex Tube.  A compressed air supply travels through the Cold Gun and separates into two distinct air flows.  One hot, and one cold.  We offer the Cold Gun as a turn-key solution for an application needing point-of-use cold air.”

“Amazing.  I’m sure we need one of those around here.  Add one of those to the PO too.”

It’s a great feeling when someone shares excitement for the same things you do.  Usually we share that with our end users.  This week, it was the end users sharing it with us.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

I’m a geek and I know it.

More than once since I have known my wife she has given me a look as if to say, I can’t believe I know someone as geeky as you.  (Ok, maybe it’s been too many times to count.)  Last week I was able to get comic books into my blog, I’m pretty sure I have mentioned video games, and even building computers.  While I don’t consider myself as big of a geek as some of my friends are, the fact is I am a geek.

I am ok with this and I am sure once my daughter is at the right age she will not be ok with it.  The fact is that technology, and engineering catch my interest.  I can read a tech manual for my motorcycle a lot faster and with more enjoyment than I can any fictional novel.  This is also one of the many reasons I became an engineer.

This is yet another reason why I enjoy my job here at EXAIR so much, I’m constantly learning from our customers how their products and processes are done so that I can help them better their process.  This always intrigues me because not only are the customers learning from me how to implement the EXAIR product lines but at the same time I am learning new processes and how things are made so that I can then help other customers in the future with similar applications.

It’s an infinite loop of learning for me here at EXAIR.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer

It’s Track time yet again.

Even though we didn’t get much snow this past Winter the road courses are just now starting to open up here in the Ohio area.   As soon as I get home from work I will be kissing my daughter and wife goodbye for the weekend and heading towards a small town in Indiana called Greencastle.  There’s not much there and the only two things close are Depauw University and Putnam Park Road Course.   I know I have blogged about track days many times but with this much anticipation for the first track day of the year, I can’t help but bring it back again.

Two good friends of mine and myself have spent the last week prepping out bikes for the track day.   The main difference this time is I will have a different bike at the track.  It’s not mine unless I wreck it and it’s quite a bit different from my SV.  So of course I have went through it as best I can and think I’m ready.

All I know is I am ready to get some footage similar to what is shown below.

This track day is of course going to be interesting and a learning experience.   Much like I went through when I first started here at EXAIR and began to learn about our full selection of products.  You see as an Application Engineer here at EXAIR I not only need to know if we sell something but I need to know how it works, why it works, and what kind of applications it can work in.  So this weekend I will be learning something new much like I still am here at EXAIR.

We’re constantly coming up with or hearing about new applications for our products.   If you have one and would like to share or need help with an application just let us know.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer