EXAIR GEN 4 Super Ion Air Knife

Super Ion Air Knife

EXAIR GEN 4 Super Ion Air Knives remove static electricity from plastics, webs, sheet stock and other product surfaces where tearing, jamming, debris or hazardous shocks are a problem. The laminar sheet of air sweeps surfaces clean of static, particulate, dust and dirt. Production speed, product quality and surface cleanliness can improve dramatically.

The GEN 4 Super Ion Air Knife floods an area or surface with static eliminating ions – up to 20 feet (6.1 m) away. A uniform airflow across its length will not cause misalignments to critical surfaces such as webs. Force can be adjusted from a “blast” to a “breeze”. The GEN 4 Super Ion Air Knife is electrically powered, shockless and has no moving parts. It also only requires 3.7 SCFM of compressed air per foot of length at 5 PSIG (105 SLPM per 300mm of length at 0.3 BAR). The sound level is also surprisingly quiet at 50dBA for most applications.

Compressed air flows through an inlet (1) into the plenum chamber of the GEN 4 Super Ion Air Knife. The flow is directed to a precise, slotted orifice. The primary air flow exits, it creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length that immediately pulls in surrounding room air (2). An electrically powered GEN 4 Ionizing Bar (3) fills the curtain of air with positive and negative charge. The airstream delivers these static eliminating ions to the product surface (4) where it instantly neutralizes static and cleans dust and other particulates.

EXAIR’s GEN 4 Super Ion Air Knives offer a convenient, safe and reliable method for eliminating static charge while improving efficiency and quality. If you have questions or need help selecting the right product for your application please contact on of our Application Engineers.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

What OSHA 1910.242(b) Means For Compressed Air Product Users

Medically speaking, our skin is an organ…and an amazing one at that. It protects our internals from an incredibly harsh environment as we’re bombarded by radiation (sunlight), subjected to summer’s heat & the cold of winter, attacked by fierce invaders (from viruses & bacteria to insects & spiders), all while we carry on at the bottom of a 60 mile-deep ocean (of air!)

Our skin requires some protection too: Sunscreen mitigates some of the harmful effects of solar radiation, shoes protect our feet from the ground, gloves & coats prevent frostbite, and compliance with OSHA Standard 1910.242(b) protects operators who use compressed air devices for cleaning purposes from air embolisms. That’s when air, under pressure, has enough energy to break the skin (tough as it is) and reach the tissue underneath. It’s painful, and serious enough that the victim should absolutely seek emergency medical treatment. If the air breaks a blood vessel and enters the pulmonary system, it can be deadly, in a hurry.

In 1971, the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) determined that air under pressure higher than 30 pounds per square inch is capable of causing such injuries, if the pressurized source is dead-ended into the skin. Based on this determination, they included the following verbiage in Standard 1910.242, regulating the safe operation of hand and portable powered tools & equipment:


1910.242(b) Compressed air used for cleaning. Compressed air shall not be used for cleaning purposes except where reduced to less than 30 p.s.i. and then only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment.


In February 1972, OSHA issued Instruction STD 01-13-001 to clarify the meaning of 1910.242(b), with two illustrations of acceptable methods to meet compliance. The first is the use of a pressure reducer (or regulator):

While this method is compliant with the OSHA Standard, it’s kind of impractical, since you’re not going to get a whole lot of cleaning done with such a low energy air flow. If that’s not bad enough, it’s STILL going to be loud, and wasteful as far as the cost of compressed air goes.

The other method illustrated in the Instruction’s enclosures involves the nozzles themselves:

Compressed air product manufacturers use this method to make OSHA compliant Nozzles.

One design that complies with OSHA 1910.242(b) using this method is the cross drilled nozzle:

Unless it’s blocked off, practically all of the air flow goes straight out the end, but if you block off the end, it all goes out the cross drilled hole. As long that hole is properly sized, you won’t build up 30 psi at the main outlet.

If you’re not concerned about high operating cost or deafening noise, you can stop reading now; these are all you need for OSHA compliance with Standard 1910.242(b). If you DO care about spending less money on compressed air or complying with OSHA Standard 1910.95(a) (which you read all about here), let’s spend a minute on engineered compressed air nozzles:

EXAIR Super Air Nozzles discharge compressed air through an annular array of holes, recessed between a series of fins. This causes the primary (compressed air) stream to entrain an enormous amount of air from the surrounding environment.

In addition to making them cost less to operate (since most of the total developed air flow is entrained), they’re also VERY quiet (since the entrained air forms a boundary layer on the outside of the air stream), AND they can’t be dead ended:

Since the fins won’t allow for a complete blockage of the compressed air discharging from the Super Air Nozzle, this design is a prime example of a built-in “relief device” as defined by Instruction STD 01-13-001, above.

All EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products, in fact, incorporate a form of built-in “relief device”:

The overhang of the cap on the Flat Super Air Nozzles and the Super Air Knives prevent them from being dead ended.

If you’d like to discuss safe use of compressed air, it’s one of our primary goals here at EXAIR – give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR LLC
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Dreams of EXAIR’s Reversible Drum Vac

This time of year I think about family, friends, football, food and the memories being made with the Holiday Season. I have one constant memory. All the glorious food and the feeling of being so full from the never ending snacks, meals and desserts at our family’s gatherings. It seems my eating motto is “Hunger has nothing to do with it” I just love to eat. This has me dreaming of if only I could be an EXAIR’s Reversible Drum Vac (RDV). How grand would it be to fill up on all the goodies without overfilling. You see, the RDV has a built-in valve to prevent overfilling and spillage of the liquid being pumped into the drum. Then, with the turn of a knob the liquid is reversed and emptied back into your machine sump (after scooping out the chips and swarf) or kept in the drum for recycling, and the lid assembly is easily placed on to another drum.

Back to reality. EXAIR’s Reversible Drum Vac (RDV) operates on compressed air and fills a 55 gallon drum in less than 2 minutes. The RDVs come in 30, 55 or 110 gallon drums. Once full, just the turn of a knob, the same stainless steel pump quickly empties the drum. Coolant sumps can be easily refilled, floor spills vacuumed, or contaminated liquids transferred to filtration tanks in minutes. The flow rate in our drum can be controlled with the knob, making it ideal for dispensing liquids.

EXAIR’s 5 gallon RDV System delivers the same two-way action for small jobs. It comes complete with a 5 gallon drum and all the tools.

Electronically operated “all purpose” vacuums aren’t designed for use in industrial environments or run as long without suffering from burnt up motors or repairs. As a result, motors wear out quickly and impellers clog. The RDV does not use electricity and has no moving parts, assuring maintenance free operation. An automatic safety shutoff valve prevents spills or overfilling.

Well, I guess I will never be that RDV in my dreams but knowing that EXAIR has Great Industrial Housekeeping products including the RDV is a huge comfort. If you have questions or need help help sizing your RDV please contact on of our Applications Engineers.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Mini Cooler, Spot Cooling for Small Parts and Processes

Over the years the basic vortex tube has been used in hundreds of industrial cooling applications. A few have become so popular as to warrant the development of an “applied product” designed to suit the specific application. These products include the Adjustable Spot Cooler, Mini Cooler, Cold Gun and Cabinet Coolers. All of these products can be found in our catalog and on our website.

The Mini Cooler™ is a proven way to reduce downtime and increase productivity on a variety of operations involving small parts where heat is a problem. It evolved out of the garment industry and is commonly used to cool needles and prevent breakage. EXAIR’s Mini Cooler produces a stream of 20°F (-7°C) cold air to prevent heat build-up. The Mini Cooler is particularly effective on high speed operations to prevent burning, melting and heat related breakage. Operation is quiet (76 dBA) and there are no moving parts to wear out.

The Mini Cooler incorporated a vortex tube to convert a small amount of compressed air into two low pressure streams, one moving within the other in opposite directions (see below). The two airstreams exchange heat, producing cold air from one end of the tube and hot air from the other. A flexible hose directs the cold airstream at the surface to be cooled.

The Mini Cooler produces instant cold air when compressed air is supplied to it. If less cold air is needed, the volume of cold air can be reduced by regulating the compressed air supply with the pressure regulator. Lower pressure give less cold flow and reduce compressed air consumption.

The Mini Cooler is an excellent spot cooler to prevent burning or breakage. If you have an application and have questions regarding which spot cooler is best for you please contact any of our Applications Engineers . EXAIR has the the expertise and products to provide solutions to your process problems.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK