Applying a Vortex Tube and Adjusting Temperature

Throughout my tenure with EXAIR there are may days where I have tested different operating pressure, volumetric flow rates, back pressures, lengths of discharge tubing, generator compression, and even some new inquiries with cold air distribution all on a vortex tube.  These all spawn from great conversations with existing customers or potential customers on different ways to apply and applications for vortex tubes.

Many of the conversations start in the same spot… How exactly does this vortex tube work, and how do I get the most out of it?  Well, the answer is never the same as every application has some variation.  I like to start with a good idea of the area, temperatures, and features of exactly what we are trying to cool down.  The next step is learning how fast this needs to be done.  That all helps determine whether we are going to be looking at a small, medium, or large vortex tube and which cooling capacity to choose.   After determining these factors the explanation on how to adjust the vortex tube to meet the needs of the application begins.

This video below is a great example of how a vortex tube is adjusted and what the effects of the cold fraction have and just how easy it is to adjust.  This adjustment combined with varying the air pressure gives great versatility within a single vortex tube.

The table below showcases the test points that we have cataloged for performance values.  As the video illustrates, by adjusting the cold fraction lower, meaning less volumetric flow of air is coming out of the cold side and more is exhausting out the hot side, the colder the temperature gets.

EXAIR Vortex Tube Performance Chart

This chart helps to determine the best case scenario of performance for the vortex tube.  Then the discussion leads to delivery of the cold or hot air onto the target.  That is where the material covered in these two blogs, Blog 1, Blog 2 comes into play and we get to start using some math.  (Yes I realize the blogs are from 2016, the good news is the math hasn’t changed and Thermodynamics hasn’t either.)  This then leads to a final decision on which model of vortex tube will best suit the application or maybe if a different products such as a Super Air Amplifier (See Tyler Daniel’s Air Amplifier Cooling Video here.)is all that is needed.

Where this all boils down to is, if you have any questions on how to apply a vortex tube or other spot cooling product, please contact us.  When we get to discuss applications that get extremely detailed it makes us appreciate all the testing and experience we have gained over the years.  Also, it helps to build on those experiences because no two applications are exactly the same.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

VariBlast®Compact Safety Air Gun

EXAR’s VariBlast® Compact Safety Air Guns are small and lightweight air guns capable of handling the toughest of jobs. With its variable flow trigger being its greatest design feature, it can take on small jobs and even big ones! This means you can get different flow and force out of the same nozzle by just adjusting the amount you pull the trigger.

The VariBlast Safety Air Gun, when outfitted with an EXAIR nozzle is OSHA safe and CE compliant. 

VariBlast Safety Air Gun With Extension and Chip Shield

The VariBlast can also be customized by adding one of our many 1/8 NPT engineered air nozzles, a chip shield and even an extension pipe up to 72″ long.

 

Flat Air Nozzle, with Chip shield and extension
Back Blow Nozzle, with 6″ extension and Chip Shield

 

 

The VariBlast is easy to rebuild, every wear item is available in the 902001 rebuild kit. These parts can be used to rebuild any VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun that, through use, has become worn. See this video to see how easy it is to rebuild this gun, and make it feel brand new!

If you have questions about the VariBlast or to discuss any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
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Don’t Forget About Operating Cost: How To Calculate Return On Investment

If you have a stock portfolio, or even a retirement account, you’ve likely heard the term “return on investment.” It basically tells you how hard your money is working for you, and, the higher, the better.

The term is also used to determine the financial benefits associated with the use of more efficient products than you’re using right now:

  • The cost of operating industrial pumps, air compressors, and a variety of industrial rotating equipment, can be greatly reduced by using variable frequency drive systems that sense the demand and change the motor’s speed (and hence power consumption) accordingly.  These systems are not cheap, but the reduction in operating costs is often quite noticeable.
  • At home, installing energy efficient windows (spoiler alert: your builder probably used the cheapest ones he could find…mine sure did) or upgrading appliances & HVAC can cost a pretty penny, but you’ll also see your electric bill go down.

EXAIR Corporation has a worldwide reputation for providing highly efficient compressed air products for industry.  Our Engineering Department has a company-wide reputation for being data fanatics…which is key to allowing us to provide our customers with ample information to make the best choices to optimize your use of your compressed air.

It’s not hard at all to calculate your potential savings from the use of an engineered compressed air product, assuming you know how much air your current device is using.  If not, we can tell you if you can send it in for Efficiency Lab testing (free and fast; call me to find out more.)  Here’s an example for a VERY typical situation: replacing an open copper tube blow off with an EXAIR Super Air Nozzle:

  • A 1/4″ copper tube uses 33 SCFM @80psig
  • A Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle uses 14 SCFM @80psig

33 SCFM X 60 min/hour X 8 hours/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/year = 4,118,400 SCF

14 SCFM X 60 min/hour X 8 hours/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/year = 1,747,200 SCF

4,118,400 – 1,747,200 = 2,371,200 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air savings

If you know your facility’s cost of compressed air generation, you can calculate the monetary savings.  If not, we can get a good estimate via a thumbrule used by the U.S. Department of Energy that says it typically costs $0.25 to generate 1,000 SCF of compressed air:

2,371,200 SCF X $0.25 ÷ 1,000 SCF = $592.80 annual monetary savings

In 2019, the cost of a Model 1100 Zinc Aluminum Super Air Nozzle is $41.00.  Daily savings (not counting weekends) is:

$592.80 ÷ 260 days (5 days/week X 52 weeks/year) = $2.28 daily savings

Meaning the payoff time for the $41.00 investment in the Model 1100 is:

$41.00 ÷ $2.28 = 17.9 days

Or…just over three weeks.  Now that I’ve shown you the math, I’d like to introduce you to the EXAIR Cost Savings Calculator.  Just enter the data, and it’ll check your math (because I know you’re going to do the math anyway, just like I would.)  It even does the ROI for you too.

Engineered solutions (like EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products) are the efficient, quiet, and safe choice. Does the one on the right look familiar?  It’s literally the example I used for the above calculations.

If you’d like to find out more about how – and how fast – EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can pay off for you, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Nozzles: Overview

In today’s market, the cost of consumable products are on the rise; especially with paints, oils, and yes, even the cost of water.  You can help alleviate some of that cost by being more effective when spraying these liquids.

The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can accomplish this by using compressed air to shear the liquid into small micron-sized droplets.  By reducing the diameter of a particle by half, this will multiply the number of droplets by eight.  This will increase the surface area and coverage of the droplets; thus, requiring less material in your application.  EXAIR manufactures three families of Atomizing Nozzles; Internal Mix, External Mix, and the Siphon Fed.  In this blog, I will cover the Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles that EXAIR manufactures.

When no liquid pressure is available, the Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles will create a vacuum to draw the liquid into the nozzle.  This action is done by the unique design of the air cap.  As the velocity of the air passes through the air cap, a low pressure is created by a venturi.  The Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles can draw liquid from a suction height of 36” (91 cm), or it can be gravity fed from 18” (46 cm) away.  They are manufactured from stainless steel for durability and corrosion resistance.  The Siphon Fed models can spray viscous fluids up to 200 centipoise, and are used in many applications like washing, coating, cooling, quenching, and dust control.

EXAIR carries three different body sizes in 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and ½” NPT ports; so, you can create a light mist or a monsoon.  The maximum liquid flow rate through each body size is controlled by the air cap and liquid cap.  A unique feature of the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle is that the caps are easily interchangeable for each body size to modify the spray patterns, control the amount of fluid, and reduce any downtime if cleaning is required.  Here is a video that shows how this can be done:

The amount of liquid to be applied is easily adjusted by the siphon height, the inlet pressure, and the liquid adjusting stem.  So, you can dial in the exact amount of fluid required for your process to eliminate any excess waste. They are very compact and easy to install.  We carry mounting brackets for each size to allow for easy mounting and positioning.   Versatility is very important in saving, applying, and spraying costly fluids; and, the Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle has it.

Siphon Fed No Drip Option

To help reduce waste even more, EXAIR has a No Drip option.  This patented design is used to keep the expensive liquid from dripping out of the Atomizing Nozzles.  When the compressed air is turned off, a valve inside the body will create a seal on the liquid side.  For delicate applications, the No Drip options will eliminate unwanted drips that can ruin the finish of your product.  This option also enhances the function of the Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle for intermittent processes.  It will keep the liquid inside the body of the nozzle; so, when air pressure is applied, the Atomizing Nozzle will give an instant spray.

The minimum air pressure required to open the No Drip valve is 30 PSIG (2.1 bar) for the ¼” NPT and the ½” NPT port sizes, and 20 PSIG (1.4 bar) for the 1/8” port size.  Unlike some manufacturers, there is no need to run a separate compressed air line to operate the no drip function.  The Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle with the No Drip option is compact, efficient, and precise without any drips.

If you need to maximize the liquid dispersion and minimize liquid consumption, the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are the products to use.  Instead of researching the requirements for liquid pumps or pressure pots, the Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle can draw the liquid through the feed line and start spraying.  It can help reduce the cost of your project as well as save you money on your consumable products.  If you have an application involving liquid spraying, an Application Engineer at EXAIR can help determine the correct model for you.

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

Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles from EXAIR

EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles are used in a variety of applications where atomization of a fluid is necessary. They combine a liquid source and compressed air to atomize the liquid into a very fine mist. With a wide variety of spray patterns and ability to customize the maximum flowrate, there’s an Atomizing Nozzle available for just about any application.

I’d like to take a moment to highlight two particular spray patterns that EXAIR has available: Internal Mix Deflected Flat Fan and Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular. With both of these particular spray patterns an “internal mix”, the mixing of the compressed air and the liquid will occur inside of the nozzle.

EXAIR PR Hero Images

The Model AD1010SS Internal Mix Deflected Flat Fan Pattern is a ¼ NPT Type 303 stainless steel nozzle designed for applications where mounting space is at a premium. The spray pattern deflects at a right angle to the nozzle’s orientation, allowing the spray to be placed precisely where it’s needed in close quarters. An ideal application for this particular spray pattern is coating the inside of an in enclosure or duct work.

AT5010SSpr_559x

The Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern is available in two sizes: ¼ NPT and ½ NPT. These nozzles provide a large 360° circular pattern that works well in applications where a smooth, even coating is needed on the ID of pipe or duct work. Due to the large coverage area (up to 13’ in diameter for Model AT5010SS) they’re also ideal for applications including dust suppression, humidification, and cooling.

Both of these styles of spray patterns are available with or without the No-Drip feature. EXAIR’s patented No Drip Atomizing Nozzles work just the same way as the standard ones, but have the added benefit of positively stopping the liquid flow when compressed air supply is shut off. If your application cannot accept post spray liquid flow dripping onto the product or process, these nozzles are able to accommodate up to 180 cycles per minute with a required 30 PSIG minimum air pressure.

With all sizes and spray patterns available from stock with our Unconditional 30-Day Guarantee there’s no excuse to not give one a try!

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

Business Benefits From Compressed Air Efficiency

Use of compressed air, or “the fourth utility” as it’s called, is widespread in many industries.  How you use it in your business is important, for a couple of key considerations:

Monetary cost

Compressed air isn’t free.  Heck, it isn’t even cheap.  According to a Tip Sheet on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website, some companies estimate the cost of generation at $0.18 – $0.30 per 1,000 cubic feet of air.  A typical industrial air compressor will make 4-5 Standard Cubic Feet per Minute per horsepower.  Let’s be generous and assume that our 100HP compressor puts out 500 SCFM and is fully loaded 85% of the time over two shifts per day, five days a week:

500 SCFM X $0.18/1,000 SCF X 60 min/hr X 16 hr/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/year =

$22,464.00 estimated annual compressed air cost

If you want to go jot down some numbers from your compressor’s nameplate and your last electric bill, you can accurately calculate your actual cost.  Here’s the formula:

Taking our same 100HP compressor (105 bhp required,) fully loaded 85% of the time, and assuming the motor’s good (95% efficient):

(105 bhp X 0.746 X 4,160 hours X $0.08/kWh X 0.85 X 1.0)÷ 0.95 =

$23,324.20 actual annual compressed air cost

So, our estimate was within 4% of our actual…but the point is, $22,000 to $23,000 is a significant amount of money, which deserves to be spent as wisely as possible, and that means using your compressed air efficiently.  Engineered solutions like EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can be a major part of this – look through our Case Studies; implementing our products have saved companies as much as 60% on their compressed air costs.

Health & Safety

Injuries and illnesses can be big expenses for business as well. Inefficient use of compressed air can be downright unsafe.  Open ended blow offs present serious hazards, if dead-ended…the pressurized (energized) flow can break the skin and cause a deadly air embolism.  Even some air nozzles that can’t be dead ended (see examples of cross-drilled nozzles on right) cause a different safety hazard, hearing loss due to noise exposure.  This is another case where EXAIR can help.  Not only are our Intelligent Compressed Air Products fully OSHA compliant in regard to dead end pressure, their efficient design also makes them much quieter than other devices.

Efficient use of compressed air can make a big difference in the workplace – not only to your financial bottom line, but to everyone’s safety, health, and livelihood.  If you’d like to find out more about how EXAIR can help, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Threaded Line Vacs – Low Cost Air Conveyors That Use Everyday Pipe!

EXAIR’s Threaded Line Vac air operated conveyors convert ordinary pipe into a powerful conveying system for parts, scrap, trim and other bulk materials. The Threaded Line Vac attaches easily to pipe fittings, making it easy to build a complete system using ordinary pipe and fittings.

tlv

Performance is the same as our standard Line Vac. No moving parts or electricity assures maintenance free operation.

tlvc

Models from 3/8″ to 3″ NPT are available in aluminum, type 303 stainless steel, and type 316 stainless steel. EXAIR also offers two Threaded Line Vacs for the most extreme conditions, High Temperature and a Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac.
High Temperature threaded Line Vacs are made of stainless steel and can operate in temperatures up to 900°F.
htlvHeavy Duty Threaded Line Vacs are for those processes requiring the highest rates of conveyance over the longest distances and/or the most abrasive of materials. Designed with the most rugged industrial processes and applications in mind, the special hardened alloy construction helps prevent premature wear that could occur with standard aluminum or stainless-steel models, under the harshest of conditions. The performance has been boosted, to be able to convey more material, over longer distances and higher vertical rises.

hdtlv

To select the right model, information regarding these criteria are helpful-
• Size of parts and bulk density of material being conveyed
• What size hose, tube, or pipe is desired
• Target conveyance rate
• Distance of conveyance, both horizontal and vertical legs
• Preferred material of construction

If you would like to talk about Line Vacs or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
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