Beat the Heat: Cold Gun Air Coolant Systems Extend Tool Life with No Messy Coolant

In most drilling, machining, and cutting operations a flood of coolant is used to remove heat from the work piece and the tool. This coolant is sprayed, and after it impacts the tool or part it sprays everywhere. In some case there is no way around using coolant due to required cutting speed, specific heat of the part, or the need for lubrication. In other applications coolant is prohibited from touching the work piece due to application requirement. This means that the tool and the work piece operate at a higher temperature and could damage the tool or work piece.

Cold Gun
Cold Gun, Model Number 5315, In Use

EXAIR Cold Gun Air Coolant System drop the temperature of compressed air by 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This air is then blown on a tool and work piece to take way most of the heat generated during machining. Used in combination with a tool that can handle a higher temperature like a high performance carbide the Cold Gun can deliver reliable machining without the mess of coolant.

Normally in dry machining you also loss coolant’s ability to clear chips from the work area. These chips can trap heat and further increase the temperature of the work area. The chips will also work harden with repeated cutting causing more wear on the tool and a bad surface finish on the part. With a flood of coolant the chips are washed away, but with dry machining air must be used to clear the work area. EXAIR 5315 Standard Cold Gun features (2) 1″ wide nozzle that can be used to cool and the produce enough air flow to prevent chip build up. If you are looking for more information on dry machining, Brian Boswell wrote a thesis on the topic.

Dry machining doesn’t just replicate the machining with a flood coolant it can improve the process. Extended exposure to airborne lubrication mists present potential health risks to machinists. Coolant is becoming more expensive to dispose of after it has been used this is only going to increase over time as environmental regulation become greater. Removing the coolant from your process can ease your environmental impact while still maintaining the quality machining your customers require.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer

Wood Veneer Pressing Using Venturi Technology

We get some odd calls at EXAIR. Selling factory direct to the end-user means we field calls from all types of people. One these calls turned into a unique and great application.

An amateur woodworker called in looking for a vacuum pump or vacuum generator in order to glue up wooden veneers into complex shapes. This was an application I had not yet assisted anyone with and needed further investigation to understand the process. I found the video below showing the basic mechanisms for the vacuum bag pressing of wooden veneers.

EXAIR vacuum generators, or E-Vacs, are perfect for this application. The E-Vacs, are compressed air powered venturis that  provide vacuum up to 27″ of mercury. In this application once the vacuum is pulled a there is no air flow, so a non-porous vacuum generator is perfect. The customer was able to use our 810002 2 SCFM non-porous vacuum generator, a vacuum switch, and a solenoid to create a flexible veneer press in his own shop. I was immediately struck by how effective this method would be. It is commonly used in for flat pieces, but I could see it being used to form convex curves for artistic pieces.

Here is a time lapse video of a similar process which also features a (helpful?) dog. There are not as many details in this video but it does show some steps not shown in the above video. Plus, it has a dog, and I like dogs.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss an application, please contact EXAIR.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
1-800-903-9247  OR  513-671-3322 outside of USA and Canada

3 Keys for Eliminating Static

Everyone is familiar with static electricity. It is the cause of the shocks we feel during the winter time as we shuffle our socks across a carpet. It is also the driving force behind lightning in the sky. Static electricity can be a nuisance at home, but in an industrial setting it can lead to quality issue, material faults, and hazardous sparks. Though most engineers and maintenance technicians know about static electricity not many of the them understand its intricacies, even fewer understand the best ways to mitigate static and still less understand static eliminators, known as ionizers, that can eliminate static without contacting the surface. Here are 3 keys to know about static.

First, static resides on a surface. Though a part may be charged on one surface. The opposite face of the part may be completely unaffected. Here is an example.

Toner Cartridge – Static inside the plastic container attracts toner.

Even though the outside of this container is free of static the inside of the container still attracts toner to the inside surface. In order to blow out the toner from the inside of the cartridge, we needed to use a static eliminator inside the plastic container.

The second key to eliminating static is that either polarity can cause a problem. Static will cause problems if it is different between materials. Whether the charge on a surface is positive or negative doesn’t matter. It is the difference between charges that causes the attractive forces and static shock. EXAIR static eliminators utilize alternating current to create both positive and negative ions to eliminate both positive and negative ions.

The third key to properly eliminating static is that ionized air works best the closer you can be to a product. Because we eliminate both positive and negative ions, EXAIR static eliminators work best when they are blown directly on a surface that needs treated. The further the ionizer is moved from a surface the less effective it will be. EXAIR products without air assistance typically need to remain within two inches of the surface they are treating. Products with air assistance can be much farther away. It is the inlet pressure, the value of the static charge and the speed of the surface (if it is moving) which will dictate how far away an EXAIR static eliminator can be positioned.

Eliminating static is a very specialized application, it revels its self in dry conditions. It can lead to problems with webs, rollers, and idlers. If you need help with your static problem, please contact an application engineer.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer

Being a Manufacturer Who Improves Manufacturing Has Benefits – For You

On many of occasions EXAIR has benefitted from our own products. One of the fertile areas for testing, product development, and customer feedback are our own manufacturing and assembly processes. Yes, EXAIR is a real factory in Ohio with employees, machinery, and equipment that uses our products everyday. Being a production facility leaves us best suited to understand the abilities, challenges, and opportunities of our customers. Today, I want to point out how two of our products have helped us to make Intelligent Compressed Air products that exceed your expectations. The Ultrasonic Leak Detector and Chip Trapper have both been studied at our facility to measure and understand the real benefits and capabilities of our products for our customers. Below is their story.

Leak Detector
Ultrasonic Leak Detector, Model 9061


Famously, one of the original case studies for our Ultrasonic Leak Detector took place at 11510 Goldcoast Dr Cincinnati, OH. (That’s EXAIR Corporation’s address). As the biggest rival against wasted compressed air, having it at EXAIR would be inconsistent with our own philosophy – we just can’t have it. Our President, Bryan Peters wrote about the benefits of the Ultrasonic Leak Detector in a blog “Free Money!…”. In the blog, he details the mystery of the compressed air costs during times when our plant was not running. Compressed air was so expensive that was costing us money while we were closed. Using the ultrasonic leak detector, EXAIR was able to find our leaks and fix them. The leaks in our system were miniscule compared to some old and very large compressed air systems. But even with our relatively small leaks we were able to save ONE MILLION CF per year of compressed air. This lost compressed air results in significant energy consumption as your compressors try to keep up with the demand caused by the leaky air lines. Please stop wasting money and energy on compressed air leaks. Find them today with EXAIR Ultrasonic Leak Detector.

EXAIR's new Chip Trapper
EXAIR’s Chip Trapper

At EXAIR, we also deal with a  variety of metalworking coolants as we manufacture aluminum, brass, and stainless steel parts. Before we started using our Chip Trapper, our water based coolant would last around 2 months. After those six weeks, we would vacuum out the coolant. After the coolant is pumped out, we would then shovel out the chips that had settled in the bottom of the sump. This task is time consuming, and the smell is awful from the rancid coolant. We found that by using a Chip Trapper weekly. We could extend our coolant life to six months. Some may say that cleaning the coolant sumps weekly is adding work. That is an old mentality though because by removing chips from the coolant weekly we save hours of labor we used to consume every two months and clean up our coolant in minutes not hours.  Here is a video to learn more. Our machinists loved our final prototype so much they kept it. You know how machinists are. Don’t mess with their tools.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer


Using Water and Air to Clean or Cool Cylindrical Parts

In the last year EXAIR has released two products that aid in cleaning and cooling cylindrical shapes. The liquid sprayed from our AT1010SS Internal Mix Spray Nozzle creates a 360° Hollow Circular Pattern that is excellent for cleaning the inner diameter of a pipe, a casting, or a bore. The 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle is an air only nozzle that is designed to clean, dry or cool the inside diameter of a hose or tube and also effective cleaning out channel. These products can be used in conjunction to create a more powerful system than either component by itself.

360 degree Internal Mix Hollow Circular Pattern
AT1010SS – 360° Internal Mix Hollow Circular Pattern

The AT1010SS spray nozzle can be used in a variety of applications. As I mentioned above the 360° spray pattern is great for spraying out the inside of a pipe or duct-work. In addition to these applications, the nozzle can be used to cover a wide area with spray patterns up to 53 inches in diameter. This wide spray area can be used for humidification, dust suppression, cooling or sanitizing. The 303 stainless steel construction of the nozzle will hold up to a variety of chemicals and environments.  These nozzles can cover a significant area while using a relatively small amount of air and liquid. The AT2010SS is also available which features EXAIR’s No Drip design (patent pending), which will positively shut off the liquid flow when air pressure is removed. This eliminates unwanted drips which can ruin surfaces and waste expensive liquids. The 360° Circular Hollow spray pattern is a versatile nozzle that covers a variety of applications.

The EXAIR Model 1006SS - Back Blow Nozzle
The EXAIR Model 1006SS – Back Blow Nozzle

The 1006SS back blow nozzle features a number of orifices around the outside of the nozzle which force air back toward the operator and away from the air inlet. In most applications this will be used to pull water, chips, coolant, or debris out of the end of a pipe, channel, or tubing to clean the inner diameter. The Back Nozzles will typically be offered with a chip shield to contain any chips or debris from blowing towards the operator.

These two nozzles used in conjunction would work great to cool, clean, and dry the inside of, say, a welded pipe. The AT1010SS could be used to flush the inside of the pipe with water to cool the weld and blow out and weld slag or grinding dust from preparing the area. The 1006SS could pull out the water or debris from the inside of the pipe. The AT1010SS can be reinserted to spray the inside of the pipe with a rust inhibitor to maintain the quality of the weld until installation.  These nozzles work well together to clean the ID of the channel, tube or hose in your application.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer

Air Knives – What Are They Good For?

It is rare that a week goes by without a unique application of an EXAIR product…

This week I was speaking with a DJ who wished to use an air knife to create a blast of air that would add emphasis to the musical experience had by his fans. He wanted a small burst of air that would last less than a second, but would add an additional element to an already very complicated setup. My initial reaction was that no DJ I have ever seen would possibly be able to supply an air compressor big enough to feed the air knives, but over the course of our conversation, I found out that the DJ travels with 2 semi trucks of equipment, so he had some space.

An Aluminum EXAIR Super Air Knife

Another topic that came up in our conversation was how air knives were generally used. I have been asked this in a number of ways: What are they designed to do? Where do they work best? or What are they for?

I never have a succinct answer… The air knives create a flat laminar sheet of air in various sizes from 3″ up to 108″. This laminar sheet of air can be used to move, open, float, or separate. It can be used to clean, dry, or cool. I try to categorize these applications as best I can when speaking to customers, but then you talk to a DJ, and he wants an air knife to make a crowd cheer. I never thought that would be an application for an air knife. Knowing this, how do you convey all the air knife can do in a succinct answer?

Well, I can’t, so please be patient when you ask me the same question and I run through applications from cleaning surfaces to entertaining DJ crowds.

Here is a rundown of air knife applications. In case you don’t believe me.

Move: Air Knives are used around to world to move product from a conveyor to another location.

Open: Air Knives uniform air flow is perfect for opening bags or other packaging on a packaging machine.

Float: If you need to bridge a gap between two conveyors, the air knife has done this for products from pizza dough to sheets of veneer.

Clean: Blowing products off after removing them from a CNC machine is an easy air knife application.

Dry: One of my tastiest applications was to use an air knife to blow water from a potato chip after washing, but before frying.

Cool: Extrusion, molds, and baked goods have all been cooled with an air knife.

Just because it isn’t on this list though, doesn’t mean it is not possible.  This is why we will stand behind our stock product with our 30 day guarantee.   So if you want to try an EXAIR Air Knife in your application, give us a call.

30 Day Guarantee
30 Day Guarantee

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer