3-1/2 EXAIR Pro Tips for Compressed Air Use

EXAIR offers industry leading Intelligent Compresses Air Products. Our products are engineered to comply with all relevant OSHA standards and are CE certified. When you purchase an EXAIR product, be it a Super Air Knife or a brass bulkhead fitting, you are expecting to receive a high quality and high performing product, and you will. If the product is not performing there is a very high probability that the problem is not the product.

So whatever could it be? And how can we fix the issue? Air supply going to the product is a common issue, so first we need to insure that there is a steady flow of the appropriate pressure and volume of air. Even though you may have a 100HP compressor, the distance form the product, the size of the pipes delivering the air, the smoothness of the inside of the pipes (is there internal rust and buildup), leaks and other restrictions of air flow rate all contribute to the overall performance.

A large majority of the product performance issues that are brought to us are caused by insufficient air supply in one form or another. Sometimes this is due to the overall size of the system, but many times it is at the point of use. Let’s assume that you have the right sized compressor to power all features in the shop. These next items are where we would want to focus and correct.

EXAIR Digital Flowmeter

Pro tip #1 – Use EXAIR Digital Flowmeters to monitor your air consumption. You should have a log of how much each compressed air tool / machine uses, and compare that to how much air is traveling down that leg of your facility. Leaks, corrosion, rust, and accidents happen. By monitoring and logging your SCFM in each major leg of your system, you will easily be able to narrow down root problems, and track leaks. You will also have solid answer when asked – “Do you have enough air for this?”.

Pressure Regulators “dial in” performance to get the job done without using more air than necessary.

Pro Tip #2 – Use a Tee Fitting and install a Pressure Regulator with Gauge at the point of use. This allows you to see, and control the pressure for each product. This removes all questions of air pressure at the point of use. Although your system seems large enough, many times the pressure is less at the point of use, due to restrictions, unknown leaks etc… Having the information from tip #1 and #2, you will easily be able to identify if your issue is the system, or the tool.

Pro Tip #2.5 – Turn it down (the pressure) if you can… Operate each compressed air application at a pressure just high enough for your desired result – not necessarily full line pressure. We have discussed in many other blogs how compressed air is your 3rd or 4th highest utility. If you optimize the pressure per application, you can save dollars. As a rule of thumb, if your system is operating at the 100 psig level, lowering the pressure by 2 psig will save 1% of energy used by the air compressor. A great example of this would be our Super Air Knives. Optimal use is at 80 psig, and “X” SCFM (based upon length of the Super Air Knife). At 80 psig and the proper SCFM, this flow will feel like having your hand out the window of your car when you are driving about 50 MPH. Your application may not need that much air flow, to get the job done. Turn it down and test it. Start at 80 psig and using the tools from tip #2, turn it up or down until your needs are met. Many of our products do not need to be used at full pressure to effectively solve your process problem.

Pro tip #3 – Use the proper sized lines, connectors and fittings. Pipe restriction can kill performance. Quick connects can be very problematic. Most quick connects are rated at the same size as the incoming pipe, tube or hose, but may actually have a much smaller inner diameter. As you can imagine, this oversight can cause significant performance issues, and end up costing more lack of production or defective product. Be it a quick connect, or any other connector or fitting, it is imperative not to restrict the air. This will result in problems, and lack of performance.

Please do not hesitate to reach to discuss any performance issues, or find out how we can help.

Thank you for stopping by,

Brian Wages

Application Engineer

EXAIR Corporation
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Cleaning Foam From Beer Bottles

I was contacted by a company that was bottling beer; and they had an issue that they wished to solve.  They were producing 35,000 bottles per hour in two different sizes; the 24 oz. (710 mL) bottles and the “stick it in a brown paper bag” 32 oz. (946 mL) bottles.  The problem area was located at the wash system after capping the beer bottles.  They sprayed a solution of water and a low-concentration of chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent.  Sanitation is at a premium to eliminate any bacteria growth. 

Currently, they were using two sets of three liquid nozzles that were spraying a flat pattern at the top and both sides of the bottle, just under the cap (reference photo below).  The issue that they were experiencing was too much solution was being used as well as creating a slip hazard on the floor outside the wash system.  They tried to reduce the liquid pressure to lessen the amount of solution, but the stream was not strong enough to clean properly.  So, they asked if the EXAIR Air Atomizing Nozzles could be a better solution.

Washing system

With liquid solutions, the smaller the particle size, the greater the surface area.  With higher surface areas, less liquid can be used to cover the same target area.  For this application; I recommended the model EF1040SS External Mix Atomizing Nozzle with a narrow-angle flat fan spray pattern.  The liquid spray pattern matched their current nozzles, and the liquid flowrate produced by this Atomizing Nozzle was within their recommendation.  By adding compressed air, we can shear liquid into much smaller particle sizes.  And as mentioned above, we can use less liquid to cover the same area.  Another feature of the EXAIR External Mix Atomizing Nozzles, the liquid and air pressures are independent.  Unlike the liquid nozzles that they were using, the liquid pressure can be changed while the air pressure can be increased.  Now, they can get a hard-hitting force to remove the beer foam while using less liquid.  This was exactly what this customer needed.   

EF1040SS

I suggested six pieces of the EF1040SS to replace each liquid nozzle to keep the same coverage around the caps.  The stainless-steel construction makes the Atomizing Nozzle corrosive resistant for Food and Beverage applications.  The flat fan pattern is able to reach multiple bottles and hit the target area evenly.  The amount of solution can be controlled by the liquid pressure and by the manual liquid needle valve.  So, the setup can be “dialed” in for the exact amount of cleaning solution needed to clean the bottles without flooding the floor.  This was important for safety as well as saving the company money by using less solution.  For this application, they were able to use about 20% less liquid.

If you have high-value liquids that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Air Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you.  We offer three different port sizes with a variety of liquid flowrates and spray patterns.  If you would like to discuss more about an application or need help in selecting the correct model, an Application Engineer will be happy to assist you.  For the customer above, the bottles were cleaned and ready to “pop the top”.  

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

Photo: Empty brown beet bottles by manfredrifchterPixabay License

Rugged, Stainless Steel Liquid Nozzles Available to Ship From Stock: The FullStream Cone Nozzles

New to EXAIR’s line of Liquid Atomizing Nozzles are the FullStream Liquid Only Atomizing Nozzles. This family of nozzles does not require any source of compressed air to operate, just a supply of pressurized liquid.

They produce droplets by spinning the liquid and breaking its surface tension through a precise orifice or by impacting the liquid onto the surface of the nozzle. Compared to EXAIR’s Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles, these nozzles generate more liquid volume and produce a coarser spray pattern. This higher liquid volume is beneficial for industrial applications including cleaning, cooling, rinsing, dust suppression, and washing. Constructed of Type 303 stainless steel, these durable and rugged nozzles are ideal for industrial applications. They’re available in three sizes: ¼ NPT, 3/8 NPT, and ½ NPT these nozzles can achieve flowrates ranging from 0.5 GPM to 17.64 GPM.

This style of nozzle is a good fit for general-purpose applications in industry and will commonly be used to spray inexpensive liquids such as water, rinse aids, or detergents. They’re also effective for spraying a variety of chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides.

Adjustments to the nozzle’s liquid flow rate can be achieved by regulating the liquid pressure supplied to the nozzles. As we increase the liquid pressure, the flow through the nozzle will increase. As the pressure increases, not only do we increase the overall liquid flow rate but also the size of the spray pattern. If a tight tolerance in liquid flowrate is needed, the Air Atomizing Nozzles will provide more precise control over the application of fluids.

The FullStream Cone Nozzles produce a full cone spray pattern and are among the most common style of spray nozzle available on the market today. They produce a uniform distribution of liquid in a cone shaped round pattern. Their tangential flow is vaneless, creating open internal features that are resistant to clogging for liquids with suspended particles.

The nozzles are manufactured out of Type 303 stainless steel for durable and rugged applications up to a maximum temperature of 800°F. With absolutely no moving parts, these nozzles are Built to Last. All sizes are available in stock to ship today with an order in by 2:00 EDT.

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

Siphon Fed Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles

Siphon fed nozzles are a great alternative for spraying where no liquid pressure is available. EXAIR has 3 sizes from 1/8 NPT, 1/4 NPT and 1/2 NPT nozzles along with “No-Drip” nozzles in the same sizes. Siphon fed nozzles require no liquid pressure and can be used with gravity fed liquids or lift liquids from a siphon height as much as 36′ (91 cm). Siphon fed nozzles work best with thinner liquids up to 200 centipoise.

Siphon Fed model

EXAIR Air Atomizing Nozzles are manufactured from 303 stainless steel for durability and corrosion resistance. The siphon fed nozzles can be easily implemented where a tank can be installed and lower the cost of the installation by not requiring a liquid pump, just point of use compressed air.

In addition to the sizes and no drip option the siphon fed nozzle comes in two spray patters. The round pattern offers more liquid pass through and can be used in cleaning, rinsing, cooling and coating applications.

No Drip Siphon Fed Round Pattern Atomizing Nozzle

The siphon fed flat fan pattern nozzles are great where no liquid pressure is available and a thin coating is needed over a wide band. Flow rate is adjustable via the adjusting valve.

For non-pressurized liquid spraying solutions, you want to consider our siphon fed air atomizing nozzles. Please contact any of our Application Engineers if you have questions regarding our Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles.

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