A steel forging plant was using a releasing agent in their process. This particular operation was to make a blank gear. It started with a heated ingot that was placed in a two-part dual stamp die. The front section of the die creates the hub of the gear, and the back section would finish the outer diameter of the gear. The operator would use tongs to grab the hot part and place it in the front and back portion of the die. Each time the press would cycle, a release agent would be sprayed onto the die so that the parts would not stick. As you can see in the picture below, they had six liquid spray nozzles modified to spray the entire surface. Two of the spray nozzles were blowing the release agent to the top portion of the die, and four spray nozzles would spray the entire bottom portion of the die. Every time the press would cycle, the release agent would be sprayed.
At a rate of making a part every six seconds, much release agent was being sprayed. This lubrication for forging was not inexpensive, and it was adding cost to their operation. They called EXAIR to see if we could help in this matter.
The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles use compressed air to help “shear” the liquid into a very fine mist. The smaller the liquid particle size, the more surface area is created. This is very beneficial in saving liquid material without reducing the required performance. This customer purchased two Internal Mix Narrow Angle Round Pattern Atomizing Nozzles, model AN1040SS to replace the six liquid nozzles that he was using. With a stainless steel construction as standard, it makes the Atomizing Nozzle very corrosion resistant and able to handle 400 deg. F (204 deg. C) temperatures. With the narrow angle round spray pattern, they could position the Atomizing Nozzles to cover the entire top and bottom of the die (reference the photo below). With the liquid adjustment valve, they could dial in just the right amount of release agent to keep the process running smoothly. After the first week in modifying their operation with EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles, they noticed that they were using only half the amount of releasing agent. This helped to cut cost in their operation, increasing their profit margin.
We can spray liquids very economically and efficiently. We have different types of spray patterns for three different styles. We have the Internal Mix style for low viscosity fluids as purchased by the above customer; the External Mix for high viscosity fluids, and the Siphon Fed for unpressurized liquid systems requiring gravity or siphoning. We can atomize liquids up to a rate of 5 gallons per minute (19 liters per minute). If you believe that you are going through too much liquid in your process, you can contact an Application Engineer to see if we have the correct Atomizing Nozzle for you.
A manufacturer of forged, steel parts contacted EXAIR today and spoke to me about an application that was really giving them some trouble.
The application involved placing a molten piece of steel into a die. The press would come down and mold the piece into a ring shape. As it opened, a solenoid valve connected to a compressed air supply was actuated to push the falling part with the compressed air to a bin behind the press. The manufacturer made a home-made nozzle by flattening a piece of ¾” pipe and directing it at the part. (Reference picture below). The operator had a cycle time of roughly 8 seconds. During that time, the compressed air was actuated for 1 second to push the part away from the die. An issue occurred if the part rotated 90 degrees as the die opened, and the compressed air would shoot through the open center of the part without pushing it into the bin. The part would rest on the bottom die, causing a slowdown in production because the part had to be removed manually.
The part weighed 2.2 lbs. (1 Kg) and had an outer diameter of 3.5” (89mm). The customer was operating the ¾” pipe “nozzle” at 90 psig (6.2 bar), and it was located 12” (305mm) away from the die. This gave me some good information to find an appropriate nozzle. While reviewing the force and air pattern needed, model 1112SS (3/4 NPT Stainless Super Air Nozzle) would be the best product. This Super Air Nozzle would be able to withstand the radiant heat within the application and can produce a force of 4.5 lbs. (2 Kg) at 80 psig (5.5 bar). At 12” (305mm), it produced an airflow diameter of 7.5” (191mm). Even if the part rotated, the air pattern and force was large enough to push the part from the die even if it rotated, eliminating the need for manual intervention.
Not only did the production rate get back on target, but as an added bonus, Model 1112SS was able to save the customer compressed air. The advantage of using the Super Air Nozzles, is that they entrain ambient air to work with the compressed air, increasing the overall mass flow toward the target, making it much more efficient than a flattened pipe. Even with the compressed air being turned on for 1 second during the 8 second cycle time, the Super Air Nozzle is projected to save the customer over $1,500.00/year when comparing its air consumption to that of an open 3/4″ pipe.
Whenever you have an urge to flatten an end of a pipe to create a home-made nozzle, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we can help. Like the customer above, we were able to solve their production problem, and able to save them money.