A (Sample) Lexicon For Compressed Air

Every industry and different technical subject matter comes with it’s own lexicon of terms or vocabulary words.  More often than not, when speaking to an Application Engineer here at EXAIR you are going to hear words within our lexicon. The list I have compiled below is merely a sampling to help translate some terms that we forget not everyone knows.  Some of these are merely acronyms that get thrown around a good amount.

SCFM – Standard Cubic Feet per Minute – This is the unit we use to represent the volumetric flow rate of compressed gas that has already been corrected to standardized conditions of pressure and temperature.

PSIG – Pounds per square inch gauge – This is the unit which we use to represent the operating inlet pressure of the device.  When requesting this, we generally are looking for a pressure gauge to be installed directly on the inlet to the device with no other form of restrictions between the two.  For the most part, catalog consumption values are given in SCFM at 80 psig.  The main exception to that rule are the Vortex Tube based products.

Compressed Air – This is a utility that most industrial manufacturing facilities have available to them.   It is regular, atmospheric air which has been compressed by an air compressor to a higher pressure than atmospheric.  Generally speaking, compressed air systems will be at a range of 85-120 psig.

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration – This is the main federal agency that enforces two of the major conformance standards that EXAIR products meet or exceed.

29 CFR- 1910.95 (a) – Maximum allowable noise level exposure.  The great majority of EXAIR products meet or exceed this safety standard, our largest Super Air Nozzles
1910.242 (b) – This is the standard which states compressed air blow off devices cannot exceed 30 psig of dead end pressure.  This means, if the exit point of the air can be blocked the operating pressure must be below 30 psig.  The reason for this standard is to prevent air embolism which can be fatal.  All EXAIR products meet or exceed this standard by having multiple orifice discharge.

Coanda Effect – This is the effect that numerous EXAIR products utilize to amplify and entrain ambient air.   The Coanda effect is when a fluid jet (stream of compressed air) tends to be attracted to a nearby surface.  This principle was found by a Romanian aerodynamics pioneer, Henri Coandᾰ.  The picture below shows a Super Air Amplifier blowing a foam ball into the air and suspending it due to the Coanda effect on the surface of the ball.

A Super Air Amplifier's air stream causes a foam ball to be suspended in mid air thanks to the Coandᾰ effect.
A Super Air Amplifier’s air stream causes a foam ball to be suspended in mid air thanks to the Coandᾰ effect.

Rigid Pipe or Hard Pipe – This is the term we will often use when discussing the compressed air line that can be used to support and supply certain EXAIR products.  Generally we are referring to a Schedule 40 steel pipe, Type L copper line, stainless steel tube, or any form of pressure rated hard pipe that can be used for supplying compressed air.

Plenum – the state or a space in which a gas, usually air, is contained at pressure greater than atmospheric pressure. Many of our products feature a plenum chamber. 

Again, this list is only a sample of the terminology you will hear us use when discussing compressed air applications.  If there are any other air/compressed air/fluid dynamic terms you may be unsure of, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager

Positive Crankcase Ventilation

This week I am going to share with you a recent application I did for a customer with a stationary gas compressor. Transporting natural gas through pipe lines across the nation requires substations along route to overcome pressure loss. Some of the gas is used to power up engines that turn large compressors to push the gas further down the line.

With all combustion engines some of the combustion gasses along with carbon soot gets past the piston rings and into the crankcase. Common practice is to vent this back into the intake manifold using the vacuum in the manifold to draw it in.

In this case, the customer wanted to filter the “blow by” before returning it into engine. The pressure drop across the filter impeded the flow too much to be effective.

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They installed an EXAIR Line Vac  model HT6063 High Temperature line Vac to generate a vacuum to pull the gasses through the filter. Problem solved. It was a simple solution to a major problem.

Do you have an overwhelming problem? Give one of our application engineers a call and the will do their best to find you a simple solution.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: http://www.exair.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Are you a DIY / Hacker / Too cheap to pay for stuff like me?

I have noticed over the past decade that the definition (or at least what I considered the definition) of a hacker has altered.  When the term “Hacker” is tossed around, most will think of computers and electronic devices.  Now, there are people who consider it to be a hack when simply finding a way to alter a device to be used for something other than it’s original intent.  Wikipedia® lists the definition of a hacker as having three different types.  (Wikipedia link)

Today I would consider myself a Hacker (that would be of the hobbyist type).  In the past month, I have helped to re-purpose several items that may have been thrown away, refused to pay someone to fix a faulty gas range, and built a cheaper more robust pedestal for our washer and dryer.  I’ve been told I do this simply because I am frugal or cheap.  The truth of the matter is I simply won’t give up on trying to do something myself until I feel I have exhausted every idea I can conjure up.

That is the same effort that we put into our applications and projects here at EXAIR. If we can’t figure it out with the first try, we don’t stop there.  This is what gives us the knowledge needed to answer the questions when you call.  If we haven’t worked with the exact application before, chances are we’ve come close and we’ll have a very good idea about what can be done to meet or exceed your needs.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer / Hacker

6 Steps to Help Save Gas, And 6 to Save Compressed Air

As I get older I notice myself wondering more and more when the alternative fuel race will actually have a plausible and sustainable solution to petrol.  Last year the prices peaked around here in Cincinnati, OH at more than $4.o0 a gallon. They said the prices would be dropping, well they did but they never went back to a “reasonable” price.   Now gas is hovering just under $4 a gallon and is supposed to hit well over in the coming months.   This is why I personally ride a motorcycle rain or shine.   When I can achieve 49.5-55 miles per gallon then I consider that a serious win.  There are several things you can check to make sure you are getting the most gas mileage out of your vehicle.

Step 1.  The easiest is to ensure you are running the correct tire pressure.  By making sure your tires are not under inflated you reduce the rolling friction of the vehicle to a minimum.

Step 2.  Keep the engine tuned up, make sure the spark plugs are good and the air filter is clean.   Also make sure to use Fuel Injector cleaner every 3,000 miles.

Step 3.  Reduce the weight in your vehicle.  All those tools you carry or all the clothes for charity you have been lugging around.   Drop them off where they need to go.   Also a good excuse to go on a diet.  I know my friends would laugh if I told them I was losing weight to increase my gas mileage.

Step 4. Use cruise control whenever possible.   This keeps the gas pedal a little steadier than your foot.

Step 5.  Use a reputable engine oil.   Do some research and see what people are experiencing.   Maybe switch to a synthetic blend or even a full synthetic.   I did this personally in my wife’s car and not only does the engine run a little smoother the gas mileage actually did increase slightly and stay consistent a little longer between oil changes.

Step 6.  This is the hardest one.   Keep the engine RPMs down by going 55 mph.  The car is going to burn less fuel because the engine is operating at lower RPMs.

These are just a few tricks you can do that will help to increase your mpg and help keep a little more money in the wallet.  Here at EXAIR we also have a six step process to help save you money.  The only trick is instead of on gas it’s on compressed air.  We’ve blogged about it before, and it’s posted on our website.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_BF