A metal fabricator used a cutting machine to cut different sizes and shapes of stainless steel tubing. The process was automated and the machine would cut two tubes at a time. After the cutting operation, the machine would deposit the tubes into a nearby bin. The operator would then stack the tubes in a wooden container as shown above. Before the tubes could be transported to another department, the operator would have to clean the inside of each tube. The current method was to attach a rag to the end of a rod and pushed it inside the tube to remove any coolant and chips that remained from the cutting operation. Of course, the ability to clean thoroughly with a rag is reduced greatly after a short time of use. The cleaning process was very time consuming, and when the rag was not changed in a timely manner it did not clean effectively. The inside of the tubes would get marred from the excess chips that remained on the rag. This would visually affect the surface finish of the stainless steel. They emailed me the application detail as they were looking for a non-contact way to clean the inside of the tubes.
The first question from the customer was if we could customize our air nozzles to clean the different diameters and shapes that they were cutting. EXAIR has made special air nozzles to accommodate unique applications, but I wanted to first make sure that EXAIR did not have a manufactured nozzle in stock to fit this application. I requested the dimensional information, and the customer sent me the sizes and shapes of the tubes that were ran through their cutting machine. (Reference Table 1 below).
EXAIR manufactures three different sizes of Back Blow Air Nozzles that are designed to clean inside tubing, pipes, hoses, and channels. They can range from internal diameters from ¼” (6.3mm) to 16” (406mm). The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” the entire internal surface clean and can remove coolant, chips, and debris. In reviewing the dimensions from Table 1 above, I was able to recommend just one Back Blow Air Nozzle for all the tubes; even the square and rectangular ones. It was model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle. This 316SS robust designed nozzle can fit inside and clean tubes with internal dimensions ranging from 22mm to 102mm, and it was perfect for all of these tubes.
The customer indicated to me that the tubes were all cut to identical lengths at 550 mm (21.7”). Being that this was a manual operation, I suggested the Back Blow Air Nozzle with our Soft Grip Safety Air Gun. This ergonomically designed Safety Air Gun is designed for hours of use without fatigue. In combination with the nozzle, we are able to add extensions and chip shields. With extensions, EXAIR has a range of lengths from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm). With the designated length above, I recommended the model 1206SS-24-CS which has the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, the model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle, a 24” (610mm) extension, and a chip shield.
The configuration allowed for the operator to reach through the tube to clean with only a one-time pass. The CS designation is for a chip shield which will protect the operator from any excess debris and coolant. With the model 1206SS-24-CS, the operator could now pick up a tube, use the Soft-Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun to remove the debris and coolant from within the round tubes, square tubes and rectangle tubes. Also, they did not have to worry about changing the rags when it got dirty. What an amazing purchase for this company, as they increased the speed of the cleaning operation by 70% without affecting the inside finish of the stainless-steel tubes.
If you need to clean the inside of tubes, hoses, pipes, etc., EXAIR has the perfect nozzle for you, the Back Blow Air Nozzles. EXAIR can attach these nozzles on our VariBlast Compact, Soft Grip and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns for easy-to-use manual operations. For this customer above, they were glad that they contacted EXAIR about their application. If you require more details, you can share your application with an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help.