Okay, I will admit, the title may be a tad bit leading. The fact is, it can be done. I speak to customers almost daily who are struggling with the noise levels produced from open pipe blowoffs. With Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) a significant problem among manufacturing workers, reducing the noise form compressed air can be a simple solution and contribute toward reducing overall noise exposure levels. Many of these calls and emails revolve around reducing these exact noise levels, sometimes the open pipes have existing threads on them to install the solution immediately.
To reduce these noise levels, we need to simply reduce the amount of energy that is being expelled through the pipe. How do we do this you might ask? The use of an air nozzle will reduce the energy being dispersed from an open pipe. This will result in lower air consumption as well as lower sound levels while actually increasing velocity as the pipe will maintain higher operating pressures. Be cautious about the air nozzle you choose, however, they are not all created equal. EXAIR’s engineered air nozzles are among the quietest and most efficient air nozzles available.
What size pipes can we fit nozzles to? That’s a great question. We have nozzles that range from a 4mm straight thread all the way up to 1-1/4″ NPT thread. This also includes nearly any size in between especially the standard compressed air piping sizes. For instance, a 1/4″ Sched. 40 pipe that has 1/4″ MNPT threads on it can easily produce over a 100 dBA noise level from 3 feet away. This can easily be reduced to below 80 dBA from 3′ away by utilizing one of our model 1100 Super Air Nozzles. All it takes is a deep well socket and ratchet with some thread sealant.
This doesn’t just lower the sound level though, it reduces the amount of compressed air expelled through that open pipe by creating a restriction on the exit point. This permits the compressed air to reach a higher line pressure causing a higher exit velocity and due to the engineering within the nozzle, this will also eliminate dangerous dead-end pressure and complies with OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.242(b).
All in all, a 30-second install can make an operator’s work station considerably quieter and potentially remove the need for hearing protection. If you would like to discuss how to lower noise levels in your facility, contact us.
Over the past few weeks, I have been working on various cars in the garage with some good friends. We generally get together and help each other out to make the jobs go easier as well as help each other learn more about keeping our family’s vehicles safe and even helping out some others that don’t have the means to work on their own vehicles. Throughout these repairs, we always end up in some type of discussion over something fairly technical. Sometimes it is the proper installation of a part such as take the bolts to snug, back them out, then torque to half the total torque value, back off again, then finally tighten to the complete torque.
We also share different ways of doing the jobs, such as how to lessen the amount of hot oil you are about to pour all over your hand, or how to get that rusted bolt out without a torch and without breaking it. One discussion that comes up quite frequently is torque specs and then the torque spec for a tapered thread.
In case you were not aware, the NPT or BSPT (male) inlets on EXAIR products are both a tapered thread. Tapered threads are generally used on pipe fittings under pressure to seal better and provide a secure engagement. When comparing this to a standard bolt, or straight thread, one is generally accustomed to receiving a torque spec on just how tight to get the fitting or threaded product. For example, the 1/4-20 bolts used in our Super Air Knives are torqued to 7.5 ft-lbs. in order to properly seal the cap, shim, and body together. These are straight threads and thus a torque spec is often driven by the material, size, and thread of the bolt. Torque on tapered threads such as NPT or BSPT fittings is not as easy to find, and not really reliable.
For tapered threads, the engagement of the thread is not always at the same point due to differing tolerances on thread dimensions. These differences create different points of thread engagement with the corresponding thread it is tightening into. For these scenarios, the torque specification is not always best suited as a numeric value. If you search hard enough you can find a table like the one shown below, but again, not the best value to use when installing a tapered thread.
I personally would not use a straight numeric torque when tightening something with stainless steel thread into a brass fitting, or other dissimilar materials together. For this scenario, I would recommend using something like the table below. The TPFT value is, turns past finger tight. This means you would snug the super air nozzle, vortex tube, or other fittings by hand to finger tight. Then using a wrench or two if needed, turn the fitting to the correct number of revolutions for the given thread size. By utilizing this method and the correct amount of thread sealant, see John Ball’s video blog below, you can ensure there will not be a concern on whether or not the joint will leak and also if the fitting is tight enough.
If you would like to discuss torque settings, installation of your engineered compressed air solution, or even what might be wrong with your minivan, contact us.
The Super Air Knife also has a series of 1/4″-20 tapped holes, 2″ apart, along the bottom of the body. These are often used for installation & mounting as well, and we’ve seen some creative methods, for sure:
EXAIR Super Air Knives come in lengths from 3 inches to 9 feet long. We stock them in aluminum, 303SS, 316SS, and PVDF. If you need a custom length or material, though, we do those too. We can even talk about the best way to mount it. Call me.
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The video below provides details on the simple conversion to the new Gen4 style Super Ion Air Knife from the previous style or the addition of a Gen4 Ionizing Bar to an existing Super Air Knife to add static elimination to an existing blow off.
If you have questions about the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife or any of the 16 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
The word “accessory” can come with some baggage… it’s become synonymous with “add-on” and “up-sell,” and cost-mindful consumers may see them as just another way for a slick salesperson to make an extra buck. And frankly, they wouldn’t have that reputation if there wasn’t some truth to it. The server at your favorite restaurant will offer appetizers, or recommend side dishes to go with your entree. If you go to buy a new car, you’ll get a pitch for a variety of aftermarket add-ons. The paint counter folks at the hardware store always tell me what specific brush and/or rollers I should use with the paint I’m buying…and it’s never the 10-pack of economy brushes that costs less than the single, premium quality brush they recommend. In all of these cases, these employees are trained, constantly encouraged, and hopefully rewarded on the success of these “up-sell” strategies.
Of course, my boys and I can devour even the largest plate of chili cheese nachos long before the rest of meal comes out. My wife absolutely loves the remote starter function that the dealership installed on the new car she bought last year. And, if you’ve ever painted a well-lit room, you know the difference between a $1 paint brush and a $10 paint brush. So if my server gets a little bigger tip, my car dealer salesperson gets a little more commission, or the paint counter folks get a bonus, then it’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.
EXAIR carries a variety of accessories for our Intelligent Compressed Air Products. Some aid in mounting & installation:
Others make it easy to ensure adequate supply conditions:
The performance of many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can be altered by replacing the shim:
In addition to these product-specific accessories, EXAIR carries a complete line of:
*Filter Separators to remove water, dirt, and rust from your compressed air system. Our Automatic Drain Filter Separators have a 5 micron particulate element, and a centrifugal vane to remove moisture.
*Oil Removal Filters with coalescing elements that remove any trace of oil, and also provide additional particulate filtration to 0.03 microns.
*Pressure Regulators, so you can “dial in” the performance you need, so you don’t overpower the application, or waste compressed air. They come in sizes from 1/4 NPT to 1-1/4 NPT, and are rated for flows up to 700 SCFM. A pressure gauge provides accurate indication of outlet pressure, and the adjustment cap can be removed to prevent tampering.
*Silencing Mufflers to reduce work area noise from compressed air exhausting from pneumatic cylinders, valves, etc. There are several styles to choose from, depending on your needs:
Sintered Bronze Mufflers are simple in design, with minimal back pressure restriction, and come in sizes from #10-32 thread to 1-1/2 NPT.
Straight-Through Mufflers offer noise reduction up to 20 dB, and come in sizes from 1/4 NPT (up to 22 SCFM) to 3/4 NPT (up to 73 SCFM.)
Heavy Duty Mufflers have an internal stainless steel screen that not only protects the exhausting components from environmental contamination, but also keeps air system contaminants from being ejected at high speed into the work area.
Reclassifying Mufflers are an upgrade to the Sintered Bronze Mufflers and provide the highest level of noise reduction – up to 35 dB. They also trap oil mist, eliminating breathing hazards to personnel.
*12 ft Coiled Hoses (1/4″ or 3/8″ ID) and Compressed Air Hose (3/8″ or 1/2″ ID; up to 50ft lengths) can be provided with any Intelligent Compressed Air Product. We also have a full supply of fittings (tees, elbows, nipples, couplers, reducers, etc.) and adapters to fit our Super Air Nozzles to your existing air guns or blow off devices.
*Receiver Tanks are used to store a ready supply of compressed air. If you have an intermittent demand of sufficient size, it can cause a pressure transient in your system, which can drag down the ability to supply other points of use. Installed near the point of intermittent demand, they prevent pressure & volume fluctuations, keeping the operators at all points of use happy. Model 9500-60 Receiver Tank has a capacity of 60 gallons, is rated to 200psig, and meets ASME pressure vessel code.
In closing, let me offer the following advice that’s served me well over the years:
*Be mindful of the valued added by the accessories & add-ons you’re presented during a purchase of capital equipment…or anything else, really. Don’t buy something you don’t need, but if you need it…well…it’s OK to buy it.
*Don’t skimp on quality. Odds are, if an accessory is offered by the manufacturer of the product, it’s going to work well for you. They should be able to tell you if it will or won’t if you discuss your needs with them. I know I will if you call me to discuss a compressed air product application.
*Get the big plate of nachos, especially if you’re dining with teenagers.
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So, you’ve selected a quiet, efficient, and safe EXAIR Super Air Nozzle for your blow off application – good call! – and now you’re thinking about how to install it. Sometimes, it’s as simple as replacing whatever you’re using right now:
Or maybe you’re using an open end blow off…in which case, you’re just an adapter away:
Perhaps, though, it’s a new installation, or the existing supply lines aren’t suitable for one reason or another. In those cases, we’ve still got you covered…consider the EXAIR Stay Set Hose:
Available in a variety of lengths from 6″ to 36″, they’re positionable, and re-positionable with a simple bending action. They won’t kink or easily fatigue like copper tubing. The supply end is 1/4 MNPT, and you have your choice of 1/4 MNPT or 1/8 FNPT on the other end, depending on which Super Air Nozzle, Air Jet you need to use it with.
We also offer Blow Off Systems, which are a combination of a specific Air Nozzle (or Air Jet,) fitted to a Stay Set Hose:
For added convenience and ease of installation, these products can also come with a Magnetic Base:
From the beginning in 1983, EXAIR’s focus has been on being easy to do business with, and that goes from our friendly customer service to our expert technical support to our 99.9% on-time shipments (22 years and running) to designing our engineered products and value-added accessories with efficiency, safety, and ease of installation in mind. If you want to find out more, give me a call.
Nothing is being delayed, especially a shipment from EXAIR. If it’s in the catalog, it ships on time, 99.97% of the time, for 17 years & running. This has nothing to do with this blog; I just never get tired of bragging about that.
Today I wanted to write about installing EXAIR products, but hey, it’s Friday, so I thought I’d start with something that would get your attention. If you’re still reading, I guess it worked.
We talk to users…and potential users…all the time about how to install an Air Knife, Air Nozzle, Vortex Tube, etc. And the answer is…it depends. But, it’s almost always quick and easy.
Consider the EXAIR Super Air Knife. There are a few ways to hold one in place:
*There are 1/4″-20 tapped holes, every 2″ along the bottom. These can be used to bolt it to just about anything you want to bolt it to.
*The 1/4″-20 cap screws can also be replaced with fasteners of sufficient length to allow use of a bracket. In fact, this is what we use for…
*The Universal Air Knife Mounting System – it’s a quick and convenient way to support an Air Knife. It’s especially beneficial to precisely position the Super Air Knife for optimum performance.
*Last but not least, Super Air Knives 24″ and longer need to be plumbed to both ends for proper performance. If you hard pipe it in, it’ll be as well supported as the piping.
Then there’s our Super Air Nozzles:
*With standard, common NPT threads, these are easy to install anywhere you have an existing air line. You can get NPT adapters for darn near any threaded connection, off the shelf, from a friendly local air compressor or hydraulic/pneumatics shop.
*We’ve got Stay Set Hoses in lengths from 6″ to 36″ – these let you reposition the Air Nozzle at will. It’ll “stay set” until you bend it again.
*Our Swivel Fittings can be used with any of our Super Air Nozzles, as well as our Air Amplifiers, for sturdy, yet easily repositionable, installation.