Back Blow Air Nozzles Clean Inside Aluminum Extrusions

A manufacturing plant was using extruded aluminum structural framing for making benches.  After the aluminum parts were cut, they had coolant and chips inside the tube.  They tried to run a rag through the center to remove the material, but it wasn’t able to get into all the crevices and before long the rag was saturated.  Also, they noticed that the chips would scratch the internal surfaces.  For this company, quality was very important to represent their brand.  So, they were needing a non-contact way to clean the inside of these parts after sawing.   They contacted EXAIR as we share the same business facets of first-class customer service and great quality.

Back Blow Air Nozzle Family

At EXAIR, we design and manufacture nozzles for just this type of operation; the Back Blow Air Nozzles.  We offer three different sizes to fit inside a wide variety of diameters from ¼” (6.3mm) to 16” (406mm).  They are designed to clean tubing, pipes, hoses, channels, and extruded “odd” shapes.  The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” without touching the internal surface to remove coolant and chips.  For the application above, I recommended the model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle to fit inside the 1 ½” (38mm) opening.  The range for this Back Blow Air Nozzle is from 7/8” (22mm) to 4” (102mm) diameters.  This 316SS robust nozzle would last a long time without having to change or replace cloth rags.

After installing the model 1006SS onto an extension pipe, the cleaning operation became very easy and efficient.  After each cut, they would run the Back Blow Nozzle through the center with only one pass to clean.  The non-contact wiping removed the coolant and chips without marring the internal surface.  In addition, they were able to speed up their operation by 20%.  Cleaner tubes, less time, cost savings; they were happy that they contacted EXAIR for our expertise.

Model 1204SS-6-CS and 1206SS-6-CS

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 also offer these nozzles on our VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty Air Guns for manual operations.  They come with Chip Shields and extensions that can reach as far as 72” (1829mm).  Or like the customer above, automate the system to get a great non-contact cleaning.  If you require any more details, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help you.

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

Super Air Wipes Help a Swiss CNC Machine to be More Accurate

Precision Required

As machined parts require tighter tolerances, machine shops are starting to look at Swiss-type CNC machines.  These types of machines are extremely accurate and very fast in producing small parts.  But in order to reach that level of accuracy, the bar stock may have to be pre-treated by a centerless grinder.

Our customer was using Swiss-type CNC machines with guide bushings to produce a very tight-tolerance part.  Because they were using guide bushings, the outside diameter of the bar stock had to be smooth and concentric.  This helps to reduce any vibration when machining.  A centerless grinder was used to accomplish this.  The bar stock that they used was 10 feet long and it was placed into a bar feeder.  They had to grind the bar to an outer diameter of 30mm with a surface finish of 32Ra.  As they were loading the bar stock, they noticed that the surface finish was scuffed and marred.  This was enough to affect the machining process and not meet the tolerance standard.

As they reviewed the possible causes, they found that after the bar was ground, some grinding remnants were sticking to the outside of the bar.  As the rods were leaving the grinder and placed onto a roller-type conveyor, the oily film and metal shavings were sticking to the rollers.  This would scrape and mark the rods as they traveled along the conveyor toward the Swiss-type machining center.  As an attempt to remove this debris, they attached two copper tubes to blow compressed air onto the top and bottom of the bar.   Not only was this loud and inefficient, it was not effective.  They still had a dirty line along the sides of the rod that remained.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them with this dilemma.

In order to get a consistent blow-off force around the entire circumference of the rod, EXAIR Air Wipes were engineered to be an ideal solution for this kind of problem.  I recommended the model 2482 Standard Air Wipe Kit.  The Standard Air Wipe is designed to blow compressed air in a 360 degree flow pattern.  This air pattern is directed at a 30 degree angle toward the center to blow the debris off of the bar stock.  The Coanda effect maximizes the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air.  This makes the unit very efficient and powerful.  The model 2482 Standard Air Wipe has an I.D. of 2” (51mm) which gives it enough clearance for the 30mm bar stock.  It can be mounted easily near the exit of the centerless grinder to keep the grinding remnants inside the machine.  The kit includes a filter, regulator, and shim set.  The filter will remove contaminants from the compressed air system to keep from introducing any new grime and to keep the inside of the Air Wipe clean and functional.  The shim set and regulator provide the ability to adjust the air to the ideal force level and remove any debris from the surface of the bar.

Standard Air Wipe with Shim Set

As they removed their home-made copper tubes and attached the Standard Air Wipe, they noticed some great improvements.  The dark lines of debris previously along the sides of the bar stock were gone.  The surface was clean around the entire circumference of the bar.  The customer also noticed that the Standard Air Wipe was much quieter than their home-made solution, as it only has a decibel rating of 77 dBA.  As an added benefit, the Standard Air Wipe was using much less compressed air than the copper tubes.  This is due to its design to maximize the amplification ratio.  With more of the “free” ambient air than the compressed air being moved over the target area, it will save money in compressed air usage.  The ROI could be less than four months.

If you have any items that need to have a 360 degree blowing pattern, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if a Standard Air Wipe could work for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb
Picture: External-Micrometer-Screw-Gauge by Emilian Robert Vicol.  Creative Commons license

Choosing the Right Dry Vacuum – Chip Vac or Heavy Duty Dry Vac

A common question we get from our customers is, ‘I need a dry vac, should I use the Chip Vac or Heavy Duty Dry Vac.’  This is very good question, and we will take the time to better understand the application in order to best answer that question.

Both the EXAIR Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac are designed to turn an ordinary 5 (Chip Vac only,) 30, 55, or 110 gallon open top drum into a powerful, industrial duty vacuum cleaner. Both are powered by compressed air, and have no moving parts to wear out or break, whereas the typical electrically operated system has motors and impellers that clog and break down quickly.  The Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac are also quiet, at half the sound level of electric versions.

The Chip Vac is designed specifically for vacuuming chips. It creates a powerful direct flow that is ideal for metal, wood, and plastic chips.  Because it has a filter bag, in can also handle the occasional dusty material, and keep the surrounding air clean.

If the operation machines different materials, the lid can be removed from one drum and moved to another, to keep the materials separate for easy recycling.

4 R UMAX PL-II V1.4 [3]
The Chip Vac is ideal for vacuuming metal, wood or plastic chips

The Heavy Duty Dry Vac was engineered to vacuum more dry material in less time with less wear. The hardened alloy construction resists premature wear and the increased power makes difficult jobs and harsh environments more easily handled.

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The 110 Gallon  Heavy Duty Dry Vac provides maximum capacity for spill clean up

The Heavy Duty Dry Vac is ideal for abrasive materials such as steel shot, garnet, metal chips and sand, and is also useful for general purpose applications such as vacuuming floors, machines, work stations and machinery/equipment.

Like the Chip Vac, the Heavy Duty Dry Vac drum lid fits any open top drum, and can be moved from one drum to another facilitating recycling efforts.

Below shows the powerful performance of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac when considering large, heavy material and the increased performance you could expect.

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Vacuuming Rate Comparison, for Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac

To discuss your application and for help deciding which dry vac would work best, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

EXAIR Chip Vac Removes Swarf and Keeps the Machining Center Running

The word of the day is “swarf”. Swarf is fine chips or filings of stone, metal or other material produced by a machining operation.

A company had four automatic profile cutting machines to cut aluminum stock.  They contacted me for help to improve their operation.  Each machine had a cleated belt conveyor to remove the swarf (or chips) from the cutting process.  Because the swarf was small in size, the chips could get around the edge of the belt and affect the conveying system.  Two of the four conveyors failed, and they wanted to find a better option to remove the swarf and keep the machines running.  They sent me a photo of the type and size of the swarf that was thwarting their conveying system.

Swarf - fine metal chips from machining
Swarf – fine metal chips from machining

EXAIR receives many calls about applications similar to this. I suggested the model 6193 Chip Vac System.  This assembly will fit onto a standard open-top 55 gallon drum which has a much smaller footprint than the conveying system.  The 0.1 micron filter allows for the air to escape and keep the fine particles inside the drum.  For this customer, once the drum was filled with aluminum chips, it was easy to rotate in an empty drum, sending the full drum of material to recycling.  The vacuum generator has no moving parts which makes it quiet, maintenance free, and long lasting.  It also creates a high vacuum level which was very useful when they attached it near the chip collection area.  The Chip Vac System was easy to install and it was very beneficial in keeping the machining area clean and running.

EXAIR Chip Vac
EXAIR Chip Vac

If you find that your chip conveying system is affecting your operations, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a better and more reliable solution to remove your swarf.

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