The Advantage of EXAIR Air Jets

EXAIR’s Engineered Air Jets provide a superior solution to minimize compressed air usage and reduce noise levels for compressed air blow-off operations.

When compared to commonly used, open copper tubes or pipes, Air Jet compressed air savings can be as high as 80%. With less compressed air moving out of the Air Jet, sound levels are reduced to a manageable level. 10 dBA noise level reductions are typical.  All EXAIR Air Jets are compliant with OSHA guidelines for dead end pressure and sound level exposure.

EXAIR Nozzles and Jets are designed and manufactured to take advantage of the Coanda (wall attachment of a high velocity fluid) effect which can amplify the airflow volume up to 25 times. The compressed air exits through a small gap in the nozzle area (#1) which entrains the surrounding air from behind the nozzle. Additional air volume is entrained from behind and around the output of the Air Jet (#2) to provide the user with an “amplified” or multiplied airflow at (#3) to do the work or provided the intended effect desired. More force with less air consumption and less noise is the goal.

How the EXAIR Air Jet Works

The Air Jets are supplied with 1/8 NPT male threads and blow air out at a right angle from the inlet. They produce a vacuum on the larger diameter side which pulls in surrounding ambient air into the total output flow. Air Jets are available in brass or Type 303 stainless steel. You can choose from a fixed flow style or an adjustable flow style to provide flexibility for your applications. The adjustable flow models have a clear micrometer air gap indicator on the side of the body, opposite the inlet, to assure consistent and accurate results. All of our Air Nozzles and Jets  are engineered to meet or exceed OSHA Standard 1910.24(b) for 30 PSIG dead end pressure, they cannot be dead-ended as there is always a route for the air to escape. In addition, our products are going to meet the OSHA Standard CFR 29 – 1910.95(a) for allowable noise exposure levels. This means you can operate them with input pressures well above 30 PSIG to get harder hitting forces while still remaining OSHA compliant. This ability for our Air Jets to accomplish this task is where the rubber meets the road so to say.

Left shows Fixed Flow, Right shows adjustable flow

EXAIR’sSwivel Fittings Make it easy to adjust the position of the Air Jets.  The fittings allow for movement of up to 25° off axis for a total movement of 50°.  There are nine different models available and all of them are made from stainless steel

EXAIR Swivel fittings

If you would like to discuss blow off, noise levels, dead end pressure or any of EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air® usage solutions, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call. Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer Send me a email


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OSHA 1910.95(a) Explained: Occupational Sound Exposure

Hearing loss due to high noise levels is a common problem in many industrial facilities. Without the use of proper PPE, hearing loss can occur quickly. This is a serious concern as hearing loss is permanent and once the damage is done there’s no way to reverse it. Due to this risk, OSHA strictly enforces standard 29 CFR-1910.95(a).

This directive discusses the effects of noise and limits exposure based on the dBA. The table below indicates the maximum allowable exposure time to different noise levels. Sound levels that exceed these levels should first be addressed by proper engineering controls such as isolating the source of the sound from personnel or replacing the cause of the sound with something like an engineered compressed air nozzle. When such controls aren’t feasible, proper PPE must be worn to protect the operator.

Hearing loss can occur in as little as 30 minutes when exposed to sound levels 110 dBA or greater. Operators have a tendency not to use PPE as directed, if an OSHA inspector comes to your facility and notices that the sound levels exceed the maximum allowable level without protection hefty fines will be soon to follow. In this example from the United States Department of Labor, a company was fined a total of $143,000 for failing to protect their employees.

In order to identify the places or processes in your facility that are causing the problems, you’ll need a tool to measure the sound level. EXAIR’s easy to use Digital Sound Level Meter allows you to measure and monitor the sound level pressure in a wide variety of industrial environments. The source of the loud noise can then be identified and isolated so that corrective action can be taken. For compressed air related noise, EXAIR manufactures a wide variety of engineered compressed air products that can reduce the sound level dramatically. In many cases, EXAIR products are capable of reducing noise levels by as much as 10 dBA. Since the dBA scale is logarithmic, this equates to cutting the sound level in half!

If there are processes within your facility that are above these limits, and you’d like to eliminate relying on proper PPE, give an Application Engineer a call. We’ll help walk you through the selection process and make sure that when the OSHA inspector comes knocking you’re prepared!

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Reducing the Noise with EXAIR Mufflers

Hearing loss is the best known, but not the only, ill effect of harmful noise exposure. It can also cause physical and psychological stress, impair concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents or injuries.

Many manufacturing plants have a strong focus on safety for their workers.  One major safety concern that is overlooked is noise.   The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a directive, 29 CFR 1910.95a, that defines noise exposure levels over time.  For an eight-hour day, the maximum noise level is 90 dBA.  Hearing loss is irreversible, but it can be prevented.  The CDC, Center for Disease Control, and NIOSH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, report that “approximately 18% of all manufacturing workers have hearing difficulty”1

EXAIR manufactures intelligent compressed air® products to reduce noise levels in the work environment with our Super Air Nozzles, Super Air Knives, and Safety Air Guns for blow-off applications.  But there is another culprit that can be heard; discharge exhaust.  In this blog, I will cover the different types of mufflers that we offer to help reduce these sound levels.

Reclassifying Mufflers are designed to have two functions. They can cut noise levels by 35 dB and remove oil mist from the exhaust air.  Cylinders and valves that exhaust pressurized air may have oil in the line to keep the seals from sticking.  When exhausted, it can create a fine mist, which is dangerous for operators.  Reclassifying mufflers can reduce loud noise while also collecting any contaminants in the exhaust air.

Sintered Bronze Mufflers are simple in design, cost-effective, and easy to install. They have minimal back pressure to not restrict the operations of the pneumatic device.  They come in sizes from #10-32 thread to 1-1/2” NPT.  For a quick and simple way to reduce noise, the Sintered Bronze Mufflers are in stock for fast delivery.

Straight-Through Mufflers offer a way to reduce noise levels without worrying about clogging. They have an aluminum shell lined with sound-absorbing foam, and they can reduce the noise level by 20 dB.  EXAIR offers them with ports of ¼” NPT, 3/8” NPT, and ¾” NPT.  One side has a female thread, while the opposite side will have a male thread.  This can allow you to connect other items like hose kits to reduce noise.

In harsh environments, Heavy Duty Mufflers are used.  They have an outer aluminum shell with an internal stainless-steel screen.  They protect components like valves and cylinders from contamination entering the part.  And, the Heavy Duty Muffler can keep contaminants like rust from being ejected at high speed into the work area. They have a typical noise reduction of 14 dB.

Here is a test for you.  If you go and stand in your plant, you can probably hear loud noises coming from your pneumatic system.  EXAIR has engineered products to solve most of them.  In the Hierarchy of Controls from NIOSH, Personal Protection Equipment, or PPE, is the least effective.  A better control from this chart would be to isolate your operators from the hazard with an engineered product.  EXAIR can offer these solutions for many of your blow-off and pneumatic discharge applications.  If you wish to discuss in further details about the safety improvements that EXAIR can provide, you can contact an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to help. 

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

Note 1: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ohl/manufacturing.html

OSHA and Compressed Air Safety; Things to Review.

EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are fully OSHA Compliant – our Compliance Certificate is available upon request (left.) Your power strip and Christmas tree lights should have labels showing their current ratings – check these so you don’t overload the circuit (right.)

At EXAIR, we have a statement that says, “Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”  As a corporation, EXAIR builds its name around this by manufacturing safe and protective compressed air products.  In the United States, we have an organization called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, that enforces governmental directives for safe and healthy working environments.  They do training, outreach programs, and educational assistance for manufacturing plants to reduce injuries and fatalities.  They can also enforce these directives with heavy fines for violations.  With the compressed air system, the two most common violations are 29CFR 1910.242(b) for dead-end pressure/chip shielding and 29CFR 1910.95(a) for maximum allowable noise exposure.

Unsafe Nozzle

Above is an example of a nozzle that is dangerous.  As you can see, there is only one path where the air can pass through and this path could be blocked.  Other similar types of blow-off devices that would fall into this same group would include copper tubes, flexible lines, and open pipes.  They are dangerous as the compressed air cannot escape if it is blocked by your body or skin.  If operated above 30 PSIG (2 bar), the air from these nozzles could penetrate the skin and create an air embolism within the body, which can cause bodily harm or death.  This is a hazard which can be avoided by using EXAIR Super Air Nozzles and Safety Air Guns.  The nozzles are designed with fins, which allow the air to escape and prevent blockage of the airflow.  So, you can use the EXAIR Super Air Nozzles safely above 30 PSIG (2 bar) and remain OSHA safe.

To counteract the dead-end pressure violation, some nozzle manufacturers create a hole through the side of the nozzle (reference photo above).  This will allow for the compressed air to escape, but now the issue is noise level.  With an “open” hole in the nozzle, the compressed air is very turbulent and very loud.   The CDC reports that in 2007, “82% of the cases involving occupational hearing loss were reported among workers in the manufacturing sector.” Compressed air and pneumatic equipment are significant contributors to the noise exposure. OSHA created a chart to show the maximum allowable noise exposure.  This chart shows the exposure time and noise limits before requiring hearing protection.  The EXAIR Super Air Nozzles, Super Air Knives, and Super Air Amplifiers are designed to have laminar flow, which makes them very quiet.  As an example, the model 1210 Safety Air Gun has a sound level of only 74 dBA, well under the noise exposure limit for 8 hours.

Hearing loss is the best known, but not the only, ill effect of harmful noise exposure. It can also cause physical and psychological stress, impair concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents or injuries.

NIOSH created an overview of how to handle hazards in the workplace.  They call it the Hierarchy of Controls to best protect workers from danger.  The most effective way is by eliminating the hazard or by substituting the hazard.  The least effective way is with Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.  For unsafe compressed air nozzles and guns, the proper way to reduce this hazard is to substitute it with an engineered solution.

One of the last things that companies think about when purchasing compressed air products is safety.  Loud noises and dead-end pressure can be missed or forgotten.  To avoid any future fines or having to purchase additional personal protective equipment (PPE), it will be less expensive and a preferred safety method to purchase an EXAIR product.  As in that above Hazard Hierarchy of Controls chart, EXAIR products are that engineered solution.  If you would like to improve the safety in your facility, move up to an engineered solution, and reduce energy costs; an Application Engineer at EXAIR can review your current blow-off devices.  Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility. 

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