OSHA Safety, Efficiency, and Flexibility from Engineered Compressed Air Nozzles

Throughout my years here at EXAIR as well as my years in the metal cutting industry, one of the most common quick fixes I see in production environments for compressed air blowoffs in a process is an open copper pipe that is contorted into a position, pinched at the end, and more often than not kinked from repositioning. I call this a quick fix because it does blow air, more often than not it will get production up and running, but it does not meet or exceed OSHA standards for safety and is an inefficient use of compressed air. [OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.242(b) and 29 CFR 1910.95(a)]

EXAIR Super Air Nozzles that are easy replacements for 1/8″ and 1/4″ Copper pipe.

The first engineered solution I could offer to prevent any costly OSHA fines and to lower the ambient noise level caused by these blowoffs is to implement an EXAIR Engineered Air Nozzle. We offer a wide variety of nozzles ranging from a 4mm thread up to a 1-1/4″ NPT thread. With this wide range comes a wide variety of forces and flows as well.

Today, I would like to focus on the common sizes of copper blowoffs which are 1/8″ and 1/4″. To simply adapt a nozzle to copper line a compression fitting can be easily sourced, often from EXAIR, and convert the copper tubing in place to an NPT threaded outlet for easy installation of an EXAIR nozzle. More often than not a compression fitting is how the copper tubing is tied into the machine’s compressed air system.

We have a total of 37 engineered air nozzles from stock that will easily fit a compression fitting which goes to a 1/8″ NPT or 1/4″ NPT thread. Several of these are also adjustable through a gap adjustment or a patented shim adjustment to vary the force and flow out of the nozzle from a forceful blast to a gentle breeze in order to me your application needs. What if you want to eliminate the copper line and compressions fittings?

EXAIR offers a replacement option for the ever-common copper tube that is more robust and does not require a tool to be properly repositioned. We currently offer twenty-four different models of our Stay Set Hoses that can be easily connected to any of the nozzles mentioned above. The lengths that are available are 6″ (152mm), 12″ (305mm), 18″ (457mm), 24″ (610mm), 30″ (762mm) and 36″ (914mm).

These lengths are available with two separate connection options. 1/4″ MNPT x 1/4″ MNPT or 1/4″ MNPT x 1/8″ FNPT. The Stay Set Hoses can easily be bent by hand into position for a precise placement of the air pattern from the engineered nozzle attached to it. This permits operators a tool free adjustment for fast and reliable location to keep production up and running. They can also be paired with Magnetic Bases.

EXAIR Magnetic Bases are available in single outlet or dual outlet configurations. Both include a 100 lb. pull magnet that will hold tight to any ferrous metal surface for secure mounting, as well as a quick 1/4 turn miniature valve on each outlet. This permits independent customization of the force our of each output for the dual outlet mag base. Each magnetic base offers a 1/4″ FNPT inlet port and outlet port. We offer these with any of combination of the Stay Set Hoses mentioned above as well as any of the Super Air Nozzles mentioned above.

Mag Bases come with one or two outlets. Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6″ to 36″.

The Super Air Nozzles, Stay Set Hoses, and Magnetic Bases can be easily combined before they ship to your facility to make a complete blowoff station that is easily installed and adjusted to fit any of the needs your process may have for a point of use blowoff. If you want help determining how much compressed air you would save by replacing the open pipe blowoffs with an engineered solution like a Stay Set Magnetic Base Blowoff System please contact myself or any Application Engineer here at EXAIR.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

PEEK Super Air Nozzles Resist Corrosion; Won’t Scratch Sensitive Surfaces

Because they might be needed in some pretty aggressive environments, EXAIR offers many of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products in a variety of materials. One particular material of construction, however, has two distinct benefits. PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone, for those of us who ruined the grading curve in CHEM102) plastic offers not only superior chemical corrosion resistance; it’s also non-marring. Since EXAIR introduced the first PEEK Super Air Nozzle in 2005, they’ve been specified all over the world; sometimes for their corrosion resistance; other times so they won’t mar or scratch sensitive surfaces…and every once in a while, for both.

I recently had the pleasure of discussing blow off applications with the production manager of a large anodizing & plating company. The chemicals used in these processes are extremely corrosive, and the equipment used in those areas has to be made of something that’ll handle it. PEEK plastic is just such a material. Also, once they’ve treated their customers’ parts, they need to handle them with care…they’re getting paid a premium to provide nice, shiny parts with a perfect finish. When they’re blowing them off, they need to use something that won’t scratch up the surface if the operator makes incidental contact with the blow off tip. Again, PEEK plastic is just such a material.  Since their existing blow offs were fitted to 1/8 NPT connections, they chose the Model 1102-PEEK Mini Super Air Nozzle.

EXAIR’s PEEK Super Air Nozzles can be mounted in place or on a Safety Air Gun, depending on your needs.

Corrosion resistant and non-marring…EXAIR offers our PEEK Super Air Nozzles in six sizes, from the Atto (M4x0.5 threads; 2.5 SCFM; 2 oz force applied) to our High Force Model 1104-PEEK (3/8 NPT threads; 35 SCFM; 1.9 lbs force applied) for an incredibly diverse range of applications.

If you’d like to discuss what material(s) of construction your application(s) require, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Out Of This World

One of the best parts about being an Application Engineer at EXAIR is the vast array of applications that customers call in with.  Every time the phone rings, a chat notification pops up, or an email to Techelp comes in, another interesting application presents itself and the process of helping to provide a solution begins.

Recently, I worked with an Optical Scientist working on the next class of giant ground-based telescopes that promises to to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe.  He made contact with us via chat and said that he had seen a special Safety Air Gun being used to blow off a telescope mirror at a different telescope site.  He said the unit had black plastic nozzles, which was preferred, because they would not scratch or damage the mirror glass. After receiving a photo of the unit, we were able to identify it as the model 1213-4-PEEK, Super Blast Safety Air Gun, with 4 PEEK Nozzles (PEEK  = Polyetheretherketone, a thermoplastic).

1213-4-peek_400w
Model 1213-4-PEEK Super Blast Safety Air Gun

The Super Blast Safety Air Gun is one of the EXAIR  High Force Safety Air Gun offerings that provide a strong blowing force with the added convenience of a comfortable soft grip and easy to operate spring-loaded manual valve that automatically shuts off should it be dropped.  The Super Blast Safety Air gun is ideal for long distance, wide area blowoff, cooling and drying applications.  In the case of the telescope mirror application, the mirrors are outside and subject to dust and bird and bat “deposits.”  After a thorough washing, the Super Blast Safety Air Gun provides the method for drying the mirrors. At 8.4 meters in diameter, a strong, far reaching blast of air is required to ensure complete drying of the mirror surface.

gmt-2015-mirrors1-medium
Array of 7 Mirror Surfaces

EXAIR offers a wide range of Safety Air Guns, from those offering small, precise blowoff of 2 ozs. up to large, strong blowing forces of 23 lbs.  To discuss your special blowoff, cooling or drying application, 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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Image Courtesy of “Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation”

It’s A Major Award!

As many of us celebrated the Holidays we revisited some traditions. Like a lot of families do, my family also has a  number of traditions.  Ours include:

  • A turkey grilled on my trusty Weber kettle.
  • A thorough cleaning of the house, because my wife says if we don’t, my mother-in-law will want to hire us a maid. I’m still trying to understand how that’s a bad thing.
  • A post-dinner family card game. After all, this is the cleanest our dining room table gets all year.
  • Some late-into-the-evening TV. This usually consists of our favorite holiday movie, “A Christmas Story.” If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a cult classic about a boy named Ralphie Parker, and his mission to obtain a BB gun, his struggles with the neighborhood bully, and, of course, his father’s uncanny fascination with a very peculiar sweepstakes prize:

From left to right: Mr. Parker’s “Major Award” lamp, and the lamp that our Mr. Edwards prefers instead.

At EXAIR, we’re looking forward to news about some Major Awards ourselves. See, four of our new products have been nominated for Product of the Year by Plant Engineering Magazine. If you’re familiar with any of these, and their benefits, we’d appreciate your vote for them:

1104PEEKWhat it is: PEEK 3/8 NPT Super Air Nozzles, engineered for high performance.

Why it’s important: Hard-hitting force, low noise, PEEK plastic construction for non-marring protection and excellent chemical resistance. High amplification of airflow produces a blowing force of 1.9 lbs, with air consumption of only 35 SCFM at 80 psig.

 

110108What it is: Our Long Super Air Knives, the longest one-piece Air Knife available.

Why it’s important: Uniform, seamless curtain of air flow. 16 lengths in stock, from 3″-108”. Energy efficient & versatile, all sizes are available in aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS. Infinitely adjustable from a gentle blowing flow, to a hard-hitting blast of air.

 

1109PEEKWhat it is: Our PEEK Pico Super Air Nozzles, designed for precision & performance.

Why it’s important: One of the smallest, most precise engineered nozzle on the market (0.63” long, 0.20” diameter,) perfect for installation in tight spaces. PEEK thermoplastic construction means non-marring protection when used in close proximity to sensitive materials.

 

7096What it is: Our Long Ionizing Bars, low cost, maximum coverage.

Why it’s important: Available from stock in lengths up to 108”, they dissipate a 5,000V static charge in 0.18 seconds. Small profile fits in confined spaces where static electricity is generated. Shockless and safe for superior reliability.

 

You’re going to hear more – a LOT more – about these products in the coming days. In fact, if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve no doubt heard already. Of course, if you’ve got specific questions about how these – or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products – can make an award-worthy impact in your facility, give us a call.

Time is running out to vote for one of our products! The voting window closes January 9, 2015.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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“A Christmas Story” House at Night, Cleveland, OH image courtesy of Daniel X. O’Nell. Creative Commons License.

Lava Lamp image courtesy of Ryan SteeleCreative Commons License.