What Is The Difference Between Pressure & Flow In A Compressed Air System?

There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t receive a call from someone who has a need for a compressed air product and when I state the SCFM requirements of the device they respond back with the psi rating of their air compressor.  Many technicians simply do not understand the difference between the two.  Simply put psi (pounds square inch) is force and CFM (cubic feet per minute) is flow.

A simple illustration would be to contrast a 12 VDC powered air compressor that many people carry in their trunks to inflate car tires.  They will inflate your car tire to 35 psi in a matter of minutes.  While the air compressor at a tire shop can inflate a car tire in a minute or less.  What is the difference?

12 VDC Air Compressor
12 VDC Tire Inflator

 

Simply put, the flow. Both inflate the tire to the desired pressure but the one with largest flow (volume) does it much faster.  In the case of a compressed air product such as an air nozzle, the pressure required to operate is only one part of what is necessary to operate the device effectively, you need to have enough flow or CFM.

Let us now consider an EXAIR 1100 Super Air Nozzle, its rated performance of 13 ounces of force at 12″ distance from the nozzle is derived from supplying 14 SCFM @ 80 psi.  The typical home use air compressor that runs on 110 VAC (Generally 2 HP maximum) will not generate the flow (volume /CFM) at 80 psi to run the nozzle at peak force, just as it would not generate enough flow to fill the tire as quickly as the industrial compressor at a tire shop.

When an open tube, pipe or inefficient nozzle is placed at the end of an air line to provide blow off for cooling or cleaning it demands much greater volume from the compressor. If the compressor cannot keep up the force (pressure) of the system will decline. Replacing an open tube or pipe with an EXAIR engineered nozzle will require less compressed air volume which, in turn, will give the compressor more ability to provide full pressure and force upon your application.

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EXAIR 1100 Super Air Nozzle

If you would like to discuss air consumption of any of EXAIR’s engineered solutions, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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12 VDC Tire Inflator Image courtesy of Moto Service Dinamarca

 

EXAIR Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun With Accessories Improves Effectiveness and Safety

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Model 1310-12 Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun, With 12″ Extension & 1100 Super Air Nozzle

In rugged industrial environments the EXAIR Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun delivers powerful blasts of compressed air right where it is needed.  It features a 3/8 NPT metal inlet to allow for increased air flow to the Super Air Nozzle of your choice and there are many configurations are available from stock.  It is constructed of a durable and robust cast aluminum body with an ergonomic and comfortable composite grip that allows for extended use without fatigue.

The Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun can be configured with extensions that are available in 6” increments up to 24” in length and 12” increments from 24” up to 72”.  Combine the extension with our optional Chip Shield for maximum operator safety and comfort.

 

Extension Tubes For Air Guns
Different Length Extensions For Every Application

 

Chip Shield
Chip Shields Offer Safety & Comfort For Operators

We offer a wide variety of nozzles to allow you to configure the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun to you specific application.  EXAIR has a large selection of nozzles that are engineered to entrain surrounding air with the compressed air supply creating a synergistic blast that is very powerful.  Most importantly they operate much quieter than the limits of OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a) and can’t be “dead ended” therefore meeting OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.242(b).

OSHA Chart
OSHA Maximum Allowable Noise Exposure

 

The EXAIR Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun is available in the configurations shown below or many others.  If you have an application you would like to discuss or to see how the Heavy Duty  Safety Air Guns will improve your process, give us a call, we are happy to help.

Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun Configuration Chart
Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun Sample Configurations

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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EXAIR’s Unconditional 30 Day Guarantee = Success!

This week in Cincinnati we hit a record high 79°F. Since less than a week earlier it snowed all afternoon, let’s just say many people around here began to get excited. While I don’t mind a little snow here and there, once February begins to draw to a close I’m ready to bust out the shorts, tank tops and flip flops and bring on some warmer temperatures. It also means I’m right around the corner from opening up the pool. Let’s hope that goes much smoother than last year….

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Another benefit to the warmer temperatures, especially here in Cincinnati, is the coming of the baseball season. With the Reds Spring Training also starting this week, optimism is in the air (albeit reserved after the last few years performance).

Unlike baseball where it’s 3 strikes and youuuu’rrrreeee out! EXAIR’s unconditional 30 day guarantee for all stock products allows you the opportunity to test out several different solutions to ensure you get the right product for your application.30dayguarantee

I recently worked with a customer that was interested in switching their current blowoff process with something that would reduce their sound levels but still allow them to complete the job in a similar time frame. The company makes aluminum castings and was using the air gun to remove residual sand leftover in the die after each cycle. Their current air gun was producing sound levels at 107 dBA, well above OSHA’s safe operating range for a full 8 hour shift of work according to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95(a).

They didn’t want to commit to just one style of air gun, so he purchased a 1210SS-18 (Safety Air Gun w/ ¼ NPT Stainless Steel Nozzle and 18” extension) and a few different additional ¼ NPT nozzles to see which style his operators preferred. After some testing, they concluded that the air gun with an 1122SS 2” Flat Nozzle installed provided them with the best results. Having the added feature of changing out the shim to increase/decrease the force and flow was also welcomed. They’ll be returning the extra nozzles and applying the credit to the purchase of some new 1230SS-18 guns to outfit their other work stations.

1230SS-18
Model 1230SS-18 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun

While we do have a highly trained team of Application Engineers ready and available to help you determine the most suitable product, sometimes testing it out at your facility is the best way to ensure a positive result. That is EXACTLY why we give you 30 days to test out any stock product. If for any reason at all you’re unsatisfied with the performance, give us a call and we’ll arrange for a return. Don’t be afraid to swing and miss!

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

Reds photo courtesy of Keith via Creative Commons License

When Efficiency And Practicality Collide

Even if you’re a casual reader of our blogs, you already know that EXAIR Application Engineers LOVE to preach efficiency in the use of compressed air…it’s our “bread and butter;” the very nature of our business. This year, we’re celebrating thirty-five years of leading the way in the development of efficient, safe, and quiet compressed air products. Our track record of success as a solutions provider across a diverse range of industrial and commercial applications is well documented in our blogs, as well as Knowledge Base and Case Study Libraries.  We devote considerable resources (engineering, research & development, product testing, etc.) to making certain that EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products cost less to operate, and perform better, than whatever you’re using right now.

Strange as it may seem, though, sometimes our products are EXTREMELY popular in cases where they INCREASE a facility’s consumption of compressed air…by replacing something that DOESN’T use compressed air at all:

*I’ve written before about how our Large Maximum Cold Temperature Vortex Tubes have replaced liquid nitrogen rigs in freeze sealing operations.  Now, a Vortex Tube directs a portion of its air supply to (usually) unusable hot exhaust, in order to generate the usable flow of cold air.  When compared to the costs of liquid nitrogen and the resources involved to get it where it needs to be, though, the cost of the compressed air needed to operate the Vortex Tube is indeed the practical solution.

A 1/4 ton of refrigeration from a product that fits in the palm of your hand, and all you need is a supply or compressed air!

*Line Vacs are probably THE prime example of the value of using compressed air where it wasn’t used before…replacing a “bucket and ladder” operation:

Straight from our Catalog, a perfect example of using valuable compressed air to save even more valuable resources.

*Then there are the situations that just come down to time.  In large spaces, our Super Blast Safety Air Guns can be used to “sweep” the floor in a fraction of the time it takes an operator with a push broom.

Super Blast Safety Air Gun makes short work of large area cleanup.

To make a long story just a little bit longer…if you’re using compressed air, you can use it better with EXAIR’s engineered compressed air products.  And there are plenty of practical applications where you’re not using compressed air right now too.  If you’d like to find out more about either one, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Safety Air Gun Accessories Improve Effectiveness and Safety

Safety Air Gun with accessories

EXAIR offers 5 different styles of Safety Air Guns; Precision, VariBlast, Soft Grip, Heavy Duty and Super Blast.   You can read more about the different styles of Safety Air Guns from a previous EXAIR blog “Not All Compressed Air Guns Are The Same” written by Justin Nichol. I will be targeting the accessories that can enhance the features of the EXAIR Safety Air Guns. These additions will make the Safety Air Guns more dynamic without sacrificing safety, efficiency, or durability.

Precision Safety Air Gun with Chip Shield
eg. 1408SS-CS

Chip Shields:

OSHA 1910.242(b) requires chip guarding when compressed air is used for cleaning. EXAIR offers Chip Shields with our Safety Air Guns to meet this requirement. They are made from a polycarbonate disc which is practically unbreakable and protects the operator from any blow back of metal shavings or coolant. They come with a durable rubber grommet that squeezes onto the extensions and can be adjusted to maximize protection. We offer Chip Shields for the Precision, VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns with or without aluminum extensions.

Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with extension.
eg. 1350-72

Extension Pipes:

For those far away targets and hard-to-reach areas, EXAIR offers aluminum extension pipes to attach to the Safety Air Guns. They can range from 6” (15 cm) to 72” (183 cm) in length. This light-weight and durable material allows for easy handling to reach high above your head or to span across unsafe areas. With the EXAIR air nozzles at the end, the blowing force is not sacrificed as the back pressure will generate a high velocity air stream. The aluminum extensions are offered with the Variblast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. The Super Blast Safety Air Guns has the option for two different lengths of extensions, 3 feet (91cm) and 6 feet (183 cm).

Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with Stay Set Hose.
eg. 1210-6SSH

Stay Set Hose:

In certain situations, you may need a way to blow air around a corner or in a tight space. The Stay Set Hose gives you that possibility of manually adjusting or re-adjusting the nozzles to target the correct areas. The hose has a “memory” function, and it will not creep or droop until you physically move it again. They come in lengths from 6” (15cm) to 36” (91cm), and they are offered with the Soft Grip and the Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns.

Coiled Hose

Coiled Hoses:

To get the proper amount of compressed air from the piping system to the Safety Air Guns, EXAIR offers a series of Coiled Hoses. They are made of a durable abrasion-resistant nylon material that is 12 feet long (3.6 meters). They have swivel fittings to allow for easy uncoiling, and a spring strain relief to keep the hose from kinking at the ends. The coiled design makes it easy to reach around the work area and retract back to the substation. This will help to keep the hose off the ground where potential dangers could occur. We offer 3 different connection sizes of 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and 3/8” NPT. They can be used with our Precision, VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. With the proper size, the Coiled Hoses can connect easily to the Safety Air Guns and supply the required amount of air with a minimal amount of pressure drop.

Regulator and Filter

Filter Separators/Regulators:

To improve the use of the Safety Air Guns, EXAIR offers a series of filters and regulators. The filters will remove dirty particles and liquid water from the compressed air that can affect the performance of the Safety Air Gun as well as contaminate the surface that you are cleaning. The regulators can control the amount of air pressure used for the Safety Air Gun; making them even more efficient. The idea for compressed air savings is to use the least amount of compressed air to do the job. If you only need 40 PSIG (2.8 Bar) to blow off an area, then you can save almost 40% of your compressed air as compared to doing that same job at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). The combination of a filter and regulator will allow you to control the proper amount of clean dry air to be used.

 

All of our Safety Air Guns are fitted with our engineered Air Nozzles  which make them OSHA compliant for noise and dead-end pressure. With the accessories, you can optimize the use of the Safety Air Guns to better fit your application. If you need help in determine the correct Safety Air Guns and accessory items, you can contact an Application Engineer for help. If you are within the U.S. or Canada, you can take advantage of our 30-day unconditional guarantee to trial any of our stocked Safety Air Guns.

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

Super Blast Safety Air Guns: Powerful & OSHA Compliant

1213-12
Model 1213-12 Super Blast Safety Air Gun w/ 12 nozzle cluster

In some applications the force from a Heavy Duty, Soft Grip, VariBlast, or Precision Safety Air Gun may not be quite enough to get the job done. Not to worry! EXAIR’s Super Blast Safety Air Guns use our Super Air Nozzle Clusters and Large Super Air Nozzles and turn them into a handheld gun with the same strong blowing force.

The Super Blast Safety Air Guns are comfortable to hold with a soft foam grip. They’re safe to operate with all of the Super Blast Safety Air Guns incorporating EXAIR’s OSHA compliant nozzles and clusters. In addition, they also have a spring-loaded manual valve that will automatically shut off the compressed air if accidentally dropped.

1218
Model 1218 Super Blast Safety Air Gun

The Super Blast Safety Air Gun is available with nine different styles of nozzle at the end. They are able to achieve a blowing force of anywhere from 3.2 lbs all the way up to 23 lbs when measured 12” away from the nozzle at an operating pressure of 80 psig. All while still adhering to OSHA directive 1910.242(b)!! Each of the Super Blast Safety Air Guns is also available with a 1’, 3’, or 6’ extension for hard to reach areas that still require a maximum blowing force. When compared to the same sized open-pipe blowoffs, the Super Blast Safety Air Guns represent a significant savings in air consumption.

1219ss800
Super Blast w/ Back Blow Nozzle

In addition to the standard Super Blast Safety Air Guns, EXAIR’s 1008SS 1” NPT Back Blow Nozzle is also available as a Super Blast Gun. With a 360° airflow pattern, this gun is the ideal choice when trying to remove debris from large pipe diameters or deep channels.

If you have an application in your facility that requires a seriously strong blast of compressed air, give us a call. Our team of Application Engineers is ready to assist you in determining the appropriately sized Super Blast Safety Air Gun for your needs.

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

Safety Air Guns – True Cost of Ownership

There are many inexpensive, cheaply made air guns out on the market.  If evaluated solely on purchase price, the decision of what air gun to buy seems obvious.  Only when you consider all the cost of ownership and operation, does the best direction become apparent.

A popular thumb lever operated air gun, readily available online has a base purchase price of $6.11.  The List price of the EXAIR model 1210 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun is $81.00. Wow- big difference you think, I am surely not going to spend that kind of money on a simple air gun.  Let’s take a look of the true cost of ownership for each of the guns.

IMG_6967
Thumb Operated Air Gun
1210
EXAIR Model 1210 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun

We tested both the model 1210 and the other gun utilizing our Efficiency Lab service. We tested at 80 PSIG of supply pressure and measured and recorded air consumption, force and sound levels. Results of this testing is shown below.

Capture

From the test data, the other gun is able to provide 9% more force, but at a cost of 35% greater compressed air consumption, 5.64 SCFM more, along with an 18 dBA sound level increase (a sound level where hearing protection is needed, an additional cost to be incurred.)

If we examine the compressed air consumption, we can calculate the yearly compressed air usage, considering 4 hour per day of operation, 5 days per week, for 50 weeks out of the year.

Capture

 

A general rule of thumb for industry is that 1000 SCF of compressed air costs $0.25 to produce.Capture

As you can see, after 1 year of operation the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun has already paid for itself with compressed air savings, not to mention significantly reduced sound levels, well within the OSHA Standard 29 CFR – 1910(a) for Maximum Allowable Noise Exposure. To read more about the OSHA Standard, see this EXAIR blog. An EXAIR Safety Air Gun will continue to bring you benefits after this ROI period, and includes many other feature you do not receive with the cheap air gun.

You get the EXAIR 5 Year Built to Last Warranty which covers defects in workmanship and materials.  EXAIR’s safety air guns lead the way in standards and certification – we meet or exceed relevant OSHA standards, carry the CE mark and utilize a conflict mineral free supply chain.  We offer (5) types of Safety Air Guns, all offering ergonomic, comfortable, lightweight operation.

Safety Air Guns are also available with optional Chip Shields and Extensions (in lengths of 6″ to 6′) along with many different nozzle sizes (2.5 SCFM to 460 SCFM of air flow) and a variety of materials (Zinc Aluminum alloy, Stainless Steel, brass and PEEK plastic) to allow the configuration of the best air gun for your application.  EXAIR Safety Air Guns are great for use in applications ranging from light dust removal from delicate circuit boards to large scale, long distance, wide area blow off, cooling and drying applications and everything in between.

Be sure to check out the new VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun for variable flow with the squeeze of the trigger!

If you have questions regarding the Safety Air Guns, or would like to talk about any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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