Custom Solutions For Conveying Dry Material

The ideal solution for conveying large volumes of material over long distances.

EXAIR’s Line Vac compressed air operated conveyors have no moving parts or motors to wear out, providing a maintenance free way to move dry material from one location to another. We offer several different types and sizes of Line Vacs like our Standard Line Vacs, available from 3/8″ up to 5″  or our Threaded Line Vacs, with NPT threaded connections up to 3″. The Heavy Duty Line Vac are constructed of Hardened Alloy for superior abrasion resistance, available in sizes from 3/4” to 3”, smooth and threaded connections or the Light Duty Line Vac commonly used for smaller volume, shorter distance processes, with sizes from 3/4″ to 6”. We even offer Sanitary Flange Line Vacs from 1-1/2″ up to 3″ for processes requiring frequent cleaning. All of these products are in stock, ready to ship from our factory here in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For over 34 years, EXAIR has been manufacturing Intelligent Compressed Air Products and we understand that there may be “special” cases where a stock product isn’t going to fit a specific need or requirement. What sets us apart from our competition is that we are able, with a little help from the customer, to engineer and manufacture custom made products, like the Line Vac Conveyors, to fit the specific demand of a unique application.

A few examples are shown below:

Flanged design, easy to install


This special 3/4″ Stainless Steel flanged Line Vac is being used to remove acidic vapors after a silicon wafer etching process. The flanged design allowed the user to direct mount to the machine, eliminating the need for other expensive modifications.

 

 

 

Chemical resistant construction for washdown areas

 

 

A customer was needing a special Line Vac for a chloride wash area due to the aggressive chemicals. We were able to make a custom 1-1/2″ Line Vac in PVDF construction for corrosion resistance and QF flanges for easy maintenance and cleaning.

 

 

 

Custom funnel design for small, granulated material like sugar or salt

 

This special funnel shaped Line Vac is being used in a a small packet filling operation. The unique design assured for a clog free process by keeping the granulated material moving through the tube.

 

 

 

 

 

Miniature size for confined workspaces

 

A company was needing a miniature version of a Line Vac to remove microscopic debris in an integrated circuit chip making process. The barb fittings allowed for easy installation into the small work place.

 

 

 

 

 

These are just a few examples of how we are able to meet the demands of a wide variety of extraordinary processes. Whether you are looking to move “common” materials like plastic pellets or maybe something “off the wall”, chances are we have the resources to provide an engineered solution to fit your need. Our application engineers are standing by, so give us a call and let us put our expertise to work for you!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

Selecting An EXAIR Air Knife

Many times we receive a  call from a customer looking for an Air Knife but they are unsure which design is the best to suit their needs. With 3 options to choose from, the Super Air Knife, Standard Air Knife and Full-Flow, it can seem like a somewhat daunting task so lets take a look at some of the key differences between the units. We keep all of these models in stock and can ship same day on orders we receive by 3 pm.

Super Air Knife
EXAIR Super Air Knife

Let’s start with our most popular choice, the Super Air Knife. The Super Air Knife is our most efficient unit, using a 40:1 amplification rate of entrained surrounding air to compressed air, it consumes only 2.9 SCFM per inch @ 80 PSIG while maintaining a low sound level of 69 dbA. This unit produces a laminar airflow across the entire length of the knife and there are air inlets on each end, as well as on the bottom. We offer lengths from 3″ up to 108″ in aluminum, 303ss, or 316ss. Additionally we offer lengths up to 54″ in PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride) for applications requiring superior chemical resistance, like those associated to acids, solvents or aggressive chemicals. There are 1/4-20 tapped holes on the bottom of the knife which can be used for mounting. We recommend the Super Air Knife most often because it uses the least amount of compressed air and has the most even airflow from end to end.

Std Air Knife
Standard Air Knife

Secondly we offer our Standard Air Knife which provides a 30:1 amplification rate, consuming slightly more compressed air at 3.4 SCFM per inch @ 80 PSIG. These units are louder at 83 dBA and feature air inlets on each end. Lengths available from 3″ up to 48″ in aluminum or 303ss construction.  The airflow length is 1″ smaller than the length of the knife (1/2″ of no flow on each end), for example a 12″ Standard Air Knife has a 13″ physical length with a 12″ airflow length. This is the first knife we ever manufactured and is a solid choice with good performance.

Full-Flow
Full-Flow Air Knife

Lastly, the Full-Flow Air Knife. Again providing a 30:1 ratio of entrained ambient air to compressed air, has the smallest dimensional footprint. Air consumption is slightly less than the Standard Air Knife at 3.1 SCFM per inch @ 80 PSIG with an airflow length equal to the length of the knife. We offer lengths from 3″ up to 36″, again in aluminum and 303ss and the air inlets are on the back of these units. The Full Flow Air Knife fills the need for customers with limited mounting space and who cannot fit a Super Air Knife into the desired location.

Hopefully this information will help in making the best decision to fit your needs. Of course if you still need additional support, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Application Engineers for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

PVDF Super Air Knives Resist Chemical Exposure

When my sons were little boys, I would find myself looking forward to their teenage years, so they’d be more mature and I’d be able to relate to them better. Those of you with older kids may begin laughing now. My thinking was, I distinctly remember being thirteen. What I failed to recall was just exactly how peculiar I appeared to my parents (and they to me), and now, I’ve got the view from the other side.

In the interest of time and good taste, I’ll limit this discussion to the subject of food. I always liked (and still do like) ketchup almost as much as the french fries. Same for the “fixin’s” on a sandwich. In fact, as an adult, I’ve discovered a universal truth, that bacon or peanut butter can be used to improve the quality of ANY sandwich.

My sons, however, don’t feel this way at all. My fifteen year old won’t put anything but cheese (American cheese, at that) on a hamburger, and his thirteen year old brother won’t even do that. Curiously, the older one prefers cheese pizza, and the younger one will eat anything that used to be an animal on his. And neither one will put any sort of condiment or sauce on ANYTHING they eat. If it’s on their plate, it better not “have stuff on it.”

I was reminded of that phrase this morning during a conversation with a caller about an Air Knife application. It will be operated in the fairly aggressive chemical environment of a plating line. We discussed the chemical compatibilities of our different material offerings, and found that the Model 110006-PVDF 6” Super Air Knife was the one he was looking for. The body & cap are PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride,) the shim is PTFE, and the fasteners are Hastelloy© C-276 alloy. It’s impervious to a long list of acids, caustics, and other harsh chemicals that even the higher grade stainless steels don’t stand a chance with.

PVDF Super Air Knives provide superior corrosion resistance.
PVDF Super Air Knives provide superior corrosion resistance.

Our PVDF Super Air Knives provide the same highly efficient and quiet performance as their aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS counterparts – plus you can get a lot more “stuff” on them without damaging them.

Regardless of where you need to install it, or what kind of stuff you might get on it, EXAIR has a Super Air Knife that will hold up in your application. Give us a call, and we’ll find the right one for you.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Product of the Year Award Winner- Long Super Air Knives

20150327_134253
Plant Engineering’s 2014 Product of the Year Award!

 

Last week, Plant Engineering presented EXAIR’s Long Super Air Knives the Bronze award for Product of the Year in the compressed air category.  In 2014, EXAIR introduced one piece, seamless Long Super Air Knives up to 108″ in length. No other company in the world can provide a one piece compressed air operated air knife over 54″ long. This one piece design allows for minimal footprint for long units, and an unparalleled uniform sheet of laminar air flow.  These long Super Air Knives conserve compressed air over drilled pipes or a manifold of air nozzles. Their compact design excels at large web drying and cleaning operations i.e. paper, rolled steel, aluminum foils, or plastic sheets. Air knives also excel at cooling extrusions, molds, heated rollers, or components. The air knives entrain ambient air at 40:1 ratio (40 parts ambient to 1 part compressed air) which means it moves a tremendous volume of air and delivers it to your target. The Super Air Knives provide all of these benefits quietly and efficiently. The air knife creates only 69 dBA of noise at 80 PSIG of pressure and it would be a great addition in areas where anyone is trying to limit harmful noise exposure to personnel.

 

LSAKpr_110072PKI_300x300
72″ Long Super Air Knife – One Piece Air Knives available in lengths up to 108″

These air knives continue EXAIR’s history of pushing the envelope in air knife technology. In 2010, EXAIR introduced the first polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) air knife to the market. The PVDF Super Air Knives provide resistance to UV light, inorganic chemicals, solvents, ozone, weather, fungi, chlorinated hydrocarbons, highly corrosive acids, weak bases and salts while maintaining a quiet operation (69 dBA).  This material change opened EXAIR to a variety of environments that cannot be served by blowers, aluminum, or stainless steel air knives.

For any questions about EXAIR’s Air Knives please contact an Application Engineer at 1-800-903-9247.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

 

How To Choose An Air Knife

The EXAIR Super Air Knife has a prominent place near the front of our catalog, and THIRTEEN pages of photos, application details, performance data & specifications. It’s the most efficient and quietest product of its kind on the market, and our most diverse product offering in terms of size range, operational adjustability, materials of construction, and accessories available. For almost any general industrial air blow off application, the EXAIR Super Air Knife is the superior choice in terms of air usage, sound level, and capability.

EXAIR Super Air Knives come in a wide range of lengths, for a wide range of possibilities.
EXAIR Super Air Knives come in a wide range of lengths, for a wide range of possibilities.

As tireless champions of the causes of reducing air consumption and noise, we’re always going to promote these benefits of the Super Air Knife. Still, a caller asked me the other day, “Well, why do you still make the others?”…meaning, of course, our Standard and Full Flow Air Knives. Why, indeed:

*Given the same air supply pressure, the Standard Air Knife generates the highest force of our three styles. The amount of force applied isn’t always a prime consideration…if you think about one of the more “textbook” applications for an Air Knife, it doesn’t take a great amount of force to blow off dust and light debris from a conveyor belt…certainly this is a case where efficiency factors in: the lower air consumption of a Super Air Knife can pay for the cost difference between it and a Standard Air Knife in as little as three months of operation.

The Standard Air Knife has the highest force, for when it's needed.
The Standard Air Knife has the highest force, for when it’s needed.

Of course, if you’re blowing stubborn debris out of tight spaces, like gummy, greasy dirt that’s accumulating in the recesses of a finned tube heat exchanger, that extra force can make all the difference. No; the Standard Air Knife isn’t as efficient or quiet as the Super Air Knife, but it’s still a far cry better than a drilled pipe.

*While the Super Air Knife is pretty compact – you only need a few square inches of profile area to successfully mount it – the Full Flow Air Knife is even smaller, requiring not much more than one square inch of profile for mounting. With ports on the rear face (instead of the ends & bottom for the Super Air Knife,) they can fit in very tight quarters.

Low profile and lightweight, the Full Flow Air Knives are a great fit for tight quarters.
Low profile and lightweight, the Full Flow Air Knives are a great fit for tight quarters.

The Full Flow Air Knife is also the lightest weight for a given length. A 36” Aluminum Super Air Knife, for instance, weighs about 8lbs. The 36” Aluminum Full Flow Air Knife weighs less than 4lbs. Most of the time, 8lbs is a very manageable amount of mass to support, but there are situations where every ounce matters, and if yours is one of them, you’re looking at the Full Flow Air Knife all the way.

*The biggest (in the most literal sense) factor in Air Knife selection is, well…size. We make the Standard Air Knives in lengths to 48”, and the Full Flow Air Knives come as long as 36”. The Super Air Knives, however, are stocked in lengths from 3” to 108”, and can be coupled together for as long of an uninterrupted, steady, laminar air flow as you need.

At the end of the day, a majority of blow off applications can be handled just fine with any of our Air Knives. If you’d like to discuss your application and see which one is best for you, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
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EXAIR Serves OEMs

PVDF Super Air Knife

EXAIR has become well known for solving problems in industrial applications. Many times, the end users of our products contact us directly for application assistance, technical specifications, drawings, and installation tips. But, we also spend considerable time meeting the needs of OEM clients as well.

I worked alongside a new OEM customer recently, discussing options for an EXAIR solution in their prototype. In this case, the OEM needed an air knife suitable for use in a chemical wash down environment, so we discussed our PVDF Super Air Knives. They were unsure about the technical specs (compressed air use, suitable operating pressure, output force and air volume) and needed to sort through those issues, but they were completely blown away when I told them we had the products in stock.

And, not only were they in stock, but we could work with their delivery schedule to ensure the products they needed were ready on time. When the discussion moved into a potential need for custom length PVDF Super Air Knives, they were again blown away that we can deliver custom products in a relatively short time frame. (It pays to be the manufacturer of your own products!)

Many OEMs, when sourcing products for their equipment, encounter never ending barriers to completing a project. At EXAIR, we make it a point to have repeatable, dependable products ready to ship on time, and to make the process of doing business as easy as possible for end users and OEMs alike.

Having all cataloged products in stock, matching the needs of the OEM with our internal production schedule, and flexibility in product design are just a few of the benefits EXAIR offers new and existing OEM customers. If you have a project or design that is in need of an EXAIR solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Submarines, Shipwrecks, Air Knives, and Corrosion

Monday was a notable day in naval warfare history. On February 17th, 1864, the H.L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic, a Union sloop that was blockading the harbor in Charleston, South Carolina, during the American Civil War. In doing so, the Hunley became the first combat submarine to sink a warship in battle. Unfortunately, they never returned.

Treasure hunters and archaeologists searched for the sunken vessel in the years following the war. Despite grand efforts, one even spurred by a $100,000 reward offer from legendary showman P.T. Barnum, the ship and crew were lost to history until 1995. So many people had mistakenly thought they’d found the wreckage that when underwater archaeologist Harry Pecorelli actually did find it, he radioed to his boat, “I don’t know what it is, but it is definitely not the Hunley.” Because of this, the preservation group, Friends Of The Hunley, have affectionately dubbed him “the first person to have never found the Hunley.”

In 2000, the intact ship was raised and placed in a specially built tank, where the conservation team immediately went to work. Because of her iron construction and age, this turned out to be an engineering (mechanical and chemical) feat like no other. Over the next four years, precision excavation efforts allowed the team to exhume the remains of the crew, and they were buried with full military honors in the spring of 2004. They still haven’t proven conclusively why the Hunley sank, but as restoration work continues, she may give up her final secrets yet, as long as they can keep corrosion at bay.

hunley in tank

The prevalent use of aggressive chemicals in certain manufacturing processes today can likewise take their toll on equipment made from materials that aren’t compatible for use in these environments. As advances have been made in the development of these chemicals, metallurgists and materials engineers have kept pace in the field of corrosion resistance. EXAIR has taken full advantage of these innovations by offering our Super Air Knives in a variety of materials that can stand up to just about whatever you can throw at them:

Two grades of Stainless Steel are available: Type 303 is well suited to mildly corrosive environments. Type 316 offers even better corrosion resistance, and is often specified in the food, pharmaceutical, and surgical product industries. Both are also good to 800°F (427°C).

PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) Super Air Knives are resistant to harsh conditions where UV light, inorganic chemicals, solvents, ozone, weather, fungi, chlorinated hydrocarbons, strong acids, and/or salts are present. They are equipped with PTFE shims, 316SS pipe plugs, and Hastelloy C-276 hardware for superior performance in the most aggressive environments.  These are rated for temperatures up to 275°F (135°C).

Of course, if your application doesn’t concern any of these, our Super Air Knives in aircraft grade aluminum construction are perfect for general purpose applications in standard conditions. Just about wherever you need to install it, though, EXAIR has a Super Air Knife that is up to the task. Try us.

Russ Bowman
RussBowman@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_RB