Super Air Knives Are Ideal For Super Aggressive Environments

Hydrochloric Acid. Sodium Hydroxide. Nitric Acid. Hydrogen Peroxide. Whether you know it or not, these are all commonly used around the house as tile/grout cleaners, drain openers, lawn fertilizers, and disinfectant for cut & scrapes, respectively.

They’re also used in a variety of industrial applications, such as the making of plastics, glass, pharmaceuticals, and wastewater treatment, respectively…all of which also have applications for which EXAIR Corporation’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products provide safe, efficient, and quiet solutions for.

Stainless Steel Super Air Knife Kits include the Air Knife itself, a Shim Set, an Automatic Drain Filter Separator, and a Pressure Regulator. The Air Knife & Shim Set are all Stainless Steel (grade 303 or 316, depending on which is specified) construction.

Consider the Super Air Knife: If you need one that’ll stand up to contact with hydrochloric acid, you’re looking for PVDF construction. Nitric acid is a different story – our 303SS, 316SS construction Super Air Knives are well suited for those applications.

On the other end of the (pH) spectrum, any of those materials are suitable for exposure to Sodium Hydroxide. PVDF is still the best choice, as the Stainless Steels will be subject to discoloration or slight corrosion, depending on the concentration.

PVDF Super Air Knife Kits include the Air Knife itself (PVDF body, Hastelloy C-276 hardware, and PTFE Shims,) a PTFE Shim Set, an Automatic Drain Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.

Acids and bases aside, oxidizers are also very corrosive, especially in higher concentrations.  Hydrogen peroxide is a commonly used oxidizer in industries as diverse as pulp & paper, soap & detergent, and water sterilization.  Like other chemicals, compatibility depends on the concentration, but like nitric acid & sodium hydroxide, our PVDF Super Air Knives are still the best, but the Stainless Steel models are still acceptable.

These are just a few, very basic, examples of chemical compatibility.  If you have an application that calls for installing one of our compressed air products in an area where you’re concerned about corrosion, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Many Air Knife Materials and Shim Options to Suit Your Application

The EXAIR Super Air Knives are used in many applications ranging from part drying, to web cleaning, to conveyor blowoff, and many other uses. For most processes, the aluminum models provide the performance required and withstand the environmental conditions present.

Ambient temperature limits for the aluminum models is 180°F (82°C). EXAIR also offers the air knives in types 303 and 316 Stainless Steel, which increase the temperature limit to 800°F (427°C) and provides a great degree of corrosion resistance. For the harshest, most corrosive environments, an air knife constructed of Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) with a temperature limit to 275°F (135°C) is available.

Super Air Knives
Aluminum, Stainless Steel and PVDF Super Air Knives

But what can we do about those applications where the increased corrosion resistance isn’t needed and the temperatures do not approach anywhere near to 800°F (427°C)?

The solution to this situation is an aluminum air knife with a custom stainless steel shim. The aluminum material is rated to 400°F (204°C) and the shim is good to 800°F (427°C) so this knife can be used in those hotter environments up to 400°F (204°C). This option helps to keep the cost of the knife low, by utilizing the lower cost aluminum for the body and cap.

The table below details the materials of construction options for the Super Air Knife – a wide array of material offerings to suit even the hottest, harshest conditions.

Air Knife Temperature Table

We recommend consulting with an Application Engineer to review the application, process, and environmental conditions, and we can present best options.

And don’t forget, the shims can be further customized for special blowoff requirements. See the blog that my colleague, Russ Bowman, posted here.

If you have questions about Super Air Knives or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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Super Air Knife is Most Efficent in Compressed Air Usage

 Of the 3 styles of Air Knife offered by EXAIR, the Super, Standard and Full-Flow, the Super Air Knife is our most efficient, in regards to compressed air usage. Using a 40:1 amplification rate of entrained ambient air to compressed air consumed, it uses only 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife length when operated at 80 PSIG, while producing a low sound level of only 69 decibels (the quietest on the market today). The Super Air Knife provides  an even laminar flow of air across the length of the knife and is available in single piece lengths from 3″ up to 108″ in aluminum, 303 stainless and 316 stainless as well as up  to 54″ in PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride) construction for applications where aggressive chemicals may be present. 1/4″ FNPT air inlets are available on each end as well as on the bottom of the knife.

Aluminum, Stainless Steel and PVDF Super Air Knives

For Super Air Knives 24″ and longer, you need to plumb air to multiple inlets to maintain an even airflow. Our available Plumbing Kits includes the properly sized hose or pipe and fittings, to not only save valuable time looking for these parts yourself but also eliminates the potential of using undersized lines which will reduce the performance of the Super Air Knives.

For Super Air Knives in aluminum construction, the Plumbing Kits include cut to length PVC compressed air hose and the required brass fittings.

Plumbing Kit for aluminum Super Air Knives

The Plumbing Kits for our stainless steel and PVDF Super Air Knives, include 316ss cut to length pipe as well as 316ss fittings.

Plumbing Kit for 303ss, 316ss and PVDF Super Air Knives

The Super Air Knife is the ideal choice when looking to treat wide-area applications, like cleaning a conveyor or drying parts after a wash process. For help selecting the best product to fit your process, contact one of our application engineers for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

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