A question arises every now and then on whether or not PVC pipe, yes the stuff from your local hardware store that says it is rated for 200 psi, is safe to use as compressed air supply line. The answer is always the same, NO! OSHA agrees – see their statement here.
Schedule 40 PVC pipe is not designed nor rated for use with compressed air or other gases. PVC pipe will explode under pressure, it is impacted significantly by temperature and can be difficult to get airtight.
PVC pipe was originally designed and tested for conveyance of liquids or products that cannot be compressed, rather they can be pressurized. The largest concern is the failure method of the piping itself. When being used with a liquid that cannot be compressed, if there is a failure (crack or hole) then the piping will spring a leak and not shatter. When introducing a compressed gas, such as compressed air, if there is a failure the method ends up being shrapnel. This YouTube video does a good job of illustrating how the pipe shatters.
While it may seem that it takes a good amount of pressure to cause a failure in the pipe, that is often not the case. I have chatted with some local shop owners who decided to run PVC as a quick and cheap alternative to get their machines up and running.
They each experienced the same failures at different points in time as well. The worst one was a section of PVC pipe installed over a workbench failed where an operator would normally be standing. Luckily the failure happened at night when no one was there. Even though no one got injured this still caused a considerable expense to the company because the compressor ran overnight trying to pressurize a ruptured line.
Temperature will impact the PVC as well. Schedule 40 PVC is generally rated for use between 70°F and 140°F (21°-60°C). Pipes that are installed outside or in non temperature controlled buildings can freeze the pipes and make them brittle.
If you haven’t worked with PVC before or do not let the sealant set, it can be hard to get a good seal, leading to leaks and a weak spot in the system.
The point of this is the cheapest, quick, and easy solutions are more often , the ones that will cost the most in the long run.
If you would like to discuss proper compressed air piping and how to save compressed air on your systems, please contact us.
Do you need a hand-held tool to blow off a wide area, or something at a long distance? EXAIRhas you covered with our Super Blast Safety Air Guns. These Safety Air Guns provide the strongest blowing force of any EXAIR Air Guns – ideal for long distance, wide area blow off, cooling, and drying applications. The comfortable foam rubber handle provides a firm grip, a spring-loaded valve instantly shuts off the air supply if the air gun is dropped.
The nozzle material is Zinc Aluminum Alloy, with Stainless Steel available for the models 1214SS and 1215SS. The base Safety Air Guns are 10″ – 15″ long (nozzle type dependent), and a longer extension can be added, in either 3′ or 6′ lengths to gain access to hard to reach areas.
The table below provides a guide for performance of each of the Super Blast models, for comparison and to make selection easy. We can provide more details, including dimensional drawings and air flow patterns as required. And as always, the Super Blast Safety Air Guns are in stock, and come with the EXAIR Unconditional 30 Day Guarantee.
If you have any questions about the Super Blast or any of the EXAIR Safety Air Guns, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
I’m pretty impressed with the number of safety features my car has. Aside from the literal lifesaving functions like seat belts and air bags, it’s got anti-lock brakes…if you’ve ever had to counter-steer out of a skid on an icy road, you will appreciate the value of this for sure. Those are just some of the ones I’m keenly aware of – the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards comprise dozens of regulations in three categories: crash avoidance, crashworthiness, and post-crash survivability. None of these prevent me from operating my vehicle at an unsafe rate of speed…an expensive reality that an Ohio State Highway Patrolman dutifully reminded me of last Sunday afternoon.
Likewise, there are many regulations to ensure safety and prevent hazards of all kinds in industry, administered by a host of agencies that are either subordinates of, or accountable to, the federal government. When you manufacture products that are used with high energy sources (compressed air or high voltage electricity,) a strong commitment to safety is not negotiable. So, at EXAIR, we commit considerable resources towards the best engineering and manufacturing practices to make our products as safe as possible. That includes compliance with a number of standards and certifications:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. Their mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” They are a regulatory body in the truest sense, in that they don’t offer certification or approval of products, processes, etc.; they publish guidelines and standards for manufacturers and users to comply with. OSHA Standard 1910.242(b), for instance, limits the downstream pressure of a compressed air operated device used for cleaning purposes to 30psi. Now, you can regulate the supply pressure to meet this, but that also limits the effectiveness of the air flow generated. EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are all designed and manufactured to be in compliance with this standard, at any supply pressure. Take, for example, our Super Air Nozzles:
OSHA also has Standard 1910.95(a), that sets limits for maximum allowable noise exposure. All EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products, with the exception of some our largest and most power Super Air Nozzles (which aren’t normally used in areas that don’t already require hearing protection anyway) meet the 8-hour exposure limits of this standard.
CE marking indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold withing the European Economic Area. Unlike OSHA standards, responsibility for CE marking falls solely with the seller of the product – a CE marked product has been tested and certified to have been made in such a way to meet safety & quality benchmarks specified for that type of product. All EXAIR products that are defined under applicable directives have been tested according to these standards, and carry the CE mark.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, or RoHS, is another standard borne from the European Union, and is geared towards public & workplace safety by restricting the use of hazardous materials in the manufacture of electronic & electrical equipment. Since its inception in 2006, similar standards have been vigorously adopted around the globe. Electrical portions of EXAIR’s Static Eliminators, EFC Electronic Flow Controls, ETC Electronic Temperature Controls, Digital Flowmeters, Solenoid Valves, and Thermostats all comply with the RoHS Directive.
Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act doesn’t address a concern for product users, but rather a particularly troubling human rights issue – Conflict Minerals. For almost two decades, trade in tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been used by some very bad people to finance violent campaigns against their neighbors. EXAIR thoroughly and systematically documents our supply chain compliance with this act. We are proudly committed to our support for this effort to the world a better place for everyone…especially those in desperate circumstances beyond their control.
EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products have been successfully implemented into a variety of uses where application- or industry-specific standards are in force. We’re happy to work with you to determine if our products meet those standards…or can be made to meet them. If you’ve got such an application, give me a call.
Visit us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
With all the warm weather and outdoor activities around the house the past few weeks I had somewhat forgotten about a nice wasp nest that had been constructed in between the front door to our house and my bedroom window. This also happens to be right in the corner of two walls and in the deepest portion of the landscaping. Like I said though, I had forgotten about it for a few weeks which gave the inhabitants enough time to double the size of the nest.
With that being said, I didn’t want to use wasp or bee spray because it means I would have to get close to the nest and I have a strong belief that all of those products just make them really angry and don’t bring death right away. I wanted the nest to have a quick death because then I don’t have to run around my yard, screaming, because I have a wasp chasing me after destroying their home.
I cam up with several methods to get rid of the nest.
1.) Brake Cleaner – Very effective, however the nest was also right above our air conditioning condenser so that was out.
2.) Small controlled burn – In my experience it is never small nor controlled. Plus it was way to close to the dry roofline.
3.) 3,000 psi of water in a jet stream from the pressure washer. WINNER!!!!
So I set out to the front of the house with the pressure washer and hose in tow. Get everything setup and notice that there is one sentry wasp sitting right at the entrance. So I simply got the nozzle of the gun with pin point spray as close as I could and as soon as the wasp started to move I shot the entire nest off the house. Then I proceeded to shoot it back and forth in the landscaping until I saw no survivors.
That was 3,000 psi of water that tore through a nest and rid my house of a pest. This made me think of just how little pressure the human skin can take. OSHA standard CFR 1910.242(b) guards against a mere 30 PSIG. Higher pressure air, when blocked up against our skin, has the potential to push air into our bloodstream and cause air embolism – a serious threat to our health. Too many commercial air nozzles and guns, open pipes and homemade blow off violate this OSHA standard and pose a threat to personnel.
EXAIR engineered air nozzles and products have been designed to eliminate the possibility of being dead-ended (blocked). This is why all of EXAIR’s products meet or exceed the OSHA standard 1910.242(b) for 30 psi dead-end pressure. None of our products can be dead ended and cause bodily harm when used properly. These engineered features also reduce noise levels and minimize air consumption. So if you are concerned with any of your compressed air applications, and just how safe they are, contact us.