Chip Shields, OSHA, And You

Safety is a key part of our culture at EXAIR Corporation.  We have regularly scheduled, all-hands required, safety training on a number of topics.  Our Order Entry team can likely tell you as much about our lockout/tagout procedures as our Machinists can.  Nobody even thinks about entering The Shop without safety glasses, and it’s not just because of the signs.

We pay attention to these…
…so we don’t ever have to use this.

OSHA 1910.242(b) states that “Compressed air shall not be used for cleaning purposes except where reduced to less than 30 p.s.i. and then only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment. (emphasis mine)  All EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to meet the requirements of the first part (30psi outlet pressure to prevent dead ending…we’ve written about that numerous times, including here, here, and here) and we can also provide pre-installed devices to satisfy the second part:  the EXAIR Chip Shield.

Any EXAIR VariBlast or Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun can come fitted with a Chip Shield, and any Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, except for those with Stay Set Hoses, can as well.  Safety Air Guns with Back Blow Nozzles automatically come with a Chip Shield. The principle is simple: a clear polycarbonate (so you can still see what you’re doing) round disc slips over a short (or long if you want) pipe extension between the gun & the nozzle.  It’s fitted with a rubber grommet so you can position it to where it’s most effective – sometimes that might be closer to the part being blown off; sometimes it may be back a little closer to the operator.

EXAIR Safety Air Guns are available, from stock, with Chip Shields.

If you already have an air gun that’s doing the job, you can easily add an EXAIR Chip Shield to it.  They’re made to fit a wide range of extension diameters, and can even come with the extension if you need it.  We also stock a number of adapter fittings; if you know what threads your air gun has (or if you can send us some photos) we can quickly & easily spec those out for you.

Convenient and inexpensive “thumb guns” with cross drilled nozzles (left) are compliant with the first part of OSHA 1910.242(b). Fitting one with an EXAIR Chip Shield (center) makes it compliant with the second part. A Model 1102 Mini Super Air Nozzle (right) makes it quiet & efficient.
We can provide a Chip Shield for most any device with a threaded fitting. I couldn’t find a way to re-use the non-OSHA-compliant nozzle that came with this gun (thank goodness.)
Another example of a larger air gun fitted with a more powerful cross drill nozzle (left) that can be made totally OSHA compliant with an EXAIR Chip Shield (center.) An EXAIR High Force Super Air Nozzle (right) keeps the power, while reducing noise level and compressed air consumption (right.)

Since 1983, EXAIR Corporation has been manufacturing quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products for industry (emphasis mine.)  If you have concerns or questions about safety in regard to your compressed air use, call me.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
Visit us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

A Brief History of Compressed Air

So where exactly did compressed air come from? How did it become so widely used and where will it go? Both of these are great questions and the answers lie below.

Compressed air can be traced all the way back to the classic bellows that were used to fuel blacksmith fires and forges.  These started as hand pumped bellows, they then scaled up to foot pumped, multiple person pumped, oxen or horse driven and then eventually waterwheel driven.  All of these methods came about due to the demand for more and more compressed air. These bellows did not generate near the amount of air pressure or volume needed for modern day practices yet they worked in the times.  These early bellows pumps would even supply miners with air.

With the evolution of metallurgy and industry these bellows were replaced by wheel driven fans, then steam came about and began generating more industrial sources of power.  The main issue with steam was that it would lose its power over longer runs of pipe due to condensing in the pipes.  Thus the birth of the air compressor was born. One of the largest projects that is noted to first use compressed air was in 1861 during the build of the Mont Cenis Tunnel in Switzerland in which they used compressed air machinery.  From here the constant need and evolution for on-demand compressed air expanded.  The picture below showcases two air compressors from 1896.

compressed_air_28189629_281459402261829
Air Compressors from the old days.

The compressors evolved over time from single stage, to two-stage reciprocating, on to compound, rotary-screw compressors, rotary vane, scroll, turbo, and centrifugal compressors with variable frequency drives.  The efficiency of each evolution has continued to increase.  More output for the same amount of input.  Now we see a two-stage compressor, considered old technology, and wonder how the company can get any work done.

All of the technological advances in compressor technology were driven by the demand sides of the compressed air systems.  Companies needed to power more, go further, get more from less, ultimately increase production.  With this constant increase in demand, the supply of compressed air increased and more efficient products for using compressed air began to evolve so the air was used more efficiently.

Enter EXAIR, we evolved the blowoff to meet the increasing demands of industrial companies to get the same amount of work done with less compressed air. We have continually evolved our product offering since 1983.  It all started with just a few typed pages of part numbers and has evolved to a 208 page catalog offering of Intelligent Compressed Air Products® for industry.  We will also continue to evolve our product designs for continued improvement of compressed air usage.  This is all to better help companies retain their resources.

cat32_500p
EXAIR Catalog 32

If your company uses compressed air and you aren’t sure if it is efficiently being utilized, contact an Application Engineer.  Thanks for joining us for the brief history lesson, we look forward to hearing from you and seeing what the future brings.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_BF BrianFarno@EXAIR.com

 

Compressed air (1896) (14594022618).jpg – Wikimedia Commons – Internet Archive Book Images – Link

 

VariBlast®Compact Safety Air Gun

EXAR’s VariBlast® Compact Safety Air Guns are small and lightweight air guns capable of handling the toughest of jobs. With its variable flow trigger being its greatest design feature, it can take on small jobs and even big ones! This means you can get different flow and force out of the same nozzle by just adjusting the amount you pull the trigger.

The VariBlast Safety Air Gun, when outfitted with an EXAIR nozzle is OSHA safe and CE compliant. 

VariBlast Safety Air Gun With Extension and Chip Shield

The VariBlast can also be customized by adding one of our many 1/8 NPT engineered air nozzles, a chip shield and even an extension pipe up to 72″ long.

 

Flat Air Nozzle, with Chip shield and extension
Back Blow Nozzle, with 6″ extension and Chip Shield

 

 

The VariBlast is easy to rebuild, every wear item is available in the 902001 rebuild kit. These parts can be used to rebuild any VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun that, through use, has become worn. See this video to see how easy it is to rebuild this gun, and make it feel brand new!

If you have questions about the VariBlast or to discuss any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
Send me an email
Find us on the Web 
Like us on FacebookTwitter: @EXAIR_JS

 

 

 

 

Customize Your Blowoff with Accessories for EXAIR’s Safety Air Guns

EXAIR offers a wide variety of different Safety Air Guns to allow you the flexibility to build the perfect air gun for any application. Installed with EXAIR’s engineered Air Nozzles at the tip, you can rest easy knowing that your operators are safe from the risks associated with excessive noise and dead-end pressure while also keeping air consumption to a minimum. With sizes as small as 4mm and up to 1-1/4” and everything in-between, the possibilities are nearly endless.

In addition to offering three styles of Safety Air Guns (VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty), we also have a variety of accessories available that can customize them even further. Chip Shields are a durable polycarbonate shield used to protect the operator from any chips, savings, or coolant that could be blown back towards them while performing any blowoff process. They’re available installed on any of our VariBlast, Soft Grip, or Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. If you purchased a Safety Air Gun, but didn’t get a Chip Shield, don’t worry! Retrofit kits are available as well to allow you to install them after the fact.

Chip Shields

For applications that don’t permit the operator to come close, rigid pipe extensions are available in lengths ranging from 6” (152mm) – 72” (1829mm). To add any extension onto a Safety Air Gun model number, simply add the length required as a suffix to the standard model number. For example, a Model 1210-48 would be a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with a 48” extension installed.

extensions

Have a hard to reach area that requires a slight bend or angle to reach? Not only is the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun available with rigid extensions, but also can be used with one of our Stay Set Hoses. Stay Set Hoses are used for applications where frequent re-positioning is required. The hose has “memory” and will not creep or bend. If you need to get around a tight corner or into a difficult space, the Stay Set Hose can be installed on the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with lengths ranging from 6”-36”.

1210-30SSH

In addition to accessories for the Safety Air Guns themselves, 12’ coiled hoses are also available with 1/8 NPT, ¼ NPT, and 3/8 NPT swivel connections. These are great for preventing tangled air lines and keeping the area neat and tidy!

Coiled Hose

With all of these options available for same day shipment from stock and backed by our unconditional 30 day guarantee, there’s no excuse not to try them out! Order now through September and receive a FREE Model 1126 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle!

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

Safety Air Gun Promotion: Now Through September 30th!

August 1st through September 30th EXAIR is running a promotion that’ll get you a free 1” Flat Super Air Nozzle with the purchase of any promotional VariBlast, Soft Grip, or Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun. Inexpensive air guns are commonly seen through a variety of industrial supply companies. Most consist of poorly made parts or materials that will wear out and break quickly. In addition, their performance is commonly akin to that of an open-ended pipe and can necessitate an extremely high compressed air consumption.

In addition to wasting unnecessary air, they’re also VERY loud. Many of these guns do not adhere to the sound level restrictions set forth by OSHA in 29 CFR 1910.95. All of EXAIR’s Safety Air Guns are available with Chip Shields to protect operators from debris and adhere to dead-end pressure requirements as outlined by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.242(b). It’s much easier to implement safe products upfront than after you’ve had a random inspection by OSHA. As anyone who’s experienced one can attest to, they don’t just fine you once. You’ll get fined for each individual location in your facility where operators are using air guns that don’t adhere to the proper standards.

1699-CS-PRB.png

EXAIR offers (4) different styles of Safety Air Guns with a wide range of different force levels, flows, and accessories. The VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun is a powerful gun that allows you to adjust the force delivered from the gun depending on the trigger valve pressure. Pull the trigger just a little for a light force, or all the way for maximum force without having to adjust your air pressure. It’s small and compact, but powerful while still light and ergonomic. blog_SGSAG_500x

The Soft Grip Safety Air Gun has a durable cast aluminum body suitable for rugged industrial use. The large trigger makes for easy operation and a convenient hook at the top allows the gun to be easily stored. Chip Shields for worker safety and extensions for hard to reach areas are available up to 72” long.

1360_csbox

The Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun also comes with a durable cast aluminum body and incorporates a rugged composite rubber grip. Also with a wide trigger, these guns can be used for hours without fatigue. The Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun is available with Chip Shields and extensions up to 72”.

As part of the promotion, you’ll receive one free Model 1126 1” Flat Super Air Nozzles. Delivering a 1” wide, high velocity airflow, these nozzles utilize EXAIR’s patented shim design to maximize entrained airflow while reducing noise levels. They also offer a great deal of adjustability, shim sets in varying thicknesses are available to allow you to either reduce force and flow, or increase it depending on the application. Don’t wait until after the promotion ends, get your Safety Air Guns on order now so you can take advantage of this great promotion!

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

Air Nozzles and Guns to Clean Inside Tube, Pipe, and Hoses

Back Blow Air Nozzle Family

EXAIR manufactures three different sizes of Back Blow Air Nozzles to clean inside tubing, pipes, hoses, and channels.  The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” the entire internal surface clean from coolant, chips, and debris.  They are constructed of 316SS, making these nozzles robust and durable.

Our smallest Back Blow Nozzle is the Model 1004SS.  It has a M4 X 0.5 male thread and can clean diameters ranging from ¼” (6.3mm) to 1” (25.4mm).  Model 1006SS has a ¼” NPT air connection for cleaning inner diameters ranging from 7/8” (22mm) up to 4” (102mm).  Our largest Back Blow Air Nozzle is the model 1008SS.  It has a 1” NPT connection, and it can be used inside diameters ranging from 2” (51mm) to 16” (406mm).

Now, what can make these unique types of air nozzles even more useful?  Attaching them to an EXAIR Safety Air Gun.  In this blog, I will go through each of our Back Blow Safety Air Guns that EXAIR can offer from stock.

Model: 1604SS-6-CS

VariBlast Compact Back Blow Safety Air Gun:

The unique feature that sets the VariBlast apart from other small air guns is the force variability.  The valve is designed to control the opening to allow for a variable force with the same nozzle.  The VariBlast is made from a durable cast aluminum construction for tough industrial use.  It has a rugged ergonomic grip with a user-friendly trigger.  The compressed air inlets are located in two different positions to select the best fit for your application.

With the model 1004SS Back Blow nozzle, the VariBlast Compact Back Blow Safety Air Gun is a small but powerful tool that can clean inside smaller pipes, tubes, and hoses.  They come standard with extension tubes and a Chip Shield.  The extension tubes range from 6” (152mm) to 36” (914mm) to extend deep inside cavities and openings.  The Chip Shield is made from a durable polycarbonate material that will protect your operators during use.

Model 1204SS-6-CS and 1206SS-6-CS

Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Guns:

The next air gun in this series is the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun.  With an ergonomic soft handle and full-grip trigger, the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun can be used for hours without fatigue.  EXAIR offers two types of Back Blow Nozzles with the Soft Grip; model 1004SS and model 1006SS.

As a “bigger cousin” to the VariBlast above, the Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun with the model 1004SS has extensions ranging from 6” (152mm) to 36” (914mm) as well as a Chip Shield.  The Soft Grip with the model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle has extensions that range from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length with a Chip Shield.  Both of these types of Soft Grip Back Blow Safety Air Guns are great products in allowing you to clean inside a greater variety of diameters and lengths.

Heavy Duty Back Blow Safety Air Gun:

For rough industrial environments, EXAIR offers the Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns.  They come with a composite rubber grip and a wide curved trigger.  It has a 3/8” NPT inlet for increased compressed air flow for those “tough” cleanings.

The Heavy Duty Back Blow Safety Air Gun comes standard with the model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle, an extension pipe, and a Chip Shield.  The extensions lengths can range from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm).  If you need a tough air gun for rugged areas to clean inside pipes and tubes, the Heavy Duty Back Blow Safety Air Gun could be the best candidate for your application.

Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun:

As our largest model, the Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun has the strongest blowing force.  They can clean large areas inside pipes, channels, and tubes ranging from 2” (51mm) to 16” (406mm) in diameter.  It has a soft foam grip for easy handling and a spring-loaded manual valve that will turn off if dropped.  The model 1008SS Back Blow Nozzle is mounted to an extension that is either 1 foot (0.3m), 3 feet (0.9m), or 6 feet (1.8m) in length.  With a 1” NPT inlet, the Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun will generate a strong blast of air for cleaning and removing troublesome material.

If you need to clean inside tubes, hoses, channels, pipes, etc., EXAIR has the perfect product, the Back Blow Air Nozzles.  They can remove the dirty coolant, chips, and debris in a non-contact way.  EXAIR offers these nozzles with our VariBlast, Soft Grip, Heavy Duty, and Super Blast Safety Air Guns for manual cleaning operations.  EXAIR stocks these Safety Air Guns for fast delivery.  And if you are located in the U.S.A or Canada, we offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee.  You can try them out and see how effective, safe, and powerful they are in improving your internal cleaning processes.  If you need more details, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help you.

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

Power, Ergonomics and Safety from EXAIR’s Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun

EXAIR offers several types of Safety Air Guns.  Today, we will showcase the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun.  There are hundreds of combinations that can be configured using the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun, extensions, chip shield, and our engineered air nozzles.

EXAIR Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun Benefits

The gun has a number of benefits starting with the metal 3/8″ NPT inlet which permits air flows high enough to operate our model 1106 – 1/2″ Super Air Nozzle.  With the 1106 Super Air Nozzle on the gun it will provide 3.3 lbs of force to provide ample cleaning, clearing, or cooling air for the tough industrial jobs.

Secondly, the gun offers an over molded grip that is ergonomic and rugged to handle the industrial environments that maintains its grip even when doused in coolants.

Third, the gun offers a cast 4 finger blade style trigger that permits ergonomic easy trigger pull that can be easily used throughout a work shift.  In the event the trigger becomes damaged it can also be easily replaced with stock parts direct from EXAIR.

Fourth, we easily offer any of the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun combinations with extensions up to 72″ in length and with or without the Chip Shield option.

Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun Family

Lastly, as mentioned in first point, the gun and extensions can be combined with any of the EXAIR Super Air Nozzles up to 1/2″ NPT inlet.  Whether you need a small precision puff of air from the Atto Super Air Nozzle, the forcefull blast of the 1106 1/2″ Large Super Air Nozzle, or anywhere in between, there is an engineered nozzle for it and we can couple them with the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun.

EXAIR’s Free Efficiency Lab

To find out what kind of Safety Air Gun can fill the needs of your application, feel free to contact us.  If you are using an existing non-engineered gun and would like to explore the safe, quiet world of engineered air nozzles coupled with safety air guns, then feel free to reach out to us and inquire about our FREE Efficiency Lab Service.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF