Over the years you may have read blog posts regarding the EXAIR Safety Air Guns. You can find the blogs here, here and here. Today, I want to review a few available options for the Safety Air Guns.
Protect Workers From Flying Debris! – Chip Shields are durable polycarbonate shields that protect the operator from flying debris often seen when blowing off chips from machined parts. They are also useful to prevent coolant from splashing back, creating a mess during drying processes.
The Chip Shields are available for EXAIR’s VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. The Chip Shield can be used on Safety Air Guns with or without an aluminum extension. They may be purchased as part of a new air gun system, or retrofitted as a Chip Shield Kit. Consult an Application Engineer for selection assistance.
If you have a blow-off process where the air is to be directed at a distance away from the operator, or into a hard to reach location an extension is the solution. Available in lengths from 6″ (152mm) to 72″ (1829mm), with sizes as shown below, a length to meet most any requirement can be found. To add an extension to an air gun, simply add -xx to the current part number.
And, if you need a 12′ coiled air hose, to use with your Safety Air Gun, we have them available and in stock. Available with 1/8 NPT, 1/4 NPT or 3/8 NPT male end swivel connections. Avoid tangled and messy air lines and keep things neat!
EXAIR’s new VariBlast® Precision Safety Air Guns provide a focused blast of air capable of handling tough jobs with remarkable strength. This CE compliant, lightweight air gun uses an engineered valve for variable flow. It can produce an adjustable force upon a target simply by pulling the trigger to a variety of positions. You can generate higher or lower force as needed for an application.
A comfortable full-finger trigger and a convenient hanger loop are built-in to the Variblast Precision Safety Air Gun. It has a ¼” NPT female compressed air inlet at the base of the handle with an option for a BSP threaded adapter. One of the unique features is the replaceable extensions. They come standard with a 6” (152mm) extension. For greater reach, we offer a 12″ (305mm) or a 20″ (508mm) extension for longer reach. The body is made of high-impact, glass-reinforced nylon to resist breakage. They can also be outfitted with an impact-resistant polycarbonate Chip Shield. In combination with the EXAIR Safety Air Nozzles, the airflow that exits the nozzle can’t be blocked, assuring safe operation and compliance with OSHA standard 1910.242(b). Also, the Precision air gun has a low noise level, only 75 dBA, which is well below the limits of the OSHA noise exposure standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a). EXAIR strives to manufacture safe and efficient safety air guns, and the VariBlast Precision fits that bill.
To expand on efficiency, the engineered nozzles are designed to entrain the free ambient air to add mass to the airstream. With an amplification ratio of nearly 25:1, you only have to use a small amount of compressed air to generate a powerful, focused blast. So, by using less compressed air, it will save you a lot of money. EXAIR offers three different sizes in different materials. The largest is the Nano Super Air Nozzle, which only requires 8.3 SCFM (235 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). It is made from type 316SS or PEEK thermoplastic. The PEEK nozzle is great for non-marring applications. The smallest unit is our Atto Super Air Nozzle for very small holes. It also comes in 316SS or PEEK thermoplastic. It only uses 2.5 SCFM (71 SLPM) of compressed air at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). For the “in-between” force rating, we offer the Pico Super Air Nozzle in 316SS and PEEK. For the different combinations of model numbers, I created a VariBlast chart below.
A substandard blow-off gun is unsafe, loud, and wastes compressed air. They are subject to dangerous conditions and OSHA fines. EXAIR Safety Air Guns can help improve the situation in all these areas. EXAIR stocks a wide range of safety air guns for almost any blow-off application. We stock units ranging from our smallest size; the VariBlast Precision Safety Air Guns up to our largest size; the TurboBalst Safety Air Guns. From August 1st to September 30th, 2022 for qualified purchases; EXAIR will give a 1” Flat Super Air Nozzle as a promotional item with a purchase of a VariBlast Precision, VariBlast Compact, Soft Grip, Heavy Duty, Super Blast, or TurboBlast Safety Air Gun; a $53.00 complimentary gift. If you have any questions about the VariBlast Precision Safety Air Guns or any of our other safety air guns, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help you.
OSHA Standard 1910.242(b) discusses the use of compressed air for cleaning and blowoff. It states that the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes is prohibited if the dead-ended pressure exceeds 30 psig. This phrase means the downstream pressure of the air nozzle or gun, used for cleaning purposes, will remain at a pressure level below 30 psig for all static conditions. In the event that dead ending occurs, the static pressure at the main orifice shall not exceed 30 psi. If it does exceed this pressure, there is a very high potential for it to create an air embolism. An air embolism, left untreated, can quickly impede the flow of blood throughout the body. This can lead to stroke, heart attack, and sometimes death.
So making sure you are in compliance with 1910.242(b) is truly a life and death situation. Most people believe that lowering the pressure to the blow off device is the only method to keep their operators safe from an air embolism. However this can become a problem when you really need the force of greater than 30 PSIG to complete your operation. We at EXAIR want to give you the flexibility to run at any pressure with out the risk of building that 30 PSI of dead-end pressure! We do this with our line of Intelligent Compressed Air® nozzles! All of EXAIR’s Air Nozzles are designed so that the flow cannot be dead-ended. The fins on the Super Air Nozzles are not only useful in amplifying the force by drawing in ambient air, but they also prevent an operator from completely obstructing the airflow.
Another great example of this is our 2″ Flat super air nozzle. The design not only allows the nozzle to amplify the air flow in the blast of air, the over hang will not let the dead end pressure build as it can escape around the edges and bottom!
If you’ve got questions about compressed air safety or have an existing blowoff in place that does not adhere to this OSHA directive, give us a call. We’ll be sure to recommend a solution that will keep your operators and wallets safe!
EXAIR Safety Air Guns use engineered air nozzles for high performance. Inexpensive air guns are sold through many catalogs and industrial supply companies. Most have triggers or other parts that break quickly. Their performance is similar to open pipe, where they simply blow a lot of compressed air. In addition to high air consumption, many produce noise levels that violate OSHA requirements. Some even generate dangerous dead end pressures that can result in serious or fatal injuries if blocked.
EXAIR’s Soft Grip Safety Air Gun has a durable cast aluminum body that is best suited for rugged industrial use. The ergonomic design has a larger trigger for easy operation and a convenient hanger hook for easy storage. Chip Shields for worker safety are available. Extension pipes and stay set hoses for hard to reach areas are also available.
The inefficient use of compressed air for blow-off applications may create problems due to noise level. High noise levels are a common problem for many plants. Compressed air noise often exceeds OSHA noise level exposure requirements, resulting in close proximity.
Air can also be dangerous when the outlet pressure of a hole, hose or copper tube is higher than 30 PSOG (2 BAR). In the event the opening is blocked by a hand or other body part, air may enter the bloodstream through the skin, resulting i a serious injury.
EXAIR Safety Air Guns use our engineered air nozzles which meet or exceed OSHA Standard 29 CFR – 1910.95 (a) Maximum Allowable Noise Exposure and also OSHA Standard 29CFR 1910.242 (b) Harmful Dead End Pressure.
If you need help choosing the right Safety Air Gun and Engineer Air Nozzle please contact any of our qualified Application Engineers.