EXAIR Products Entrain FREE Ambient Air For Maximum Force and Flow

Air entrainment is a term that we bring up quite often here at EXAIR. It’s this concept that allows many of our products to dramatically reduce compressed air consumption. The energy costs associated with producing compressed air make it an expensive utility for manufacturers. Utilizing engineered compressed air products that will entrain ambient air from the environment allow you to reduce the compressed air consumption without sacrificing force or flow.

Products such as the Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, Air Amplifier, and Super Air Wipe all take advantage of “free” air that is entrained into the primary supplied airstream. This air entrainment occurs due to what is known as the Coanda effect. Named after renowned Romanian physicist, Henri Coanda, the Coanda effect is used in the design of airplane wings to produce lift. As air comes across the convex surface on the top, it slows down creating a higher pressure on the underside of the wing. This creates lift and is what allows an airplane to fly.

EXAIR Super Air Nozzle entrainment

This is also the same principle which is allowing us to entrain ambient air. As the compressed air is ejected through a small orifice, a low-pressure area is created that draws in additional air. Our products are engineered to maximize this entrained air, creating greater force and flow without additional compressed air. Super Air Amplifiers and Super Air Nozzles are capable of up to a 25:1 air entrainment ratio, with just 1 part being the supplied air and up to 25 times entrained air for free!! The greatest air entrainment is achieved with the Super Air Knife at an incredible ratio of 40:1!

This air entrainment principle allows you to utilize any of these products efficiently for a wide variety of cooling, drying, cleaning, or general blowoff applications. In addition to reducing your compressed air consumption, replacing inefficient devices with engineered products will also dramatically lower your sound level in the plant. Sound level in some applications can even be reduced down to a point that would eliminate the need for hearing protection with the OSHA maximum allowable exposure limits set at 90 dBA for an 8-hour shift.

If you have inefficient blowoff devices in your facility, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to help you select a product that will “quietly” reduce your compressed air consumption!

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

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

Application Database: Super Ion Air Knife Provides Multiple Benefits For Hand Cleaner Producer

When plain old soap & water just don’t do the trick, there are a number of hand cleaners available on the market to remove even the most stubborn dirt & grime. Some are lotion-like, and leave your skin moisturized. Others have abrasive grit, and don’t. They come in all sorts of containers, too, from small jars that you dip a portion from, to large jugs with pump dispensers. The latter is oftentimes found in industrial repair shops…and they’re made on the production line of a company who needed our help getting rid of static charge.

After the extrusion process, these jugs are conveyed through a series of prep stations before they’re labeled & filled. The static charge generated along the way was causing issues with labeling: it made them skew one way or the other, or wrinkle up at certain points, instead of being applied straight & smooth on the side of the jug.

Now, all it takes to generate a static charge is contact and separation of non-conductive surfaces. Every time a roller sent a jug moving on the conveyor, or a bumper changed its direction, the static charge built up. In most applications, the best place to remove static charge is right before it becomes a problem. There was a tunnel immediately prior to the labeling station that was an ideal location to install a Static Eliminator…so they did.

Non-conductive materials “trade” electrons when they contact & separate, resulting in a static charge on both surfaces.

The tunnel was 29″ wide inside, so this was a great fit for a Model 112224 24″ Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit. Blowing ionized air across the jugs as they moved through the tunnel eliminated the static charge, and their label problems.

Super Ion Air Knives come in lengths from 3″ to 108″. Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, Pressure Regulator, and Power Supply.

They also noted an additional benefit: this wasn’t a huge problem, but occasionally, a jug would have some plastic chips or shavings clinging to it. Those would get rejected during quality inspection…they’d have to remove those labels and put them back in the line. Again, it wasn’t a huge problem, and was within their quality tolerances…but they went to ZERO after they started using the Super Ion Air Knife.

If you’ve got a problem with static charge, EXAIR has a variety of solutions that’ll take of them, and perhaps even others. Through the end of February 2023, we’ll even give you a free AC Sensor with any qualifying Static Eliminator Product purchase. Give me a call if you’d like to find out more.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
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Compressed Air Usage in Food & Beverage Industry: Bottle Blowoff with Super Air Knives

When it comes to the usage of compressed air in the food & beverage industry, applications for EXAIR products are abundant. The range of sizes (3″ through 108″) and materials (aluminum, 303SS, 316SS, and PVDF) allow us to handle corrosive, high temperature and chemical environments.

One common process that we’re able to help improve is on bottling or canning lines for a wide variety of different companies in the beverage industry. These processes generally run at a very high speed and need a way to complete the process with as little manual intervention as possible.

I recently helped a customer that was looking for a better solution for their bottle processing line. The company produces bottled water in South America and was dealing with a series of quality issues. After the bottles are filled and sealed, they go through a washing operation to remove any contaminants from the outside of the bottle. Afterwards, they make their way along a conveyor where a label is applied around the outside of the bottle. The bottles aren’t always completely dry by the time they get to the labeling step. Any residual moisture on the outside of the bottle can present a problem where the label doesn’t fully adhere to the bottle.

After complaints from their customer about product being received with labels that were peeling off, they implemented a quality check to ensure that the bottles that weren’t properly labeled were fixed before they were shipped out. While this resolved the problem for their customer, it required an extra step. Not only does this add an entire step to the process, but it requires several additional operators to perform the manual task of removing and replacing faulty labels.

After searching and discovering EXAIR’s Super Air Knife they reached out for assistance. Due to the variability of the bottle sizes, they needed a solution that was easily adjusted based on what product was being run that day. Fortunately, EXAIR offers a Universal Mounting System for our Super Air Knives that’ll allow them to easily position their blowoff as they need.

The solution was to install (2) 110036 36” Super Air Knives with (2) Universal Mounting Systems for each. Any knife 24”-54” will necessitate (2) Universal Mounting Systems, 55”-71” will require (3), 72”-95”, and 96” and over will require (5) to sufficiently support the weight of the knife.

The knives provided a strong blast of air that was able to remove any residual moisture from the exterior of the bottles. This eliminated the need to have a post labeling inspection and the bottles were labeled properly on the first go! Adjustments in between different bottle sizes were made simple with the help of the Universal Mounting System.

SAK pre label blowoff
(2) 110036 Super Air Knives positioned with Universal Mounting System

At EXAIR, we’re all about providing safe, efficient, and reliable solutions to a host of industry related problems. With same day shipment for stock items with an order received by 2:00 ET and a team of highly trained Application Engineers, we’re ready to take your call and get a solution out to you today. Don’t just take my word for it, find out for yourself!

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

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

So… You went and got yourself a Super Air Knife. Now what?

So you went and got yourself a Super Air Knife and now you need to mount it, and start “cutting”. There are a few things we need to review in order to get these installed and functioning correctly. First, let’s take a moment and make sure that your compressed air system has enough air to run this Super Air Knife at its optimal level. Number 1-9 of the top 10 reasons these do not work are linked to the customers lack of air to the Super Air Knife. Step one of this process is to make sure that you have a pressure gauge at the point of use of your Super Air Knife. Knowing that your plant runs 120 psig throughout the system is not a measurement, there are many things that can inhibit this performance from point A to the point of use… Engineering best practices are to have a pressure gauge at each point of use.

Next, we need to make sure your compressor is large enough. At 80 psig, you will need 2.9 SCFM per INCH of Super Air Knife (see table below). 3rd grade math tells us that a 36″ Super Air Knife will need 104.4 SCFM to run efficiently at 80 psig. When given the correct amount of air, this should feel as if you are driving down the road at 50 MPH and you put your hand out the window. This 50 MPH example is true for any length of air knife, at 80 psig, as long as there is enough SCFM. If your Super Air Knife does not feel this way, it is not getting the air it needs…

Back to the 104.4 SCFM. A general rule of thumb is that 1 HP give us @4 SCFM. So in this example, you will need at least a 27 HP compressor to run this 36″ Super Air Knife, and ONLY this Super Air Knife. When sizing EXAIR products, we have to look at the air pressure, and the air volume. One will not work without the other.

Now as we look at this 27 HP (108 SCFM) of compressed air coming to this 36″ Super Air Knife, we need to address how it is getting to the Super Air Knife. How far away from the air compressor is it? Even though the inlet size on the Super Air Knife is 1/4″ NPT, the line from the compressor needs to be big enough to bring the right amount of air to the Super Air Knife. Right off the bat, I can see that any line smaller than a 3/4″ will not work, regardless of how close it is to the compressor. I can also see that this 3/4″ line will only work if the Super Air Knife is 20′ or less away from the compressor. When you bump the line size to 1″, this will allow you to be up to 100′ away. If you have questions on your line sizes, please feel free to ask us to help.

So now that we are confident you have the right amount of air at the point of use, we are ready to mount this bad boy. Obviously we want to look at the angles and positioning, and something we call counter flow. We generally want the air from the Super Air Knife stay in contact with the surface it is cleaning (blowing, cooling, warming, coating, covering etc…) for the maximum amount of time possible. To accomplish this, we need counter flow as seen in the picture to the right. Basically the air is blowing in the opposite direction that the belt is moving.

The last part to discuss here is the physical practicalities of mounting the Super Air Knife. One option is our handy dandy Universal Air Knife Mounting kit seen here to the left. These are a perfect solution for easy and quick installation. You can simply adjust the angles and tighten. You can eventually add thread lock, or something similar for permanent installation. You may need more than one. We recommend one for Air Knives up to 23″, for those 24″-54″ Air Knives we recommend two, 55″-71″ = three, 72″-95″ = four and 96″-108″ = five of these.

This is not the only way to mount these. There are size 1/4″-20 screws every 2 inches in the Super Air Knives. You can simply remove these screws, and attach any type of brace, or mounting bracket to these holes. If our screws are not long enough to fit your bracket, these are pretty easily found locally.

The Super Air Knives is an amazing tool. It can assist in many ways. If you would like to discuss more about these, or any other EXAIR product, please reach out.

Thank you for stopping by,

Brian Wages

Application Engineer

EXAIR Corporation
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Cover picture by PIRO4D and licensed by Pixabay