Atomizing Nozzles: Identification and Versatility

Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles

I recently was contacted by a customer that had an application for spraying silicone.  They currently were using our Atomizing Nozzles, and they were impressed with the operation.  But they needed to change the spray pattern for a different application.  They had a variety of parts which required different spray angles and liquid amounts.  With the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles, the air and liquid caps are interchangeable with the same body size.  So, you can change liquid flow rates, spray patterns, and even go from a pressurized liquid system to a siphon fed.  I created an informal video that shows how this can be done (click HERE).  To start, this customer did not know which model number that they were using.  So, I had to determine the size and type in order to make the proper changes. 

To do the “forensics”, we need to know a couple of things.  First, we need to find the inlet air and liquid port sizes.  EXAIR offers three sizes in NPT or BSP; 1/8”, 1/4”, and 1/2”.  Then we would need to know if it is a standard or No-Drip option.  This is easily found by looking at the top of the Atomizing Nozzle.  A standard option has the liquid stem valve that has a knurled adjustment knob; while the No-Drip option has a cylinder in place of the liquid stem valve.  From the photo below, they were using the standard option. 

AF1010SS

Since they were pumping the silicone solution to the Atomizing Nozzle, the next step was to look at the Liquid Cap and the Air Cap.  EXAIR stamps characters on each Liquid and Air Cap (reference photo below).  The Liquid Caps will only have numbers, and the Air Caps will combine letters and numbers.  From these details, I could determine that the customer was using a model AF1010SS Internal Mix Flat Fan Atomizing Nozzle. 

For their next application, they were looking to spray more of the silicone solution at a smaller target area.  I recommended the model AN1030SS.  By changing the air and liquid pressure in conjunction with adjusting the liquid stem valve, they could dial in the exact amount of silicone spray to not overuse it.  For this customer, I was able to recommended to just replace the liquid and air cap to change from the model AF1010SS to the model AN1030SS. 

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you.  For the customer above, they did not have to purchase new units as they could just swap out the caps to make the change.  This saved the company money and time as the bodies of the Atomizing Nozzles were already aligned to cover both parts.  If you would like know more about our Atomizing Nozzles and the features that they provide, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help. 

John Ball
International Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Intelligent Compressed Air® Products for Produce and the Growing Season

Super Air Knife drying fruits and vegetables

If you are like me and love to garden we are approaching the time of year that we start seeding our longer maturing plants like tomato and pepper plants. I have made my purchases of seeds, plant packs, soil and plant food. I am ready and excited for the gardening season.

EXAIR has many applications where our products help the agricultural industry. The use of our Air Knives, atomizing spray nozzles and Line Vacs help assit in the growing, cleaning and movement of products.

Super Air Knife drying fruits and vegetables

EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles atomize fluids (most commonly water) in a range of spray patterns for a variety of uses. These nozzles can be used to keep soils moist, environments humid and also for cleaning the harvested products. The Atomizing Spray Nozzles come in a variety of sizes, styles and spray patterns and can be sized specifically for your application.

EXAIR Air Knives can also be used for cleaning where moisture is a concern before products are placed in packaging containers. Our Air Knifes come is many stock sizes and styles. EXAIR Air Knives are a great option replacing noisy blow-offs and show noise and air consumption reductions.

EXAIR Line Vacs have been used to move grains, soil, sand, wood chips and other products saving labor. They are ideal for moving large volumes of material over long distances. The material flow rate is easily controlled by the size of the Line Vac and by the use of a pressure regulator. No moving parts or electricity assures maintenance free operation.

High Temperature Line Vac

Just as I am excited to strategize my garden, EXAIR can take the frustration of your projects away and make your life as as exciting and fun as Spring and Summer home gardens. If you have a specific application you would like to discuss you can visit us at www.EXAIR.com or by calling 800.903.9247 and talking to me or any of our qualified Application Engineers.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Compressed Air in Farming and Agriculture

I used to help my father-in-law around his farm and this city boy had his eyes opened when he realized it was more than shovels, tractors and livestock. Agriculture is vital for human existence and has become far more advanced over the centuries with a continual thirst for efficiency and technology. Agriculture is just like many other industries looking for continued ways to increase yield, improve quality, maximize labor and improve technology.

EXAIR has many products used in the agriculture and food processing industries. The following details a few example by product line how we can influence efficiencies and quality of products:

Super Air Knife drying fruits and vegetables

Super Air Knives:

EXAIRs Super Air Knives are have ben used to help harvest apples and peaches. In this case they use our Super Air Knives to dry and blow off the fruit after the rinsing process just before the waxing process then again after waxing to blow off any remaining debris or moisture from the fruit before being packed.

A processing company using the Super Air Knife to clean a conveying belt equipped with a weighing system. Before the installation of the the Super Air Knife some of the cut vegetables being weighed would stick to the belt. Their solution was to clean the conveyor belt with EXAIR’s Super Air Knife to ensure continuous operation of the weighing and packaging systems.

Super Air Nozzles:

An onion farmer used EXAIR’s Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle to blow loose onion skins from the onions before packaging to improve the aesthetics to the customers.

Line Vacs:

A food packaging company repackages banana peppers from 55 gallon drums to 1 and 5 gallon containers using our Model 6066 3″ Stainless Steel Line Vac.

Using EXAIRs Model 150200 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vacs a feed stock manufacturer conveys various grains and feed stock simultaneously to a mixer which blends the ingredients. This reduced their blend time by 50%.

A grain processor used Model 142200 aluminum threaded Line Vac to convey small amounts of corn meal into a hopper which feeds into their inspection process.

A company producing worm eggs encapsulated in water soluble wax sold to farmers to enhance soil conditions. They eliminated a hand operation using Model 6081 1″ Aluminum Line Vac  to convey the worm eggs from one classifier to another.

EXAIR has several applications using Atomizing Spray nozzles to add moisture in growing environments . Greenhouses use our Atomizing spray nozzles to control humidity in the air and keep their soils moist to maintain optimal growing environments.

There are many other applications using compressed AIR on farms such as filling tires, cleaning equipment, blowing out water lines and more. Technology drives labor savings and improved quality prototypes are being designed and tested to use compressed air using drones to shoot pods filled with seeds, fertilizer and other nutrients into the soil. EXAIR will remain a strong influence in the growth of compressed air products helping to reduce the carbon footprint, enhance efficiencies and improve cost and quality within the agriculture and food processing industries.

If you have an application and you would like to talk please contact me or any of our qualified Application Engineers at 800.903.9247 and we will gladly help with our best recommendations.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Compressed Air Safety with EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products

Compressed air is a necessary utility in any manufacturing environment. When used improperly, this compressed air can pose very real and serious dangers to your personnel. It’s imperative that you’re aware of the potential risks associated with the use of compressed air and educate yourselves and your operators to ensure you’re operating safely.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) provides standards designed to mitigate the risks of compressed air usage. If not adhered to, fines can be administered for each infraction. Fines are given out for each individual infraction. Meaning, if you have unsafe blowguns that are used in your facility you’ll get a notice for each individual gun that is identified during an inspection. Inspections aren’t something that happen often, but they will show up unannounced and often at the worst possible times.

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.

With this in mind, there are only two options for staying within compliance of this standard. Either install an engineered solution that will reduce the air pressure to less than 30 psig if dead-ended, or regulate the pressure below 30 psig. For the vast majority of operations, regulating the input pressure below 30 psig is useless. The force and flow from the nozzle at this pressure is greatly reduced and likely not enough to be effective in most applications. All of EXAIR’s Safety Air Guns 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.

In addition to being concerned about dead-end pressure, OSHA 1910.242(b) also states that compressed air used for cleaning should include effective chip guarding. By this, they mean that some method or equipment must be installed that will prevent chips and particles from coming back into the eyes or skin of the operator. In addition to offering OSHA compliant nozzles and guns, EXAIR also has Chip Shields that can be installed onto any of our Safety Air Guns. The polycarbonate shields protect the operator from any flying debris while performing a drying or blowoff operation. Simply add a “-CS” to the end of any Safety Air Gun Model number to have a Chip Shield installed on the gun.

Hearing loss due to high noise levels is another common problem in many industrial facilities. Without the use of proper PPE, hearing loss can occur quickly. This is a serious concern as hearing loss is permanent and once the damage is done there’s no way to reverse it. Due to this risk, OSHA strictly enforces standard 29 CFR-1910.95(a).

Hearing loss is the best known, but not the only, ill effect of harmful noise exposure. It can also cause physical and psychological stress, impair concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents or injuries.

This directive discusses the effects of noise and limits exposure based on the dBA. The table below indicates the maximum allowable exposure time to different noise levels. Sound levels that exceed these levels should first be addressed by proper engineering controls such as isolating the source of the sound from personnel or replacing the cause of the sound with something like an engineered compressed air nozzle. When such controls aren’t feasible, proper PPE must be worn to protect the operator.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 does not contain any provisions that allow for the approval or endorsement of equipment. Alteration or the misapplication of what was once a safe piece of equipment would create a dangerous scenario that is out of the control of the original manufacturer. Any nozzles or guns marketed as “OSHA approved” should immediately throw up a red flag. Identifying and implementing a safe, OSHA compliant solution rests in the hands of the manufacturer themselves. 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!

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