Not long ago I found myself lost in thought, watching a power hammer being used in a sword forging process. I was thinking to myself about how intricate machines are, and how viewing machine components as singular items can be mind boggling. For example, considering the process of mining various metals and then combining them in just the right “recipe” to produce a specific component of a machine, which is then used to create something entirely different – it’s a rabbit hole of a thought.
But, it does lend weight to the complexities and intricacies found in manufacturing, which is something we encounter every day in Application Engineering at EXAIR. Case in point, the photo above shows an EXAIR Vortex Tube being used in a steel production facility. This application needed a way to cool a camera used to check the thickness and quality of steel plates produced in the plant. Due to temperature and space constraints, a compact and industrial solution was needed.
So, we turned to a High Temperature Vortex Tube, using the cold air produced by the Vortex Tube to cool the camera housing. Without proper cooling the camera faced an overheating condition, creating a shutdown of the visual inspection, and a subsequent shutdown of the quality control process. By installing an EXAIR High Temperature Vortex Tube, this quality control disturbance was corrected. And, due to the maintenance free nature of EXAIR products, consistent cooling performance is guaranteed with a supply of clean, dry compressed air.
In a given day we can encounter applications needing cooling, cleaning, conveying, static removal, or a litany of other specific solutions. If you’d like to discuss your application with an EXAIR Application Engineer, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.
We blog about this topic quite a bit, and almost every section of our catalog has a page set aside just for special / custom product configurations that have been created by request from many of our customers.
This is the latest and greatest special that I have seen roll through the production area here at EXAIR. This is a special 4″ 303 Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier with a 4″ Tri-Clamp flange on the discharge side and a 6″ Tri-Clamp flange on the suction side of the amplifier.
This had been an ongoing project with the customer that started with them testing a stock Adjustable Air Amplifier in the application to ensure that the performance would meet their needs. The application was to boost a low flowing fume exhaust that was causing slow downs in their production line. Fans and other traditional methods would require maintenance and would wear out. The stock Adj. Air Amplifiers exceeded their performance needs but did not easily mount into their duct work because they used all standard size tri-clamp fitting in the ducting, so the next step was to see if we could manufacture a Special Adjustable Air Amplifier just for their needs. The dimensions of the existing Adjustable Air Amplifier came close enough we were able to easily create a Flanged Adjsutable Air Amplifier that would clamp straight into their existing duct work, exceed their performance expectations, help their process, and be ready to ship within a very reasonable lead time.
Like we have said before, if a stock, cataloged, product doesn’t fit your application exactly, contact us and let us find a way to customize and fit the need.
I was working with a customer recently who had a fairly interesting application that I’d like to share with you. The customer operates a steel furnace and they have an automatic, liquid steel temperature probe that does not have sufficient time to cool down before they take another temperature measurement which should be a minimum of 5 minutes.
The probe consists of a 6 foot long, ¾” pipe, attached to the end of a 12 foot long beam. The beam lowers the pipe with the probe attached into the steel bath to take the temperature (see sketch below). The pipe is covered with a consumable, cardboard type of tube (pictured above) which is the thermocouple. A contact block with wiring inside the pipe connects to the thermocouple. This contact block becomes heat damaged because the pipe does not have enough time to cool between temperature measurements.
The customer was originally thinking about using a Super Air Knife to cool the probe and pipe between temperature measurements. After discussing options, the customer took our advice and went with (2) of our 2” Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers (model 6042) instead. The Air Amplifiers are able to be mounted at the “parked” position of the pipe / probe and actuated to blow down the pipe and thermocouple length-wise during this time.
The high velocity airflow was able to carry enough heat out of the assembly between temperature measurements that the contact block was no longer becoming overheated and damaged as it was before. We decided to suggest this option to the customer because the air usage for this option was less than that of a 60” long Air Knife and the Stainless Adjustable Air Amplifier has temperature rating of 400°F which was easily able to withstand the heat in the application.
Large steel slabs are cast, sized and cut to length in order to ready them for various types of secondary processing such as rolling, forging, machining, etc. The measurement and cutting functions of the steel slab process are controlled by various lasers focused on different features of the slab to provide for non-contact measurement due to the extreme high temperature conditions that are present.
The electronics that are used as part of the laser measuring equipment can withstand temperatures up to about 60°C (140°F). The areas in a steel slab casting line where the laser electronics are located will usually exceed this temperature quite easily.
One of our customers was utilizing a protective box for his equipment that had a Peltier type cooling system integrated within. The cooling system would work for only a short while as the cooler would become clogged with dust and debris from the operation. This condition would lead to overheating and failure of the measuring equipment.
The customer came to EXAIR for a solution. He wanted to keep his existing enclosure and simply add an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System to the box to replace the function of the original cooling module. The Cabinet Cooler System would be able to deliver significant cooling power for the application and provide a positive pressure on the enclosure to keep dust and debris from getting inside. Best of all, the Cabinet Cooler System is not affected by debris accumulation on the outside of the cabinet.
The end result is a cooling system that has high reliability and low maintenance concerns due to zero moving parts, low purchase price and which is not affected by dirt, dust and debris from the ambient environment. This is a common problem for both Peltier coolers and Freon based cooling systems as they rely on the principle of ambient airflow over a heat exchange surface which is exposed to the ambient environment. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are using filtered compressed air utility from the facility compressed air supply, which by comparison is many times cleaner and thus contributes to low maintenance aspect of our product.
If you are looking for a simple, low cost, ‘bolt on’ cooling solution for your high temperature application, give EXAIR a chance. We may very well have the solution you are looking for.
This is a question that we are sometimes asked by clients who look at our complete Air Nozzle range and see that we have everything from the tiniest M4 nozzle up to some really large ones that fit a 1-1/4” steel pipe. So, what would you use model 1114SS for anyway?
I just so happen to have a perfect scenario for you as described below.
A recent customer inquired with me about some method to blow off large diameter electrode holders for a furnace application. For those of you who do not know, furnaces used to smelt aluminum, zinc, steel and other alloys tend to be very hot and dirty places.
Being as such, a lot of debris tends to collect on horizontal surfaces including those of the electrode holders themselves.
What happens is dirt and dust are building up on the top of the holder and when it is opened it is becoming trapped between the holder and electrode causing arcing to go on inside the holder. The environment the solution will need to work in runs about 1500 – 1600°F. The area immediately around these holders is even hotter. So any nozzle placed in that environment will need to be able to withstand that temperature.
The solution: (3) model 1114SS (1 NPT Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzles) are placed in a triangular configuration to blow all the debris off of the top surface of the holder and electrode prior to opening to completely eliminate the arcing problem that had been occurring.
The key to the solution was to have an effective force generating nozzle that could project maximum force at distances well over 2 meters from a target and do so in a very hot application.
So, now you have one very good idea of how and where the larger Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzles can be used.