Super Air Wipe Vs. Block Type Air Wipe

Air Wipes, which provide 360 degree blowoff, are typically used to remove heat, liquid, debris or static from wire, cable, pipe, tube, or extrusions.

We had a customer that was using a block type Air Wipe from a competitor to remove water from an extrusion.  These air wipes are built using a plastic material, typically with some additional ceramic insert to resist abrasion of the wire, the halves are hinged with air holes drilled into each half which carries air through the block and on to the wire. They were using these block air wipes on several lines. The interesting point of this blog is that it required 5 block type air wipes to equal the results of 1 EXAIR Super Air Wipe.

Since EXAIR’s Super Air Wipe equaled the performance of 5 of the competitors it consumed less air was less expensive and produced less noise.  Also in space sensitive applications the EXAIR Super Air Wipe is much thinner than the block type.  To highlight this the Super Air Wipe is 1.13″ thick on all 11 models that range from 3/8″ to 11″ throat diameter.   The performance of the block air wipe can only be changed by altering the inlet air pressure while the EXAIR Super Air Wipe can also be changed by adusting the inlet air pressure OR by adding an additional shim the force can be nearly doubled!

Many of these block type air wipes use a series of holes to direct the compressed air supply at an angle over the material that needs to be cleaned off.  EXAIR’s Super Air Wipe being an engineered compressed air product use’s fluid dynamic’s to create more force as demonstrated below. The air from EXAIR’s Super Air Wipes is a continuous 360 degrees, without the gaps a series of holes creates.

sawworksani
How The Air Wipe Works

Compressed air flows through the inlet (1) of the Air Wipe into the annular chamber (2).  It is then throttled through a small ring nozzle (3) at high velocity.  This primary airstream adheres to the Coanda profile (4), which directs down the angled surface of the Air Wipe.  A low pressure is created at the center (5) inducing a high volume flow of surrounding air into the primary airstream.  As the airflow leaves the wipe, it creates a conical 360° ring of air that attaches itself to the surface of the material running through it (6) uniformly wiping the entire surface with the high velocity airflow.

Block type air wipes are generally available in standard sizes up to 7″ in diameter while EXAIR’s Super Air Wipes are available in stock diameters up to 11″ and we also offer custom sizes to suit many other applications.

If you have any items that need to have a 360 degree blowing pattern, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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The Case For The EXAIR Super Air Wipe

If you’ve ever used an air gun to blow something off, you’re familiar with the cleaning ability of compressed air.  If you can get the whole object blown off from where you’re standing, there really is no substitute…but what if you need to get to the other side…or sides?

Even if your product is not on fire, you probably wouldn’t want to “limbo” under it with an air gun…

This is where the EXAIR Super Air Wipe comes in…they allow you to blow a continuous, uniform 360° air stream, all around your product.  Consider their benefits:

*Sizes: the Super Air Wipe’s compact ring design means it won’t take up a lot of room; you just need a few inches, in any direction, to install one.  We stock them in eleven sizes, from 11″, all the way down to our brand-new 3/8″ diameter.

*Durability:  All EXAIR Super Air Wipes are assembled with stainless steel shims and hardware.  Models up to 4″ come with a rugged, stainless steel wire braided hose, connecting the two halves for compressed air supply.

The aluminum Super Air Wipe is available in 11 sizes; the stainless steel Super Air Wipe comes in 5 sizes…all from stock.

*Ease of installation:  Smaller sizes can be supported by the compressed air supply line, if a pipe is used and threaded into the connector hose’s 1/4 NPT port.  Larger sizes can likewise be adequately supported with pipe to both halves. All models have a bolt circle of 1/4″-20 tapped holes for more permanent and rigid mounting.  The split ring design is another key feature:

Simply open the two halves, and clamp them around your product…no threading!

*Corrosion resistance: Depending on the environment in which the Super Air Wipe will be installed, we offer them with aluminum (3/8″ – 11″ sizes) or stainless steel (3/8″ – 4″ sizes) bodies.

*Temperature rating: Aluminum Super Air Wipes are good to 400°F (204°C) and stainless steel models are good to 800°F (427°C.)

*Range of operation: We install a 0.002″ thick shim in all stock Super Air Wipes; this is suitable for a wide range of typical industrial/commercial blow off applications…a Pressure Regulator can then be used to “dial in” the air flow precisely to meet specific needs.  If a job calls for higher force & flow, additional 0.002″ shims can be installed.  Shim Sets come with the Super Air Wipe Kits, or individual shims can be ordered separately.

*Performance: Before the Super Air Wipe, a ring of nozzles was commonly used.  In fact, they still are, but we’re trying to fix that, at every opportunity we come across.  Problem with those is, it’s hard to get an even air flow all around, which leads to inconsistent blow off.  They can also be loud & inefficient, as we’ve found in numerous Efficiency Lab tests and Case Studies, like this one…

These wasteful and loud modular plastic tube blow offs…
…were replaced with EXAIR Super Air Wipes. 24 such replacements netted the customer an annual compressed air cost savings of over $13,000.00.

…and this one…

Implementing a Super Air Wipe salvaged a $30,000 job for this customer. Click on the picture to read all about it in our Case Study Library (registration required.)

Do you have a challenging blow off application that you need help with?  Call us to find out how an EXAIR Super Air Wipe (or another one of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products) can be a simple, quick & easy solution.

Super Air Wipe for a Galvanizing Application

Wire galvanizing machine
Section of wire galvanizing machine

I saw this machine in the faraway corners of a Thai wire manufacturer’s facility.  The manufacturer galvanizes their wire to protect it from corrosion and physical damage, and after the hot dip process, the wire must be wound.  But, before the wire can be wound, it travels through this machine, which serves as a sort of quality control for the finish of the galvanization.

As the wire passes from bend to bend, it approaches a final stage in which any excess zinc is removed from the OD of the wire, which, prior to my visit looked like the photo below.

Wire galvanizing machine homemade air wipe
This short cylinder with a center hole to accept the wire  is an inefficient, homemade blow off

The performance of this homemade blow off was unrepeatable, and the end user had questions about whether the compressed air was being used efficiently.  To find out, we connected a Digital Flowmeter, and found that this homemade device was consuming twice what a comparable Super Air Wipe requires at the same pressure.

We then connected a Super Air Wipe to find that the blow off was not only stronger, but more uniform from the EXAIR unit.  And, the clamshell design of the Super Air Wipe can allow the installation to occur at any point along the process, without requiring that the wire is “threaded” through the Air Wipe.

If you have a similar application, or one that you think may be candidate for an EXAIR solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

One Super Air Wipe doing the job of 3 Generic Air Wipes

Today, I had the opportunity to the work with a customer, who produces soft seals for the window and door industry. The soft seals are created through a multi-step process, where drying is critical for the overall quality of the product. After the extrusion of PPE (polyphenyl ethers) material, the seal is run through a water bath.  The next step is for the extruded PPE to be dried using compressed air.  After drying, a glue is applied to join the PPE soft seal to an aluminum frame.  If the PPE was not dry from the water bath, the glue would not bond the aluminum and soft seal together.

 

The customer wanted to replace their current compressed air drying system. The current system utilized (3) ceramic air wipes to dry off the PPE seal before the gluing process. He was relatively new to the company or the particular line, so he did not have all the history for the production line during our conversation. We were both wondering why three consecutive air wipes were used when one air wipe should be getting the job done, but we never could figure it out regardless. I pointed out that one EXAIR Super Air Wipe will clean off a variety cross sections in one pass. The old air wipes used 7.6 SCFM of compressed air for each air wipe or a total air flow of 22.8 SCFM to dry the rubber seal. Also, the old air wipes created 80 dB of noise. A correctly sized 1/2″ EXAIR Super Air Wipe would lower that noise to 75 dBA and lower the total air consumption to 13.9 SCFM.

AirWipe

By replacing three inferior ceramic wire dryers with one EXAIR model 2400 Super Air Wipe, the customer was able to get the job done better, reduce his noise level and save compressed air. EXAIR has the broadest line of problem solving compressed air products, if you have a problem area or an application you think we may be able to solve, please let us know. We are happy to assist.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
Davewoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW