Super Air Knife
Provides the best performance with a 40:1 air amplification ratio, making it the most efficient. It is the best choice for all applications.
In industrial applications, air knives offer an efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs or conveyors as well as acting as an environmental separator or air curtain. EXAIR's Super Air Knife is the most efficient compressed air knife on the market! It delivers a uniform sheet of laminar airflow across the entire length with hard-hitting force.
It is engineered to dramatically reduce compressed air usage while entraining ambient air at a ratio of 40:1. Noise levels are greatly reduced when compared to other blowoffs.
Available from stock 3" to 108" long and made from aluminum, Type 303 stainless steel, Type 316 stainless steel and PVDF to meet your application needs. Custom sizes and materials available.
What is The Super Air Knife?
EXAIR's Super Air Knife is the latest generation of our engineered air knife that dramatically reduces compressed air usage and noise when compared to other blowoffs. The Super Air Knife offers more efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs or conveyors. It delivers a uniform sheet of laminar airflow across the entire length with hard-hitting force.
Noisy blowoffs become a whisper when replaced with the compact Super Air Knife. Even at high pressure of 80 PSIG (5,5 BAR), the sound level is surprisingly quiet 69 dBA for most applications! Air amplification ratios (entrained air to compressed air) of 40:1 are produced. Meets OSHA maximum dead-end pressure and noise requirements.
- Has a laminar airstream that is uniform, forceful and quiet.
- Velocity is the highest of all three air knives.
- Air consumption is lowest of all three air knives.
- Compressed air inlets are provided on each end and on the bottom.
- Quiet - 69 dBA for most applications
- Minimal air consumption
- 40:1 air amplification
- Uniform airflow across entire length
- Variable force and flow
- No Moving Parts - maintenance free
- Easy mounting - compressed air inlets on each end and bottom
- Compact, rugged, easy to install
- Stainless steel screws in all models
- Recessed hardware
- Stock lengths to 108" (2743mm) in Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, and 316 Stainless Steel (ss - for temperatures up to 800°F (427°C), food processing or corrosive environments), and PVDF up to 54" (1372mm) for superior corrosion resistance.
- Special lengths available
- Unlimited system lengths of uninterrupted airflow available
- Part drying after wash
- Sheet cleaning in strip mills
- Conveyor cleaning
- Part or component cooling
- Web drying or cleaning
- Environmental separation
- Pre-paint blowoff
- Bag opening/filling operations
- Scrap removal on converting operations
How the Super Air Knife Works?
Compressed air flows through an inlet (1) into the plenum chamber of the Super Air Knife. The flow is directed to a precise, slotted orifice. As the primary airflow exits the thin slotted nozzle (2), it follows a flat surface that directs the airflow in a perfectly straight line. This creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length of the Super Air Knife. Velocity loss is minimized and force is maximized as the room air (3) is entrained into the primary airstream at a ratio of 40:1. The result is a well defined sheet of laminar airflow with hard-hitting force and minimal wind shear.
OSHA MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE NOISE EXPOSURE
High noise levels are a common problem for many plants. Compressed air noise often exceeds OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) noise level exposure requirements, resulting in hearing loss to those working in close proximity. The sound level of the Super Air Knife is quiet at 69 dBA, even at high pressures of 80 PSIG (5.5 BAR). Using the Super Air Knife, it is possible to obtain hard-hitting force without the high noise.
Compare These Blowoffs!
There are a variety of ways to blow the water from the bottles shown in the photo below, but which method is best? The following comparison of drilled pipe, flat air nozzles, a blower and the Super Air Knife proves that EXAIR has the best choice for your blowoff, cooling or drying application.
Our goal for each of the blowoff choices was to use the least amount of air possible to get the job done (lowest energy and noise level). Compressed air pressure required for each was 60 PSIG (4.1 BAR) which provided adequate velocity to blow the water off. The blower used had a ten horsepower electric motor and was a centrifugal type blower at 18,000 RPM. The table at the bottom of the page summarizes the overall performance. Since your actual part may have an odd configuration, holes or sharp edges, we took sound level measurements in free air (no impinging surface).
This common blowoff is very inexpensive and easy to make. For this test, we used (2) drilled pipes, each with (25) 1/16" (1.6mm) diameter holes on 1/2" (13mm) centers. As shown in the test results below, the drilled pipe performed poorly. The initial cost of the drilled pipe is overshadowed by its high energy use. The holes are easily blocked and the noise level is excessive - both of which violate OSHA requirements. Velocity across the entire length was very inconsistent with spikes of air and numerous dead spots.
FLAT AIR NOZZLES
As shown above, this inexpensive air nozzle was the worst performer. It is available in plastic, aluminum and stainless steel from several manufacturers. The flat air nozzle provides some entrainment, but suffers from many of the same problems as the drilled pipe. Operating cost and noise level are both high. Some manufacturers offer flat air nozzles where the holes can be blocked - an OSHA violation. Velocity was inconsistent with spikes of air.
ELECTRIC BLOWER AIR KNIFE
The blower proved to be an expensive, noisy option. As noted below, the purchase price is high. Operating cost was considerably lower than the drilled pipe and flat air nozzle, but was comparable to the EXAIR Super Air Knife. The large blower with its two 3" (76mm) diameter hoses requires significant mounting space compared to the others. Noise level was high at 90 dBA. There was no option for cycling it on and off to conserve energy like the other blowoffs. Costly bearing and filter maintenance along with downtime were also negative factors.
EXAIR SUPER AIR KNIFE
The Super Air Knife pair did an exceptional job of removing the moisture on one pass due to the uniformity of the laminar airflow. The sound level was extremely low at 69 dBA. For this application, energy use was slightly higher than the blower but can be less than the blower if cycling on and off is possible. Safe operation is not an issue since the Super Air Knife cannot be dead-ended. Maintenance costs are low since there are no moving parts to wear out.
Here are some case studies:
SUPER AIR KNIFE REPLACES FAN COOLING
The Problem: A manufacturer of automotive electronics had a problem cooling computers as they exited a wave solder machine. In order to be handled and tested, the computers had to first be cooled to 81°F (27°C). Initially, they had tried banks of 6" (152mm) diameter axial fans across the 8' (2.5m) length of the cooling conveyor. It consisted of 16 fans blowing down from the top and 16 fans blowing up from the bottom at 7" (178mm) away from the surface. After traveling the full length of the conveyor with the fans running at full force (a five minute duration), the computers were still 108°F (42°C). Quality control personnel sat with an unacceptable backlog of computers waiting to be tested.
The Solution: The company removed the top and bottom fan banks and replaced them with (3) Model 110012 12" (305mm) Super Air Knives that were evenly spaced across the cooling section. Each Super Air Knife was angled so the computer and heat sink received the constant rush of airflow. With the conveyor at the same speed 1.6 FPM (0.5m/min), and Super Air Knives at only 40 PSIG, the computers were cooled to 81°F (27°C) in 90 seconds!
Comment: The laminar airflow of the Super Air Knives was the key to success in this application. Fan cooling could only provide random spikes of air at moderate velocities. The uniform sheet of air from the Super Air Knife quietly swept the heat away within the first 2' (610mm) of the conveyor. Low air consumption and the compact size of the Super Air Knife were an added bonus.
AIR SHIELDING A LASER LENS
The Problem: A dirty lens can affect the quality of cameras, sensors and lasers. Today’s visual inspection systems are highly accurate tools used to monitor dimensions, temperature, finish quality, labeling and much more. These products require clean lenses in order to provide the proper feedback to operators or other machinery within the process. The above laser lens is integral to a laser cleaning operation where a laser is used to clear away debris and provide a fresh surface. The laser cleaning operation in this case was creating debris which flew up and deposited on to the laser lens. Debris on the lens could affect the laser’s cleaning quality or become burned upon the lens and create the need for a replacement lens.
The Solution: A Model 110006 6” (152mm) Super Air Knife was installed just above the laser lens to blow air down and across the lens. The sheet of air created an invisible barrier the contaminants could not penetrate and kept them from depositing on to the lens. The quality of the laser cleaning has been consistently good and the need for replacement lenses due to debris deposition has been eliminated.
Comment: An air barrier is a common application for a Super Air Knife and can create a non-contact wiper with little or no obstruction. They have been used in similar applications to prevent debris from getting to many different sensors or cameras, to retain heat within an oven, or to deflect mist from a machine tool.
BAKERY CREATES CLEAN BREAK IN ICING
The Problem: A bakery had a problem applying the icing to their snack cakes. As the baked sponge cakes moved down the conveyor, a continuous ribbon of icing was applied to the individual cakes. Trying to make a clean break in the icing was next to impossible. Mechanical blades required constant cleaning. Compressed air through a series of holes in drilled pipe used too much air, was noisy and didn't make a clean break in the icing.
The Solution: A Model 110018SS 18" (457mm) Stainless Steel Super Air Knife was installed across the conveyor. A photo eye is used to detect the space between the cakes and turn the compressed air on at the precise moment to apply uniform airflow and velocity against the ribbon of icing, creating a nice, clean break.
Comment: The Stainless Steel Super Air Knife was the best choice for this application. Since there was no contact with the icing, no additional cleaning was required. The laminar flow of the Super Air Knife has uniform velocity across the entire length and broke the ribbon of icing evenly. This would never have been possible with the spikes of air from a drilled pipe, nozzles or a blower.
SMOKE CONTAINMENT DURING ENGINE TEST
The Problem: The last step in an engine assembly process is "burn-in" on a test stand. Each engine is connected to a dynamometer and run for a period of one to five minutes. Residual machining oil on the head produced smoke during the test, and the vent hood at the top of the stand had insufficient capacity to contain it.
The Solution: A Model 110024 24" (610mm) Super Air Knife was mounted on both sides of the test stand. The sheet or "wall" of air produced by the Super Air Knife, captured, contained and diluted the smoke while directing it towards the vent hood. The environmental problem was solved without obstructing the technicians observation of, or access to the stand.
Comment: The use of the Super Air Knife for containment and separation is becoming increasingly common. The advantage, as illustrated here, is the ability of the Super Air Knife to create a screen or barrier with no obstruction. Other typical applications in this mode are:
- Retaining heat in curing and drying ovens
- Protecting workers from coolant splatter
- Isolating industrial camera lenses from airborne contaminants
Here are some sample of applications:
Model 110006 6" (152mm) Super Air Knife removes residual water from can bottoms after rinse process, eliminating water damage to packaging and shipping materials.
Model 110054 54" (1372mm) Super Air Knife dries stamped parts that exit a washer.
Model 110018 18" (457mm) Super Air Knife cools molten plastic following dip molding.
Fast moving bottles will blown dry by (2) model 110018 18" (457mm) Super Air Knives prior to labeling.
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