The commercial industry is a significant booster in the economy. It is responsible for mass production of various products, and thereby reliable tools and operation systems are required for continuous and easy-flowing production processes. To become cost-effective and sustainable, manufacturing companies also need cheap but effective mechanical devices.
Be it for cleaning, drying or cooling operations, air knife is one tool which can be depended upon for such processes. Air knives, also referred to as air blades, do not require electricity to function. The tool utilizes the air surrounding it as well as compressed gas supplied to the device. The air blade draws the air through “Coanda” effect and creates a thin flow of air along the length of the blade. With just a small amount of compressed air, the tool can produce an output air stream of 30 times more.
Compared to other mechanical apparatus used in the same applications such as drilled pipes and open tubes, air knives are much more efficient and low-cost. Air blades are capable of creating amplified air flow of about 30:1 ratio, whereas drilled pipes and open tubes only have 3:1. For easy and flexible attachment, air knife is comprised of multiple ports and has jagged design. A reliable and long-lasting air knife must be made of aluminum or stainless steel, so it can withstand abrasive and high-temperature operations.
The air blade was first used to blow off debris and control liquids on surfaces of different materials for production. Among the largest users of the device during the 50’s and 60’s were printing and textile industries. The utilization of the device became even more widespread after the Montreal Protocol came out. This worldwide ruling called for the elimination of solvents and cleaning agents which posed great harm to the ozone layer. By the time, cleaning agents used by many industrial plants dissipate into thin air during operations and do not require blow off or drying method. With the Montreal Protocol, air knives were found as the ready solution for safe cleaning, drying, and even cooling tool for varied industrial processes.
At present, many industries rely on air knife for their operations. Air blades are used as alternative for brushes and cloth pieces to clean delicate items which are prone to marks and scratches. The device is also used to dry a variety of items which include cans, bottles or automobiles parts. Moreover, air blades are also effective tool in cooling processed foods.