The 50’s marked a decade of great inventions and advancements in the world civilization. At the time, the industrial sector was on its boom, and various inventions to aid the sector were also invented. Air knife systems have been widely used in cleaning operations during its early years.
Many factories which manufacture machine and automobile parts used the ingenuity of air knives to clean such materials. The process of air knife or air blade operations utilizes Coanda effect creating a laminar or curtain-like flow of air which is utilized to clean the objects passing through it.
Since its invention up to today, many changes have taken place to improve the utilization of this mechanical apparatus. From being used as a non-contact cleaning agent, air knives today play various roles in the industrial sector, such as drying and cooling.
In late 1980’s, it was the time when air knives were used in more applications after the ratification of Montreal Protocol, which called for the phase out of many solvents and cleaning agents believed to be harmful for the ozone layer. With the said protocol, a tool which is capable of cleaning, drying and cooling of products without the need of additional substances which pose great harm to the environment.
Air knife is a simple machine utilizing compressed air as its power source. It is composed of multiple holes through which the air enters. When the air escapes from the blade, the output created ranges from a gentle breeze to air velocity of 40,000ft/min.
Among the functions of air knives include elimination and control of thickness of liquids, elimination of foreign particles, drying of liquid coatings, cooling of product surfaces. The tool is extensively needed in many plants and factories such as those which manufacture PC parts, car parts, fabric, and many more.
Air knives can be used stationary while the products are treated while passed through a conveyor. On another circumstance, the products can be stationary while the air knife moves.
Air knives are particularly made with metal, but in choosing your air knife, especially if it will be subjected to harsh environments and high-temperature operations, aluminum is the best choice. Unlike other common industrial tools and devices, air knives do not require electricity to operate, and thus do not suggest electrical or explosion hazards. With the promising functionality and dependability the air knife has offered many industries, it is not unlikely that more improvements and functions will be offered by this tool in the future.