Common compressed air related questions on production and manufacturing. You can search for a particular topic in the search box on top of the page

Do Nex Flow® air nozzles meet OSHA standards ?

Yes as all Nex Flow Air Nozzle are engineered to maintain OSHA dead end pressure standard 29 CFR.1910.242(b) and noise level exposure standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a). Air Nozzles  OSHA Standards

Do Nex Flow® air guns meet OSHA standards ?

Yes. In combination with our Nex Flow air nozzles, they meet OSHA dead end pressure standard 29 CFR.1910.242(b) and noise level exposure standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a). Nex Flow air guns are designed so that in combination with Nex Flow air nozzles, they maintain full pressure at the nozzle to maximize force and velocity for optimum performance. Air Nozzles Safety Air Guns OSHA Standards

Do blow off products require OSHA approval ?

OSHA is not an approval agency and only provides safety standards. Individuals and companies may require these standards to be met. Nex Flow products meet these OSHA standards.

What should be the operating pressure for an air nozzle, or air knife, air wipe, or any blow off product ?

Nex Flow blow off products, air knives, air nozzles, air jets, flat jets, in fact any blow off product manufactured by Nex Flow is rated to a maximum of 250 PSIG and optimized for maximum efficiency between 80 and 120 PSIG. However, we recommend to use the products at the minimum pressure possible to work on the particular application. A pressure regulator should be installed upstream to set the operating pressure to the minimum level required for the application.

There are so many air nozzles on the market that look alike. How do I know what is best ?

Yes, these are many look-a-likes but they are not the same. The outside shapes make a difference but even more important is what is inside that you do not see. For example, one customer chose Nex Flow over virtually all others that looked the same because it produced the most force with the lowest noise level. Carefully consider specifications on the force produced and air consumption. The ratio of force over air consumption should considered.

I want to change our nozzles to another supplier, most likely Nex Flow® but is that going to affect my production ?

Many nozzles air for a particular force for a particular size. This allows for interchangeability but is also logical as any size will tend to have a certain range in force and velocity output. However, what can vary is the air consumption to produce that particular force. Nex Flow® has designed its nozzles to consume the minimal amount of compressed air for the force produced against all known major manufacturers so replacing a competitive air nozzle is no problem with a Nex Flow® product. The performance would be the same or better using Nex Flow®. However, you must be cautious in replacing an air nozzles claiming to product the same force and velocity while consuming even 1 SCFM more. That single extra air consumption causes a bit more pressure drop so that it is possible the force produces will be less than expected. So when replacing air nozzles, you need to consider not only the force produced, but also the air consumption. Watch a video

Can I combine a vortex tube with an air amplifier or air knife ?

Not normally. If you pipe cold air from a vortex tube into the air entrainment end of an air amplifier or over the entrainment area of an air knife, the entrained air is so much higher that it overwhelms the cold air from the vortex tube unit. However, it has been done with limited success for small air amplifiers and air knives. A traditional vortex tube design does not work against very much back pressure and simply cannot have the cold air piped into the compressed air inlet of an amplifying product (although Nex Flow has a new design pending).

Can I convey liquid with a Ring Vac ?

Not normally. The Ring Vac is not made for moving liquid. It will vacuum up some liquid mixed with the gas but not a solid volume of liquid. Any liquid mixed with the gas will be atomized at the exit end of the Ring Vac. There have been a couple applications using very small Ring Vacs to convey liquid a small distance intermittently but this is more of an exception than the rule.

Can a Ring vac convey powder ?

Yes, powder can be conveyed. However, the powder will exit at a high velocity and can get dusty. You would need to separate the bulk powder from the moving air using a coarse filter (to minimize back pressure) or a centrifugal separator on the receiving container. If a separator or coarse filter is not possible (such as with fine powders), and the material is being sent to a vessel to receive the powder, a “chimney” can be added to the vessel, made tall enough to accept the dust cloud produced without losing the fine material.

Can Panel Coolers (Cabinet Enclosure Coolers) be mounted horizontally and on the side of a panel instead of on top ?

In many cases there is inadequate room to mount a Panel Cooler onto the top of a control panel. Both logically and to maintain NEMA standard integrity, the units need to be horizontal or maximum 45 degree angled. As hot air rises, and cold air falls, the displaced hot air from the cabinet needs to be at or near the “top” to be pushed out of the control panel. Mounting horizontally interferes with this process. To account for this, Nex Flow developed a side mount to use with all their Panel Coolers. This keeps the Panel Cooler vertical for optimal performance. The side mount needs to be placed on the side of a control panel, but near to the top of the enclosure for reason stated. Side Mount Kit

Is it possible to use blowers to operate air knives or amplifiers or air nozzles ?

No. The pressures produced by an air blower are simply too low to operate with compressed air operated products. There are significant design differences.

Can I cycle my compressed air or pulse my compressed air to Nex Flow® products.

Yes. We actually encourage the cycling of compressed air on and off as needed as Nex Flow® products respond almost instantaneously. Cycling the compressed air on and off will reduce operating costs significantly. The Nex Flow® PLCFC is an option to control the air flow.

Can I have back pressure on the cold end exhaust of a vortex tube ?

The performance of a vortex tube will deteriorate with significant back pressure on the cold end exhaust. Low back pressure of 2 PSIG and under has no significant effect on performance for the standard designs. Back pressure of about 5 PSIG will reduce cooling temperature by approximately 5 degrees F. It is not recommended to use a vortex tube in an application with greater back pressures. However Nex Flow is developing a unit that will be able to handle much larger back pressures. Contact Nex Flow for information.

Can I test your products ?

Yes. Any customer in the world can have a unit for test on a trial basis once the application is approved. You need to discuss the application with a qualified Nex Flow representative. Time and duration of the test depends on the application.

Can I use the Reversible Drum Angel on a plastic drum ?

No. The Nex Flow Reversible Drum Angel is designed for use on steel drums only with a nominal 16 gauge (1.5 mm) thickness.

Can I use the Rigid Flex Hoses with all Nex Flow® products ?

The Rigid-Flex hoses are designed to be used with Nex Flow® air nozzles, smaller air amplifiers, air jets and small air knives. The Rigid-Flex hoses can actually handle pressures up to 1600 PSIG and can be used for high pressure air and even liquids. Please contact Nex Flow® to determine if suitable for your application.

Can I use a vortex tube to cool my enclosure instead of a panel cooler

Yes. Panel Coolers are engineered vortex tubes designed specifically for cooing electrical and electronic control panels. They are properly UL tested and approved so you can be assured of safety in use on your enclosures, with built-in sound attenuation, vent to remove the displaced warm panel air, and are preset for maximum cooling. If using vortex tubes you need to assure that displaced warm air can exit the enclosure, and that the vortex tube is set for optimum efficiency. Attaching a vortex tube requires some fittings. One option to consider if these things are not important for the application, is to utilize the Nex Flow box cooler which is the vortex tube with the necessary fittings and some options such as a vent attachment. Box Cooler

Can I use the Reversible Drum Angel with a vessel larger than 55 US gallons ?

Yes. In a larger vessel the Drum Angel will require more time to pressurize the container and push the liquid out. There is a safety valve controlled by a spring which can also be changed to allow for higher pressures if needed. But care must be taken not to exceed the rated pressure of the container. Special systems can be produced if necessary.

What fluids can I use the Drum Angel with and which ones cannot ?

Water, coolant and many corrosive chemicals may be suitable to use with the Drum Angel as it is made of 316L stainless and Teflon float. A Nex Flow representative can help determine if the Drum Angel can be used for your product. A major limitation however is any flammable product such as alcohol, kerosene, and gasoline which cannot be handled with a Drum Angel.

Can I use nitrogen or any other pressurized gas with Nex Flow® products ?

Yes. Nex Flow® products can be used with any insert gas. However, care must be taken with any possible flammable gas and oxygen although in some applications it may be possible. It is recommended to discuss any use on a non-inert gas with a Nex Flow® representative.

Can I vacuum dry materials with the Reversible Drum Angel ?

No. The Reversible Drum Angel is designed to move liquid with pressure and with vacuum. Dry materials are vacuumed and conveyed using our Ring Vac technology.

Can the PLCFC handle two solenoid valves ?

No. The unit cannot handle the current draw from two solenoids.

Can the ELC electronic on-off control be used with other products besides Panel Coolers ?

It is possible to use it with the Nex Flow Box Cooler and also any of the Nex Flow vortex tubes, provided that the temperature operating range is within the temperature settings of the of the ELC. Please contact a Nex Flow representative for assistance on your specific application.

Do you recommend a filter to use with Nex Flow® products.

Nex Flow® recommends a minimum 25 micron filter with auto drain for its vortex tube and Ring Vac products and a 10 micron with auto drain (or finer) for all other products. This is for water and dirt removal. If oil is present in the compressed air supply, a coalescing oil removal filter should be used. An optional method in lieu of traditional membrane filters is the Super Separator. These relatively new technologies can help address moisture and dirt that may be problematic in compressed air lines and used instead of, or along with traditional filters. Contact a Nex Fow representative for assistance.

Does the orientation of an air knife make a difference ?

No. An air knife is not positon sensitive and the air flow direction is effective in any orientation of an air knife.

How are vortex tubes rated ?

Vortex tubes are rated in BTU/hr based on 100 PSIG inlet pressure at 68 degrees F. Any deviation in pressure or temperature will affect the rating. In establishing the BTU/hr. you need a reference outlet temperature into which the cold end of the vortex tube goes and we use 100 degrees F. The cold fraction is set to between 60 and 80% (normally 70%) to cover most applications. This yields the nominal BTU/hr ratings published.

How do I mount Nex Flow® air knives and air wipes ?

The problem with some air knife designs is that it requires disassembly. This can cause problems in even flow if not re-assembled properly. Nex Flow® air knives and Ring Vac air wipes have convenient mounting holes to utilize for mounting. Mounting systems are available for air knives.

Why use Nex Flow® products over other compressed air blow off and cooling and conveying products ?

Nex Flow does continuous research and development for new and better products and to improve existing products. Several patents are owned by Nex Flow with more coming. Existing products are manufactured with the highest priority to superior quality. For example, our air knives and most other aluminum products are anodized for better material protection. All necessary electrical approvals are with our Panel Coolers so you know that the materials will last and they can be installed with complete confidence. Unfortunately, with success comes the dubious honor of having cheaper and lower quality knockoffs, some by part time operations with little or no knowledge of what they are supplying. They make look the same on the outside, but not on the inside. Nex Flow has the knowledge, quality, fair price and commitment to guarantee service and support needed.

Why use Nex Flow® compressed air products for blow off instead of blower systems ?

For years there has been a greater focus on the cost of compressed air to the point of demonizing its use. And certainly, there are situations where blower systems are more economical to use than compressed air. However, there is a reason where the vast majority of compressed air products is used for blow off and cooling (some estimates at 70%). Choosing one over the other involves many factors (Read More Article). With regard to the advantages of compressed air, they are lower purchase costs, very little if any maintenance, much longer life on equipment as no moving parts, lower noise levels well within OSHA standards, infinitely variable force and flow rates, and much simpler and easier installation.

Why is the solenoid valve on the control panel used for on-off control of my Panel Cooler, chattering ?

The Model 90017 thermostat is supplied with a capacitor. This .002 microfarad capacitor is to be wired across the leads of the thermoswitch to stop the chattering. The reason for chattering is a slow change of temperature inside the cabinet enclosure and the capacitor corrects for this to eliminate the chattering of the solenoid.

What is a cold fraction on a vortex tube and how do I know the setting ?

The cold fraction of a vortex tube is the percentage of air out the cold exhaust. So for 100% of the compressed air supplied, the cold fraction is 70 if 70% of the input air is exiting the cold end. One way to determine the cold fraction is by measuring the temperature at the cold outlet (measure just inside the tube), and measuring the temperature of the input compressed air and the pressure of the compressed air going into the vortex tube. Then compare to the chart in the vortex tube section to estimate the cold fraction. Another way is to measure the flow out the cold end (and into the vortex tube) with flow meters.

How do I know which vortex tube I have in my vortex tube, or Panel Cooler or any vortex cooling system form Nex Flow® ?

Each vortex tube has at the cold end a “generator” which has a number marked on it. That number identifies the generator type and model number. Once Nex Flow® support has that number, the entire system can be identified.

How do I order Nex Flow® products.

Nex Flow® products are sold direct to customers around the world. Customers in the USA and Canada may currently order products online and this will be expanded to other countries over time. Nex Flow® des have distributors in most major countries around the world and continually expanding. We can help you to find a local distributor.

How do I set the gap on adjustable air amplifiers ?

To change the gap, loosen the lock ring. The back out or tighten the inner sleeve until the desired gap is reached. You can utilize shim stock to set the gap for a more accurate setting. After setting the gap, tighten the lock ring. Nex Flow also manufacturers 1-1/4” and 2” adjustable air amplifiers with markings to set an accurate gap without the need to guessing or using shim stock.

There are so many Nex Flow® nozzles to choose from. How do I know which one ?

The nozzles we offer come in a variety of connections and sizes and material. It all depends on the application – for drying or cooling and the force required. Nex Flow® personnel can assist on the correct choice.

How does a vortex tube work ?

There are many descriptions online on why and how a vortex tube works although no one knows exactly why. But basically compressed air goes in, and splits into a hot and cold stream by spinning the air back and forth inside itself. One end gets cold and the other hot. The basic design of a vortex tube has not changed for over 60 years abut new designs are pending to improve efficiency.

How is the volume of air from a nozzle, air knife or amplifier more than air at the exit point ?

In any exhaust opening for compressed air blowoff, as the air moves out of the opening, the diverging air patter becomes larger the further you move away from the exit so more air from the surrounding atmosphere is entrained. This results in larger air volume. Engineered nozzles are designed so that the exit air is more laminar and can entrain more air, basically converting energy normally lost s pressure drop and noise into useful mass flow and velocity.

How much ducting can be added to an Air Amplifier ?

We recommend a maximum distance of 15 feet on the outlet of an Air Amplifier and 5 feet on the suction side. The more ducting that is added also reduces the amplification ratio quickly. If air or gas must be carried a longer distance it is often more advantageous to use the Nex Flow Ring Vacs.

How much material can be conveyed with a Ring Vac ?

Many factors affect the conveying performance of a Ring Vac and its non-clogging version the XSPC. These are Ring Vac size, the input pressure, the vertical distance, the horizontal distance, the number of bends in the system and of course, the size and nature of the material being conveyed. Nex Flow support can assist in the sizing and choice of Ring Vac best used.

How much pressure does an air knife really need to work ?

The maximum pressure and air knife can take in 250 PSIG but is designed for optimum performance between 80 to 120 PSIG. It is recommended to use a regulator and to lower the pressure to the point where it still work for the given application. Many applications need only 60 PSIG and even less while others may need 100 PSIG.

How does the temperature of the compressed air supply to a vortex tube, or vortex tube operated device like a Panel Cooler, affect the cold exhaust temperature ?

A vortex tube takes the inlet compressed air at a given pressure and provides a specific temperature drop at the cold end, and specific temperature rise at the hot end. Elevating the inlet temperature will produce a corresponding rise in both the hot end and cold end temperature.

If I am not getting enough flow of air from my air knife, or air amplifier or air wipe, do I add more shims ?

Not necessarily. In fact, this could make the situation worse. Low flow could be from restrictive fittings, undersized air supply lines, a clogged filter, and undersized air compressor supply or even dirt inside the air knife, amplifier or air wipe. If you add a shim, this will attempt to draw more air through these restrictions and you actually can get less flow as a result due to additional pressure losses. One way to check if it is a pressure loss in the systems is to install a tee and a pressure gauge just upstream the unit and measure the pressure while the air if flowing. If the pressure is adequate then check for dirt by disassembling the device and cleaning it. Even if it seems clean, it may not be. Clean all components and carefully reassemble. Then if the pressure is acceptable, and the product is clean, add a shim and test again. Multiple shims do increase air consumption so as you add more shims, other things in the system may be affected. It is recommended you contact Nex Flow for assistance if more than one extra shim is possibly required.

My vortex tube is not producing cold air. What is the problem ?

If the cold air exhaust is not performing to specifications to can be for several reasons. The hot end may be open too much, so turning it back one full turn should make an immediate improvement. Also, the inlet pressure to the vortex tube should be checked. Vortex tubes are designed to work optimally between 80 to 120 PSIG. Below 80 PSOG performance will start to drop and the temperature decrease will be less. Cleanliness is also important. Inspect the vortex tube parts for dirt, oil and other debris. If dirty, simply clean and reassemble. Assure that the air supply is clean and dry. One common problem is simply that the vortex tube is not assembled “tightly”. This inhibits the sinning air action and reduces performance. Simply make sure all parts are tightened. High back pressure on the vortex tube also reduces performance. A 5 PSIG back pressure will reduce the exhaust temperature by 5 degrees F of traditional vortex tubes. If cold end ducting is used, keep the inside diameter equal to or greater than the exhaust opening of the vortex tube. When measuring the cold end temperature, always measure just inside the vortex tube cold end opening. If you have applications where you will encounter significant back pressure, Nex Flow has some proprietary designs which can work against high back pressure. Contact Nex Flow for assistance.

I have parts to cool. Which Nex Flow® product should I use ?

The factors that determine the best product to use for cooling are initial temperature, final temperature desired and in what time frame, size of the part, and material. Contact Nex Flow for a recommendation and assistance on the application.

I need more force from my air knife, or air amplifier, air jet or air wipe. How do I get it ?

To achieve more force from an air knife, air amplifier, air jet or air wipe, you need to increase the flow. You can do this by increasing the pressure but if that is not possible, you can increase the gap where the compressed air exits on the unit. With adjustable units you simply open the gap setting. For fixed units you may add shims to make the air gap larger. When the gap is increased, you may need to check and change the compressed air plumbing to avoid increased pressure losses due to extra air flow which can actually adversely affect performance, maybe even reducing the force because of too much flow. Nex Flow support can assist you with any questions you have.

I need to blow off my parts, Which Nex Flow® product should I use ?

There are many parameters to consider in a blow off application such as the configuration of the part, speed of travel of the part, etc. Please consult a trained Nex Flow® representative for a recommendation in your application.

What lengths of air knives are available from Nex Flow® ?

Nex Flow® manufactures air knives in standard lengths up to 54.” However, one long length will not have the same force per inch as smaller air knives which can be connected end to end using the Nex Flow® coupling kit. It really depends on the application whether one or more air knives should be utilized in a given application. A Nex Flow® representative can assist. For any lengths longer than 54” units may be connected end to end using the coupling kit.

Can I retrofit and air knife to an existing static bar that I have.

Yes. Simply advise us the length of the static bar and we can specify the items needed.

My line pressure is 80 to 100 PSIG but my Nex Flow® product is not working well. Why ?

In the majority of cases, poor performance is due to restrictive fittings, quick disconnects, airlines too small, or insufficient air supply. While system pressure may be 100 PSIG, the pressure at the point of use will be considerably less and may so low as to starve the unit for air. Check Installation and Maintenance for the product used for guidance in proper airline sizes. A good test is to install a pressure gauge at the inlet of the product and check the pressure while the product is running. Any significant pressure drop is an indication of either improperly sized air lines, or a restriction, or lack of compressed air capacity or any combination. If the pressure is within operating range, check for dirt and contamination in the product. If dirty, simply clean. If problem still occurs, contact a Nex Flow® representative.

The reversible Drum Angel was working just fine when I got it but now is does not work so well. Why?

The Reversible Drum Angel has no moving parts except for the handle to convert from filling to emptying and back, plus the float. Degradation is likely due to contamination from the compressed air supply. As long as clean air is maintained there should be no need for maintenance but, if necessary due to dirt contamination disassemble the unit and clean. Sometimes dirt or material will get stuck around the float if the material is sticky or dirty and the float will need cleaning. Another possibility is that the filter used to protect the Drum Angel is clogged causing a larger than normal pressure drop restricting the air supply, thereby reducing performance. Servicing the filter will correct the problem.

We have some dead spots on our air knife. What should we do ?

It is usually from dirt getting into the air knife. Disassemble the unit, clean, and reassemble as per Maintenance and Installation instructions. Another possibility is that the screws holding the body and cap are not tightened evenly. The reason mounting holes are supplied is so the air knife does not need any disassembly for mounting. If this has happened make certain the screws are evenly tightened. Any air knife 12” and longer needs to have two inlets supplying the compressed air. Using only one may create uneven flow. If one of the feed lines is restricted in some way compared to the other one, it would only aggravate the problem. If making these corrections does not fix the problem, contact Nex Flow.

We removed the static charge with your ionizer (static eliminator) but the charge keeps coming back. Why ?

The ionizer or static bar eliminates the charge as it passes by the unit but, if that part or material experiences additional friction where it rubs against another surface, a new static charge can build up. It might be possible to re-locate the static bar to that location or possibly an additional static bar at the location which the static re-occurs.

What are the materials of construction for Air Amplifiers?

The X-Stream Air Amplifiers are cast zinc/aluminum and most popular due to rugged nature. They are highly efficient and come with mounting holes for easy installation. Adjustable air amplifiers are in either anodized aluminum or 303/304 stainless steel. A mounting bracket is available as an option so they may be mounted like the X-Stream versions.

What are the advantages of using the ELC over the thermostat controlled Panel Cooler System ?

The ETC can be adjusted for the temperature range desired for on-off control easily with the push buttons inside the box. The digital display indicates the actual temperature inside the control panel.

Why does Nex Flow® use stainless steel shims instead of plastic ones like some other manufacturers of air knives.

One of the biggest complaints against the use of plastic shims is that they wear out quickly. Other complaints about older designed aluminum air knives is that they are not anodized. Nex Flow® provides aluminum anodized air knives and even a hard anodized X-stream Air Blade air knife version and the stainless steel shims used simply last longer.

What are the common applications for the Reversible Drum Angel ?

The Reversible Drum Angel is designed to collect liquids by creating a vacuum in any sealed top 55 US gallon drum. It empties the drum by creating a pressure inside the drum to push the liquid out. Over-pressurization is prevented with the use of a pressure relief valve in the system. A float prevents over filling the drum.

What are the temperature limits for your air knives ?

Anodized aluminum air knives: 400 degrees F. (205 degrees C)
Stainless steel air knives: 800 degrees F. (427 degrees C)

Note that temperatures that exceed 800 degrees G (427 degrees C) may produce intergranular corrosion which may eventually cause the compressed air gap to plug up.

What are the temperature limits of your air nozzles ?

All anodized aluminum air nozzles: 400 degrees F. (205 degrees C)
Zinc alloy Air Mag nozzles: 250 degrees F. (121 degrees C)
Peek Air Mag nozzles: 230 degrees F. (160 degrees C)
All stainless steel nozzles: 800 degrees F (427 degrees C)

What are the temperature limits of your Air Amplifiers ?

Zinc/Aluminum X-Stream Air Amplifier: 176 degrees F. (80 degrees C) but this is limited by an O-ring. Changing the O-ring (on request) allows it to be used to 356 degrees F. (180 degrees C)
Adjustable Anodized Aluminum Air Amplifier: 275 degrees F (135 degrees C)
Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier: 600 degrees F (315 degrees C)

What does SLPM stand for ?

SLPM is Standard Liters per Minute which is the metric system to express standard airflow. One (1) SCFM = 28.3 SLPM.

What does the Vortex Tube performance chart indicate ?

The Vortex Tube performance chart gives the approximate temperature drop (and rise) from the inlet compressed air temperature that enters the vortex tube, at each cold fraction setting and at different input air pressure. Assuming no fluctuation of inlet temperature or pressure, and air not falling below the deposit of the air, the temperatures produced will remain within +/- 1 degree F. This chart is based on tests with a standard 15 SCFM vortex tube for maximum cooling and is comparable to 10, 1nd 25 SCFM versions. At higher flow, it will vary more.

What do your Static Meters tell me ?

Nex Flow carries two models of static meters, one more finely tuned than the other but both are used to indicate the static charge on the surface of a part. They are used to pinpoint the location of static charge that may cause problems in production and to verify the elimination or reduction of static charge using a static eliminator.

What fluid was used to determine the flow rates, force and other data given in the performance data and online catalog for the products ?

Published performance data was obtained testing with compressed air and various instruments to measure force, velocity, air consumption, vacuum, temperatures, etc. as applicable to the product.

What is a vortex tube ?

A vortex tube is a product of Nex Flow Air Products Corp that uses compressed air as the power source to produce cold air form one end, and hot air from the other. It has no moving parts. The cold air is used for refrigeration or spot cooling. The hot end may be usable for spot heating but is very minimal in effectiveness and not recommended.

What is the angle that the air exits a Nex Flow® Ring Blade® air wipe ?

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What is the BTU/hr. range of your Cabinet Enclosure Coolers (Panel Coolers?)

Nex Flow Panel Coolers currently operate from as low as 290 BTU/hr to 2900 BTU/hr for a single unit. Multiple units can be combined for larger capacities.

What if I need something that is not shown in your catalog or some variation of a Nex Flow product ? Will Nex Flow manufacture a special unit for me ?

Yes. Nex Flow is a manufacturer and we have the ability to alter any product for specific requirements such as special length air knives, special ionizers, vortex tubes set to a specific output, etc. We can also make a completely new design for a product. Nex Flow maintains a close relationship with educational institutions and have ongoing research to both improve, and develop new technologies related to compressed air. At any on time, we have several special projects on the go and can assist you with strong technical knowledge of compressed air as it is used for blowing, conveying and cooling.

What is the difference between CFM and SCFM ?

SCFM means Standard Cubic Feet per Minute. This means 1 cubic feet of free are at standard conditions (68 degrees F and 14.7 PSIA).

CFM is Cubic Feet per Minute actually occurring. To really determine what that means, you need to know pressure and temperature along with the volume. In presenting the volume of compressed air used by a Nex Flow product, SCFM is used so it provides a reliable standard to which the customer can measure to determine the power requirements.

What is the difference between the Tool Cooler and the Adjustable Spot Cooler ?

Both units are packaged vortex tubes. The Tool Cooler has the vortex tube preset for optimum cooling effect. The package includes a magnetic mount, is muffled and a sleeve protects the hot end of the vortex tube.

The Adjustable Spot Cooler has a knob at the hot end to adjust the outlet cold temperature. It is also muffled to reduce noise and comes with a magnetic mount.

What is the difference between the Ring Vac and the XSPC ?

The Ring Vac is the optimum compressed air operated conveyor to use. The X-stream versions are more powerful and hard anodized for heavier duty applications and where more power may be needed to convey. The hard anodizing can handle more abrasive materials.

The XSPC is a different design to convey materials that may “clog” or bunch up in material transfer. Nex Flow support can assist you in the best product to use in your application.

What makes your Heavy Duty Air Gun special ?

The Nex Flow Heavy Duty Air Gun is designed to work with our powerful ½” Air Mag Nozzles. These air guns are used in very tough environments such as steel plants and paper mills. They are able to handle the higher air flows required to produce the high force produced by the nozzles for the most difficult cleaning applications without energy loss in the air guns. They are available with extensions to reach hard to get areas.

What is the difference between the X-stream Air Amplifier and the Adjustable Air Amplifier ?

cast into the body for mounting. The Adjustable units must be mounted externally or with hard piping although an optional bracket with 2 mounting holes is available for the 1-1/4” and 2” models. The Fixed X-Stream Air Amplifiers utilize a more efficient design and provides exceptional and optimal air amplification. Despite claims from some companies of very high air amplifications, the Nex Flow units have consistently tested better and appear to be one of the best, or “the” best unit for air amplification and force/velocity output.

The Adjustable Air Amplifiers are just that – the air gap is adjustable that might be preferable in some applications. They are available in aluminum and also in stainless steel for food, corrosive and high temperature applications.

What is the difference between a Vortex Tube and other cold air products like the Panel Cooler and Tool Cooler ?

The Vortex Tube is a main component of all the products producing cold air. The Vortex Tube is available in three different sizes with a wide range of cooling capacities. All models have an adjustable hot end valve to alter the flow and temperature at the cold and hot ends. On special order, this adjustable valve can be replaced and fixed to allow for a specific flow/temperature setting. Inside each Vortex Tube is a “generator for different flow ranges.

Most of the other cold airflow generating products are basically fixed airflow “packaged” versions of the Vortex Tube for particular applications – the Tool Cooler for cooling cutting tools in dry machining and the Panel Cooler for example for electrical and electronic control panel cooling. Specific packages make the product easier to use and install and meet regulatory requirements that may be required such as with Panel Coolers which have UL and ULC approvals and meet international IP standards.

What is the material of nex Flow Cabinet Enclosure Coolers (Panel Coolers) ?

Nema 12, Nema 3R and Nema 4/4X units are nornally 303/304 stainless steel and 316L versions are also available.

What is the maximum operating temperature for the Panel Cooler Systems ?

All units are rated to 125 degrees F. (51.5 degrees C) except high temperature units may be used in environments up to 200 degrees F (93.3 degrees C).

What is the maximum temperature rating of the Reversible Drum Angel ?

Due to the ABS standpipe, the maximum temperature rating is 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). However, for special applications where higher temperature must be tolerated, the standpipe may be replaced with other material. The plastic float can withstand 248 degrees F (120 degrees C). Replacing the plastic standpipe allows for temperatures up to 248 degrees F.

What is the maximum pressure rating for the Rigid-Flex hose ?

The Rigid-Flex hose have a maximum pressure rating of 1600 PSIG. This allows for its use in even more applications that with just air. It also finds use with high pressure liquids.

What is the recommended gap to have between the target product and the Ring Blade Air Wipe ?

On the Ring Blade air wipes sizes 2” and larger, the recommended gap is ½” (13 mm) between the outside of the extruded product and inside diameter of the Ring Blade air wipe. Smaller units can have a lesser gap to accommodate the entrained air for high blow off force and velocity. While in many applications a gap of up to 1” (and larger) is possible, the blow off force will be a bit weaker and may need the installation of an extra shim to provide the extra force necessary for the application. It depends on the specific application.

What is the temperature limit of the ELC on-off electronic thermostat ?

The environmental temperature limit of the ELC is 150 degrees F (65 degrees C.)

What is the temperature range of the Stainless Steel Ring Blade Air Wipe ?

The maximum temperature for the stainless steel Ring Blade air wipes is 800 degrees F (427 degrees C).

What is the temperature rating of the Rigid-Flex hose ?

Nex Flow Rigid-Flex hoses may be used in temperatures up to 800 degrees F (427 degrees C).

What is the vertical lift that your Reversible Drum Angel can produce ?

The Reversible Drum Angel can produce approximately 9 feet of vertical lift at 80 PSIG inlet pressure.

What kind of maintenance is required for an ionizing bar (static bar?)

A static bar is an electrical device and should be treated as such. Never clean while the power supply is on. A soft bristle brush (even a regular toothbrush) should be used to clean the emitter pins and channel. Remove any particulate. Do NOT use any soaps or liquids that can leave a conductive residue which can cause a short and damage the static bar. Frequency of cleaning depends on the environment – some may require daily cleaning, some only a monthly cleaning.

What length do you offer for the X-stream Air Blade Ionizer and the Standard Air Blade Ionizer ?

One air knife piece systems are available up to 54”. A static bar can be produced up to ten feet and even larger and combined with multiple air knives.

What makes the Nex Flow Air Mag nozzles so special ?

The Air Mag nozzle is a new “patented” design. When it was conceived the goal was to accomplish three things form an air nozzle: noise reduction superior to others, a more powerful force for a given air consumption than others and the ability to easily replace other nozzle to work as well or better at a lower cost. Because we are not just copies of old designs, the Air Mag nozzles are far superior and will work equal or better than other nozzles and are generally priced lower for easy and economical replacement.

What is the material of a Nex Flow Air Blade air knife ?

We offer the Nex Flow X-Stream Air Blade air knife in anodized 6061 aluminum, hard anodized 6061 aluminum, in 303/304 stainless steel and in 316L stainless steel.

The Standard Air Blade Air Knife is produced in anodized 6061 aluminum and in 303/304 stainless steel.

Nex Flow does produce air knives of special material as requested.

Do need to muffle the sound on the Nex Flow Cabinet Enclosure Cooler (Panel Cooler) ?

All Nex Flow Panel Coolers have built in sound attenuation but an additional muffling package is available to reduce sound to 65 dBA.

What viscosity of fluid can your Reversible Drum Angel handle ?

The Reversible Drum Angle can handle fluids from water and water based coolants to motor oil. Pumping rate is however effected by the viscosity. Water can be effectively pumped at an approximate 38 US gallons per minute rate at 80 PSIG inlet pressure while hydraulic oil will be about 10 US gallons per minute and motor oil at approximately 7 US gallons per minute. The Reversible Drum Angel was once even used to pump molasses but it was very slow!

Where should I position your ionizer (static bar) in my process/application ?

The most effective place to install a static bar just before the problem caused by static occurs – ie: just before shocks occur, before jamming, etc. The popular application for ionizers with air knives like our Air Blade Ionizers or Ion Blaster Beam is for dirt and particulate removal. It is “always” better to remove the static charge before particles can be attracted to a part. Sometimes multiple installations are required due to static regeneration as the part moved along the process.

It is ideal to have a static meter which is also available from Nex Flow to determine where the static charge is actually generated as well as how much of a charge is generated.

I have been told that air knife ionizers and ionizers using air amplifiers can remove static charge from 20 feet away. Is that true ?

The fact is, even a static bar (ionizer) alone will eventually reduce and remove a static charge 20 feet away. The real question is the time to remove the charge. Adding and air flow to an ionizer helps push the ions to the target to speed up static removal. But that also comes at a cost as ions can recombine weakening the neutralizing effect. Static removal is not instantaneous – it is time dependent. When you are dealing with high speeds or high charges and greater distances, the effectiveness of static charge removal is increased by the use of a stronger static bar and not because it uses an air knife or air amplifier or, for that matter a blower. Air knives and amplifiers work better than blowers because of the laminar flow, but they do not produce miracles in neutralization. More than once, Nex Flow Triple X Air Blade Ionizers have repacked competitive units because of such ridiculous claims and solved the problem, all because of the use of a stronger static bar.

Where do I positon my Ring Vac air operated conveyor ?

Generally the Ring Vac should be placed within 3 feet (or closer) to the suction point s it is always easier to blow material through a hose or pipe that to vacuum it. If it is not possible to get the Ring Vac that close, then place it reasonable close to the suction point. That is one guideline. The second guideline is to have the suction side 1/3rd of the desired conveying distance with the delivery side 2/3rd of the distance. If dealing with long horizontal runs, multiple units may be needed. One trick is to have the horizontal discharge angled down slightly to have gravity assist in the conveying to the destination of the material.

Which Nex Flow® Cabinet Enclosure Cooler (Panel Cooler) should I use ?

To determine the model the heat load of the control panel must be determined. A form is available online to assist in collecting the data necessary for Nex Flow® to calculate this heat load and advise of the model to be used. Click here for the sizing guide.

Which Vortex Tube should use ?

Vortex tubes are available in three physical sizes and a variety of cooling capacities. Nex Flow personnel can always assist on determining the best model. A Vortex Tube Cooling Kit, one for each physical size is also available for experimentation to help determine the best model for your application.

Why can’t I use the Reversible Drum Angel with flammable material ?

The Reversible Drum Angel has the potential to produce a static charge which is caused by the material being transported.

Why can’t I use your Ring Vac with flammable material ?

The Ring Vac has the potential to produce a static charge which is caused by the material being transported.

Do really need a Cold Air Distribution Kit with the Panel Coolers ?

The Cold Air Distribution Kit allows the Panel Cooler to distribute the air throughout the control panel. Because the panel Cooler has a built in vent to allow for the displaced warm air to vent out of the enclosure, the cold air coming out of the Panel Cooler will take longer to distribute inside the enclosure as it is right next to that vent. Using the tubing provided allows for faster cooling and isothermalization of the control panel. It also helps in noise muffling and is a safety against the very remote possibility of any moisture or dirt entering the enclosure from the compressed air supply.

Do I need a PLCFC ?

The PLCFC is a package to control compressed air flow (on and off as required). You can do the same thing in house with an electrician and purchased parts but if you do not have one, this is a simple package to make it easy for the customer.

Why should I avoid using a non-contact temperature gun in determining my cabinet temperature ?

The temperature guns read surface temperature of the material at which they are aimed and not air temperature. To really accurately calculate heat load, we need to measure the air temperature inside (and outside). We recommend the use of a simple air temperature thermometer.

With every cooler Nex Flow supplies a Temperature sensitive sticker that you can put in the top corner of a control panel. A color change will indicate if the temperature inside is too hot and action needs to be taken. These stickers may be purchased separately.  They were designed to account for the difference between surface temperature and inside air temperature and give an approximation of any dangerous level of air temperature inside the control panel.

Why should I install Nex Flow® products in my existing compressed air applications ?

Nex Flow® products are designed and produced to maximize compressed air efficiency and allow for optimum use of compressed air. Our designs also improve the environment for worker safety by supplying OSHA compliant products for dead end pressure. read OSHA sound article.

Can I use your static bars (ionizing bars) to demagnetize my metal parts ?

Static eliminators do not de-magnetize objects as it is a totally different technology.

Will a Panel Cooler System operate at less than 100 PSIG ?

Yes it will and they are optimum in performance between 80 to 120 PSIG compressed air pressure input. But under that pressure, the cooling effect will be proportionally less.

Will Nex Flow® Panel Coolers cause condensation inside our control panels ?

No. The cold air produced by the Panel Cooler that enters the enclosure expands to atmospheric pressure and warms to enclosure temperature. The only time any moisture can enter is if the air filter dramatically fails (so a filter is always recommended) as well as a hose distribution kit to capture any remote possibility of moisture. It is however very important to close off any vents and other openings in the control panel to avoid humidity from the outside environment being accidently drawn into the cabinet. Much like a cold can of liquid on a hot day, this humidity can cause condensation on the inside.

The maximum humidity possible, even if saturated compressed air is used, is 45% as long as the control panel is relatively tight and no outside environmental air is allowed in. A 5 micron filter is supplied with any Nex Flow® Panel Cooler system to keep the air clean and dry.

Will the Air mag nozzle replace an open airline with the same effectiveness ?

Open air lines are a serious safety issue because of the high noise levels generated and also because of dead end safety pressure. The Air Mag nozzles will generally provide a dramatically lower air consumption as well as much lower noise level while maintaining OSHA mandated dead end pressure level. The force provided may be the same, less, or more depending on how far the original open airline is placed to the target. An open airline very close to the target will have higher pressure and likely more force. However, the Air Mag nozzles produce a laminar flow and extends the force much further than an open airline. At six inches away the force will most likely be the same as an open airline and twelve inches away may even be more force. Also, in many applications, the force used by open airlines is not really necessary. The increased flow (due to air amplification) and the laminar flow most times can offset the decreased force and make the application work the same or even better.

Will the Air Mag® and other Nex Flow® nozzles fit on my existing air guns.

Generally yes. However, not all air guns are well designed in that they may have restrictions inside that cause large pressure drops. Not only is an efficient nozzle important, so is the air gun on which it is used. The air guns provide by Nex Flow® are designed to be efficiently used with our air nozzles.

Can Ion Air Knives or the Ion Blaster Bean take static away at a distance of 20 feet?

Even an ionizing bar (static bar) can remove static at 20 feet – given enough time. There has been a false belief propagated that a static charge can be removed at a long distance by using a compressed air supported ionizer. The fact is, it takes time to reduce and eliminate a charge. It might take several seconds for the charge to be removed but in normal production that is a very long time. To eliminate charge at a long distance with any air boosted system you need a much more powerful static bar (like the Nex Flow triple X static bar) and total elimination still depends on the time available, the level of charge on the target, and the strength of the static bar. Very little depends on the air source. The primary reason to use an air knife or amplifier is to clean a part.

Do engineered air nozzles cool?

Yes, engineered air nozzles can cool but you can achieve more efficient cooling with larger air amplification technology like the air jets and air amplifiers.

Is the Power Supply High Voltage Important in Static Elimination?

You need at least 3600 volts at the pins on an AC static eliminator. Power Supplies step up the voltage to provide adequate voltage to the ionizer. Power supplies can be 5 Kv, or 7 kV. Its only common sense that a 7 kV power supply will last longer as transformers eventually wear out, and also ensure adequate voltage the static eliminator.

What makes the Nex Flow® X-Stream® Air Blade air knife perform better than other air knives?

Air knives that operate by having the exiting compressed air go straight out generally have the same force/unit of compressed air at a given force level. What makes the Nex Flow® design unique is that you get a force/SCFM at a lower input pressure than most other designs. Since it takes less energy to produce lower pressure input compressed, they are more energy efficient.

Does Anodizing a nozzle, air wipe, amplifier or air knife affect performance?

No. Amplifiers operate using the Coanda effect. Airplanes fly using the Coanda effect. Airplane wings are anodized and still fly. Anodizing aluminum used in the manufacturer of air nozzles, jets, amplifiers, air knives, air wipes protect the material and add to longer life. There is no detrimental effect to performance.

How much noise can be reduced using engineered air nozzles?

Even if energy is not important a big advantage of engineered air nozzles is exhaust noise reduction in the range of 10 dBA.

Are blowers better to use than air knives?

Whether to use blower air knives or compressed air operated air knives depends on a great deal of factors. Whether one is used over another depends on which factors are most important (Read Article).

For Panel Coolers is NEMA TYPE certification important?

Yes. You cannot get NEMA certification without testing from an approved certification body. It guarantees not only that your control panel will be safe, but also that quality materials are used in the construction of the Panel Cooler. Any product that has not been properly vetted and approved should be suspect on many levels. NEMA Tyoe certification applies to North America but there is an equivalent CE cross reference to the European standards.

Why do we need filtration at the point of use with Nex Flow® products?

Even though your compressed air system is well maintained, and claims to have adequate moisture control in the air lines, point of use filtration is still highly recommended because moisture can still get into a system via leaks, open valves and from low points in the system which moisture might collect over time. A point of use filter will protect both the Nex Flow® product and the application.

Can Ring Vacs replace vacuum pumps?

In some cases, yes. It depends on the vacuum required, capacity needed, and whether continuous or intermittent. For example, special Teflon Ring Vacs were made for a scrubber application for gas venting and replaced vacuum pumps. This eliminated a great deal of maintenance cost. Compressed air powered the units but at very low pressure which was adequate to vent the gases.

Which is better for venting – Air Amplifiers or Ring Vacs?

The air amplifiers move high volume but low vacuum. Ring Vacs create high vacuum but move much less volume. In many applications both products will work but at different air pressures and consumption. Ring vacs are best used when there is a possibility that the vented gas contains contaminant that can deposit on the device. If using an air amplifier it can change the Coanda profile and cause the product to stop working. But if clean gas (or atmospheric air) most often air amplifiers are best.

What are the most common uses for vortex tubes?

Any spot application where you require very cold air. Vortex tubes are used to cool hot parts, molds, electronics, tools in machining operations, even personnel. The hot end exhaust is sometimes used but, usually there are much better way to spot heat.

Can I replace the air nozzle on my existing blow gun?

Many blowguns use either inefficient air nozzles, or no safety nozzle. If the fitting is an NPT or BSP fitting, the nozzle can usually be replaced with a Nex Flow Engineered Nozzle. In some cases, Nex Flow has made special adaptors to allow nozzles to be retrofitted on existing air guns.

Which is better to use, and adjustable air amplifier or a fixed (non-adjustable) air amplifier?

The only issue with adjustable air amplifiers is that they are adjustable and hence can be tampered with at any time in a factory environment. This may or may not be desired. Nex Flow fixed amplifiers are cast units and much more rugged than the machined adjustable units and are more popular for that superior construction and for the fact that they are not adjustable.

Where Can I use the Fume Removal System?

The Nex Flow Fume Removal System is a packaged system for compact applications to remove fumes and particulate such as at soldering stations. Its portability and small footprint are major reasons for their use.

Where would I use the Nex Flow® Frigid-X® Mist Cooling System?

The Nex Flow® patented Frigid-X® Mist Cooling system combines the advantages of giving a machining application lubrication if required with added advantage of cooling from the vortex tube. It reduces the need for lubrication up to 20% improving the environment and saving on material.

Where would I use the Super Separator?

The Super Separator is a point of use separator than can address very severe moisture, oil and particulate issues in a compressed air system. They are best used to do the heavy work in removing this moisture, oil and particulate as they can remove 99.99%. But they do not control particle size and if particle size is important you still would use traditional filters downstream of the Super Separator. However the life of these filters would be extended indefinitely.

Do you have air knives longer than 54 inches?

For addressing longer length in air knives we place additional units end to end. The problem with air knife designs in general is that the longer they are, the less force per inch achievable. In fact, we often recommend small air knives connected end to end for that reason for some applications.

How do you mount a Nex Flow® air knife?

All Nex Flow® air knives have mounting holes to use for mounting as we discourage disassembly unlike other manufacturers, so we can maintain the gap setting which can be negatively affected if taken apart and not reassembled properly.

Would replacing old air wipes with Nex Flow® Ring Blade® air wipes save me energy?

Nex Flow® Ring Blade® air wipes are air amplifiers and will general save energy over older style designs. There are also many cases where two Nex Flow® units, being very effective can replace three older style air wipes saving some space on a production line as well as energy.

My air knife does not seem to have enough force. What can I do?

If an air knife initially had enough force and then stopped working as well, it is usually just dirty and needs to be disassembled and cleaned. Also check if the air supply pressure has changed for some reason. If it never had enough force from the beginning, you need to check if the pressure supply is adequate. Force can be increased by adding a shim (or two) and opening the gap but you need a corresponding increase in the supply line.

We cleaned an air knife and now it does not work as air is not flowing properly. Why?

This happens when the Coanda profile is damaged. The air knife, and all amplification products work using aerodynamic shapes that entrain air along with the compressed air exiting the unit, converting pressure normally lost as pressure drop and noise into flow. If the surface of the air knife is damaged by improper cleaning, then the air flow profile will change and not work. The device would need to be replaced.

Which should I use for a nozzle? The cone shaped air nozzles or the Air Mag® design?

Both styles of air nozzles save energy and reduce noise. However the Air Mag® designs provide a higher force/CFM making them best when force is very important while the cone shaped designs have a higher flow/SCFM and make them ideal when cooling is more important. If nozzle cost is a major factor, then the cone shaped designs are generally a lower cost but will use more energy.

I need a special air knife length. Can it be done?

Yes. Not only can Nex Flow provide different lengths, we can do special materials and provide accessories. Price depends on volume and we have many customers who purchase specially designed units, not only in air knives but with all Nex Flow products.

I am using a Tool Cooler but have chattering problems in my drilling application. What can I do?

Dry machining is increasing in use but lubrication is still something that may be required in the operation depending on what the operation and material is. If lubrication is necessary we recommend the Mist Cooler which combines the vortex tube advantages with lubrication. (Mist Cooler)