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Compressed Air Encyclopedia

Air Amplifiers
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Air amplifiers can save up to 80% compressed air usage when compared to open pipes in blow-off applications.

Air amplifiers can save up to 80% compressed air usage when compared to open pipes in blow-off applications.

A 1/8” open pipe can consume up to 70 cfm. That is the entire output of a 10hp compressor. An air amplifier can accomplish the same output flow using only 10 CFM.

Air amplifiers use the coanda effect to maximize the effect of a small amountof compressed air. Air amplifiers are essentially a cylindrical chamber with a specific profile on the inner surface. Compressed air, introduced into the circumference of the cylinder is channeled at high velocity through an annular gap, into the interior, and towards the outlet. The inner profile is shaped similar to an airplane wing and as the compressed air passes over it a region of low pressure is created. The low pressure induces the surrounding air to flow into the amplifier. The combined flow of primary compressed air and surrounding air travel towards the output of the amplifier.

Depending on the design of the amplifier, the output flow of the amplifier can be 25-40 times the flow of the compressed air that powers the amplifier.

OSHA Considerations

Not only do air amplifiers produce a jet of air more efficiently than an open tube but they are also substantially quieter. An open tube at 80psi produces approximately 100dBA, whereas an air amplifier can produce the same blast of air at only 74dBA. OSHA standard #29CFR-1910.95(a) states that workers can only be exposed to noise levels of 100dB or more for 2 hours, whereas 74dB is well below the levels that are acceptable for a full shift of exposure.

An open tube can be also be dangerous if the outlet pressure is over 30psi. Compressed air can be lethal at those pressures if it comes into contact with a person’s skin. Air amplifiers are open at both ends so dead-end pressure is not an issue. OSHA standard #CFR-1910.242(b) regulates the dead-end pressure of compressed air openings.

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