Evolution of Streamtek Corp Air Knives

Air knives are not a brand-new technology; they’ve actually been around for almost 60 years! They have improved markedly since then, and are making an impact on the manufacturing industry.

Air knives are incredibly important tools, especially in the manufacturing industry. They are used to blow off, control liquid thickness, dry coatings, cool surfaces or create a hold down force to assist in the mechanical bonding of materials to the surface. Electrical currents from anti-static bars can also be injected into the exit air knife stream to neutralize the static electricity charge on some surfaces. Streamtek Corp carries a Regular Air Knife and an Advanced Air Knife that can do all these jobs incredibly well.

Are you familiar with how a Streamtek Air Knives work? They are a pressurized air chamber containing a .002” gap which pressurized air exits in a laminar flow pattern. The exit air velocity then creates an impact air velocity onto the surface of whatever object the air is directed. This impact air velocity can range from a gentle breeze to greater than Mach 0.6 (40,000 ft/min) to alter the surface of a product without mechanical contact.

Air knives started in the 1950’s and 60’s and were referred to as “air doctors.” The printing and textile industries were some of the largest users of air doctors at that time. They often needed wide paths of air from a compressed air system to control the thickness of liquids on a surface, or to blow debris off the surface of materials prior to the next process. Other terms used were air bar, air squeegee, air curtain, air jet, air blast, air blow off, air nozzle, air comb. Today the most commonly used term is simply “air knife”.

Thanks to modern technology, air knives are becoming more and more efficient. Streamtek Corp’s Regular and Advanced air knives have proven to reduce the energy usage versus compressed air knives by 50–75% for most applications.

There are a variety of uses for Streamtek Corp air knives because the invisible-high velocity air streams can be discharged by air knife designs of numerous shapes and sizes. These range from “garage built” devices with a low level of precision to the most exotic metals of construction used in air knives for class 100 clean rooms. Whatever level you need, Streamtek Corp can do it. The most common use of Streamtek Corp air knives is to contain or remove free-standing materials from the surface of material in manufacturing. The applications include drying bottles and cans after filling and rinsing, drying circuit boards in the manufacturing process, metals castings after automatic machining, drying produce, and cooling electronics cabinets. They can also deliver heated or cooled air to a surface or create an invisible air barrier to separate heated or cooled environments.

Streamtek Corp offers two types of air knives for your applications needs. There is the Regular Air Knife and the Advanced Air Knife. The Regular air knife is a little noisier but is still great. The Advanced Air Knife is our best air knife and will be great for your more advanced needs. We offer a lot of other compressed air products to suit your needs, including air conveyors, air wipes, vortex tubes, and static eliminators.

Whatever your need, whatever the scale, Streamtek Corp can help you. We have application engineers on stay by to assess how you can best use our air knives and any of our other compressed air products. We stand by our products and care about our customer’s needs. Have a need or some questions? Contact us today!

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