The Need for Air Wipes
It is essential that extruded products, such as wire and cable, be economically dried
following immersion into cooling solutions. The removal of water and other cooling solutions is
necessaryto insure proper inspection, testing, printing and packaging. Equally essential is
the use of the most cost effective drying system. This not only pertains to the unit cost but also
the energy cost needed to operate the system.
How Does an Air Wipe Work?
The air wipe works by creating turbulence around the wire or cable. The turbulence
is created by controlling the direction and flow of the compressed air. What makes the KEIR air wipe
so unique is that the patented design relies on the controlled use of compressed air which is allowed to
decompress to atmospheric pressure within the chamber size to the wire(s) according to a proprietary
formula and does not depend on high volume air flow. The air accelerates to nearly the speed of
sound in a thin layer surrounding the wire. This release of Kinetic energy stored when the air was
compressed does far more work than other systems which rely on high volumes of air. The
configuration of the air chamber within the ceramic inserts keeps the wire centered within the
airflow. This design also discourages the entrainment of ambient air which typically dilutes the
energy available to dry the wire.
Why is the KEIR Air Wipe so Economical?
The cost to produce compressed air is expensive. In KEIR'S patented design the
amount of compressed air needed to a controlled air flow air wipe is significantly less than that of an
open line or adjustable air wipe. The cost to produce the compressed air for a controlled air flow
air wipe is also significantly less than the cost to operate a centrifugal blower. The KEIR air wipe
has been designed to operate as low as 20 psi, depending on application, but the typical psi is
at 60 psi.
What Other Factors Effect Efficient Drying?
Various parameters have an effect on drying. These include line speed,
material size, the viscosity and quality of the solution being removed, the temperature of the product
it leaves the cooling trough, and the quality of the air being supplied.
Line speed is one of the most important aspects of drying. The amount of time
available for a product to spend inside the air wipe affects the end result. Obviously, the greater
the line speed the more difficult it will be to dry. Some applications may require multiple units to
produce a satisfactory result.
Clean, dry air is needed for maximum efficiency. It is also important to note that
very contaminated or oily solutions can end up introducing and attracting other contaminants to the
Why is Proper Sizing of the Air Wipe so Important?
In order to obtain maximum drying power yet still maintain the lowest possible air
consumption it is critical to "size" the air wipe. This means that the diameter of the wire will
dictate the size of air wipe needed. Generally speaking, the diameter of the product is in the range
of 50-90% of the air wipe orifice size. This will ensure sufficient clearance to allow the air to
circulate around the product. Too large or too small of a gap between the wire and air wipe chamber
will not allow sufficient air flow to effectively remove the liquid. The wire size range covered by one
Air Wipe size is dependent on the maximum compressed air pressure available to the production line.
The Bottom Line.
The KEIR designed and patented air wipe is a far more effective method that does not
rely on the use of high volume air flow. This air wipe system goes by the name of
Frontiersman, with two designs called the SureShot and the
SplitShot. Each design utilizes high density alumina ceramic along the wire path
for superb air wipe longevity. These ceramic pieces are easily replaced. The low CFM combined
with effective drying and reduced noise is a great reason to consider the KEIR air wipe to replace your
current air wipes.
Manufacturing produces the only Patented air wipe on the market.
Other manufacturers just blow air in an attempt to remove liquid from
wire, Keir's air wipe effectively removes the liquid with less noise
at lower psi thereby reducing your cost to produce compressed air.
Two styles are available:
The SureShot is designed for bare wire. It has
a cylindrical ceramic insert (replaceable) pressed into a polymer
mount and seals with O-rings. This model can easily be made into 'gang' assemblies for multi-wire
The SplitShot is a clam shell design used for jacketed wire and cable. The
design allows for welds or extrusion bulges to pass through without
damage. Ceramic inserts line the wire path and keep the wire centered
within the powerful air stream. The polymer housing has an integral
hinge that can take abuse, yet comes apart easily for service or ceramic
Both of these air wipes can operate at line speeds up to 7000 fpm.