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Super Air Knife

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Jump to: What is it? | Applications | Advantages | How it Works? | Dimensions | Aluminium | Stainless Steel | PVDFBlowoff comparison | Performance | Long Super Air KnifeShim Sets | Flow ControlModels | Installation Sheets


Super Air Knife™

Quiet, hard-hitting curtain of air for blowoff, cleaning, drying and cooling.

checked box image Surprisingly Quiet! - Only 69 dBA!
checked box image Reduced Air Consumption!
checked box image Uniform Airflow!
checked box image Amplification of 40:1!

What Is The Super Air Knife?

super-air-knife-video-previewEXAIR's Super Air Knife is the latest generation of air knife that dramatically reduces compressed air usage and noise when compared to other blowoffs. The Super Air Knife offers a more efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs or conveyors. It delivers a uniform sheet of laminar airflow across the entire length with hard-hitting force.

Noisy blowoffs become a whisper when replaced with the compact Super Air Knife. Even at high pressures of 80 PSIG (5.5 BAR), the sound level is surprisingly quiet at 69 dBA for most applications! Amplification ratios (entrained air to compressed air) of 40:1 are produced. The Super Air Knife meets OSHA dead-ended pressure and noise requirements.

Specials are available. Please contact Compressed Air Australia.


  • Part drying after wash
  • Sheet cleaning in strip mills
  • Conveyor cleaning
  • Part or component cooling
  • Web drying or cleaning
  • Environmental separation
  • Pre-paint blowoff
  • Bag opening/filling operations
  • Scrap removal on converting operations
Air Knives Dry Product
Air Knives Blowoff Product
  Air Knives Cool Product
Click an application picture above to see more information!


  • Quiet - 69 dBA for most applications
  • Minimal air consumption
  • 40:1 air amplification
  • Uniform airflow across entire length
  • Easy mounting - using Universal Air Knife Mounting System or compressed air inlets on each end and bottom
  • Compact, rugged, easy to install
  • Recessed hardware for easy mounting
  • No moving parts - maintenance free
  • Variable force and flow
  • Stainless steel screws on all models
  • Special lengths available
  • Unlimited system lengths of uninterrupted airflow available
  • Stock lengths to 108" (2743mm) in aluminium and stainless steel (ss - for temperatures up to 800°F (427°C), food processing or corrosive environments)
alt A Model 110024SS 24" (610mm)  Stainless Steel Super Air Knife dries bolt covers exiting an electro-polishing tank.

How the Super Air Knife Works


Compressed air flows through an inlet (1) into the plenum chamber of the Super Air Knife. The flow is directed to a precise, slotted orifice. As the primary airflow exits the thin slotted nozzle (2), it follows a flat surface that directs the airflow in a perfectly straight line. This creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length of the Super Air Knife. Velocity loss is minimized and force is maximised as the room air (3) is entrained into the primary airstream at a ratio of 40:1. The result is a well defined sheet of laminar airflow with hard-hitting force and minimal wind shear.

Smart Use Of Compressed Air


Almost every industrial facility has at least one compressor that is used for hundreds of different tools, equipment and operations. While most applications for compressed air present no real problems, some do. Improper use can translate into unnecessary energy costs, high noise levels and dangerous exposure of personnel to high pressure air.

Reduce Energy Costs


The best way to cut energy costs is through proper maintenance and use of the compressed air system. Leaks and dirty filters require maintenance on a regular basis. Energy savings can also be realized when replacing outdated motors and controls with high efficiency models that often pay for themselves in a short period of time. The most important factor to dramatically boost efficiency is proper use. The Super Air Knife uses only 1/3 of the compressed air of typical blowoffs used in cleaning, cooling and drying operations and can be instantly cycled on and off.

Reduce Noise Levels


High noise level is a common problem for many plants. Compressed air noise often exceeds OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) noise level exposure requirements, resulting in hearing loss to those working in close proximity. The sound level of the Super Air Knife is quiet at 69 dBA, even at high pressures of 80 PSIG (5.5 BAR). Using the Super Air Knife, it is possible to obtain hard-hitting force without the high noise.

OSHA Maximum Allowable Noise Exposure
Hours per day (constant noise) 8 7 4 3 2 1 0.5
Sound Level dBA 90 91 95 97 100 105 110

OSHA Standard 29 CFR-1910.95(a)

Eliminate Harmful Dead Ended Pressures


Air can be dangerous when the outlet pressure of a hole, hose or copper tube is higher then 30 PSIG (2 BAR). In the event the opening is blocked by a hand or other body part, air may enter the bloodstream through the skin, resulting in serious or fatal injury. The Super Air Knife has been engineered for safety and cannot be dead ended. It is safe to operate at higher pressures and meets OSHA standard 1910.242(b).

Air Knives blow chips away from boring operation
(5) Model 110003 3" (76mm) Super Air Knives blow chips off the fixture, tools and ways on this boring operation.

Replacement For Expensive, Noisy Blowers


Energy conscious plants might think a blower to be a better choice due to its slightly lower electrical consumption compared to a compressor. In reality, a blower is an expensive capital expenditure that requires frequent downtime and costly maintenance of bearings, belts and filters. Here are some important facts:

  • Filters must be replaced every one to three months.
  • Belts must be replaced every three to six months.
  • Blower bearings wear out quickly due to the motor that must turn at 17-20,000 RPM in order to generate effective airflows.
  • Poorly designed seals that allow dirt and moisture infiltration along with environments above 125°F (52°C) decrease bearing life.
  • Typical bearing replacement is at least once a year at a cost near $1000 U.S.
  • Many bearings can't be replaced in the field, resulting in downtime to send the assembly back to the manufacturer.

Blowers take up a lot of space and often produce sound levels that exceed OSHA noise level exposure requirements. Air volume and velocity are often difficult to control since mechanical adjustments are required.

Blowoff Comparison


There are a variety of ways to blow the water from the bottles shown in the photo, but which method is best? The following comparison of drilled pipe, flat air nozzles, a blower and the Super Air Knife proves that EXAIR has the best choice for your blowoff, cooling or drying application.

Our goal for each of the blowoff choices was to use the least amount of air possible to get the job done (lowest energy and noise level). Compressed air pressure required for each was 60 PSIG (4.1 BAR) which provided adequate velocity to blow the water off. The table below summarizes the overall performance. Since your actual part may have an odd configuration, holes or sharp edges, we took sound level measurements in free air (no impinging surface).

(2) Model 110012 12" (305mm) Super Air Knives blow water off bottles prior to labeling.

Compare These Blowoffs

ineffective drilled pipe

Drilled Pipe

This common blowoff is very inexpensive and easy to make. For this test, we used (2) drilled pipes, each with (25) 1/16" (1.6mm) diameter holes on 1/2" (13mm) centers. As shown in the test results below, the drilled pipe performed poorly. The initial cost of the drilled pipe is overshadowed by its high energy use. The holes are easily blocked and the noise level is excessive - both of which violate OSHA requirements. Velocity across the entire length was very inconsistent with spikes of air and numerous dead spots.

ineffective flat air nozzles

Flat Air Nozzles

As shown below, this inexpensive air nozzle was the worst performer. It is available in plastic, Aluminium and stainless steel from several manufacturers. The flat air nozzle provides some entrainment, but suffers from many of the same problems as the drilled pipe. Operating cost and noise level are both high. Some manufacturers offer flat air nozzles where the holes can be blocked - an OSHA violation. Velocity was inconsistent with spikes of air.

ineffective blower

Blower Air Knife

The blower proved to be an expensive, noisy option. As noted below, the purchase price is high. Operating cost was considerably lower than the drilled pipe and flat air nozzle, but was comparable to EXAIR's Super Air Knife. The large blower with its two 3" (76mm) diameter hoses requires significant mounting space compared to the others. Noise level was high at 90 dBA. There was no option for cycling it on and off to conserve energy like the other blowoffs. Costly bearing and filter maintenance along with downtime were also negative factors.

Exceptional EXAIR Super Air Knife

EXAIR Super Air Knife

The Super Air Knife did an exceptional job of removing the moisture on one pass due to the uniformity of the laminar airflow. The sound level was extremely low. For this application, energy use was slightly higher than the blower but can be less than the blower if cycling on and off is possible. Safe operation is not an issue since the Super Air Knife cannot be dead-ended. Maintenance costs are low since there are no moving parts to wear out.

Blowoff Comparison Statistics
Type of Blowoff PSIG BAR SCFM SLPM Horse Power Required Sound level dBA Purchase Price *Annual Electrical Cost Approx. Annual Maint. Cost First Year Cost
Drilled Pipe 60 4.1 174 4,924 35 91 $50 $4,508 $920 $5,478
Flat Air Nozzles 60 4.1 257 7,273 51 102 $168 $6,569 $1,450 $8,187
Blower Air Knife 3 0.2 N/A N/A 10 90 $5,500 $1,288 $1,500 $8,288
Super Air Knife 60 4.1 55 1,557 11 69 $1066 $1,417 $300 $2,783

*Based on national average electricity cost of 8.3 cents per kWh. Annual cost reflects 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.


Pressure SupplyAir Consumption
per inch (25mm)
Velocity @ 6" (152mm)
from target
Sound level
@ 3' (914mm)
Force per Inch (25mm)
@ 6" (152mm) from target
20 1.4 1.1 31 5,000 25.4 57 0.6 17
40 2.8 1.7 48 7,000 35.6 61 1.1 31
60 4.1 2.3 65 9,600 48.8 65 1.8 51
80 5.5 2.9 82 11,800 59.9 69 2.5 71
100 6.9 3.5 99 13,500 68.5 72 3.2 91
*Super Air Knife Performance with .002" (.05mm) thick shim installed

Many Lengths Available From Stock in Four Materials



The aluminium Super Air Knife is suited to a wide variety of environments where corrosion or contamination is not a factor. The aircraft grade aluminium construction with plastic shim is very durable for general purpose applications. It can withstand temperatures up to 180°F (82°C).

Aluminium Super Air Knife
Aluminium Super Air Knife

Type 303 Stainless Steel

This is the most common grade of stainless steel. It offers good strength and is best suited to mildly corrosive environments. It can withstand temperatures up to 800°F (427°C).

Type 316 Stainless Steel

Some applications require better corrosion resistance than offered by Type 303 Stainless Steel. Type 316 Stainless Steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, better strength properties and resists pitting. It can withstand temperatures up to 800°F (427°C).

Stainless Steel Super Air Knife
Type 303 and 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife

PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride)

EXAIR's Super Air Knife is now available from stock in PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride), PVDF offers superior strength and is resistant to UV light, inorganic chemicals, solvents, ozone, weather, fungi, chlorinated hydrocarbons, highly corrosive acids, weak bases and salts. The PVDF Super Air Knife uses PTFE shims, Type 316 Stainless Steel pipe plugs, and Hastelloy® C-276 alloy screws to withstand harsh environments.

*HASTELLOY is a registered trademark of Haynes International, Inc.

PVDF Super Air Knife
PVDF Super Air Knife

Long Super Air Knives

air-knife-long-lsak 559wide-small

EXAIR has expanded Long Super Air Knives to include a maximum length of 108" (2743mm) and is now manufacturing all knives 60" (1524mm) and longer in one piece construction. New one piece construction ensures seamless airflow and eliminates coupling multiple short length air knives together. One piece construction decreases overall height by 1/2" making it better for tight spaces. Super Air Knives produce a laminar sheet of airflow to blow off, dry or cool wide surfaces up to 108" (2743mm) wide. They are ideal for use on wide parts, webs and conveyors.

Electronic Flow Control (EFC)

Electronic Flow Control (EFC)

EXAIR's EFC is an electronic flow control that dramatically reduces compressed air costs by turning off the compressed air when no part is present. This minimises compressed air use for blowoff, drying, cooling, conveying and static elimination operations. The EFC combines a photoelectric sensor with a timing control that limits compressed air use by turning it off when no part is present. Visit the EFC page for more information.

Shim Sets


The compressed air exhausts through a gap which is set with a shim positioned between the cap and the body of the Super Air Knife. Force and flow through the Super Air Knife may be easily increased by adding shims to open the gap. Kits include a shim set (three additional shims). Shim sets for Aluminium Super Air Knives include a .001" (0.03mm), .003" (0.08mm) and .004" (0.10mm) thick plastic shim. Shim sets for stainless steel Super Air Knives include (3) .002" (0.05mm) thick stainless steel shims.



Aluminium Super Air Knife

Special Lengths Available - Contact Compressed Air Australia

Super Air Knife Dimensions

Type 303 and 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife

Special Lengths Available - Contact Compressed Air Australia

Stainless Steel Super Air Knife Dimensions

PVDF Super Air Knife

Special Lengths Available - Contact Compressed Air Australia

PVDF Super Air Knife


Aluminium Super Air Knife
Type 303 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife
Type 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife
PVDF Super Air Knife

Installation and Maintenance Sheets

Back to Top

Super Air Knife
Air Knife Shim Set
Aluminium Super Air Knife Coupling Bracket
Stainless Steel Super Air Knife Coupling Bracket
Universal Air Knife Mounting System
Universal Air Knife Plumbing Kit - Model 9076
Universal Air Knife Plumbing Kit - Model 9077
Universal Air Knife Plumbing Kit - Model 9078
Universal Air Knife Plumbing Kit - Model 9079


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Case Histories

Case History 103
Case History 105
Case History 123
Case History 169

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Compressed Air Australia

GPO Box 2792, Darwin,
Northern Territory 0801, Australia
Tel: +61 8 8983 3999
Fax: +61 8 8983 3900