Aerovent was recently contacted by a manufacturer that was in need of unique solutions for their development of heat-treated metal products, including automotive components. The company needed assistance with two different challenges, both of which involved a process using an oil-quenching cooling system to cool automotive suspension bars that were dipped in hot oil.
The oil-quenching cooling system used by the manufacturer involved immersing the heated bars into oil, resulting in extremely hot, oily vapor permeating the air and coating the ceiling, walls, and machines. In addition to creating an extremely dirty environment, a blue haze of vaporized oil developed around the lights and left build-up on the surfaces within the plant.
The first challenge involved finding a way to contain and clean the air. This necessitated the development of a system to capture the large oil particles, isolate the remaining hot oily vapor, and then exhaust the air out of the building.
The second challenge was to develop a method to cool the heated suspension bars so that employees could efficiently handle them. The process the plant had been using involved removing the suspension bars from the oil at 1,700 °F, where they became hard and brittle. To increase their strength and flexibility, the bars were put into another oven and reheated to 1,000 °F. Next, the bars were sent through a cooling station that relied on outdoor air to cool the metal. Employees then had to handle the bars using thick, cumbersome gloves. An engineer involved with the project suggested that if the bars could be cooled further, this would allow the workers to wear thinner gloves, resulting in easier handling and increased efficiency.
A two step approach was taken to address the first challenge. Step one was capturing the larger oil particles through an exhaust system and extracting the oil with an oil mist collector. The oil would then be returned to a reservoir. Step two involved enclosing the area to capture the smaller remaining oil particulate and keep it from returning to the plant.
A system was developed to enclose the 16-foot high, 18-foot wide, 36-foot long steel beam support structure. Strip curtains 12 inches wide with a three inch overlap were installed to isolate the area, effectively blocking the cross drafts in the facility and containing the contaminated air. In two areas where a robot and transposing conveyor prohibited the use of strip curtains, air curtains were installed to maintain the effectiveness of the enclosure system.
Three eight-foot wide by twelve-foot long canopy hoods were also installed on the structure. Twenty-five inch diameter Aerovent Vaneaxial fans are mounted on each hood, with the ducts extending out through the roof. Each fan exhausts 10,000 CFM of the dirty air, which totals about 100 FPM per hood, providing sufficient ventilation for the area.
The solution to the second challenge involved one VTBD exhaust fan and two VTBD supply fans mounted on a platform to blow plant air over the bars. This effectively cools the bars an additional 100°F, which enables personnel to handle the bars with thinner gloves.
The Aerovent fans used in this application provided the ideal solution. Not only are they able to operate with oil buildup on the props, they are also capable of producing the necessary velocity to pull air through the enclosure. The manufacturing plant can now depend on Aerovent fans to function reliably for the next 20 to 30 years.
- Aerovent VTBD Vaneaxial belt-driven fans are able to handle airflow to 81,200 CFM and static pressure to 4.5″ w.g.
- They are well-suited for in-duct space ventilation, roof mounted ventilation, industrial fume exhaust, and high temperature process ventilation
- An A240 high temperature aluminum alloy propeller and high temperature lubrication are available for airstream temperatures up to 600°F
- Belt-driven design makes the VTBD ideal for applications where the motor needs to be kept out of the airstream because of dirt-laden, hot air
- Belts and sheave are enclosed in a metal tube to protect them from the airstream
- Motors are totally enclosed and drip-proof, allowing for continuous operation
In the end, the result of the two projects was a much-improved work environment with cleaner, fresher air for the employees.
Air Solutions is proud to be the authorized rep for Aerovent throughout Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. Contact us to discuss your project!