Vortex Tubes are highly adjustable tools in which you can use cold air or hot air for a wide variety of applications. We can obtain such freezing or hot air with nothing more than compressed air… More
It was 23 °F (minus 5 °C) when I walked out the door this morning, and it was a shock to my system. The primary reason for that shock was the heat (generated from my house’s furnace) that maintains a comfortable temperature inside my home. Relief from that cold came when the internal combustion of gasoline that powers my car’s engine provided heat to the coils that the cabin fan passes air through on its way to the vents that maintain a comfortable temperature inside my car. Heat is a good thing this time of the year.
Heat, however, isn’t always a good thing. Just a few short months ago, I walked out of the building here at quitting time and the 100 °F (37.8 °C) temperature similarly shocked my system. The reason for that was I had just walked out of a comfortably air-conditioned building…and relief came when my car’s trusty air conditioning system started blowing refrigerated air from the same vents that heated air comes out of during these winter months.
Heat from processes like machining, welding, soldering, brazing, electrical losses, rotating or reciprocating equipment, etc., causes problems as well, and it’s not simply a matter of comfort. Removing heat from these processes is critical to sustained operation. Sometimes, a great amount of heat has to be removed. Power plants that generate electricity, for example, have massive pumps that send thousands of gallons of water per minute through huge heat exchangers that condense steam from turbines so that it can be boiled again to keep those turbines spinning.
On the other end of that spectrum are equipment like industrial sewing needles, lens grinders, skitters or small cutting tools, and soldering guns, just to name a few. These can all be successfully addressed with a focused stream of cold air…just like you get from an EXAIR Mini Cooler.
The Mini Cooler uses the Vortex Tube phenomenon to generate cold air from compressed air, with no moving parts, on demand. Since it’s a physical phenomenon, as opposed to a direct transfer of heat, the Mini Cooler is generating cold air at rated flow & temperature as soon as you open the supply of compressed air to it. You can turn it on & off as often, or as seldom, as needed. There are no moving parts to wear or electrical components to burn out. With a compressed air consumption of only 8 SCFM @100psig, even fairly small compressors (as low as 3HP for some) can operate a Mini Cooler continuously.
If an application requires a higher rate of cooling, other Vortex Tube operated products are available from stock:
If you’re not sure which Cooling Product fits your needs, EXAIR Application Engineers are standing by to help specify the right one for you…give me a call.
Russ Bowman, CCASS
In the day-to-day life of an Application Engineer here at EXAIR, you get to speak about every single one of our engineered solutions, and sometimes you find yourself getting into discussions about items we don’t make and even some new ways to use products that we haven’t showcased. The run-of-the-mill applications for Super Air Knives are cleaning, cooling, or drying materials off, whether it be stationary and the knife moves or if the product is moving and proceeding through the sheet of air produced by the Super Air Knife. No matter which of these applications, the one thing in common is that they are all supplying the Super Air Knife with compressed air. Okay, some use compressed nitrogen, and they are few and far between. There is another motive material that can be used that isn’t a gas and that doesn’t get discussed too much; water!
Just last week, I was speaking with a customer who was struggling with a point of their application where they needed a waterfall of liquid and didn’t want to use liquid atomizing spray nozzles because they were required to have a continuous “sheet” of liquid in order to have optimal performance. They knew the Super Air Knives worked great on their drying section, so they called and asked how they do with water?
Well, the answer is they do pretty well considering they were designed for compressed air, which is compressed and expands rapidly to atmospheric conditions and helps with our performance, while water cannot be compressed, only pressurized. The good news is we do have some data and pictures from tests on something like this. So I pulled out the information I had and shared it with the customer.
As you can see, increasing the gap a little bit and keeping a good supply lends to a nice stream at lower operating pressures, not even full city line water pressure. While we tested numerous gaps and inlet pressures, some of the best flows were from 17 psig inlet pressure and with a .004″ and up to a .012″ gap. The customer in this case was happy enough that they decided to get a knife and shim sets in to test under our 30-day guarantee, and it turns out they were getting the performance they needed with the .004″ thick gap and about 15 psig inlet pressure.
While the point of this was to showcase how well a product works with something other than compressed air that it wasn’t designed around, I hope to also emphasize that we truly have tested a vast number of variables with most of our products. If we don’t have test data on what you are thinking, as long as it is safe, and we have the ability, we will conduct a test. If we think the best thing to do is for you to get it in and test it, then we will back up our stock product offering with a 30-day guarantee. If we know it isn’t going to be a good fit, we will also tell you that.
If you want to discuss anything revolving around the point of use using compressed air or pressurized liquid being used in a process within your facility, please contact an Application Engineer today!
When it comes to die stamping, friction generates heat. Heat can be a problematic cause for generating scrap, slowing production speeds, and decreasing tool life. A manufacturer of film reels was seeing the effects during their process. They had a stamping machine that was creating the sprocket holes in the outer edge of a 35mm film. These holes are used for advancing the reel strip through printers, projectors, and processing machines. They had to be particularly careful, as film materials warp easily with heat. Some of us remember the film reels that would bubble and burn out when the film stopped in the projector too long. So, speed was critical without creating any quality issues.
The film reel manufacturer was intrigued with the EXAIR Vortex Tubes as they can generate cold air by only using compressed air. They do not use refrigerants or have any moving parts. They are very compact and can fit into tight places. The manufacturer thought that if they could reduce the temperature in the stamping process, they could speed up production.
EXAIR makes different accessories available to help with installation and function of Vortex Tubes for various applications. For this customer, I recommended the model 5315 Cold Gun System. This product generates 1000 BTU/hr of cooling power, and has a Dual Point Hose Kit to allow for targeting both sides of the film reel. It includes an incorporated, magnetic base to securely position it on a ferromagnetic surface of the stamping machine. Finally, it includes two 1” flat nozzles to spread the cooling airflow out a bit. These flat nozzles would help to direct the cold air in between the two stamping plates. They were able to keep the film reel and the die stamp cool as they sped up their operation. Even with the additional speed, they also noticed that the die stayed sharper 20% longer which allowed for a corresponding productivity increase .
If heat is slowing down your process, EXAIR will most likely have a product to keep it cool. As with the customer above, heat was a “reel” problem. With the Cold Gun System, we were able to increase their productivity and decrease their downtime. Please contact an Application Engineer to discuss your application if temperature is affecting your process.
When it comes to liquid spraying, EXAIR is introducing a new size to the line of all liquid nozzles. They are engineered to spin the liquid in order to break the surface tension. Passing through a precision orifice, the liquid will break into fine particles. The smaller the particle size, the greater the surface area, which reduces liquid use. Now we are adding the brand new 1/8″ NPT HollowStream Nozzle to our product offering!
The HollowStream™ Cone Liquid Nozzles produce a liquid ring on the target. This will reduce liquid use when compared to our FullStream™ Cone Liquid Nozzles. They are available in NPT and BSP female threads in the new 1/8, ¼, 3/8, and 1/2 sizes with varying liquid flow rates. They are all made of 303 stainless steel with a vane-less design to help resist clogging. They can handle 250 PSIG (17.2 barg) of liquid pressure and operate at temperatures up to 800oF (427oC). Some applications would include cooling, quenching, washing, foam breaking, sanitizing, and de-greasing.
With six different styles that range from 0.1 to 1.0 GPM, it adds even more flexibility to our Liquid-only spray nozzles! You can see the new body dimensions below and the flow rates at 3-60 PSI of liquid pressure under the Specifications here! https://www.exair.com/phl80x5ss.html
If you have a process where you need to reduce the amount of liquid to save money, EXAIR offers a line of Liquid Atomizing Nozzles as well as Air Atomizing Nozzles. The design is to reduce the droplet size to increase coverage. Here is a blog with the Air Atomizing Nozzles for improving Gummy Candy Production. In either case, if you have questions regarding how we can reduce costs and improve processes, you can contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help you.