We speak to people every day about cooling applications. And the common theme that I can see come through in those conversations is that the average Joe may not understand that you do not always need a Vortex Tube to be effective in a cooling application.
For example, a customer recently asked whether a Vortex Tube could be used to cool a metal sleeve that was induction heated to a relatively low temperature (about 250F) in order to cure a coating that had been applied. Another customer asked about using a Vortex Tube to cool a sheet coming out of a lamination machine. Again, starting temp. was around 300F. The point of cooling in both applications was to get the temperature down to handle-able (about 125F) in as short a time as possible.
You do not need to use a Vortex Tube to cool the targets in these kinds of applications. In fact, due to the shape of the air flow, larger volume flow, and the air temperature (let’s say 80F), there is something better.
In the case of the induction heated tube, an Air Amplifier worked quite well and did not use as much air as a Vortex Tube to do the job. In the case of the lamination, a 12″ Super Air Knife was able to provide a cool enough and wide enough airflow to bring the temperature down very quickly.
The purpose of a Vortex Tube is to create temperature differential (change). If you already have that temperature differential established between the hot target and the cooling airflow (say from an Air Amplifier blowing 80F air and a target at 300F, a 220F delta T) you only need a large volume of the cooling medium,air, in this case. Which is exactly what Air Amplifiers and Air Knives do, amplify air volume and project it at a target.
The next logical question might be then, “When DO I use a Vortex Tube?” The answer to that question is something I will cover in my blog for next week.