Big Or Small, We’ve Got ‘Em All! Vortex Tubes, That Is

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about using large Vortex Tubes for freeze sealing/plugging of pipes. Even though they’re our LARGE Vortex Tubes, they’re still WAY smaller than the liquid nitrogen rigs that are also prevalent for this application. Smaller, in this case, means easier to handle and quicker to set up (and break down.)

So, that’s a case where a smaller device is used to do the same job. Today, I wanted to examine the different sizes of Vortex Tubes that we offer, when the job itself is what’s changing in size.

The Large Vortex Tubes are specified when a high flow of cold air is needed. Like the aforementioned freeze seals. Or this one, published in our catalog:

This is a typical application for a Large Vortex Tube.
This is a typical application for a Large Vortex Tube.

Our Medium Vortex Tubes are the most popular – there are ten to choose from, depending on the cold air flow rate and temperature you’re looking for. These can produce temperatures as cold as -40°F (-40°C) when set to a 20% Cold Fraction (which is the percentage of total supply air that’s directed to the cold end) and cold air flows as high as 32 SCFM when set to an 80% Cold Fraction, which will produce a cold air temperature of about 20°F (-7°C). Some common uses are cooling ultrasonic welds and brazed joints.

The Medium Vortex Tubes are so popular, in fact, that they’re incorporated into our Adjustable Spot Cooler and Cold Gun Systems. They come ready-to-go with mufflers, cold air hose kits, and magnetic bases, so they couldn’t be easier to use.

The Small Vortex Tubes are great when very low flows are needed, or if compressed air supply is limited. These are specified for much smaller applications, like cooling the needle of a sewing machine, small drill bits, etc. You can also get one with a cold air hose & magnetic base…that’s the Mini Cooler System.

Another advantage that makes the Vortex Tubes a great choice for cold air production is their consistency and dependability. If you supply one with clean, dry air, it’ll operate just about indefinitely, maintenance free. And if you need a constant supply of air as a certain temperature, say, for testing a thermostat or temperature switch, a Vortex Tube is exactly what you’re looking for: the only things that’ll change the cold air temperature are the compressed air supply temperature & pressure…assuming you don’t change the Cold Fraction yourself, as shown here:

If you’ve got an application requiring cold air flow, give us a call. We’re eager to help!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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