High Temperature Vortex Tube for Sensor Cooling

Last year I worked with a power company that was having issues with Position Feedback Sensors overheating causing erroneous readings and early failures.  The sensors were located above a steam turbine, and the ambient temperatures reached 128°F with spikes to 140-150°F.  The customer had called in looking for a way to keep the sensors cool, using minimal compressed air, and in a robust package.  After reviewing the details, we recommended the High Temperature Vortex Tube, model HT3210.  While using just 10 SCFM of 100 PSIG compressed air, the HT3210 provides 8 SCFM of cold air at a temperature drop of 54°F from the supply air temperature.  Bathing the sensor with this cool air keeps prevents it from heating up and has eliminated the bad readings and prevented the early failures.

The customer recently implemented the same fix for another set of sensors.

Plant Photo
Power Generation Process, with (3) Position Feedback Sensors
Sensor
Position Feedback Sensor

The High Temperature Vortex Tube is a special Vortex Tube offering from EXAIR that utilizes a brass generator and hi-temp seal for use in ambient temperatures up to 200°F.  Simply supply clean, dry compressed air, and get cold air starting at 50-54°F lower than the supply air temperature.  With sizes ranging from 2 to 150 SCFM, there is a Vortex Tube that will meet most applications.

Vortex tube
High Temperature Vortex Tube

If you have questions about the Vortex Tubes, or would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Compressed Air Uses In Industry

From pneumatic hand tools like impact wrenches or nail guns to larger scale industrial applications like stamping presses, the use of compressed air can be found in almost any industry. In fact, it is often referred to as a “fourth utility” next to water, gas and electric.

Compressed air is used in virtually every industry!

 

Take for example in construction, workers will use a pneumatic riveter to join steel framing because of the power generated by the tool over an electrically powered device, not to mention it provides for a safer operation by removing an electrical hazard. Many companies use compressed air operated diaphragm pumps or air motor driven pumps to move expensive or viscous liquid from one location to another. These types of pumps are self priming drawing the liquid in and provide positive displacement meaning they fill and empty the liquid chamber with the same amount of liquid through a common inlet and outlet.

Amusement parks have used compressed air in some capacity in the operation of thrill rides like roller coasters or to enhance the effect of certain attractions. Compressed air can be found in hospitals where it is used for specialized breathing treatments or to power surgical instruments in an operating room. Educational facilities use compressed air for laboratory testing. You can even find compressed air in the tires on your car. Basically, when you think about it, compressed air is being used just about anywhere.

Here at EXAIR, we manufacture Intelligent Compressed Air Products to help improve the efficiency in a wide variety of industrial operations. Whether you are looking to coat a surface with an atomized mist of liquid, conserve compressed air use and energy, cool an electrical enclosure, convey parts or dry material from one location to another or clean a conveyor belt or web, chances are we have a product that will fit your specific need.

EXAIR has been providing engineered solutions since 1983.

 

To discuss your particular application or for help selecting the best product, contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247 for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Compressed Air Valves image courtesy of Shane Gorski via creative commons license.

Video Blog: Medium Vortex Tube Cooling Kit

EXAIR offers (3) Vortex Tube Cooling Kits, and the video below will provide an overview of the medium size offering, for refrigeration up to 2800 BTU/hr (706 Kcal/hr.)

If you have questions regarding Vortex Tube Cooling Kits or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

EXAIR Cold Gun Provides Dry Cooling for Gang Drill

gang-drill-1
A gang drill in need of dry cooling

When working with machining centers of any sort, proper cooling is critical to producing in-spec parts.  Inadequate cooling deteriorates the tooling and can lead to defective or rejected parts, so most of us try to avoid overheating whenever possible.  Traditionally, the best way to cool the cutting blade or bit of a machining center was to use liquid coolant, routing the liquid to the required areas of the machine, and then reclaiming the coolant to be used again while cleaning the finished parts of the coolant residue.

This process, while effective, creates a considerable amount of cleanup, both for the machining area, and for the machined parts.  Because of this, dry cooling can provide distinct advantages when compared to a traditional setup.

gang-drill-with-red-arrow
Liquid cooling spilled onto the floor as a result of machining operations

In the setup shown above, a gang drill with 24 drill heads cuts into various aluminum profiles.  As shown in the picture, the process generates a significant strings and chips, and the current setup using liquid cooling results in coolant outside of the desired workspace (see the red arrow in the bottom right, highlighting liquid coolant on the floor – a potential safety hazard).  The end user in this case was in search of a way to maintain cooling for the drills while eliminating the liquid spillover.  The solution, was the EXAIR Cold Gun model 5315 with two cold outlets

When faced with the potential to outfit a machine with a completely new cooling system, we’ve found that a short test can go a long way toward implementing a proper solution.  So, testing a single Cold Gun with two outlets can be tested on a single drill head, with the results reviewed before installing additional units onto the machine.  Our Application Engineering team is available to assist this customer every step of the way with product selection, installation and testing results, and full machine outfitting.

Providing a viable solution and service to the customer have opened the door to removing liquid cooling from this machine.  This will eliminate cleaning of the aluminum profiles after machining, thus reducing the total input required to produce a finished product, and it will eliminate the safety hazard of having liquid coolant on the floor surrounding the machine as well.

If you have a similar application or would like to speak to an Application Engineer about dry cooling, give us a call – we’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Cooling a Thermal Manikin After a Fire

Not to be persnickety, but there is a difference between mannequins, life size model for displaying or tailoring clothes, and manikins, an anatomical model used for testing and teaching, usually with movable joints. (The enunciation is exactly the same though).  A lab designed a test for thermal protective clothing.  They had a manikin that was 6 feet in height and had 120 copper slug sensors located all over its body. The sensors would record the temperature gradients on the surface of the manikin, representing skin exposure to heat.  They would dress their manikin with thermal protective clothing from head to toe and expose it to intense fires at various temperatures and exposure times.  After each test was completed, they would record the results and cool the manikin to 26 deg. C before they started the next fire test.  These results were used for safety limits to protect wearers from second and third degree burns, very important in keeping firefighters safe.

Fire Suit under test
Fire Suit under test

In their application, they were looking to cool the sensors on the manikin as quickly as they can to increase test cycle rates. Initially they used a “cool down” area fitted with fans to blow air across the manikin.  The problem was that it took too long to cool to the 26 deg. C mark required in their testing protocol.  They decided to manually use an air gun to blow compressed air across the sensors to increase cooling.  This did reduce the cycle time, but because of the force created by the air gun, some sensors would shift and be out of calibration.  This was a huge concern for the test lab.

The design of the copper slug sensor has a small piece of copper set inside a silicone holder. To isolate the copper metal, there are small ruby spheres between the holder and copper slug.  This creates an air gap around the copper slug to help increase sensitivity to temperature changes.  A thermocouple is attached to the back side of the copper slug for analytical measurements.

Adjustable Spot Cooler
Adjustable Spot Cooler

After they discussed their application with me, I suggested the model 3725 Adjustable Spot Cooler. This base unit comes without a magnetic base and hose kit, which makes it lighter in weight. The customer could easily attach it directly to their compressed air line, replacing the air gun that was damaging the sensors.  The Adjustable Spot Cooler incorporates the Vortex Tube which makes standard compressed air into cold air.  With a turn of a knob, they could control the temperature and the velocity of the cold air.  This feature was key in determining just the right amount of force to not affect the calibration of the sensors.  An added benefit of the Adjustable Spot Cooler is if you reduce the amount of outlet cold air, the temperature will decrease even more.  This feature allowed the customer to reach their target much more quickly and without damaging the sensors.

If you need to cool things down in your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We have many different styles and combinations of Vortex Tubes and Spot Coolers to give you the right form of cooling, whether it is a mannequin or a manikin.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

DDI-2007-Burning Man by Interpretive Arson.  Common License.

Cold Gun Provides Cooling For CNC Router

20160829_114406
This CNC needs a way to cool the drill and blow away chips created during machining

Precision control with CNC’s means we can achieve a near-identical output in product dimensions and quality.  And, it also means we can create an identical problem every time the machine is used.

Case in point, the CNC shown above is used to machine a 5mm piece of aluminum, but was plagued with problems preventing it from performing to its full potential.  The problem, was that when the machine would plunge into the aluminum, the plunging speed would produce excessive heat leading to a deterioration in performance and quality.  The temporary solution for such a condition is to slow down the machining speeds, but this reduces the efficiency and throughput of the machine.

20160829_114359
A Cold Gun can install directly onto this machine, providing cooling and light chip removal as needed

The real solution for this type of condition is to provide some sort of cooling for the drill head, and if possible, a means to remove the chips and debris from the machining area as well.  Fortunately, both of these are possible through the use of a Cold Gun Aircoolant System.

A Cold Gun in this application will provide cold air at temperatures below freezing to cool the drill, and the airflow from the Cold Gun will simultaneously clear the small chips and debris from the machining area.  And, these improvements to the application keep the workspace completely dry.  There’s no need to add a coolant collection system or to create additional work through cleaning coolant from the machined pieces once they’re complete.

If you have an application in need of a dry-cooling solution, or if you’d like to explore the possibility of removing liquid cooling from your CNC, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Calculating Air Flow to Cool Manufacturing Processes

IMG_7065
This application needed a way to cool steel plates from 150C to 70C

I’ve written before about using ambient air to cool an application, calculating the required airflow to maintain a temperature.  And, I was recently contacted by an end user in India in need of a way to cool electromagnets in a similar application.

The need was to reduce the temperature of high manganese steel plates (dimensions of 1800mm x 800mm x 500mm) from 150°C to less than 70°C, using air at 40°C.  These steel plates have a specific heat of 0.5107896 J/g°C, weigh 120kg each, and protect the coil and insulation of the electromagnets in this process.  So, just as was the case in previous applications, we started with the process shown below.

heat load calc process
Heat load calculation process

In doing so, we calculated a heat load of 279,245 BTU/hr., which will require an air volume of 1,805 CFM to cool as needed.  (Click the image below for an expanded view of the calculations)

Electromagnet calculations
Heat load calculations

The recommendation to provide this cooling was the use of (6) 120022 Super Air Amplifiers, operated at 80 PSIG and installed along the length of the plates to distribute airflow.  As we can see in the chart below, each 120022 Super Air Amplifier will move an air volume of 341 CFM at the outlet of the unit, making (6) of these units suitable for this application.  And, if we consider entrainment of additional ambient air at distances away from the outlet of the 120022 Super Air Amplifier, we can consider these units may cool the steel faster than the 1 minute cycle time used for calculation purposes.

air amp chart
Super Air Amplifier performance chart

This application is a great example of how an engineered compressed air solution can remove process disturbances effectively, and efficiently solve problems.  If you have a similar application or even one that is entirely different, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE