Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of flying out to meet my friend in Colorado Springs and ski the weekend at Breckenridge. As an avid skier Breckenridge has been one of the resorts I have been wanting to ski since I started skiing out west. The weather was amazing and I couldn’t ask for better; the Saturday blue skies and cool breeze followed up by a Sunday of snow fall. The Trip was a dream come true. Breckenridge is specifically known for having high winds that howl across the peaks that stand at a max of 12,998 ft. above sea level. These chilling winds would freeze just about anyone if you aren’t dressed prepared for them as they blow right in your face on the lift. As I was sitting on the lift with these cold winds blowing in my face it brought to mind EXAIR’s Vortex Tubes, Cold Guns, and Cabinet Coolers.
EXAIR’s Vortex Tubes and similar products provide everything from a cool blast of air to a frigid breeze to cool off various parts and products. In a lot of smaller milling and grinding applications the Cold Gun has been used as a replacement to costly coolant-based alternatives. Vortex tubes have been used in cooling applications since 1945 and assist in everything from stress testing electronics to cooling down plastic parts during ultrasonic welding.
If you have any questions or want more information on how we use our vortex tubes to improve processes all over industry. Give us a call, we have a team of application engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.
Cody Biehle Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook
Many machining companies like to use coolant to flood their parts for drilling and milling operations. But what if there was an alternative way? EXAIR has an interesting technique by using cold air instead of coolant. This would help save time by eliminating cleaning and drying of parts as well as reducing coolant waste. EXAIR calls this product our Cold Gun Aircoolant System™.
The Cold Gun Aircoolant System uses a Vortex Tube to produce a cold air stream at 50oF (28oC) below supply air temperature. Heat is one of the major causes for dulling and premature failures for tools, and by blowing cold air, it will reduce the heat buildup in tools while also removing the chips from the surface. The EXAIR Cold Guns are very compact, portable, and easy to use. Just attach compressed air to the unit, and it will produce cold air. Since they do not have any moving parts, Freon, or electricity to operate, it is maintenance-free and long-lasting. And, EXAIR offers a 5 year “Built To Last” warranty against defects in workmanship and materials. These systems will extend tool life, improve tolerance control, and increase production rates by replacing coolant during milling, cutting, and drilling operations.
The benefits of using the Cold Gun Aircoolant System extends beyond reducing tool wear, finishing with dry parts, and surface smearing. It can be used in applications where liquid coolant cannot be used. This would include wood products, MDF, and plastics. As insulators, cutting tools will get extremely hot as the material will not remove any heat like with metal chips. Thus, machining can soften, gall, or burn the surface of the material; allowing only slow speeds for operations. The cold air from the Cold Gun can keep the tools sharp and the materials hard and firm. With plastic materials, this is very beneficial as it will keep the plastic rigid for tight tolerance machining. If burnishing or scoring is occurring, the Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems can help to improve the surface finish of your product. Other applications would include surface grinders, laser cutters, hot melt setting, and band saws. The Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems are a low-cost solution that can do a lot of great things to improve processes.
EXAIR offers two types, the Cold Gun and the High Power Cold Gun. The High Power Cold Gun blows twice the amount of cold air as the Cold Gun which doubles the cooling capacity. They come standard with either a Single Point or a Dual Point Hose Kit with a cone and flat nozzle. All systems come with a magnetic base and a filter separator. The magnetic base makes this device simple to attach to your machine and start using. The four models that EXAIR stocks are in the photo above.
EXAIR is running a promotional offer on the Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems. From now until the end of yr2019; if you buy a Single Point Cold Gun System or a Single Point High Power Cold Gun System; model W5215 and model W5230 respectively, we will include a free model 5902 Dual Point Hose Kit, a $39.00 value, with your system. And as always, EXAIR offers a 30-day unconditional guarantee for our customers in the U.S. and Canada to try them out. If you have an application that you believe would be better served with an EXAIR Cold Gun Aircoolant System™, contact an Application Engineer. And take advantage of our promotional offering by receiving a FREE Dual Point Hose Kit.
Like many companies, here at EXAIR we generally always have a promotional offering. These rotate throughout the months and this month is no different. The current offering involves the EXAIR Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems.
These systems help to reduce cutting fluid use, increase production speeds, increase tool life, and has helped more customers than I know. One customer in particular is a maintenance worker from a welded tube manufacturer. This facility had very little amount of downtime permitted due to the high efficiency and high volume of orders. When a machine went down the maintenance team were in like a trauma team to determine the cause of failure and get it remedied to get the line back up and running. One of the biggest problems they would have is when they would have to dry machine a quick part to get the machine back up and running, this would either ruin tools or they would have to slow down the machining time to get the surface finish and dimensions they truly needed. After talking with us the team ordered a Single Point Cold Gun Aircoolant System as these parts were generally smaller shafts or machine dogs.
They received the system in and sure enough a machine went down. The crew went to work and once the part needed was found they got to work on their lathe trying to make a new piece. The Cold Gun held itself straight to the headstock thanks to the integrated magnet and the flexible single point hose kit routed the cold air straight to the cutting point. They didn’t have to fill up the liquid tank or setup the mist system on the lathe, they simply turned on the compressed air and let the lathe do the work. They were able to take what had recently been around a three hour machine job with heavy wear on tooling to a two hour job, no finish pass was needed on the part, and their tools weren’t completely spent by the end of the job.
They got the part back into the machine, made adjustments, and then went to work getting the machine back into production.
Right now, if you would like to try out a Cold Gun Aircoolant System you can order before 12/31/2019 and use the link to order through our promotion in order to receive a free Dual Point Hose Kit with your qualified purchase.
Heat is an unavoidable by-product of any cutting or machining operation. Think about it: you’re creating friction on a piece of material with a fast-moving piece of harder material in order to forcibly separate pieces of the original material from its existing shape & size. No matter what, something’s going to get hot: the work piece, the tooling, or (almost always) both. If you don’t do something about it, your parts can become damaged, your tooling can become dull and brittle, and productivity will suffer.
There are ways to alleviate the problem…you can slow the speed of your tooling, but that’s hardly practical, and only marginally effective. You can use liquid cooling…in fact, you may have to if the particulars of the operation require the lubrication you can only get from a cutting oil or liquid coolant. But those can be messy, expensive, and the time you spend maintaining the coolant could certainly be spent better elsewhere…like, on machining your products!
The Cold Gun uses compressed air to produce a stream of clean, cold air at 50°F (28°C) below supply air temperature.
They use Vortex Tube technology…no moving parts to wear out.
Cold flow and temperature are preset to optimize cooling capability, and are non-adjustable to prevent freeze-up during use.
Eliminates the expense of both the purchase & disposal of cutting fluids.
Removes the potential for health problems associated with breathing mist & vapors, and the safety issue of slipping on a wet floor.
Cold Gun Aircoolant System selection is easy & straightforward…we offer a standard, and a High Power version to meet your specific needs.
We also offer Single & Dual Point Hose Kits, to further meet the needs of your application. Right now, you don’t have to decide up front…order a Cold Gun Aircoolant System with a Single Point Hose Kit before December 31, 2018, and we’ll throw in the Dual Point Hose Kit for free.
If you’d like to find out more about how Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems can improve your machining or cutting operations, give me a call.
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Our distributor in Peru recently contacted me with an application they were working on with a customer of theirs that deals in the mining industry. They are one of the largest gold mining companies in South America and were looking for a means of keeping their saw blades cool without having to use any type of coolant or water.
In this specific application, they had been using water to maintain the temperature of the blade while cutting. While this did work, it created quite a mess and also resulted in product contamination. The water on the floor presented a slipping hazard and production would have to periodically be halted so that someone could come by and clean the mess off of the floor. So, not only were they creating a contamination issue, but also a safety concern as well as lost production time.
Our distributor introduced them to EXAIR and our line of Cold Gun Spot Cooling Products. By replacing the water cooling with (2) Model 5230 Cold Gun systems, they were able to maintain the temperature of the blade at 24°C (75°F), well within their specifications. This allowed them to completely eliminate the need for water as a cooling method, improving their worker safety as well as increasing production.
EXAIR’s Cold Gun utilizes Vortex Tube technology to create two streams of air: one hot and one cold. The hot air is muffled and exhausted, while the cold air is also muffled and ducted to deliver a cold stream of air directly onto the material needing to be cooled. With only a supply of clean, dry compressed air required to operate, installation is quick and easy. Since the Cold Gun has no moving parts to wear out, there’s also no maintenance required so long as the Auto-Drain filter included in the kit is installed upstream of the Cold Gun.
If you’re tired of dealing with messy water-based cooling systems or equally messy coolants, give an Application Engineer a call today and try out a Cold Gun. With our Unconditional 30 Day Guarantee, there’s absolutely no risk to do so!
EXAIRVortex Tubes are a low cost, reliable and maintenance free solution to a wide variety of industrial spot cooling problems. They only requirement is a supply of compressed air as the power source. Vortex Tubes have no moving parts and can produce temperatures that range from -50°F to +260°F (-46°C to +127°C).
Vortex Tubes produce two air streams one cold and one hot, the percentage of cold air flow from the inlet flow is referred to as the cold fraction. The cold fraction is adjustable by the hot valve on the hot discharge side of the vortex tube. Adjusting the hot valve results in both air temperature and air volume changes. The colder the air becomes, the volume of that cold air declines. So for very cold temperatures, a smaller volume of air is produced compared to a warmer air temperature.
For the vast majority of industrial cooling applications a larger volume of cool air will provide more efficient cooling than a lesser amount of very cold air. Generally speaking the highest Btu/Hr values are in the 70-80% cold fraction range.
The exception to this would be in labs or special cases where the coldest temperatures are desired. Adjusting a Vortex Tube is easy, simply insert a thermometer/thermocouple in the cold air exhaust and set the temperature by adjusting the valve on the hot end of the Vortex Tube. You will know when you reach max refrigeration (80% cold fraction) as the cold air temperature will be 50°F (28°C) lower than the compressed air supply temperature.
EXAIR Vortex Tubes are constructed from stainless steel. This ensures excellent wear resistance, corrosion resistance and assures years of reliable operation. They are offered in 3 different size ranges (small, medium & large). There are generators located inside the tube (user serviceable) that will change the volumetric flow. The generators are available in a plastic construction or brass construction for high temperature applications. The ranges 2 SCFM – 8 SCFM are designated as small Vortex Tubes, 10 SCFM – 40 SCFM are medium and 50 SCFM – 150 SCFM are large. This feature allows you to customize or change your Vortex Tube for greater flexibility in a wide range of applications.
Large Vortex Tubes are specified when a high flow of cold air is needed. There are 16 models to choose from in total. Capable of providing 3,400 BTU/HR up to 10,200 BTU/HR of cooling power. These have been used to cool high heat loads that are centrally located or to help cool samples of gases for testing.
Medium Vortex Tubes are the most popular – there are twenty 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.
Small Vortex Tubes are great when low flows (less cooling power) will succeed, or if compressed air supply is limited. There are 12 models in total to choose from. 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.
I recently had a chat conversation with a customer who was looking to cool the tooling on his CNC router, mill and lathe in his small machine shop. During the machining process, as the tooling would begin to heat up, it would warp the bit, causing irregularities in the finished product. In some cases the tooling was getting so hot, it would actually break, creating a safety concern.
He had reviewed some of our cooling products and was thinking of using our Cold Gun in the application but was concerned with the air demand. The Cold Gun consumes 15 SCFM @ 100 PSIG and provides a 50°F temperature drop (from supply temperature) with 1,000 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity. The problem was that his compressor only produces a little over 9 SCFM. I explained that the existing compressor would in fact be undersized as it doesn’t produce enough volume to keep up with the demand of the Cold Gun.
Due to the limited amount of compressed air available, our Mini Cooler System, Model # 3808, would be the better solution. The Mini Cooler also provides a 50°F temperature drop with a little less cooling power, 550 Btu/hr., but this system only requires 8 SCFM @ 100 PSIG, falling within the existing compressor’s output capacity. The Mini Cooler also includes a magnetic base as well as flexible tubing to direct the cold air to the desired location, making it easy to move from machine to machine.
If you are considering an EXAIR product for an application or have additional questions about performance, contact an application engineer for assistance in making the best selection.