Cooling Copper Welds with an Adjustable Spot Cooler

In the video above, two strands of braided copper wire are welded together in an automated process.  As the wire travels through the machine, it is heated to 600-800°C (~1100-1500°F) to fuse together, cooled, then cut into strips.  The original setup (shown in the video), was to use water to cool the copper after welding, but this proved to be undesired because residual water was left in the copper braid, leading to quality control problems.  But without proper cooling, the heat created during welding would stress the copper and reduce the quality of the product.

In an effort to remove the liquid cooling from the application, the customer was considering whether a Vortex Tube solution would be able to remove enough heat from the copper in the required timeframe of 10-15 seconds.  The end goal was to maintain the production level of the process, but to remove liquid from the application, and cool the welded copper to 200°C (~400°F).  In order to allow for on-the-fly adjustment, an Adjustable Spot Cooler was chosen for testing purposes.


This setup surrounded the welded copper with freezing cold air

To configure this setup, the cold outlet of the Adjustable Spot Cooler was fed into a tube surrounding the copper braids (shown above).  This tube surrounded the welded copper with below freezing air to remove the heat and cool the copper.


Results of installing the Adjustable Spot Cooler

The results of this setup are shown above.  On the left is the output of the process without cooling from the Adjustable Spot Cooler (copper of this quality fails quality control checks), and on the right is the output from the same process, but with cooling from the Adjustable Spot Cooler.  The copper on the right is welded, cooled, and will pass quality control checks – all without the use of liquid cooling.

Removing liquid cooling from this application increases the quality of this production process, all while maintaining the same production levels.  And, this customer is now considering the use of a “stronger” Vortex Tube solution which may provide for increases in the throughput of the production process.

To discuss a similar application, or any application in need of a compressed-air based solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Cold Gun Keeps Analyzer 31°F Cooler to Prevent Failure

A few months ago I had worked with a customer on a finned heat sink, cooling application. The heat sink is part of their TOC analyzer which is a device that detects and measures total organic carbon levels found in a fluid sample. The part of the plant where the analyzers are located has several pieces of equipment generating heat in the ambient environment close to 110°F. When the temperature gets this high, the analyzers begin to overheat, resulting in faulty readings and they will ultimately shut down. They were wanting to install a device that could blow cold air across the heat sink on the analyzer to prevent it from overheating.

After discussing the application with the customer, I recommended our Model # 5315 Cold Gun Aircoolant System with two cold outlets. The Cold Gun produces a 50°F temperature drop from compressed air supply temperature and provides 1,000 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity. For example, if your compressed air supply temperature is 70°F you would effectively see 20°F air being discharged from the cold exhaust. The Dual Point Hose Kit splits the cold airflow into 2 separate streams, providing for a wider coverage area.


Model # 5315 Cold Gun System with dual point hose kit

The customer decided to order a single unit and after a week of testing replied back…

“We tried one a week ago with excellent results! We are installing three more today.  The other five will be here today and tomorrow.

Thank you so much for your help! Our analyzer is running 31°F cooler than it had been with no more overtemp failures!”

It goes without mentioning, but this is the type of positive feedback we are thrilled to hear! It feels incredible when a customer takes time out of their busy schedule to acknowledge how EXAIR products provided the perfect solution for their needs!

BUT the story doesn’t end there… just last week, over 2 months since our last correspondence, the customer sent me another email that read…

“Just a follow up on the effectiveness of the cold air guns. We have not experienced a single failure of our TOC analyzers since the guns were installed two months ago.

The cold air solved the problem of our analyzer overheating — even during the hottest part of the summer.

Thank you for your excellent recommendation!”

I let the customer know how much we appreciated the awesome news and how happy we were to be able to solve their problem. At the end of the day, that’s what we strive for, to provide the best and largest selection of Intelligent Compressed Air Products on the market today.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer






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
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb


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

Controlling Supply Pressure, Controlling Flow

“What is the lowest operating pressure and what kind of force can I expect?”. This is common question we get at EXAIR and the simple answer – it depends. Okay, that’s not so simple and it does matter what EXAIR product you are considering.

Take for example some of the vortex tube based cooling products, like our Cold Gun for dry machining and Cabinet Cooler Systems to purge and cool electrical enclosures. These particular products are designed to operate at 80-100 PSIG for optimal performance and efficient cooling capacity. They can be operated at lower pressure but their effectiveness and performance are reduced.

Most other products, and the problem they are solving vary in the amount of pressure needed for success. In many cases, the simplest method would be to use a pressure regulator. By incorporating a pressure regulator in a blowoff application, for example using our Air Nozzles or Safety Air Guns,  adjusting the supply pressure is the easiest way to control the output velocity and force of the airflow. Many applications don’t require full line pressure to achieve the desired result and operating at lower pressure provides a way to reduce compressed air usage and lower energy costs.

Click on picture for more information

Pressure Regulator with gauge for simple supply adjustment

Another way some of EXAIR’s products allow for easy adjustment is by incorporating a replaceable shim. Take for example our Air Knives – All of our Air Knives are shipped from stock with a .002″ shim installed. We offer Shim Sets for our aluminum knives that include a .001″, .003″ and .004″ shim  that allows you to either reduce the gap and cut your air usage and force in half. By installing the thicker shims, you can increase these properties by 1.5 times for the .003″ shim or double by installing the .004″. For our stainless steel knives, we offer shim sets which include (3) .002″ which can best stacked to provide more force and flow.


Super Air Knife shims

Our Air Amplifiers feature patented shims that allow for the similar adjustments, resulting in large volumes of outlet airflow.

Super Air Amplifer w- shims

Super Air Amplifier and optional shim set

Our Air Wipes, which perform similar to our Air Knives but produce a 360″ ring of air to treat the surface of a hose , pipe, tube, etc. , are also shipped with .002″ shim installed with optional shim sets available.


Shims for our Super and Standard Air Wipes

We also offer replaceable shims for our 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles for those applications requiring more of a focused airflow that needs that extra bit of force, like when trying to blow heavy grit off of a chain or blow reject parts from a conveyor.

Model 1126 (Zinc Aluminum) or 1126SS (316SS) 1" Flat Super Air Nozzles (left) have replaceable shims (middle), same as Model 1122 (Zinc Aluminum or Model 1122SS 2" Flat Super Air Nozzles (right.)

1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles provide laminar airflow that can be easily adjusted.

As you can see, there are some viable options to fine tune your EXAIR product to provide the optimal performance. If you need any assistance or would like to discuss the specifics of a particular application, give us a call.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer






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Cold Gun Provides Cooling For CNC Router


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.


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

Adjustable Spot Cooler Easily Cools Aluminum Plates

Cooling Unit- Iso View

This setup needed a method to cool a 400g aluminum plate (click for larger view)

When we work with our customers about cooling applications, we usually approach them in one of two ways – either with a need to cool down to ambient temperatures, or a need to cool below ambient temperatures.  If we only need to cool to ambient conditions, we can use Super Air Amplifiers, Super Air Knives, Air Nozzles, or Safety Air Guns.  But, if we need to cool below ambient temperatures, we have to use a vortex-based technology such as a Vortex Tube, Adjustable Spot Cooler, Mini Cooler, Cold Gun, or Cabinet Cooler.

One of our overseas customers reached out to me with a need to cool a 400g aluminum plate from 80°C (176°F) to 27-30°C (80-86°F) over the course of about 40-60 seconds.  They needed something repeatable, dependable, and compact, so we explored a Vortex Tube-based solution.

heat load calc process

Process flow for calculating required air volume in a cooling application (click for larger view)

We’ve shown airflow calculations for our Air Amplifiers in the past, and I used the same rationale (shown above) to determine the required air volume to cool this application.  In these types of applications, we derive a ΔT value between the desired ending temperature of the material and the temperature of the air which will be blown onto the material.  So, for this application, we have a desired end temperature of 30°C, and we have considered an outlet temperature of 0°C from a Vortex Tube device.

After determining all the required values, I performed the calculations shown below to arrive at a volume flow of 15.8 CFM.

Cooling calculations for ASC in aluminum plate application

Calculations for determining the required air volume in this application (click for larger view)

In uncovering that the ambient conditions may change, and sharing that these changes could create variance in the required air volume, the end user opted for two model 3925 Adjustable Spot Coolers to provide the required cooling.  Just like Vortex Tubes or Cold Guns, the Adjustable Spot Coolers allow for repeatable delivery of very cold air to the application, but they also have the additional benefit of easy “fine tuning” through the adjustment valve on the hot end of the unit.

Cooling Unit - Details

The cooling unit for the aluminum plates (click for larger view)

The cold air created by the Adjustable Spot Coolers are fed to the nozzles shown above in red.  By supplying an adequate volume of cold air at the right temperature, the problem in this application has been easily solved.

If you have an application with a heating concern, give us a call.  We’re happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Cold Gun Cools Cutting Die During Credit Card Manufacturing

I took an interesting call from a credit card manufacturer last week looking for a way to provide some cooling during their manufacturing process. First, the plastics used in the cards are melted and mixed with other materials then sent through an extruder where they are formed into flat sheets and laminated with a thin film as they exit the machine. The specific card design is then silk screen printed onto the card and once again laminated with another film to provide protection as well as extra strength. After being laminated, the sheets are sent through a die cutter where they are cut into the individual cards and embossed with the credit card number. It was at this point of the operation that the customer was starting to see the cards become warped due to the die cutter heating up, which resulted in irregular prints during the embossing stage. The customer is unable to use a liquid based cooling system in the process so they took to the internet to search for alternate cooling methods using air and decided to call the experts for assistance.

After reviewing the specifics with the customer, I recommended they use our Model # 5215 Cold Gun System with a single outlet flexible hose, allowing the operator to direct the cold air to the critical area, or in the particular case, the cutting die. The Cold Gun produces a cold airstream providing 1,000 Btu/hr. of cooling and a temperature drop of 50°F from the compressed air supply temperature. Incorporating a Vortex Tube, there are no moving parts and virtually no maintenance required, provided they are supplied with clean, dry filtered air. To ensure this, the system includes a filter separator to remove any contaminants or water in the supply line. There is also an integral magnetic base, allowing for a simple installation and the ability to relocate the device to another part of the process if needed.


Cold Gun System, Model # 5215 with filter, single point hose with 3/8″ cone nozzle, optional 1-1/4″ flat fan nozzle and integral mag base.

Here at EXAIR, we are committed to providing the best assistance possible when considering our products as a solution. For help selecting the best option or to discuss the specifics of your application, give us a call.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer


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