EXAIR offers a line of spot cooling devices to blow cold air to remove heat. Heat can cause premature failures and shortened tool life. We use the Vortex Tube phenomenon to make very cold air without any moving parts or Freon. They only need compressed air as the “engine” to spin the air streams into two parts; hot air and cold air. They are maintenance free and can supply cold air down to a temperature of -50oF (-46oC). EXAIR “dresses up” a Vortex Tube to make a more functional device for spot cooling. In this blog, I will cover the smallest of our spot coolers; the Mini Cooler™.
The EXAIR Mini Cooler was designed for tight areas to cool small objects. It has a cooling capacity of 550 BTU/hr (139Kcal/hr). It only uses 8 SCFM (227 SLPM) at 100 PSIG (6.9 bar). The system will come with a manual drain Filter Separator with mounting bracket, a Swivel Magnetic Base with 100 lb. (45.5Kg) pull magnet, and a flexible hose kit. We offer two options for the flexible hose kit; a Single Point Hose Kit, model 3808, and a Dual Point Hose Kit, model 3308. The Single Point Hose Kit will give you one flexible outlet to easily position the cold air stream near the target point. It will also include a round point tip and a flat-fan tip. The Dual Point Hose Kit adds a split to have two separate cold outlets; still including the round and flat-fan tips. With these features, the Mini Cooler is easy to mount, use, and move for optimal cooling and blowing.
When using the Mini Cooler, the flexible cold outlets can easily bend around fixtures, spindles, and welding horns. The swivel magnetic base gives extra adjustment at the base of the cooler to aid in “hard to reach” places. To further the benefits of the cooler, the operating pressure can be changed to lower or raise the cooling capacity to meet your demands. At 100 PSIG (6.9 bar), the cold air flow can reach a temperature as low as 20oF (-7oC).
Some applications for the Mini Cooler would include small diameter milling and drilling where the cold air can keep the tool cool and remove the chips. It can also be used for soldering, industrial sewing, ultrasonic welding, or even small punching applications to list a few. With the dual point hose kit, it is ideal for targeting two sides of a cutter, aiming at multiple blades where material is being slit, or cooling multiple ultrasonic points for faster cycle times.
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 spot cooling 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 went in like a trauma team to determine the cause of failure and get it fixed 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 small enough to tackle with the single cold outlet (larger parts benefit from the dual point hose kit).
They received the spot cooler system in and sure enough a machine went down. The crew went to work and once the broken part was located 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 insert 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 12/31/21 and you will receive a free Dual Point Hose Kit with your qualified purchase.
In any machining operation, tool wear is an inevitability. Cutting tools heat up due to friction and this heat contributes to premature tool wear. As tooling wears, poor tolerances and dimensional inaccuracy are common. Additionally, as the cutting edge dulls increased cutting force is required which further increases the amount of heat generated.
Coolants can be used to reduce friction and help mitigate some of the wear, but then you’re left with the mess that coolant brings along with it both on the part and in the machine itself. What if I were to tell you that there’s a way to mimic the effects of coolant, but without all of the mess? All of this can be achieved with just a supply of compressed air and one of EXAIR’s Cold Gun Systems.
EXAIR’s Cold Gun was a Product of the Year finalist in 2007. By using only a source of compressed air, the Cold Gun and High Power Cold Gun produces a stream of clean, cold air 50° (28°C) below your compressed air supply temperature. The Cold Gun is very quiet at only 70dBA and has no moving parts to wear out. Just supply it with clean, dry compressed air and it’s maintenance free!
The Cold Gun is pre-set to an 80% Cold Fraction. In other words, 80% of the compressed air supplied to it will exhaust from the cold end of the tube, 20% from the hot end. This prevents the Cold Gun from freezing up during use and optimizes the gun’s cooling capacity. The Cold Gun is an ideal alternative to messy and expensive coolant mist systems. It eliminates the cost of purchase and disposal of cutting fluids as well as worker related health problems from breathing airborne coolant or slipping on wet floors. Replacing a coolant-based system also eliminates the need for secondary cleaning operations after milling or drilling.
The Cold Gun is an invaluable tool for machining a wide range of plastics and other materials that may become contaminated when using traditional coolants or oils. The clean, cold air from the outlet of the Cold Gun keeps the part cool, clean, and dry. Take for example this application where an OEM for the plastics industry uses EXAIR Cold Guns in place of a coolant system.
If you have an application that you believe would be better served by the use of an EXAIR Cold Gun, give us a call. Get one on order today and take advantage of our limited time promotion and receive a FREE Dual Point Hose Kit upgrade!
Tyler Daniel, Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com Twitter: @EXAIR_TD Ph. 1-800-903-9247 or 1-513-671-3322
The operation of a Vortex Tube is one of the more peculiar phenomena in fluidics, and a particularly unique method of producing cold air. Since they don’t perform “heat transfer” in the classical sense (see below), there’s no RATE of heat transfer…they’re generating cold air, at rated flow and temperature, instantly.
EXAIR Corporation’s Vortex Tubes come in a range of sizes & cooling capacities, and are integrated into a number of Spot Cooler Products which add convenience and flexibility to their operation. Consider:
Vortex Tubes themselves are perfect for the most basic of installations. Small and Medium models weigh only a few ounces; you can thread them directly onto an existing 1/8 NPT (Small) or 1/4 NPT (Medium) fitting, if you have one (or can get one) adjacent to where you want to blow the cold air. Hot and Cold Mufflers can be added for sound attenuation, and the Cold Caps have 1/4 NPT (Small) or 3/8 NPT (Medium) female threads if you want to use a short pipe or hose to direct the cold flow.
Most spot cooling applications are best handled with the higher air flows and moderate temperature drops associated with a Vortex Tube product set to a high cold fraction. We have three distinct products that have a pre-set, non-adjustable cold fraction, aimed at these situations:
Mini Cooler Systems are quiet, compact, and ready to install in minutes via a Swivel Magnetic Base. They’re ideal for cooling small tools, needles in industrial sewing machines, saw blades, or lens grinders, just to name a few of the more popular applications. These come with built-in hot muffler, and are available with a Single or Dual Outlet Cold Air Hose Kit.
For applications that call for a higher cooling capacity, we offer the Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems. These have a bar magnet built in to the Cold Gun itself, integral Hot and Cold Mufflers, and, like the Mini Coolers, come with Single or Dual Outlet Cold Air Hose Kits. They’re most popularly specified to replace mist coolant in machine tools, but are also used on routers, grinders, drills, larger saws, and even some non-machining applications like chill rolls and setting hot melt adhesives.
For even higher cooling capacities than that, the High Power Cold Gun can be used. Size-wise, it’s identical to the Cold Gun, but it generates twice the Cold Gun’s flow of cold air.
One of the main advantages of using these Vortex Tube products with the pre-set higher cold fractions is the prevention of freeze-up…while the cold air generated is usually just a little below 32F (0C), ambient conditions in the areas where they’re used typically add enough heat to prevent mass freezing of any moisture condensed in the cooling process. A number of applications, however, do indeed call for much colder air flow than this, and for those, we’ve got the Adjustable Spot Cooler:
Their versatility makes them a great “utility player” – when very cold air (well below zero) is needed, the Temperature Control Knob is turned counterclockwise. If another application calls for higher flow (like the Mini Coolers or Cold Guns), it can be turned clockwise for instant adjustment of flow and temperature.
Adjustable Spot Cooler Systems are available with Single or Dual Point Cold Air Hose Kits, and come with three Generators: 15 SCFM (installed), 25 SCFM, and 30 SCFM, to select the compressed air consumption, and hence, the overall flow range.
If you’ve got a spot cooling application, EXAIR Corporation has a Vortex Tube solution for you. Give me a call; let’s talk cold air!.
Russ Bowman, CCASS
Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook