Controlling Temperature And Flow Of An EXAIR Vortex Tube

If you need a reliable, consistent flow of cold air, look no further than the EXAIR Vortex Tube:

A 1/4 ton of refrigeration in the palm of your hand!

Getting the performance you want comes down to answering two simple questions:

What temperature do I need? 

Vortex Tubes produce a DROP in temperature, so your compressed air supply temperature is our starting point to determine what the actual cold air temperature will be.  The magnitude of the temperature drop is dependent on two factors:

  • Compressed air supply pressure – the higher the pressure, the higher the temperature drop.
  • Cold Fraction setting of the Vortex Tube – this is the percentage of the air supply that’s directed to the cold end.  The same temperature drop is produced, regardless of model, for a given Cold Fraction.  The lower the Cold Fraction, the greater the temperature drop (and hence, the lower the air temperature.)

EXAIR has two distinct series, or types, of Vortex Tubes:

3200 Series are used when Cold Fractions above 50% are desirable.  This provides maximum refrigeration…high flows and temperature drops that are optimal for many spot cooling applications such as tool cooling, setting hot melt adhesives, quick cooling of soldering/brazing, etc.

3400 Series are used for lower Cold Fractions (below 50%) and generate VERY cold air flow…as low as -50°F.  Some common applications for these are cryogenic lab sample cooling, circuit testing, or freeze seals in certain piping systems.

Temperature drops are dependent only on supply pressure and Cold Fraction setting. These values apply to any Vortex Tube, regardless of size/model.

Cold Fraction is adjusted by turning the Hot Air Exhaust Valve to let more, or less, hot air out, as shown in this short video:

What flow do I need?

Both the 3200 and 3400 Series Vortex Tubes are offered, from stock, in twelve distinct models of each series.  These are defined by the compressed air consumption, and the cold air flow is determined by the Cold Fraction setting.

Small Vortex Tubes come in three Models for each series, and consume 2, 4, or 8 SCFM when supplied with compressed air @100 psig.

Medium Vortex Tubes come in five Models for each series, and consume 10, 15, 25, 30, or 40 SCFM @100 psig.

Large Vortex Tubes come in four Models for each series, and consume 50, 75, 100, or 150 SCFM @100 psig.

Converting a Vortex Tube to a different Model (in the same size class) is as easy as changing the Generator (and the Taper Sleeve, for the Small Vortex Tubes):

The Generator and Taper Sleeve (*Small VT’s only) are changed by removing the Cold Cap.

So, for example, if you have a Model 3210 (10 SCFM consumption, 1,000 Btu/hr rated cooling) set to an 80% Cold Fraction, supplied with compressed air @100 psig & 70°F, it’s making a 16°F cold air flow of 8 SCFM.  If your situation calls for more flow, you can change the Generator…for example, if you convert it to a Model 3240 (40 SCFM, 2,800 Btu/hr rated cooling) – leaving the Cold Fraction at 80%, you’ll now get 32 SCFM of 16°F air.

What if you need colder air?  You can convert this same Medium Vortex Tube to a Model 3440 (40 SCFM consumption, max cold temperature) by changing the Generator again…and if you lower the Cold Fraction to 20%, it’ll make a -53°F cold flow of 8 SCFM.

Powerful and versatile, EXAIR Vortex Tubes are suitable for a wide range of applications requiring a consistent and reliable flow of cold air.  For help in selecting the right one for your needs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Vortex Tube Kits Make Heat Removal A (Cool) Breeze

I recently had the pleasure of discussing a cooling application with a customer.  The caller was familiar with our Cabinet Cooler Systems, and wanted to incorporate the same technology into a spot cooling application.  Problem was, he wasn’t sure about exactly how much cold air flow, and at what temperature, would suit his needs best…this was on a brand new mold (for plastic parts) that had just arrived.  His idea was to order a few different Vortex Tubes, and experiment with them.

I agreed that trying a few different Vortex Tube models would be a quick and easy way to find a solution, but I had a quicker and easier way: the Model 3930 Medium Vortex Tube Cooling Kit.  This gave him all the Generators that fit the Medium Vortex Tube, allowing him to make any medium Vortex Tube model he desired.  He would also be able to adjust the Cold Fraction to get the most effective temperature drop as well.

EXAIR Vortex Tube Cooling Kits come with all parts necessary to effect a wide range of cold air flow & temperatures.

With the Vortex Tube in place, it was very easy to configure the optimal cooling…as he decreased the Cold Fraction (to get colder air) he replaced the Generator (to get higher air flow.)  His application (cooling molded plastic parts) was satisfied with a Model 3225, set to a 70% Cold Fraction…this gave him 17.5 SCFM of cold air flow, at temperature of around 0F (a 71F drop from their compressed air supply temperature, which is around 70F.)

Is an EXAIR Cooling Kit right for your heat removal application?  If you’d like to find out,  give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Moving Small Particles with a Heavy Duty Line Vac

The material in this hose is conveyed vertically over 7m using an EXAIR Heavy Duty Line Vac

The image above shows a test at a customer’s facility to move a small particulate to a height of 7m (23’) with an EXAIR Line Vac.  This particulate is used in the production of hand warmers and the end user needed a method to convey the material out of 55 gallon drums.

This same customer purchased a 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac from EXAIR in 2014 which is still in use and functioning well.  So, when it came time to find a pneumatic conveyance solution for this material, they knew where to go.

This is the material which needed to be pneumatically conveyed.

And, we knew just the questions to ask to determine the best Line Vac solution.  In order to do so, we had to determine the following:

  • Bulk density of the material
  • Size of the material
  • Conveyance height
  • Conveyance distance
  • Required conveyance rate
  • Available compressed air supply

Bulk density was rather low at 320kg/m³ (~20 pounds/ft³), with a particle size between 3-5mm (~1/8”-3/16”).  The conveyance height in this application was 5-7m (16.5-23ft.), with a distance of 1-2m (3.3-6.6ft) and a desired conveyance rate of over 4kg (8.8 pounds) per minute.

Testing with a 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac

The customer ran a test with the 2” Line Vac they have on site and the results were excellent.  Their only question was whether they could achieve the needed conveyance with a smaller unit, thereby reducing compressed air consumption and operating cost of the application.

In this case the answer was clear that a smaller Line Vac could be used due to the low bulk density of the material.  By reducing the size of the Line Vac to 1”, or perhaps 1.5” we could reduce the compressed air consumption and still meet the required performance need.

EXAIR Line Vacs have, once again, brought a viable solution to this industrial facility.  If you have a similar application or would like to discuss pneumatic conveyance needs, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

PEEK Super Air Nozzles Resist Corrosion; Won’t Scratch Sensitive Surfaces

Because they might be needed in some pretty aggressive environments, EXAIR offers many of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products in a variety of materials. One particular material of construction, however, has two distinct benefits. PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone, for those of us who ruined the grading curve in CHEM102) plastic offers not only superior chemical corrosion resistance; it’s also non-marring. Since EXAIR introduced the first PEEK Super Air Nozzle in 2005, they’ve been specified all over the world; sometimes for their corrosion resistance; other times so they won’t mar or scratch sensitive surfaces…and every once in a while, for both.

I recently had the pleasure of discussing blow off applications with the production manager of a large anodizing & plating company. The chemicals used in these processes are extremely corrosive, and the equipment used in those areas has to be made of something that’ll handle it. PEEK plastic is just such a material. Also, once they’ve treated their customers’ parts, they need to handle them with care…they’re getting paid a premium to provide nice, shiny parts with a perfect finish. When they’re blowing them off, they need to use something that won’t scratch up the surface if the operator makes incidental contact with the blow off tip. Again, PEEK plastic is just such a material.  Since their existing blow offs were fitted to 1/8 NPT connections, they chose the Model 1102-PEEK Mini Super Air Nozzle.

EXAIR’s PEEK Super Air Nozzles can be mounted in place or on a Safety Air Gun, depending on your needs.

Corrosion resistant and non-marring…EXAIR offers our PEEK Super Air Nozzles in six sizes, from the Atto (M4x0.5 threads; 2.5 SCFM; 2 oz force applied) to our High Force Model 1104-PEEK (3/8 NPT threads; 35 SCFM; 1.9 lbs force applied) for an incredibly diverse range of applications.

If you’d like to discuss what material(s) of construction your application(s) require, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Adding Atomized Water To A Starch Blending Application

Starch blending takes place at the top of this tower

The image above shows a material transfer process for starch.  At the top of the tower the starch rests inside of tumbling tanks (shown below) which blend larger pieces into small, finely blended particles.  In order to achieve the proper blend, an hydration level of 5% water must be maintained within the tank.  For the water introduced to the tank, the smaller the droplet size of the water particles, the better the blend.  The current setup in this application is to spray water directly into the tanks, by hand, using a pump sprayer.

These are the tanks at the top of the tower shown in the photo above

The investigation into droplet sizes led this customer to EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles, searching for a method to introduce small droplet water particles into the blending tanks.  The ultimate question was “How small of a particle size can we achieve with an EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle?”

The answer to that question can be found here on our website and in our catalog as well.  Our smallest confirmed droplet size is currently 22µm when using our 1/4″ NPT Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles, which was more than enough for this application.

Model SR1010SS EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle

By installing SR1010SS atomizing nozzles into this application this customer is able to achieve the required hydration level with small droplet size water particles.  These particles ensure proper blending of the starch and proper quality for the final product.  And, the atomizing nozzles prevent an operator from having to manually add the necessary water to achieve the required hydration in the blending tanks.

If you have a solution in need of an atomized liquid solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’re here to help.

 

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Cabinet Cooler Systems Save The Day, Every Day

Summertime temperatures get hot. Protect your electronics with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System.

As you may have seen in our most recent E-NEWS Special Bulletin, or experienced in real life (depending on where you’re located,) most of the eastern United States is seeing a pretty significant heat wave for early summer…or, as we call it at EXAIR, “Cabinet Cooler Season.”  And this year is kicking it off with a bang, for sure.

On Tuesday, when the E-NEWS email went out, I was on the phone, processing an order for a Model 4340 NEMA 12, 2,800 Btu/hr, Thermostat Controlled Cabinet Cooler System, to ship overnight to a user who wanted to protect the new drive they were replacing because theirs overheated.  They were up and running before noon on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, four local customers placed “will call” orders for Cabinet Cooler Systems.  I had the pleasure of talking with one of them, who was installing one for the very first time.  As he was looking over the Installation & Operation Guide before he left our building, he just wanted to make sure that hooking it up was as simple as it sounded…and it is.  We pulled the parts from the box and went over exactly how each step is performed, and he left feeling confident that he’d have it installed pretty quickly.  Just in case, I also got his email address and sent him a link to our NEMA 4 Cabinet Cooler System Installation Video Blog:

I don’t know what the rest of the summer holds in store, but I know this: if you have concerns about protecting sensitive, critical, and/or expensive electrical & electronic enclosures, EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are the solution you’re looking for.  Easy to install.  Maintenance free operation.  Durable, UL Listed, and CE Compliant.  If you’d like to discuss your application and get one for yourself, call me; let’s talk.

***Order an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System before July 31, 2017, and get a FREE AC Sensor!***

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Line Vac Brings Additional Solution To Alumina Spill Recovery

Mobile spill recovery unit

In my last blog post I wrote about vacuuming alumina dust in an aluminum manufacturing plant in South America.  In that application we were returning spilled alumina to the original hopper so that processing could continue.

This same customer has an additional application to vacuum spilled material, but the new need is to assist mobile spill recovery vehicles (shown above) in vacuuming spills of varying volume. These mobile vehicles are effective for most of the spillage demands they can access, but there are times where additional vacuum is needed, such as when the spill location is beyond the hose length of the system.  In those scenarios additional vacuum hose can be added, but line losses render the performance too low to produce real results.  With this in mind, the end user looked for a point-of-use vacuum boosting solution, and thought about again using an EXAIR Line Vac.

Considering the potential use of a Line Vac, we approached this in the same way as any other pneumatic conveying application, gathering the required information to allow a proper model number selection.  As with the previous application we confirmed the following:

  •      Bulk density of the material
  •      Size of the material
  •      Conveyance height
  •      Conveyance distance
  •      Required conveyance rate
  •      Available compressed air supply

The spills in this facility are comprised of alumina dust with a bulk density of 1.1g/cm³ (68.7 pounds/ft³).  From the floor to the maximum height of the vehicle is a distance of 3.25m (~11ft), and conveying distances were in a range of 3-10 meters (10-30 feet).  The customer had no required conveyance rate, only a requirement to boost vacuuming capacity when needed.

With this information confirmed we were able to make a model number recommendation, the 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac model 150200.  Adding the 150200 Heavy Duty Line Vac to this mobile spill recovery unit brings additional vacuum flow and conveyance of the alumina through a high velocity airstream, making mobile spill recovery efforts more effective.

If you’re in need of a pneumatic conveying solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer (1-800-903-9247).  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

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