Over the years the basic vortex tube has been used in hundreds of industrial cooling applications. A few have become so popular as to warrant the development of an “applied product” designed to suit the specific application. These products include the Adjustable Spot Cooler, Mini Cooler, Cold Gun and Cabinet Coolers. All of these products can be found in our catalog and on our website.
The Mini Cooler™ is a proven way to reduce downtime and increase productivity on a variety of operations involving small parts where heat is a problem. It evolved out of the garment industry and is commonly used to cool needles and prevent breakage. EXAIR’s Mini Cooler produces a stream of 20°F (-7°C) cold air to prevent heat build-up. The Mini Cooler is particularly effective on high speed operations to prevent burning, melting and heat related breakage. Operation is quiet (76 dBA) and there are no moving parts to wear out.
The Mini Cooler incorporated a vortex tube to convert a small amount of compressed air into two low pressure streams, one moving within the other in opposite directions (see below). The two airstreams exchange heat, producing cold air from one end of the tube and hot air from the other. A flexible hose directs the cold airstream at the surface to be cooled.
The Mini Cooler produces instant cold air when compressed air is supplied to it. If less cold air is needed, the volume of cold air can be reduced by regulating the compressed air supply with the pressure regulator. Lower pressure give less cold flow and reduce compressed air consumption.
The Mini Cooler is an excellent spot cooler to prevent burning or breakage. If you have an application and have questions regarding which spot cooler is best for you please contact any of our Applications Engineers . EXAIR has the the expertise and products to provide solutions to your process problems.
That’s right, with the start of November this year we also start our Cold Gun promotion. This promotion runs from the start of November until December 31, 2022. The best part is that Cold Guns have a long history of providing spot cooling solutions for industry. Cold Guns have been cooling product and processes for over 35 years! Take advantage of the current promotion today!
The EXAIR Cold Gun promo is a great way to receive an additional tool to extend the use of the Cold Gun. With the purchase of a promotional Cold Gun System w/ Single Point Hose Kit or promotional High Power Cold Gun System w/ Single Point Hose Kit you will receive a Dual Point Hose Kit for free. This is a $48.00 USD value. The Cold Gun will drop your compressed air temperature by 54°F when operating at 100 psig inlet pressure. Choose the standard point tip or the 1″ fan tip to blow the cold air. The total length of the flexible discharge hose is around 11″. If more coverage is needed, the promotional Dual Point Hose Kit gives around 5-6″ of straight hose before splitting into two smaller lines that offer both point or fan tip nozzles as well. This dual point can be used to reach both sides of larger diameter cutters and components that need a blast of cool air.
The Cold Gun is easily setup in any machine that has a ferrous metal surface thanks to its integrated magnetic base that will hold the unit in place even when the machine is moving or vibrating. If you do not have ferrous metal available for the magnetic base, using rigid piping or even something like u-bolts to hold the unit into place is a common practice of customers who need the cooling and know the Cold Gun will perform.
Lastly, if you aren’t certain whether the Cold Gun is the solution, we have an entire team of Application Engineers here to discuss the application, and it is also backed by our 30-day guarantee so our US and Canadian based customers can order one, test it in their facility for 30 days. If they are not pleased with the performance for any reason, the item can be returned to EXAIR. If you want to discuss your application, contact us today!
If I were to tell you that I can take a supply of ordinary compressed air and drop its temperature by 50°F with no moving parts and without any type of refrigerant or electrical connection, you might be scratching your head a bit. That is of course unless you’ve been introduced to the wild world of Vortex Tubes. My favorite product among the EXAIR Product Line, the Vortex Tube, does just that. With an ordinary supply of compressed air as the sole power source, and no moving parts, the Vortex Tube converts that airstream into a hot and cold flow that exits from opposite ends of the tube. No magic, witchcraft, or wizardry involved here. Just physics!
The theory all began in the 19th century with the famous physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell. He suggested that since heat involves the movement of molecules, it could be possible to create a device that could distribute hot and cold air with no moving parts with the help of a “friendly little demon” that would sort and separate the hot and cold molecules of air. Not much was done with regard to this or any further advancement until about 61 years later.
In 1928, a French physics student by the name of George Ranque was conducting some testing on a vortex-type pump he had developed. In this testing, he noticed that warm air was exhausting from one end, while cold air was coming out of the other. He dropped his plans for the pump and begin an attempt to exploit this phenomenon commercially. His business ultimately failed, along with the Vortex Tube theory, until 1945 when a German physicist named Rudolph Hilsch published a scientific paper based on the Vortex Tube.
With so many involved, the tube became known by a variety of different names: “Ranque Vortex Tube”, the “Hilsch Tube”, the “Ranque-Hilsch Tube”, and (my personal favorite) “Maxwell’s Demon”. Over the years, it has gained a reputation as a low cost, reliable, and highly effective method for industrial spot cooling and panel cooling applications. While using the tube as a PC cooler isn’t generally recommended, here’s a great video demonstrating the tube in operation from Linus Tech Tips on YouTube:
So how exactly does this thing work? The truth is no one knows for certain, but there is one commonly accepted theory that explains the phenomenon:
Compressed air is supplied into the tube where it passes through a set of nozzles that are tangent to the internal counterbore. The design of the nozzles force the air to spin in a vortex motion at speeds up to 1,000,000 RPM. The spinning air turns 90° where a valve at one end allows some of the warmed air to escape. What does not escape, heads back down the tube in the inner stream where it loses heat and exhausts through the other end as cold air.
Both streams rotate in the same direction and at the same angular velocity. Due to the principle of conservation of angular momentum, the rotational speed of the inner vortex should increase. However that’s not the case with the Vortex Tube. The best way to illustrate this is in Olympic Figure Skating. As the skater is wider, the spinning motion is much slower. As she decreases her overall radius, the velocity picks up dramatically and she spins much quicker. In a Vortex Tube, the speed of the inner vortex remains the same as it has lost angular momentum. The energy that is lost in this process is given off in the form of heat that has exhausted from the hot side of the tube. This loss of heat allows the inner vortex to be cooled, where it can be ducted and applied for a variety of industrial applications.
If you’re fascinated by this product and want to give it a try, EXAIR offers an unconditional 30 day guarantee. We have them all in stock and ready to ship as well, same day with an order received by 2:00 ET. Feel free to get in contact with us if you’d like to discuss how a vortex-based product could help you in your processes.
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.