Rudolf Hilsch, Shining a Light on the Vortex Tube

The Vortex Tube is also known as the Ranque – Hilsch tube is a device that takes a single source of compressed gas and splits it into two streams a hot and a cold. The Vortex Tube was invented in 1933 by French physicist Georges J. Ranque, however his findings never really went main stream until Physicist Rudolf Hilsch improved the design and published a widely read paper in 1947 on the device, which he called a Wirbelrohr. (Original publication in German can be found here.)

The Original drawing from Rudolf Hilsche’s 1947 Publication.

Compressed air is supplied into the tube where it passes through a set of nozzles that are tangent to the internal counter-bore. 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 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.

How a Vortex Tube Works

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.

This Vortex Tube theory is utilized in basic Vortex Tubes, along with a variety of other products that have additional features specific for your application. EXAIR’s line of Cabinet CoolersCold GunsAdjustable Spot CoolersMini Coolers, and Vortex Tubes all operate off of this same principle.

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.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Rudolf Hilsche’s Publication Drawing provided by Die Zeitschrift für Naturforschung

(Photo Link https://zfn.mpdl.mpg.de/data/1/ZfN-1946-1-0208.pdf )

Heavy Duty Line Vac Solves Alumina Spillage Problem

Spilled alumina material which needs to be vacuumed and returned to the main hopper.

The image above shows spillage of small alumina particles at an aluminum manufacturing plant in South America.  This customer needed a method to vacuum the spilled material and return it to the main hopper.  The ideal solution needed to be compact, simple, and provide repeatable results.  All of these are key aspects of EXAIR Line Vacs, so we began discussing application variables to make a solution recommendation.

Whenever we consider Line Vac applications we always explore the following variables:

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

The spilled alumina in this application has a bulk density of 1.1 g/cm³ (~68.7 pounds/ft³) which needs to be conveyed to a height of 3.3m (~11ft.).  The conveyance rate is not mandated, but the alumina particles are rather small in diameter and the customer wanted to move as much material as possible in as little time as possible.  Compressed air is readily available at proper pressures and flows, so we were left to determine whether a Line Vac could be a viable solution.  Fortunately we’ve found success in transferring alumina with our Line Vacs in multiple applications before, so we were confident we could find a solution here as well.

The height of this application is 3308mm (~11ft.) – an easy conveyance height for an EXAIR Line Vac.

After exploring the specifics of this application we determined the best solution to be the 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac model 150200.  The 150200 Heavy Duty Line Vac can easily move the alumina to a height of 3.3m at an estimated conveyance rate of 11kg/minute (25 pounds/minute).  There are no moving parts to wear out, which means little to no maintenance and reliable performance each time the Line Vac is used.

Our local distributor assisted with product procurement and in-country technical support.  So even though this customer was in a different continent, we were able to quickly get them the assistance and products they needed to solve their problems.

If you have an application and would like to work with an EXAIR Application Engineer, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.  1-800-903-9247.

EXAIR Corporation Application Engineers
Techelp@EXAIR.com

Custom Products for Custom Applications

Here at EXAIR we pride ourselves on the number of problem solving products we have on the shelf that can ship same day if ordered by 3 PM Eastern Time. But some times a stock product doesn’t quite fit the bill for every application.

Since EXAIR manufactures our products at one location in Cincinnati, Ohio, this gives us the flexibility to do many things like making custom configurations with our Line Vac Systems.  Here is one example of a custom Line Vac and how the customer is using it!

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From Right to Left : Custom 1″ Line Vac with a custom threaded Out Let – 6081 Standard 1″ Line Vac  – Custom 1″ Line Vac with a custom threaded Out Let

The photo above shows two custom 1″ Aluminum Line Vacs with custom threaded outlets. This customer wanted to use the line vac to remove fumes from a welding application and wanted to attach one of their flame retardant filter bags to the outlet of the Line Vac! These custom threads allowed them to screw the filter bag directly onto the line vac with the added insurance of a threaded connection to prevent sparks from escaping the bag.  

No matter what your application is EXAIR is capable to work with you to create custom solutions for your application. Whether you need a different material, size or dimensions or design, EXAIR is able to meet your requirements. These Line Vacs represent only one of our many product lines that can be custom made to your specifications.

For more information on EXAIR’s Line Vacs or help with customizing any of EXAIR‘s Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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EXAIR Line Vac Promotion until October 31, 2019

 

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EXAIR will be giving away a free 2” Super Air Nozzle with the purchase of any EXAIR Line Vac from September 1st through October 31st, 2019.  This special promotion will apply to all versions of Line Vac orders, whether aluminum, stainless steel, heavy duty, threaded/non-threaded, or 316SS sanitary flanged.  Order within the promotional period and receive the free model 1122, a value of $65.00! The 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle is more durable than plastic flat nozzles, operates at lower noise levels and produces a powerful blast of compressed air in a laminar sheet.

line vac family
Lightweight and durable aluminum is the most popular choice, but we make them in stainless steel (Types 303 and 316) for heat and corrosion resistance. For extreme heat, the High Temperature option affords protection to 900F (482C) in either 303SS or 316SS.

Line Vacs provide a fast, easy way to pneumatically transfer dry materials from one location to another.  They eliminate the need to have personnel manually transferring materials via bag, super sac, or bucket-and-ladder setups.  Doing so reduces worker fatigue and allows conveyance to occur simultaneously with other process operations.

line vac scrap trim
The Line Vac conveys scrap trim quickly and easily, and can be sized for most any product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on application parameters such as bulk density of the material (lbs/ft³ or kg/m³), conveyance height/distance, and required conveyance rate, we can size a Line Vac properly through the support of our Application Engineers who have years of experience working with these products and their implementation into industrial solutions.

We’re here to help you find a pneumatic conveyance solution for your application, and earn a free nozzle in the process.  Contact our Application Engineers for assistance today.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_JS