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.
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
I recently had a chat conversation with a customer who was looking to cool the tooling on his CNC router, mill and lathe in his small machine shop. As the day went on the tooling would begin to heat up, it would warp the bit, causing irregularities in the finished product. In some cases the tooling was getting so hot, it would actually break, creating a safety concern.
He had reviewed some of our cooling products and was thinking of using our Cold Gun in the application but was concerned with the air demand. The Cold Gun consumes 15 SCFM @ 100 PSIG and provides a 50°F temperature drop (from supply temperature) with 1,000 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity. The problem was that his compressor only produces a little over 9 SCFM. I explained that the existing compressor would in fact be undersized as it doesn’t produce enough volume to keep up with the demand of the Cold Gun.
Due to the limited amount of compressed air available, our Mini Cooler System, Model #3808, would be the better solution. The Mini Cooler also provides a 50°F temperature drop with a little less cooling power, 550 Btu/hr., but this system only requires 8 SCFM @ 100 PSIG, falling within the existing compressor’s output capacity. The Mini Cooler also includes a magnetic base as well as flexible tubing to direct the cold air to the desired location, making it easy to move from machine to machine.
For U.S. and Canadian customers, EXAIR offers a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try.
If you want to learn more about the EXAIR Mini Cooler or any cooling product, you can contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help you.
The EXAIR Mini Cooler family is one of the many vortex tube based Spot Cooler products that EXAIR offers. This is the smallest of the group coming in at 550 BTU/hr of cooling capacity. The Mini Cooler Systems are available in two options.
The Single Point Outlet option will give you ten inches of flexible cold outlet to easily position the cold air stream near the target point.
The Dual Point Outlet option gives ten inches of 1/4″ flexible outlet that then splits to two separate four inch lengths of 1/4″ flexible cold outlet hoses.
Both include point or flat fan tips for the cold air outlets
Both include a manual drain filter separator
both include the swivel magnetic base with 100 lb. pull magnet.
The single point hose kit is ideal for small diameter milling or drilling applications where the cold air can cover the contact area of the cutter. It can also be used on soldering, industrial sewing, ultrasonic welding, or even small punching applications to list just a few.
The dual point hose kit is ideal for two separate small diameter cutters, one larger diameter cutter, rotary style knives where there material is being slit, or larger diameter multi-point ultrasonic welders/punches.
When using the Mini Cooler the adjustable cold outlet stays in place and can easily bend around fixtures, spindles, welding horns, or dye aligning pins. The swivel magnetic base gives additional adjustment at the base of the cooler to aid in the versatility of this product. To further the adjustability of the cooler the operating pressure can easily be adjusted to lower or raise the cooling capacity of the Mini Cooler to meet the demands of the precise application.
If you believe you have an application that would benefit from the use of a Mini Cooler, or you are unsure which product would be ideal for your application please contact an Application Engineer. we are all here, willing to help however possible to get your application improved in both safety and efficiency.