Video Blog: Medium Vortex Tube Cooling Kit

EXAIR offers (3) Vortex Tube Cooling Kits, and the video below will provide an overview of the medium size offering, for refrigeration up to 2800 BTU/hr (706 Kcal/hr.)

If you have questions regarding Vortex Tube Cooling Kits or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
Like us on Facebook
Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

Mini Cooler Improves Custom Cutlery Production

Vortex Tubes use compressed air to create a stream of cold air and a stream of hot air. As the compressed air enters the unit, it travels through a spin chamber which spins the air at speeds up to 1,000,000 RPM producing temperatures ranging from -50°F to +260°F and providing cooling up to 10,200 Btu/hr. With no maintenance requited and no moving parts, they have become quite popular in large and small scale cooling applications in place of more conventional methods of cooling.

How an EXAIR Vortex Tube Works

EXAIR has incorporated this technology into several different products like our Cabinet Cooler Systems used to cool electrical panels and our Cold Guns commonly used to replace messy mist systems in tool cooling, milling and machining operations. For smaller scale processes we offer our Mini Cooler System which provides a 50°F temperature drop from the compressed air supply temperature and 550 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity.

I recently worked with a small, custom knife manufacturer who was looking for a way to keep his tooling cool during production. As the blades are made, he uses a small rotary die tool to shape and sharpen the blade. He also makes his own handles out of materials like wood, ceramics or other metals, which get etched with a custom design into the surface. The heat generated during theses processes, causes the tooling to either bend or break completely, resulting in damage to the knife blade and burns or breaks in the wood and ceramic handles. After looking at our spot cooling products online, he familiarized himself with the Vortex Tube technology but with only 12.9 SCFM of air available, he was unsure what product would best fit his application.

With the limited amount of air available, the Model # 3808 Mini Cooler System was the perfect solution. The Mini Cooler uses only 8 SCFM @ 100 PSIG, falling well within the capacity of his current compressor. The integral magnetic base would ensure an easy installation and with the included flexible hose, he could direct the cold air to the needed area.

The Mini Cooler is ideal for small tool and part cooling applications.

For help with your spot cooling needs or to discuss how the Vortex Tube technology could help in your process, contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

Camera Lens Cooling with EXAIR Vortex Tubes in a High Temperature Environment

Connection side of camera lens housing. Dimensions shown are in cm.

A customer in Russia contacted our distributor in Moscow about an application to monitor the flow of melted glass.  In their application, the end user had installed (4) camera “eyes” with thermal insulation to instantaneously measure the melted glass flow.  But, the high ambient temperatures would cause the temperature of the camera lens to slowly increase during operation, eventually resulting in an overheating condition.  This overheating condition rendered the cameras inoperable until they were cooled below a temperature of approximately 40°C (104°F).

What this end user (and application) needed was a suitable solution to cool the lens of the camera to a temperature below 40°C (104°F).  A typical refrigerant based air conditioner wouldn’t work for this application due to space and temperature constraints, as the cameras are located close to the furnace with ambient temperatures of 50°C (122°F) or higher.

What did provide a viable solution, however, were High Temperature EXAIR Vortex Tubes.  Suitable for temperatures up to 93°C (200°F), and capable of providing cooling capacities as high as 10,200 BTU/hr., these units fit the bill for this application.

Full view of the camera lens housing. The camera lens is the portion protruding from the far left of the housing.

After determining the volume of compressed air available for each camera, and after discussing the solution options and preferences with the customer, they chose (4) model BPHT3298 Vortex Tubes, using (1) Vortex Tube for each camera.  The cold air from the Vortex Tube will feed directly onto the camera lens, keeping it cool even in the hot ambient conditions.  This removes lost productivity due to machine downtime, which in turn increases output and reliability from the application process.

High Temperature Vortex Tubes provided a solution for this customer when other options were unable to deliver.  If you have a similar application or would like to discuss how an EXAIR Vortex Tube could solve an overheating problem in your application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

 

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Trouble Identifying an EXAIR part? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

3240VT

EXAIR Model 3240H Vortex Tube with Hot Muffler Installed

 

Not a day goes by that we don’t receive a call from a customer that is having trouble identifying an EXAIR part. Due to the robust nature of our Vortex Tubes, they can be installed in applications for several years without any maintenance. When the time comes to expand that line, the labels may have worn off, the unit may be covered in grime or oil, or the personnel that originally ordered the product may no longer be with the company. In any case, one of the Application Engineers here at EXAIR will certainly be able to help!

I recently received an e-mail from a gentlemen in Indonesia who was suffering from that very problem. They had a Model 3240 Vortex Tube installed in a camera cooling application near a boiler. The engineer who designed the project was no longer with the company and they could not determine a Model number or when they had purchased it. They saw the EXAIR sticker, along with our contact information, and reached out for help. Vortex Tube’s come in different sizes, based on the available compressed air supply as well as the level of refrigeration needed. They’re available in (3) different sizes as well as Vortex Tubes for max refrigeration (R style generators) and Vortex Tubes for a maximum cold temperature (C style generators). In order to identify the Model number, you must look on the shoulder of the Vortex Tube generator. On it, there will be a stamp that indicates the generator style that is installed. In this case, the customer stated that there was a “40-R”, indicating to me that he had our Model 3240 Vortex Tube.

Our team of highly trained Application Engineers is here ready to assist you with any needs you may have regarding EXAIR products. With a little bit of investigative work, a quick discussion about the dimensions or a photo; we’re able to identify any of our products. If you’re considering expanding a current line into other parts of your facility, or perhaps adding a new location and need help identifying your EXAIR products; give an Application Engineer a call and we’ll be sure you get the right products on order!

Tyler Daniel

Application Engineer

Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

E-mail: tylerdaniel@exair.com

Cooling Nylon Parts and Brushes with the Adjustable Spot Cooler

A robotics company called last week looking for a recommendation for a cooling device to use in their nylon plastic machining operation. They have a six axis robot, fitted with abrasive brushes, that “cleans” the part profiles as they are being moved from the milling area to the inspection location. The brushes were effective in removing the fines and particulate from the parts but they were starting to experience an increase in the amount of rejects as the brushes were generating heat, causing deformities to the profile.

Their initial thought was to use a liquid type method of cooling but with the parts having some small recesses and cavities that might trap fluid, this wasn’t going to be a reliable option for them. Another area of concern with using an air cooling device, was if the airflow was too forceful, the smaller parts they process may have the potential to “move” while being held by the robotic arm which could scratch or blemish the part.

After further conversation about the process, I recommended they use our Adjustable Spot Cooler in the application. The Adjustable Spot Cooler incorporates a Vortex Tube to produce a cold airstream as low as -30°F with an ambient air supply temperature. Using the temperature control valve, they can easily adjust the temperature drop and the volume (SCFM) of air being exhausted, to “dial” in the device to provide an adequate level of cooling while controlling the outlet flow to not disrupt the hold on the part itself. With the integral magnetic base and flexible tubing, they could easily mount the unit to the arm of the robot while directing the cold air to blow across the brushes and the part to keep them cool.

Model # 3825 Adjustable Spot Cooler System includes 2 extra generators to allow for more or less cooling capacity and airflow.

EXAIR offers a wide variety of spot cooling products for many different processes and uses. For help selecting the best option to fit your need or to discuss another product, give me a call, I’d be happy to help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

 

 

 

Troubleshooting Vortex Tube Performance

image-2

This Vortex Tube was not operating properly when initially connected to compressed air

One of the fun parts of Application Engineering at EXAIR is explaining the operation of Vortex Tubes to our customers.  Sometimes they’re described as a “reverse tornado” inside of a tube, spinning a pressurized airstream and converting it into a hot and cold flow.  Other times we describe it through the generation of two vortices with differing diameters, and the difference in diameters results in one vortex shedding energy in the form of heat.

But, no matter the way we explain their operation, we always stress the importance of proper compressed air plumbing.  If the compressed air piping/hoses/connections are not properly sized, performance problems can arise.  (This is true for any compressed air driven device.)

This fundamental came to light when working with one of our customers recently.  They were using a medium sized Vortex Tube to provide spot cooling in an enclosed space, but were not seeing the flow and temperature drop they knew to be possible with an EXAIR Vortex Tube.  And, after looking at installation photos of the application, the root cause was quickly spotted.

image-2-with-arrow

The red arrow in the bottom right corner of this image shows the beginnings of a reduction in compressed air supply.

I noticed what looked to be a very small hose connected to the inlet of the Vortex Tube in the image above.

image-1-with-circle

In this additional image, the small compressed air line is in full view. This was the root cause for performance problems in this application.

After further inspection of another photo, the small diameter tube was in full view.  This small hose serves as a restriction to compressed air flow, which in turn limits both flow and operating pressure of the downstream devices.  What that meant for this application, was poor performance from the Vortex Tube, all stemming from this reduction in piping size.

When looking to find the root cause of a performance issue with a compressed air driven unit, things aren’t always as easy as they were with this application.  A visual inspection is always a good idea, but if everything looks correct, here is a list of troubleshooting steps to consider:

  1. Check for quick-disconnects in the plumbing system.  Quick-disconnects are great from an operator’s perspective, but they can wreak havoc on compressed air flows due to small inside diameters and air volume restriction.
  2. Determine the operating pressure at the device.  This is imperative.  In order to make proper decisions to correct the performance concern, good information is required.  Knowing what is happening at the device is crucial for proper understanding.  There may be 100 PSIG at the main compressed air line, but only 60 PSIG at the device due to plumbing problems. A pressure gauge at the inlet of the compressed air product can provide this information.
  3. Check that the compressed air system has enough volume to properly supply the device.  A compressed air driven unit without the correct volume of compressed air is just as bad as having a lack of pressure.
  4. Check for leaks.  The US Department of Energy estimates that 20-30% of compressor output in industrial facilities is lost as leaks.  If your system and devices aren’t operating as they’re supposed to, check for leaks.  They may be contributing to the poor performance.  (Don’t know where your leaks are coming from?  Use our Ultrasonic Leak Detector!)

Fortunately for this customer, after improving the size of this tubing performance was on par with our published specifications and this customer was back in operation.  If you have a question about how to improve the utilization of the compressed air devices in your application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Mini Cooler Cools Hot Glue Beads

A few weeks ago I worked with a nail and staple gun manufacturer on a glue cooling process involving their collated nail strips. To keep the nails together, they place a small amount of hot glue across the body of the nails and then have an open air line blowing compressed air on the glue to secure a good bond between the pieces. The current process used to work great, but they recently made a change to the type of glue they were using and now they are starting to see more rejects as the heat from the glue isn’t able to be removed quick enough with ambient air. The customer is familiar with EXAIR as they currently use some of our other products in various applications throughout their plant but in this particular case, they were unsure of the best product to fit their needs so they reached out for assistance.

nails

Example of collated nail strip

For this particular application, I suggested the customer use our Mini Cooler. The Mini Cooler is specifically designed for small area or small part cooling applications. The Mini Cooler uses less compressed air than our Cold Gun but still produces the same 50°F temperature drop from the incoming supply air temperature. So say your plant air is 70°F, you would see 20°F air being exhausted from the unit. The device features a flexible hose, allowing the user to focus the cold air to the desired location, in this case right at the glue which would provide the quicker, more reliable solution the customer was needing. Installation is a breeze as well, thanks to the included magnetic base, you don’t need to make any expensive modifications or add any type of mounting brackets to the existing setup.

3808

The Mini Cooler is the ideal choice for small part cooling.

EXAIR offers a wide variety of spot cooling products that provide a low cost, maintenance free solution for large or small scale cooling processes. With help selecting the best product to fit your specific need or to discuss your particular application, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Best Regards,
Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Nails image courtesy of Joy Kirr via Creative Commons license

 

%d bloggers like this: