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Vortex Tubes for heating and cooling applications

Vortex Tubes

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Cold air to -50°F (-46°C) from your compressed air supply -- with no moving parts!

Low cost, reliable, maintenance-free solution to a variety of industrial spot cooling problems. Using an ordinary supply of compressed air as a power source, vortex tubes create two streams of air, one hot and one cold, with no moving parts. Vortex tubes can produce:

  • Temperatures from -50° to +260°F (-46° to +127°C)
  • Flow rates from 1 to 150 SCFM (28 to 4248 SLPM)
  • Refrigeration up to 10,200 Btu/hr. (2571 Kcal/hr.)

Adobe PDF File Vortex Tube Brochure

EXAIR Vortex Tubes are constructed of stainless steel. The wear resistance of stainless steel, as well as its resistance to corrosion and oxidation, assures that EXAIR Vortex Tubes will provide years of reliable, maintenance-free operation.
  • Cooling electronic controls
  • Cooling machining operations
  • Cooling CCTV cameras
  • Setting hot melts
  • Cooling soldered parts
  • Cooling gas samples
  • Electronic component cooling
  • Cooling heat seals
  • Cooling environmental chambers
  • No moving parts
  • No electricity or chemicals
  • Small, lightweight
  • Low cost
  • Maintenance free
  • Instant cold air
  • Durable - stainless steel
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Interchangeable generators
Compressed air, normally 80-100 PSlG (5.5 - 6.9 BAR), is ejected tangentially through a generator into the vortex spin chamber. At up to 1,000,000 RPM, this air stream revolves toward the hot end where some escapes through the control valve. The remaining air, still spinning, is forced back through the center of this outer vortex. The inner stream gives off kinetic energy in the form of heat to the outer stream and exits the vortex tube as cold air. The outer stream exits the opposite end as hot air. There is a detailed discussion of vortex tube history and theory later in this section.

For more details on the theory behind vortex tubes, click here.

How the Vortex Tube works
Cold airflow and temperature are easily controlled by adjusting the slotted valve in the hot air outlet. Opening the valve reduces the cold airflow and the cold air temperature. Closing the valve increases the cold airflow and the cold air temperature. The percentage of air directed to the cold outlet of the vortex tube is called the "cold fraction". In most applications, a cold fraction of 80% produces a combination of cold flow rate and temperature drop that maximizes refrigeration, or Btu/hr. (Kcal/hr.) output of a vortex tube. While low cold fractions (less than 50%) produce lowest temperatures, cold airflow rate is sacrificed to achieve them.

Most industrial applications, i.e., process cooling, part cooling, chamber cooling, require maximum refrigeration and utilize the 3200 series Vortex Tube. Certain "cryogenic" applications, i.e., cooling lab samples, circuit testing, are best served by the 3400 series Vortex Tube.

Setting a vortex tube is easy. Simply insert a thermometer in the cold air exhaust and set the temperature by adjusting the valve at the hot end. Maximum refrigeration (80% cold fraction) is achieved when cold air temperature is 50°F (28°C) below compressed air temperature.

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Temperatures, flows and refrigeration are adjustable over a wide range using the control valve on the hot end exhaust.
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  Special high temperature vortex tubes keep a boroscope lens cool while inserted into a 1200°F boiler porthole. A Model 3215 Vortex Tube cools a die on a medical tube forming machine.  

Vortex Tubes
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Exair 3202 Vortex Tube, 2 SCFM (57 SLPM) Exair 3202 Vortex Tube, 2 SCFM (57 SLPM)
Code: EX3202
Price: $178.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3204 Vortex Tube, 4 SCFM (113 SLPM)
Code: EX3204
Price: $178.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3208 Vortex Tube, 8 SCFM (227 SLPM)
Code: EX3208
Price: $178.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3210 Vortex Tube, 10 SCFM (283 SLPM)
Code: EX3210
Price: $215.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3215 Vortex Tube, 15 SCFM (425 SLPM)
Code: EX3215
Price: $225.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3225 Vortex Tube, 25 SCFM (708 SLPM)
Code: EX3225
Price: $215.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3230 Vortex Tube, 30 SCFM (850 SLPM)
Code: EX3230
Price: $215.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3240 Vortex Tube, 40 SCFM (133 SLPM)
Code: EX3240
Price: $215.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3250 Vortex Tube, 50 SCFM (1416 SLPM)
Code: EX3250
Price: $998.00
Quantity in Basket: none

  Exair 3275 Vortex Tube, 75 SCFM (2124 SLPM)
Code: EX3275
Price: $998.00
Quantity in Basket: none

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