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Minnie Borregaard

United States

Member since July 27, 2013

  • Frequently Asked Questions About the Vortex Tube

    Community, Industrial Design


    What is Vortex Tube?

    It is an industrial device that provides spot cooling and regulates thermostat during manufacturing processes. 'Vortex' refers to the spinning action that pressurized air assumes as it enters inside the tube. It was first known in 1928, but was only put to commercial use several decades later.

    How does it work?

    Compressed air gets through a small opening protrusion located along the body of the vortex tube. Then, it spins toward one end of the device, and as it does, temperature increases. A valve at the exit point permits some of the warm air to be released, while the rest recoils back down the tube. A second, inner vortex is formed at this point, which goes out at the other end of the Tube as cold stream of air.

    What are the parts of Vortex Tube?

    The Tube itself contains no parts inside, which makes this device quite a challenge for scientists to fully decipher as to how it separates the hot and cold air molecules. However, it is often purchased as a kit, composed of the main tube, metal base, nozzle, generator, thermostat regulator, and filter with drainer.

    What are its benefits?

    One is that Vortex Tube eliminates that use of compressors and refrigerants that run on electricity. It uses generators, mostly powered by fuel, to provide a supply of compressed air. To achieve cooling capacity at 10,000 btu/hr, a generator that produces 15 SCFM is quite sufficient to accomplish a lot of tasks. It's an alternative that makes efficient use of money and energy.

    Another benefit is that it increases the volume of production, reduces delays, and almost eliminates rejected parts. It also contributes to the maintenance and preservation of the machineries that are constantly subjected to high temperatures, oxidation, and corrosion.

    The environment also benefits when manufacturers use Vortex Tubes, instead of the harmful aerosols and solvents.

    What are some of the specific uses of the Vortex Tubes?

    In assembly lines that produces car parts, for instance, a lot of time is consumed in waiting for castings to settle in their final shape and form. Vortex Tubes can be installed near the molds for spot cooling and so lessen the time gap from the molding to the polishing or painting.

    Vortex Tube is also attached in proximity to machine-operated sealers and cutters to make them run continuously without delays due to excess heat. Flexible nozzles are attached to the cold exhaust of the device for precision or a more concentrated blasts of cold air.

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