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  • vortex tube cooling gun

    Anyone tried making one of these? http://www.subtleenergies.com/ormus/...ch/Vortrap.htm

    100PSI air in, -50Celcius and 200Celcius air out [aprox].

    Edit: this seems like a bad idea as it consumes too much air - I don't think my rotary vane pump can handle it at all. Commercial models run as low as 2 cfm, but with 100psi minimum (my pump is 10cfm, 10psi). A better alternative that HSM'ers have concluded - for non-ferrous metals - would be to use ethanol mist. It's 15$ for 4L, but you're using it as mist ...
    Last edited by Elninio; 08-26-2010, 12:27 AM.

  • #2
    I have used store-bought ones. They help, but not as much as a decent coolant.

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    • #3
      I've seen these advertised, just wondering how they work. A blast of compressed air tends to feel cool but I think there is more to it than that.

      JL....................

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JoeLee
        I've seen these advertised, just wondering how they work. A blast of compressed air tends to feel cool but I think there is more to it than that.

        JL....................
        It creates a vortex; air molecules on the outside of the vortex have higher momentum ( mass x velocity), and thus are hotter. There is a wide outlet at the back (basically a hole almost-plugged by a cone), and a thin outlet at the front (washer). The thin hole allows only low-velocity molecules to exit, which are colder.

        http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Hilsch-vortex-tube/ (intro)
        http://www.erkim.com.tr/Vorteks_Tupleri.html (plan)
        Last edited by Elninio; 08-26-2010, 12:57 AM.

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        • #5
          It works, but mine never did more then 0c output, and my second version did'nt even get that cold.

          I think one of the really important things is you have a very smooth ID on the tube that is not disturbed by any connections, Basicly make the jets into the tube, don't try and solder on connections or make a seperate 'jet' chamber or anything fancy.

          Ethonal mist sounds.. dangerious. Flamable.. explosive... and I don't think inhailing the denaturing ingrediants would be any good.
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Black_Moons
            It works, but mine never did more then 0c output, and my second version did'nt even get that cold.

            I think one of the really important things is you have a very smooth ID on the tube that is not disturbed by any connections, Basicly make the jets into the tube, don't try and solder on connections or make a seperate 'jet' chamber or anything fancy.

            Ethonal mist sounds.. dangerious. Flamable.. explosive... and I don't think inhailing the denaturing ingrediants would be any good.
            Its good for non-ferrous machining due to its high latent heat, 800F ignition temp, room temperature flash point, and Evan has even pasted a link to an article on using it as coolant high speed machining of aluminium.

            http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/0706rt1.html
            Last edited by Elninio; 08-26-2010, 02:59 AM.

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            • #7
              Ethanol mist will work ok as long as you are only machining non sparking materials. It is used in industry for ultra high speed aluminum machining because it is a zero residue coolant and has excellent cooling properties. I wouldn't recommend it in a very small shop. Not because of an explosion hazard but because of the possibility of getting intoxicated. The usual denaturant is a bitterant oil in very small quantities and is non-toxic.

              It should be used in a very minimal coarse wet mist and localized directly on the cut. It is often applied as individual squirts every few seconds. It isn't at all likely to produce an explosive atmosphere when used in correct quantities. I have used it for years and never had a problem. At room temperature ethanol will form an explosive vapor concentration but that tendency is reduced if using 95% ethanol in water instead of absolute ethanol. The main reason that it is quite safe is that it has a high autoignition temperature, nearly 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

              In order to produce an explosive atmosphere it would need to be at a 3% concentration in air. If it got that high in the shop you wouldn't notice if it exploded.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                What is actually wanted here- a cooling system for the shop, or the experimental fun of a vortex cooler? If you're looking to blow cold air on a workpiece in the lathe or mill, the vortex cooler IS going to consume a lot of air. I think you'd be better off to come up with a coolant misting system with a high volume low pressure suction collection system. Of course, having a vortex cooler in your hand with hot air coming out one side and cold air out the other is- cool! I think it's worth exploring ways to make it more efficient, and consider how you could use it in the shop for heating and cooling parts simultaneously for press fits, etc.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  Neat device

                  They do use a lot of air, I haven't used mine in a while. They were really handy for automatic chokes on carburetor equipped cars. Another note, they are very noisy with the air coming out of them. Jan

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                  • #10
                    Where do you get 95% ethanol from? Everclear is prohibited in Ontario.

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                    • #11
                      I buy it at the local Save-On-Foods grocery store. They sell rubbing alcohol in the pharmacy section in two kinds. One is regular isopropyl alcohol but the other is pure ethanol. If the local mouthwash drinkers ever figure that out my supply is going to vanish.
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                      • #12
                        I buy anhydrous ethyl alcohol at a company called Blended Specialty Chemicals in Ottawa. It IS denatured, but costs a bit over $12.00 for four liters.
                        The vortex cooler, aka Hilsch tube, was written up in The Scientific American back in the 50s or 60s. There they explained that, while it LOOKED good, it was spectacularly inefficient and therefore probably had little future other than as a curiosity. Of couse, there are ALWAYS exceptions, for example where the demand for "no moving parts to break" overrides the demand for "efficiency of operation."
                        Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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                        • #13
                          The Hilsch tube is commonly used to cool electronics that are stuffed into furnaces for direct sampling of molten materials.

                          I would bet that a vortex tube would be much more effective if run with argon or xenon.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            Take a look at http://itwvortec.thomasnet.com/viewi...gun?&forward=1

                            I've never used their cold air gun but I did work with their air amplifiers on a cooling project once.

                            --Cameron

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                            • #15
                              I used to use one of these http://www.exair.com/en-US/Primary%2...20Systems.aspx for grinding.

                              I am guessing that they work on the same principle.

                              It would get below freezing and frost up the nozzle.

                              Brian
                              OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                              THINK HARDER

                              BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                              MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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