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Vortex tubes reduce cooling cycle time

Supplier: Compressed Air Australia
08 April, 2015

An automotive manufacturer had a problem in their robotic welding cell taking too long for the welds to cool down

For this application, a series of robot arms orient front and rear doors for welding. Once completed, it was taking too long for the welds to cool down. This slowed the process of being able to move the next door into place for welding.

The target cycle time for cooling each weld was 1.5 seconds. To obtain this goal, they would need to find a way to quickly produce the cold airflow and do it with a solution that was compact and lightweight as to not place excessive torque or strain on the robot within that portable work cell

The Solution:

In order to test the concept, they first ordered the Model 3930 EXAIR Cooling Kit. This allowed them to mount the vortex tube directly on the robotic arm and direct the cold air next to the weld. The kit includes a series of generators so they could test various airflows and cold temperatures. The results were very favourable but they decided they would like to have just a bit more cooling.

They exchanged the cooling kit for (3) Model 3299 Vortex Tubes that were strategically placed right next to the welds (see red circles in the photo). Their cooling objective of 1.5 seconds was met. 

Vortex Tubes are a great, low-cost way to generate cold air for spot cooling. They can produce:

  • Temperatures from -46° to +127°C (-50° to +260°F)

  • Flow rates from 28 to 4248 SLPM (1 to 150 SCFM) 

  • Refrigeration up to 2571 Kcal/hr. (10,200 Btu/hr.) 

If you have a cooling application that you would like to discuss, please contact Compressed Air Australia.