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Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Cooling Tube

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churchjw

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I saw a cold air gun at a tool show some time back being used to cool plastic chips during cutting. I finally cot around to looking into these things and found a few DIY sites for them. The best one I found was http://ottobelden.blogspot.com/2010/12/another-home-made-ranque-hilsch-vortex.html

So over the Easter break I decided to build one to see how it went and surprise it worked.

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I didn't do pictures during the build since I had no idea if it would work. But I followed the layout from the website so you can see whats inside for there. The shop today was 72 F measured by my multimeter.

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The cold end measured at 11 degrees F. I got it down to 7 degrees at one point.

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The hot end was 97 degrees F and got up to 104 degrees. I have a large compressor and this puts a load on it. About the same as a cool mist system does. I tried the cold gun on the mill and cut some lexan at high rpm. I saw a marked chip improvement while running the cold air.

I think the guy underestimated the cost. All total from Lowes it was about $30.00. I had some of the parts but that was the real cost.

Kind of a cool project. Has anyone else used or made one of these?

Jeff

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pdentrem

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I use one at work from time to time, for cooling on the lathe when working on parts that are hot glued to a face plate. Was always curious on how it worked.
Thanks for the posting.
 

KBeitz

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I bought two real ones for $0.25. They spin the air molecules and separate
the hot one from the cold ones. Cold ones are heaver so the hot ones get spun
to the outside.
 

Bob Korves

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It creates a miniature tornado vortex inside the tube. As the air gets compressed in the vortex, it heats up. The other end of the vortex gets cold (conservation of energy). It also makes plenty of noise while doing so.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube
 

KBeitz

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I have no sound from mine other than the sound of an air gun.
It sure does us up some air...
 

rwm

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This is fascinating! I need to build one of these. Is there a practical use? If not, I need to build 2 of these...
Robert
 

Bob Korves

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This is fascinating! I need to build one of these. Is there a practical use? If not, I need to build 2 of these...
Robert
They are used often in scientific labs to heat and cool things, and also for automotive troubleshooting. Many of them are made and sold every year. I am no sure, but I think I remember being told that it is difficult to make them so the vortex is stable and starts every time. That was about 1985. I was told to buy one, not try to make one if I wanted it to work well. That could be bad or outdated information, but I would check it out before trying to make one.
 

KBeitz

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They use a LOT of air....
 

kd4gij

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They are great for use on a surface grinder. keeps he part cold with out the mess. I also use mine for cooling parts down on the lathe before I make the final pass,
 

KBeitz

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I got two factory ones from a pawn shop years ago for a quarter. They had no idea what they was....
 

Janderso

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I don't care what you say, It's magic.
 
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FOMOGO

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I purchased one, Chilly Bits brand. Have it set up on the Bridgeport. Not overly impressed. It helps some, mostly with chip clearance, but not as good as regular cutting oil, and as noted above it eats a lot of air, and if you don't have a commercial sized compressor, don't waste your time. Mike
 

COMachinist

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The thing is I do more aluminum which needs lub so I use the Noga misters on both the mill and lathe. It would work on steels but I just don't do a lot of steels. Some cold or hot rolled and the mist works got on them. Don’t need any thing on cast, just air to clear chips and the misters cand also provide the coolair for that. Unless your cutting exotic materials with extreme tolorances, then maybe. This is more suited to NASA/Livamore Labs stuff. Hobby stuff, trick of the week. Not to mention the ware and tare on the compressor. and the 400.00 plus for one that does any real good.
KISS
CH
 
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