CASE STUDY: Cooling Small Parts After Brazing
The Problem: Air conditioner parts assembled on an automatic brazing machine must be cooled to handling temperature prior to removal. The machine was capable of brazing up to four hundred pieces per hour. However, the time required for the parts to cool severely limited the production rate. Water cooling was unacceptable from the standpoint of both housekeeping and part contamination.
The Solution: (2) Model 3230 Vortex Tubes (with cold air muffler installed) were used to blow cold air on the parts after the brazing cycle. The vortex tubes were set at an 80% cold airflow (cold fraction) to produce maximum refrigeration. The parts were cooled from brazing temperature of 1,450°F (788°C) to handling temperature of 120°F (49°C) within 20 seconds, allowing the machine to operate at its maximum production rate.
Comment: Compared to conventional refrigeration or water cooling, vortex tubes offer a number of advantages: low cost, compact design, inherent reliability and cleanliness. These attributes make vortex tubes the cost effective choice for many small part cooling operations.