Vortex Tube Hot Exhaust Keeps Vent Valve From Freezing Up

The vent valve on a reciprocating air motor was prone to freezing as the actuating air was vented from the motor's cylinder. Throttling down on the vent valve to slow the motor speed (as required by the application) exacerbated the situation. The customer was familiar with EXAIR Vortex Tube products, and the hot exhaust they generated. The intent was to use this hot exhaust (instead of the more commonly used cold flow,) but the concern was that there wouldn't be a high enough flow rate...they were more familiar with our Cold Guns and Mini Coolers, which are preset to a higher Cold Fraction, meaning the hot exhaust was the smaller of the two flows...in the case of the Mini Cooler or Cold Guns, which are preset to an 80% Cold Fraction, the hot exhaust is only 20% of the total compressed air supply (1.6 SCFM for the Mini Cooler; 3 SCFM for the Cold Gun.) Our Model 3400 Series Vortex Tubes, however, are designed for Maximum Cold Temperature, meaning the Cold Fraction for these is adjustable from 20-50%, meaning the hot exhaust can be 50-80%. They installed a Model 3402 Small Vortex Tube (2 SCFM, Maximum Cold Temperature) to blow the hot exhaust on the vent valve, which keeps the valve from freezing up, and the motor in operation.

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