An Overview on Vortex Tube Applications
Keywords:Vortex tube, counter-flow, temperature separation, cold effect, low temperature applications, refrigeration, Ranque-Hilsch tube .
Vortex tube is a simple device with no moving parts. It separates inlet high pressure stream of air into two
lower pressure streams of cooler temperature at one end and hotter temperature at other end. It is basically of counter flow
type and parallel flow type. It has many advantages and wide range of applications, mostly using counter flow owing to
better performance than parallel flow. Most of the applications reflect the benefits in terms of performance, energy,
compactness or as an alternative to the conventional method. Few applications are highlighted in this paper. Variable
temperature system uses vortex tube along with liquid nitrogen cooled heat exchanger to maintain lower temperature as
the biochemical samples are prone to change properties in unconditioned environment. In case of high speed machining
tools, vortex tube cooling improves the performance and tool life along with better finish of workpiece. Laser cutting
system uses vortex tube cooling to minimize heat affected zone. Vortex air coolers are preferred for different industrial
applications. The personal air suit uses vortex tube to allow workers to work under adverse conditions for longer hours.
Vortex tube refrigeration is alternative way to the conventional refrigeration in some applications.