Aluminum Vortex Tubes
Aluminum Vortex Tubes  

Aluminum Vortex Tubes

A broad range of spot and process industrial cooling can be achieved cost efficiently with vortex tubes. By spinning compressed air, the vortex tube enables the separation of its flow into two streams, one hot and one cold. Vortex tubes feature no moving parts are light-weight and portable. With no residue from Freon or chemicals to clean, vortex tubes are maintenance-free. These AiRTX vortex tubes are reliably made from aluminum, and ideal for a vast array of applications such as cool manufacturing processes, laboratory applications, temperature cycle components, as well as the air conditioning of electronic control enclosures.
Cabinet Control Coolers
Air Guns

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“Cold Fraction”: an Important Term for Understanding Vortex Tube Performance

“Cold fraction” is the percentage of input compressed air that’s released through the cold end of the tube. As a rule of thumb, the less cold air you release, the colder the air will be. You adjust the cold fraction with the control knob. Cold fraction is also a function of the type of vortex generator that’s in the tube, i.e., a “high cold fraction” or “low cold fraction” generator.

Most industrial process applications use a high cold fraction (above 50%). A high cold fraction tube can easily give you cold outputs 50-90°F (28-50°C) below your compressed air temperature. High cold fractions give you a greater air flow, but they don’t give the lowest possible temperatures.

The high cold fraction combination of airflow and cold temperature produces the maximum refrigeration capacity, or greatest BTU/H (Kcal/H).

A low cold fraction (below 50%) means a smaller volume of air coming out that’s very cold (down to -40°F/-40°C). In short, the less air you release, the colder the air.

Just remember, your maximum BTU/H (Kcal/H) capacity (also called maximum cooling or refrigeration) occurs with a high cold fraction tube.

The chart to the right shows you the temperature drop (pink bar) and rise (grey bar) you can get at various inlet pressures and cold fraction settings.

Reliable, Predictable, Easy to Control Without Tools

A Vortex Tube turns factory compressed air into two airstreams, one very cold and one hot, using no moving parts. Simple and low-cost, a Vortex Tube can produce:
  • temperatures from -40°F (-40°C) to +230°F (+110°C) from 70°F compressed air
  • up to 2800 BTU/H (630 Kcal/H) refrigeration
  • air flow rates up to 35 cfm (990 lpm)
You just set the cold temperature output with the handy control knob and your thermometer. No tools are required.

Assuming your compressed air input pressure and tem-per-a-ture remain constant, a Vortex Tube will hold output temperatures ±1°F (±0.6°C). Our unique temperature control knob lets you adjust the cold air discharge without tools.

A simple, interchangeable part — the Vortex Generator — allows our Vortex Tube to deliver five different air flows: 8, 10, 15, 25, 35 cfm (220, 280, 420, 700, 990 lpm) — each with two ranges of cooling performance (high or low).

Vortex Tube Performance Data
Inlet Pressure
Cold Fraction %

20 30 40 50 60 70 80
20 61.5 59.5 55.5 50.5 43.5 36.0 27.5
14.5 24.5 36.0 49.5 64.0 82.5 107.0
40 88.0 85.0 80.0 73.0 62.5 51.5 38.0
20.5 35.0 51.5 71.0 91.5 117.0 147.0
60 104.0 100.0 93.0 84.0 73.0 59.5 44.5
23.5 40.0 58.5 80.0 104.0 132.0 168.0
80 115.0 110.0 102.0 92.0 80.0 65.5 49.0
25.0 43.0 63.0 86.0 113.0 143.0 181.0
100 123.0 118.0 110.0 99.0 86.0 70.0 53.0
26.0 45.0 66.5 91.0 119.0 151.0 192.0
120 129.0 124.0 116.0 104.0 90.5 74.0 55.0
26.0 46.0 69.0 94/0 123.0 156.0 195.0
140 135.0 129.0 121.0 109.0 94.0 76.0 56.5
25.5 46.0 70.5 96.0 124.0 156.0 193.0
Figures in pink area give temperature drop of cold air, °F
Figures in grey area give temperature rise of hot air, °F

Conversion Formulas

°F = 9/5 °C + 32°
°C = 5/9 (F - 32°)
BAR = psi ÷ 14.5
Kcal = BTU x .2520
LPM = cfm x 28.3
oz = g x .035
BTU = WATTS x 3.41

BTU conversion —
HP to BTU/Hour

1 Hp = 42.44 BTU/min.
1 Hp = 2546 BTU/hr.
1 Hp = 746 WATTS
1 KWH =3414 BTU/hr.

Heat Balance Formula

Cold fraction can be computed from the temperature readings from the inlet temperature (Ti), the cold air outlet temperature (Tc), and the hot air tem-per-a-ture (Th), so that;

Air Conditioning Power

The cooling and heating power in BTU/H can be found by using these formulas.

For Cooling: BTU/H = 1.0746 (cfm c) (Ti-Tc)
For Heating: BTU/H = 1.0746 (cfm h) (Th-Ti)

Where: CF = Cold Fraction
cfm t = Total Air Flow
cfm h = Hot Air Flow = cfm t (100 - CF)
cfm c = Cold Air Flow = cfm t (CF)
Ti = Inlet Temperature Tc = Cold Air Outlet Temperature
Th = Hot Air Outlet Temperature

Model 20008 SS

Model 25010-25035 AL


Industrial Solution for Vortex Tubes

Metal Fabricating - Tapping

Tapping brass clips is completed without messy liquid coolants using air from a Vortex Tube to cool the tap. The brass does not have a chance to gum up, the cut is cleaner,, and secondary operations are eliminated.

Plastic - Slitting

Cutting wheels on this slitter can work at top speed and stay sharper longer - when cold air from Vortex Tubes eliminates the friction heat build-up. The trim edge is also cleaner.

Transportation Spot-Welding

Cooling this spot-welding operation with a Vortex Tube virtually eliminates secondary smoothing operations, and greatly improves the appearance of the product..

Metalworking - Single Point Threading

Heat build-up in this single point threading operation can shorten tool life and produce a rough thread. Clean, dry, sub-zero cooling allows increased speed, while eliminating tool microcracking and premature failure.
Use Them For
  • Cool manufacturing processes: machining plastics or metals, wood working, soldering, adhesive application, heat sealing, sewing needles, mold tooling and many others.
  • In the laboratory: cool and dehumidify gas samples, cool environmental chambers.
  • “Temperature cycle” electronic components, instruments, switches and thermostats.
  • Air condition electronic control enclosures: CNC cabinets, industrial PCs, PLCs and motor controls.
  • Generate hot air to +230°F (+110°C), without a spark or explosion hazard to soften plastic, melt glues and seal packaging.
  • Cool workers wearing protective gear.
AiRTX Vortex Tube Advantages
  • No moving parts, portable, lightweight and low cost.
  • Uses no electricity, freon or chemicals; just filtered, factory compressed air.
  • No spark hazard, RF/EMI interference.
  • Instant on/off, easy to control, cools without waste.
  • No residue to clean up, no parts washing needed.
  • Reliable, maintenance-free, durable Stainless Steel construction.
  • Input air flows of 8, 10, 15, 25, and 35 cfm (220,280,420, 700, 990 lpm); up to 2800 BTU/H (630 Kcal/H) cooling capacity.
  • Two sizes available in Stainless Steel.
  • One size available in Aluminum
Vortex Tube Capacities
Model Inlet
Air Consumption Capacity

psi (BAR) (CFM) (LPM) (BTU/N) (Kcal/H)
20008 100 7 8 220 600 100
20010 100 7 10 280 600 150
20015 100 7 15 420 1100 230
20025 100 7 25 700 1800 380
20035 100 7 35 990 2800 630

Putting Vortex Tubes to Work: Packaged Systems, “Tube Only,” or an Application Development Kit

AiRTX offers Vortex Tubes in several ready-to-use packaged systems for common industrial applications. Packaged systems include the Model 60040 Air Gun and the Cabinet Cooler.

We also offer an Application Development Kit for the system designer who needs a Vortex Tube for studies and design verification. By switching one interchangeable part supplied with the kit, you can produce the full range of air flows and cold fractions the tube is capable of producing.

Lastly, you can purchase the Vortex Tube alone, or with other components to meet system requirements.

Two Tubes, Ten Levels of Performance

AiRTX’s modular design Vortex Tube gives you ten ranges of performance from a single tube, simply by changing the one-piece Vortex Generator. Both high and low cold fraction generators are available for 8, 10, 15, 25 and 35 cfm (220, 280, 420, 700, 990 lpm) input flows. You can purchase Vortex Generators individually or in a kit that includes all sizes.

Application Development Kit includes:

  • Vortex tube
  • 10/15/25/35 CFM H and L Generators
  • Cold Muffler
  • Air Filter
  • Snap Flex Hose

Model Description Unit Price Order
Maximum Cooling Aluminum Vortex Tube 10 CFM


Maximum Cooling Aluminum Vortex Tube 15 CFM


Maximum Cooling Aluminum Vortex Tube 25 CFM


Maximum Cooling Aluminum Vortex Tube 35 CFM


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