## vortex tube application question

I recently invented a new application for vortex tube.

The application requires a very minimal flow of air at freezing temperature.

I wonder if it's possible to design a vortex tube at a very small size if only a very tiny air flow is required? Is flow rate proportional to physical size of the vortex tube?

How about cost? Is it possible to mass produce vortex tube for $20 or less? Thanks  PhysOrg.com science news on PhysOrg.com >> Front-row seats to climate change>> Attacking MRSA with metals from antibacterial clays>> New formula invented for microscope viewing, substitutes for federally controlled drug  Blog Entries: 7 Recognitions: Gold Member Homework Help Science Advisor Hi paul, You didn't say how small you wanted to make this vortex tube, but in principal, I don't see any reason you couldn't make it quite small. The lower flow rate will of course simply reduce the amount of 'refrigeration' you can obtain from the flow. The only problem I see is heat transfer along the axial direction of the tube, but I have a hard time believing that would be very signficant, even using a highly thermally conductive material, because gas velocity is so high. If it turned out to be an issue, you could use a plastic which has a much lower thermal conductivity than metals. As for mass producing them, if you made something on the order of a hundred or more, I suspect even a machined part could be brought under$20. Doing tens of thousands at a time might lend itself to a molded design in plastic and costs on the order of a few bucks or less.
 Thanks a lot for the help. I heard vortex tube only requires compressed gas as small as 80 psi. If the device is to be powered by an air tank, the air tank can be refilled at a gas station right? Is the output cold air at atmospheric (ambient) pressure? Can flow rate be adjusted? Thanks. I'm really interested in the vortex tube for my application but I'm new to them. I appreciate your help.

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## vortex tube application question

 If the device is to be powered by an air tank, the air tank can be refilled at a gas station right?
of course

 Is the output cold air at atmospheric (ambient) pressure?
yes

 Hello. I came across this old thread and want to know if you or anyone here has been able to locate inexpensive vortex tubes. Most websites sell them for over $100 (metal) for the smallest 2 CFM models. Someone here also mentioned you could possibly use a plastic vortex tube but I have been unable to find any companies that make or sell them on the internet. I would preferably like to a metal one as its conductive properties are much higher than that of plastic, however I believe a plastic one would also work for my needs as I don't need such drastic variantions in the temperatures produced. I was hoping to find one under$40-50 or even cheaper. Can anyone recommend where to find vortex, plastic or metal, for under this price? Thanks.