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Vortex tube

Streamtek Corp. offers vortex tubes in aluminum or stainless-steel material with a variety of CFM capacities ranging from 2 to 40 CFM. The small vortex tube ranges from 2 to 8 CFM, while the medium vortex tube ranges from 10 to 40 CFM. We also offer two model which have different applicational uses. Model 7500 is designed to provide the modest temperature drop while maximizing cold air output. Model 7700 is designed to provide coldest possible temperature drop, which reduces the cold air output.

$158.00$199.10 USD


What is a Vortex Tube?

The Vortex tube, also known as the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube, is a mechanical device that divides compressed air into cold and hot streams. The cold streams is an effective, low-cost solution for industrial spot cooling and process cooling applications. Compressed air enters the Vortex Tube and spins at a rate of up to 1,000,000 RPM inside the air chamber. The air travels towards the hot end of the Vortex Tube and once it reaches the end, a small amount is exhausted through a control valve. The remainder of the air is forced back towards the opposite end of the Vortex Tube and it exhausted as cold air. A Vortex Tube can decrease air temperatures by ~115°F (46°C) and raise temperatures by ~200°F (93°C) from the initial air temperature.

What types of  Vortex Tubes do we carry?

Streamtek offers two models of Vortex Tube; the 7500 and the 7700 Series.

The 7500 Series Vortex Tubes are engineered to provide optimal temperature drop while maintaining strong air flow.

7700 Series Vortex Tubes are engineered to provide the maximum possible temperature drop while sacrificing some airflow. 7700 Series Vortex Tubes should only be used in special applications where the temperature requirement is below 20°C.

Small Vortex Tube

Medium Vortex Tube

Aluminum Vortex Tube


Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel


BTU rating

145 – 560 BTU/Hr.

700 – 2800 BTU/Hr.

700 – 2800 BTU/Hr.

Air consumption


10 SCFM – 40 SCFM

10 SCFM – 40 SCFM


How does a Vortex Tube work?

(A) Compressed air, normally 80 to 100 PSIG (5.5 – 6.9 BAR) enters the Vortex Tube through a standard NPTM inlet and tangentially through a generator into the vortex spin chamber.

(B) This air stream spinning at up to 1,000,000 RPM travels in one direction along the small (hot end) tube and then is forced back through the center of this outer vortex.

(C) The brass control valve on the hot end allows for quick n’ easy adjustment of the “cold fraction”; see specifications for what this means.

(D) As the center column travels towards the opposite end, it gives off kinetic energy in the form of heat to the outside stream of air and exits the vortex tube as cold air.

vortex tube design



Vortex tube design and air streams.


Vortex tube design and airflow

The Vortex tube design forces compressed air through a generation chamber, which spins the air at a high rate of speed into a vortex. The high-speed air heats up as it spins along the inner walls of the tube toward the control valve. A percentage of the hot, high-speed air is permitted to exit at the valve, resulting in the separation of hot and cold air streams. The hot air can reach temperatures of 200 °C, while the cold air can reach -50 °C.


Vortex Tube Applications Examples

There an many Vortex tube applications to efficiently cool products or tooling for industrial manufacturers.  Streamtek Vortex Tube products use innovative compressed air technologies to improve productivity, increase equipment efficiency and deliver enclosure and spot cooling, conveying, and blow-off.

Vortex tube applications

  • Cooling electronic controls
  • Cooling machining operations
  • Setting hot melts
  • Cooling soldered parts
  • Cooling gas samples
  • Electronic component cooling
  • Cooling heat seals
  • Cooling environmental chambers

Vortex tube advantages

  • Maintenance free (No moving parts)
  • Cools without costly electricity or refrigerants
  • Reliable, compact and lightweight
  • Low cost application
  • Durable – Stainless Steel
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Instant cold air

History of the Vortex Tube

Georges J. Ranque, a French physicist, designed the vortex tube in 1931. In 1934, Paul Dirac rediscovered it while looking for a mechanism to achieve isotope separation (see Helikon vortex separation procedure). Rudolf Hilsch, a German physicist, modified the concept and published a widely read paper on the device, which he dubbed a Wirbelrohr, in 1947. (literally, whirl pipe). Westley released a comprehensive analysis of the vortex tube in 1954, titled “A bibliography and survey of the vortex tube,” with over 100 sources. Curley and McGree, Kalvinskas, Dobratz, Nash, and Hellyar contributed to the RHVT literature with thorough reviews of the vortex tube and its uses in 1951, 1956, 1964, and 1979. C. Darby Fulton, Jr. received four US patents relating to the creation of the vortex tube between 1952 and 1963. Fulton Cryogenics, a subsidiary of Fulton, began producing the vortex tube in 1961. Vortec, Inc. bought the company from Dr. Fulton. Linderstrom-Lang invented the vortex tube in 1967 to separate gas mixtures such as oxygen and nitrogen, carbon dioxide and helium, and carbon dioxide and air. Hsueh and Swenson revealed that vortex tubes can function with liquids to some extent in a laboratory experiment where free body rotation occurs from the core and a thick boundary layer at the wall. The air is divided, resulting in a colder air stream flowing out of the exhaust, which is intended to chill as if it were a refrigerator. R. T. Balmer used liquid water as the working medium in 1988. When the inlet pressure is high, such as 20-50 bar, it was discovered that the heat energy separation process occurs in incompressible (liquids) vortex flow as well. This separation is only due to heating; there is no longer any cooling because cooling requires the working fluid to be compressible.

The Streamtek Air Knife uses innovative compressed air technologies to improve productivity, increase equipment efficiency, deliver enclosure cooling, spot cooling, conveying, and blow-off. If you don’t find a solution and/or idea for your application, or if you want additional details, call our factory at 1-705-770-4455 or email an Application Engineer at

Rudolf Hilsch (1946) “Die Expansion von Gasen im Zentrifugalfeld als Kälteprozeß.” Retrieved from:

B.K. Ahlborn and J.M. Gordon, (2000) “The vortex tube as a classic thermodynamic refrigeration cycle.” Retrieved from:

M. J. van Stigt, J. W. van der Meer, H. J. M. Kramer. (2020)”Optimisation of vortex tubes and the potential for use in atmospheric separation” Retrieved from:

A. K. Pranav, S. K. Som, S. K. Dash (2020) “Review of vortex tube: a sustainable and energy separation device” Retrieved from:

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A

2 SCFM (57 SLPM), 4 SCFM (113 SLPM), 8 SCFM (227 SLPM), 10 SCFM (283 SLPM), 15 SCFM (425 SLPM), 25 SCFM (708 SLPM), 30 SCFM (850 SLPM), 40 SCFM (1133 SLPM), 50 SCFM, 75 SCFM, 100 SCFM, 150 SCFM


303 Stainless, Aluminum


7500 – For Maximum Cooling Effect, 7700 – For Maximum Cold Temperature