Vortex Tube Information

VORTEX TUBE: Information

What is a Vortex Tube?

The Vortex Tube is an effective, low-cost solution to a wide variety of industrial spot cooling and process cooling needs. Compressed air is injected into the vortex tube, flows at a rate of up to 1,000,000 RPM towards the ‘hot’ end of the tube. Once this hot air reaches the end, a small amount is exhausted through a control valve. The rest of the air is forced backwards towards the other end and exits as ‘cold’ air. The Vortex Tube can decrease temperatures by ~115°F (46°C) and raise temperatures up by ~200°F (93°C) from the initial inlet air temperature.

Which Vortex Tube will best suit my needs?
Our Vortex Tubes are available in 2 sizes (Small and Medium). Each Vortex Tube is constructed of stainless steel. The wear resistance of stainless steel, as well as its resistance to corrosion and oxidation, assures that STREAMTEK Vortex Tube will provide years of reliable, maintenance free-operation.

STREAMTEK The one stop shop for Vortex Tubes

With the finest technology and high-end practices, STREAMTEK offers the best Vortex Tube to watch out for. Made with the highest quality raw materials and extensive engineering, the product is efficient and powerful.

Our vortex tube comes in different variants. The length, breadth and other dimensions are altered as per our customers’ requirements. To meet the specifications of various industries we cater to, the company has highly skilled and knowledgeable teams of professionals who take care of detailed and minute requisites.

Benefits of Our Vortex Tube:

  • Identifies the mode of usage immediately
  • Reduces total cost of ownership
  • Enhances reliability and durability of equipment
  • Saves cost
  • Achieves optimal outcome
  • Improves productivity
  • Minimizes effort
  • Very low maintenance
  • Delivers high return on investment

Along with the vortex tube, we also give consultation services and facilitate our customers to make the right choice depending on their specific requirements. We provide full assistance and help our customers make smart choices for their business


  • Customers come first
  • Best production practices implemented
  • A complete and realistic estimation
  • A holistic approach towards every project
  • Excellent and skilled teams of professionals, engineers and technicians
  • Genuine and extensive evaluation
  • Extensive quality control, testing and checking every air knife before delivery
  • Full value for money

Our Vortex Tube design or also know as a Vortex Cooler, has the ability to enhance overall functionality of the equipment it is installed with. The assurance of quality and raw materials can be obtained only at STREAMTEK and we never let our customers go unsatisfied. The company maintains a huge inventory to serve its customers on time. The complete research in the field of vortex tubes allows STREAMTEK to have a well-defined, systematic approach. This satisfies customers and improves the client retention rate to a great extent. Feel free to get in touch with us and we shall be more than pleased to assist you.

VORTEX TUBE: Specifications

Which Vortex Tube will best suit my needs?

Our Vortex Tubes are available in 2 sizes: Small and Medium. Each Vortex Tube is constructed of stainless steel. The wear resistance of stainless steel, as well as its resistance to corrosion and oxidation, assures that the STREAMTEK Vortex Tube will provide years of reliable, maintenance free-operation.

7500 Series Vortex Tube Specifications

The 7500 series Vortex Tubes are used in most industrial applications such as: electrical control panel cooling, tool cooling, and parts cooling. These Vortex Tubes optimize airflow and temperature drop to produce maximum cooling power or Btu/hr. (Kcal/hr.).

Size Model No. Air Consumption BTU/Hr. @ 100 PSIG Kcal / Hr. @ 6.9
Small 7502 2 SCFM (57 SLPM) 145 BTU/Hr. 37
Small 7504 4 SCFM (113 SLPM) 275 BTU/Hr. 69
Small 7508 8 SCFM (227 SLPM) 560 BTU/Hr. 141
Medium 7510 10 SCFM (283 SLPM) 700 BTU/Hr. 176
Medium 7515 15 SCFM (425 SLPM) 1100 BTU/Hr. 277
Medium 7525 25 SCFM (708 SLPM) 1800 BTU/Hr. 454
Medium 7530 30 SCFM (850 SLPM) 2060 BTU/Hr. 519
Medium 7540 40 SCFM (1133 SLPM) 2800 BTU/Hr. 706

7700 Series Vortex Tube Specifications

The 7700 series Vortex Tubes are used in applications that require extreme cold temperatures such as circuit board testing, and lab sample cooling. These Vortex Tubes provide the lowest cold air temperatures, but at a low cold airflow (when less than a 50% cold fraction is used). The 7700 services Vortex Tubes should only be used when temperatures are below 0° (-18°C).

Size Model No. Air Consumption BTU/Hr. @ 100 PSIG Kcal/Hr. @ 6.9 BAR
Small 7702 2 SCFM (57 SLPM)
Small 7704 4 SCFM (113 SLPM)
Small 7708 8 SCFM (227 SLPM)
Medium 7710 10 SCFM (283 SLPM)
Medium 7715 15 SCFM (425 SLPM)
Medium 7725 25 SCFM (708 SLPM)
Medium 7730 30 SCFM (850 SLPM)
Medium 7740 40 SCFM (1133 SLPM)

Other Factors

Inlet Air Temperature
The STREAMTEK Vortex Tube will provide a temperature drop from the temperature of the compressed air supply.

Back Pressure
A low back pressure, up to 2 PSIG (.1 BAR), will not affect the performance of the STREAMTEK Vortex Tube. Anything over this will have a performance degradation of ~ 5°F (2.8°C).

Filtration to maintain clean air is necessary at a rate of 25 microns or less. STREAMTEK filters contain a 5 micron element and are properly sized for airflow.

Both Small and Medium Vortex Tubes can be quite noisy if un-ducted. STREAMTEK offers mufflers for both cold and hot air discharge. If the cold air is ducted, muffling is not usually required.

Vortex Tube Specifications

PSIG Cold Fraction
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
20 63F | 35C 62F | 34C 60F | 33C 56F | 31C 51F | 28C 44F | 24C 36F | 20C 28F | 15C 17F | 9C
7F | 4C 15F | 8C 25F | 14C 36F | 20C 50F | 28C 64F | 36C 83F | 46C 107F | 59C 148F | 82C
40 91F | 51C 88F | 49C 85F | 47C 80F | 44C 73F | 41C 63F | 35C 52F | 28C 38F | 21C 26F | 14C
9F | 5C 21F | 11C 35F | 19C 52F | 29C 71F | 39C 92F | 51C 117F | 65C 147F | 82C 220F | 122C
60 107F | 59C 104F | 58C 100F | 56C 93F | 52C 84F | 47C 73F | 41C 60F | 33C 45F | 25C 29F | 16C
10F | 6C 24F | 13C 40F | 22C 59F | 33C 80F | 44C 104F | 58C 132F | 73C 168F | 93C 236F | 131C
80 119F | 66C 115F | 64C 110F | 61C 102F | 57C 92F | 51C 80F | 44C 66F | 36C 49F | 27C 31F | 17C
11F | 7C 25F | 14C 43F | 24C 63F | 35C 86F | 48C 113F | 63C 143F | 79C 181F | 101C 249F | 138C
100 127F | 71C 123F | 68C 118F | 66C 110F | 61C 99F | 55C 86F | 48C 71F | 39C 53F | 29C 33F | 18C
12F | 8C 26F | 14C 45F | 25C 67F | 37C 91F | 51C 119F | 66C 151F | 84C 192F | 107C 252F | 140C
120 133F | 74C 129F | 72C 124F | 69C 116F | 64C 104F | 58C 91F | 50C 74F | 41C 55F | 31C 34F | 19C
13F | 8C 27F | 14C 46F | 26C 69F | 38C 94F | 52C 123F | 68C 156F | 87C 195F | 108C 257F | 142C

The percentage of cold air produced versus total filtered compressed air consumed by vortex tube.

Pounds per Square Inch Gauge.

Drop in temperature.

Rise in temperature.

Actual Vortex Tube Performance

The cold fraction is the “percentage flow” of airflow at the cold end. So a 60% cold fraction means 60% of airflow comes out cold end and 40% goes out the hot end.

The above table is for the 7500 Series (10-15 SCFM) Medium sized Vortex Tubes. The performance can significantly change for higher flow designs. With that said, it’s not generally important to get such “low” temperatures and in most applications, the Vortex Tube is “preset” to produce a specific temperature drop.

The cold fraction table above is ONLY for the STREAMTEK 7500 Series Generators, or as some competitors like to call (‘H’ Generators). The 7700 Series Vortex Tube (‘C’ Generators), produce very cold temperatures but with a lower cold end flow. The 7700 Generators are not designed for high BTU/Hr (or watt) cooling effect.

Temperature drops and the cold end airflow vary inversely as the “cold fraction” changes. The cooling effect is a balance and combination of both outlet flow and temperature drop. Colder temperatures do NOT always mean the absolute highest cooling effect will be produced.


1. Can the Vortex Tube withstand back-pressure on the cold exhaust?
The performance is negatively impacted with back-pressure on the cold end exhaust. A Back-pressure of 5 PSIG will change performance by approximately 5°F. A low pressure up to 2 PSIG will not affect performance.

2. How does the Vortex Tube work?
Compressed air is injected into the vortex tube and flows at a rate of up to 1,000,000 RPM towards the ‘hot’ end of the tube. Once this hot air reaches the end, a small amount is exhausted through a control valve. The rest of the air is forced backwards towards the other end and exits as ‘cold’ air.

3. What is the Vortex Tube?
The Vortex Tube is a product of STREAMTEK. Using compressed air as their only power source, cold air is produced on one end and hot air on the other. All this is done with no moving parts!
Cold air is typically used for spot cooling and refrigeration applications. The hot air can be used for spot heating applications, but the temperatures are not very high.

4. How long has the Vortex Tube been around?
The vortex tube was invented in 1933 by French physicist Georges J. Ranque. German physicist Rudolf Hilsch improved the design and published a widely read paper in 1947 on the device, which he called a Wirbelrohr (meaning whirl pipe).
In the past, the Vortex Tube has been known as the “Hilsch Tube”, the “Ranque Vortex Tube”, the “Maxwells’s Demon”, and the “Ranque-Hilsh Tube”. It’s a reliable, simple and low cost answer to various spot cooling problems within industrial plants.

5. Which Vortex Tube should I use?
STREAMTEK offers Small and Medium sized Vortex Tubes, each with a wide variety of cooling capacities. The Vortex Tube Generator Kits allow you to experiment with a variety of temperatures and air flows. We recommend you talk to a STREAMTEK Application Engineer, as they can aid you in selecting the appropriate Vortex Tube for your application.

6. Is there anything in the Vortex Tube that can wear out or need replacing?
No. There are no moving parts, it will never wear out. They may need cleaning from time to time if there is contamination within the air supply. The Vortex Tube is constructed of type 303 stainless steel, brass generators, and a brass control valve.

7. Where can the Vortex Tube be used?
The Vortex Tube is typically used in spot cooling applications. Use it to cool, mold, machine operations, hot parts, electronics, etc. The hot end could be used to heat glues, shrink wraps, or dry parts.

8. Can I use a Vortex Tube to cool my electrical enclosure instead of the Cabinet Panel Cooler?
Yes, however there are clear-cut advantages to using the STREAMTEK Cabinet Panel Cooler for this application.

  1. Cabinet Panel Coolers have a pressure release valve to allow warm air from the electrical enclosure to escape the cabinet.
  2. Cabinet Panel Coolers have been fine tuned to achieve maximum refrigeration; this cannot be adjusted. Vortex Tubes on the other hand can be adjusted by the user, leaving them open to poor operation and miss-adjustment.
  3. Cabinet Panel Coolers have been engineered to reduce noise levels drastically from that of the sole Vortex Tube.

9. Can I connect the cold end of a Vortex Tube to an Air Amplifier or Air Knife?
No. The Air Amplifier and Air Knife would both restrict the air flow of the Vortex Tube to the point where back-pressure would limit the cooling capacity of the Vortex Tube. The cold end of the Vortex Tube should not be subjected to a backpressure in excess of 5 PSIG.

10. Can I connect the hot end of a Vortex Tube to an Air Amplifier or Air Knife?
Yes. However, the hot end exhaust can only withstand pressure up to 30 PSIG (depending on the cold fraction). If backpressure exceeds 30 PSIG, then the performance of the Vortex Tube will deteriorate.

11. Why is the Vortex Tube Performance Chart important?
The Vortex Tube Performance Charts give approximate temperature drops (and rises) from inlet air temperature produced by a STREAMTEK Vortex Tube set at each various cold fraction. Assuming there is no fluctuation of inlet pressure or temperature, the Vortex Tube will reliably maintain temperature within ±1°F.

12. How can I tell what Cold Fraction my Vortex Tube is set to?
There are two ways to find out what Cold Fraction you are currently using on your STREAMTEK Vortex Tube.
(1) By using the Performance Data chart found here. You can measure the temperature of cold air exhausting and compare it to the chart. It’s important to note that the air temperature should be taken immediately out of the Vortex Tube as the airflow will quickly warm as it mixes with ambient air.
(2) An air flow meter can also be used to measure the volume of air both coming out of the unit and going into Vortex Tube. Then use these values and compare the cold or hot flow of the unit. By comparing the cold or hot flow rate to the total will give you accurate hot or cold fraction.

13. How is the STREAMTEK Vortex Tube rated?
The Vortex Tube is rated in BTU/Hr. based on inlet temperatures of 68F and pressure of 100 PSIG. Any change of temperature or pressure will affect the rating of the Vortex Tube. Please contact a STREAMTEK Application Engineer to determine the effect of pressure and/or temperate changes on the Vortex Tube’s rating.

VORTEX TUBE: How it Works

(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: Applications

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. 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 support@stream-tek.com.


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


  • 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

Application Examples from our Customers!

Vortex Tube Keeps Module Cold
Application: Cooling
A local laboratory is performing various tests on the mechanical properties of select materials. Most of these materials are needed to be cooled to -2 Celsius. The customer ultimately choose a Model 7530 (Stainless Steel Air Conveyor) for their cooling requirements. The customer now no longer has to use costly liquid C02 to cool their material and chambers! The Vortex Tube will produce just under 2100 Btu/hr of cooling capacity within the test enclosures.

Keeping Camera Lens Clear and Cool
Application: Cooling
A customer in Asia had multiple Boroscope lenses that needed to be kept cool and clear while being inserted into a 1150 Fahrenheit boiler porthole. After successfully using multiple competitive products, they decided to go with the more affordable STREAMTEK Model 7508 ‘One-Piece Stainless Steel Vortex Tube moving forward. That’s right! The STREAMTEK Vortex Tube is a one-piece unit with no welded weak point where the cold end meets the smaller diameter hot end tube.

Cooling a Motor
Application: Cooling
An industry leading company manufactures electrically powered blower motors. Many of their customers had no choice but to enclose these blowers in enclosures in order to protect the costly blower from external elements. By installing Model 7515 (Stainless Steel Vortex Tube) directly inside the housing of the motor, heat build-up was quickly reduced and thus eliminated downtime due to past motor failure.

Cooling Turn Rolls
Application: Cooling
In today’s hot rolling mills, realizing the promised longevity of high speed steel rolls depends on one’s ability to successfully implement a system to keep their rolls cool. If these rolls are not kept cool, the ability to maintain product shape and eliminate surface defects is quickly compromised. Rick (our customer) naturally came to STREAMTEK for an affordable solution that wouldn’t break the bank. We were able to put together a system to blow refrigerated air through the inside of the customers turn rolls with our low cost Model 7530-A Vortex Tube.

Speeding up Cycle Time
Application: Cooling
A manufacturer in Mexico produces molded plastic pedals for bicycles and needed help in finding a solution to cool their molded parts down so they could increase cycle times. Since this customer was unable to provide our application engineer with accurate answers to our questions when trying to determine how much cooling is needed, we were able to provide him with STREAMTEK Model VTMD-KIT (Medium Stainless Steel Vortex Tube Cooling Kit). By using the cooling kit, he was able to optimize the cold air temperatures and adjust the air demand delivered by the Vortex Tube.

Cooling an Garage Door Seal
Application: Cooling
Before exterior garage door seals can be coated with a color that will match the garage door and its trim, the initial extrusion must be cool. Our Model 7540 (Stainless Steel Vortex Tube) can speed this cooling process up! Need a more affordable solution? Take a look at our equivalent 7540-A (Anodized Aluminum Vortex Tube).

Chilling a Mandrel for Jewelry Crafting
Application: Cooling
A ring mandrel is easily one of the most useful tools for sizing, crafting and re-shaping jewelry. Each of these mandrels is designed for one or more special applications in jewelry crafting. By blowing chilled air, with a Model 7525 Vortex Tube onto the mandrel, thermal expansion of the mandrel was eliminated even as temperatures rose throughout the day.

Cooling Petrochemical Gas Samples
Application: Cooling
A petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia needed to ensure the dew point of their sampled gas was kept constant, which in turn will keep the water vapor proportion also constant. One of our many experienced application engineers (Doug) was quick to recommend a small Model 7704 Vortex Tube to cool down the gas samples before analyzing reports. Our client was able to remove the costly AC system that was currently in-place and as an added perk, the system is now much more portable due to the small size and durability of the STREAMTEK vortex tube.

Using Cold Airflow to Cool Whipped Butter Closures
Application: Cooling
Tom (our customer) is currently using a 96 cavity mold to manufacture containers for his whipped butter. The US Standards for Whipped Butter is very strict! Unfortunately during the mold process, the pivot points of the enclosure started to wrap very slightly causing a rejection rate of just over 3%. By using a Model 7515 Vortex Tube placed at each pivot point, Tom was able to eliminate the 3% reject rate. Yet another satisfied STREAMTEK customer!

Cooling Copper Wire on Heat Set Tubing
Application: Cooling
There are many types of Heat Set Tubing in the market today. All the different sizes, lengths, diameters, wall thickness, etc. can make one go bonkers. A heat set tubing manufacturer out of Taiwan contacted us with a unique problem! He was having a great deal of difficulty cooling the tube fast enough due to the heat that was being kept by the flexible copper wire that passed through the ID of the tube. After talking with our very knowledgeable Application Engineer (Jay), the Taiwan manufacturer decided to purchase (4) Model 7530 Vortex Tubes to push the cold airflow through the ID of the Heat Set tubing. Production was increased and cooling time was cut by close to 40%!

Transportation Spot-Welding
Application: Cooling
Spot Welding operations can be cooled with a low-cost affordable STREAMTEK Vortex Tube. Improve the appearance of your products and virtually eliminate secondary smooth operations. Need to easily point the cold airflow? Then combine a Model TC0SHK (Single Point Hose Kit) with your Vortex Tube.

Single Point Threaded – Metalworking
Application: Cooling
CNC Machinists know first-hand how heat build-up in threading operations will shorten tool life and cause a rough thread. This equates to increase downtime in: changing tools, lost productivity and higher overall cost in tools. By using a STREAMTEK Vortex Tube Model 7515, clean and dry sub-zero cooling will eliminate tool micro cracking, premature failure and will increase speed.

VORTEX TUBE: Dimensions

  • NO Cheap Plastic parts here! Both the Generator and Control Valve are solid Brass. You choose between a Stainless Steel and Aluminum Vortex Tube.
  • Small and lightweight – portable.
  • Easily adjust temperatures with a simple flat head screwdriver.
  • Lowest Price in the industry! Find a competitors equivalent Air Knife for less? Contact our factory and we will beat it by 20%; it’s our standard policy.


Without muffler(s)
Assembled with muffler(s)


Without muffler(s)

Assembled with muffler(s)

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