Fluid (air) that rotates around an axis (like a tornado) is called a vortex. A Vortex Tube creates cold air and hot air by foricng compressed air through a generation chamber, which spins the air at a high rate of speed (1.000.000 RPM) 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. The remainder of the (now slower) air stream is forced to counterflow up through the center of the high-speed air stream in a second vortex. The slower moving air gives up energy in the form of heat and becomes cooled as it spins up the tube. The chilled air passes through the center of the generation chamber finally exiting through the opposite end as extremely cold air.
Vortex tubes generate temperatures down to 70 °C below inlet air temperature.
The control valve located in the hot exhaust end can be used to adjust the temperature drop and rise for all Vortex Tubes.