Gradient Cooler
April 2007
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SmartMove Conveyors supplies its conveyor system with a gradient cooler that provides cooling of hot items while being transported along the line. The compact gradient cooler houses a tangential blower that can be mounted onto new or existing conveyors from the company. The unit provides 130 cfm of ambient airflow parallel to the belt travel for stress-relieved cooling. Hot items are moved toward the cooling unit to be bathed in a stream of air that gradually cools the product to room temperature.

The cooler provides controlled cooling by funneling ambient air in the opposite direction of the products to produce a steady convective cooling curve. Air moves from coolest to hottest items in an enclosed hood assembly. According to the company, other suppliers use cross-cooling methods that can create hot and cold zones, which allow component surfaces to cycle from cooling to core reheating. The uncontrolled cycles are said to induce stresses that can distort materials leading to product malfunctions. Benefits of the gradient cooler are said to include consistent gradual cooling, simple setup and low power consumption. Versatile mounting is enabled, as the cooler can be mounted anywhere along the conveyor length. The conveyor is suitable for applications that include wave solder, pad printing, shrink wrapping, UV curing, and injection molding.


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