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…Don’t guess at what the air is doing, see what it is doing!

Model 5 Console

Model 5 Console

The Model 5 Console is a compact and unique tool that produces helium-filled, neutrally buoyant bubbles of controlled size for airflow visualization. The bubbles have been shown to trace airflow patterns at speeds as high as 60 m/s. Since they follow the flow streamlines, they rarely impact with objects in the air stream and are extremely durable. For instance, they can travel through fans and blower systems quite readily.

Micro-metering valves installed on each output provide precise control over the bubble generation process.  Neutrally-buoyant bubbles of uniform size, adjustable from 1 mm to 4 mm in diameter, can be generated from each bubble output and have a lifespan of 1-2 minutes. The unit is designed for operation in any location where helium and compressed air are available.

The console may be ordered with either one or two outputs. If purchased with a single output an additional output can be easily added later to double the bubble production.

Console Layout

Within the case, the control console is on the left and the Mini-Vortex Filters with Plug-In Bubble Heads in the center.  On the right and in the top cover, is space for storage of the bubble wands and flexible tubing. These items duct the bubbles to seed the flow.

Two quick connect fittings in the top row of the console provide the connection for the sources of compressed helium and air.  The fitting in the center of this row is the fill port for the bubble film solution (BFS).  The storage cylinder mounted under the panel holds 250 cc’s of BFS.

Large font labels identify the fittings and valves on the panel.  The columns are labeled “HELIUM,” “BFS,” and “AIR.”  Below each label is a toggle valve for turning the corresponding constituent on and off.  The next two rows consist of metering valves, which are labeled “Out 1” and “Out 2”, these valves control the flow rate of the constituent to the Plug-In Head. Vernier scales on the handles of the metering valves enable the user to reproduce the desired bubble size and generation rate very precisely.

MD5 Layout
  • A ]Mini-Vortex Filter
  • B ]Plug-In Head
  • C ]Transit Case
  • D ]Micro-Metering Valve
  • E ]Console Panel
  • F ]Toggle Valve
  • G ]Quick-Connect Fitting
  • H ]BFS Fill Port

Bubble Generation

Centered in the console case, the Plug-In Head and Mini-Vortex Filter combine to produce the neutrally buoyant bubbles to seed the airflow.  The Plug-In Head consists of a concentric arrangement of two hypodermic tubes attached in a cantilever fashion to a cylindrical manifold base. Within the Head, helium passes through the inner hypodermic tube, and the bubble film solution passes through the annulus between the inner tube and the outer tube to form helium-filled bubbles at the tip of the outer tube.  Then, in turn, as the bubbles form a larger concentric jet of air blows them continuously off the tip of the outer tube.

However, not all of the bubbles produced by the Plug-Head are neutrally buoyant. The Mini-Vortex Filter serves to remove these “bad” bubbles. It is a clear cylinder that utilizes the tangential jet of air from the Plug-In Head to set up a rotational or cyclonic motion inside the filter. The resulting radial forces work to remove bubbles that are not neutrally-buoyant. The remaining neutrally buoyant bubbles then flow up and exit the filter’s outlet tube.

To direct the bubbles to the area of interest, the supplied flexible tubing and wand accessories can be connected to the filter outlet tube.

Plug-In Head | Mini-Vortex Filter



SAI Model 5 Console


US $5,344

Single output system

US $8,613

double output system

Frequently asked questions

We accept payment by Check, Electronic Funds Transfer and Credit Card

Usually, no, because the system is custom-built for you, the customer. Don’t worry; we go over the use of helium bubbles for the particular application to determine the equipment’s feasibility before any order is placed and accepted. Your success is our success!

Yes. However, payment for an order is due before shipment.

Yes.  Freight, duties and taxes are added to the cost of the system.

Yes.  All systems include a detailed setup and operation manual along with a calibration sheet.

Do you have questions in regards to using helium bubbles for your application? Contact Us

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