The traditional method of water cooling uses water as a very effective cooling agent. The cold water quickly brings down the splice temperature. But as it continues to cool, the process begins to slow. In the case of large water-cooled presses, this process slows even more quickly as the water must also cool the large aluminum splicing platens along with the splice. The average cool down for a water-cooled press takes about 10-20 minutes.
Water cooling splicing also involves the press operator finding a water source onsite or bringing water with them. Water tanks need to be filled and hoses attached before beginning the splicing process, and after completing the splice. In some cases, filling tanks and transporting water may even be considered unsanitary and more time may be needed to sanitize equipment to prevent against water-borne bacteria being introduced to the environment.
Small, lightweight, air cooled splicing presses use fans to cool the splice, bringing significant time savings to the splicing process. The forced-air presses are designed with less mass, meaning less time to cool the platens and the splice. Time is also saved because no external components need to be set up or taken down since water is not used.
Efficient air cooled splicing presses can cool down in three to five minutes and can be set up or taken down quickly since no external components are used to feed water into them. The other benefit of an air-cooled press is that they are often preferred by crews to take onsite because they weigh less and are easier to transport and handle.