Ionizing Air Knives Take the Static Out of Electricity

For most of us, winter means it’s time to turn the heat on, and with it comes a buildup of dry air, ensuing static electricity. More than a simple shock, static electricity challenges many manufacturers and factories during the winter months, particularly in their packaging and labeling processes. Plastic surfaces hold a high resistance to electricity and work as insulators causing static buildups. Static may prevent label liners from neatly respooling or cause them to stick to each other and other equipment, damaging labels or disrupting the application process. In some cases, the accumulation of static electricity can produce hazards from a light shock to electrical sparks or even the risk of a fire. For this reason, tools that can eliminate or neutralize static, like Vortec’s Ionizing Air Knives, are increasingly more important in the dryer months.

Static electricity is generated whenever surfaces come into contact and then separate. In most cases, the charging currents generated overtime in industrial processes are small and cause slight amounts of static electricity. In warm, humid conditions where moisture makes the air more conductive, excess static electrical charges can be absorbed and evenly distributed, to the point where it may not be noticed. However, when the air is drier, it allows static charges to build up. As the static electricity builds up, it becomes more noticeable and can cause serious complications.

To mitigate the risk caused by static electricity, particularly in dry weather conditions (think winter months or desert climates), companies must be cautious to select tools that will not add to the static electricity already in the air. Since dry air acts as an insulator, static electricity can be easily brought in and transferred to metal equipment from employees who may have walked across carpeting prior to starting their shift. Just the simple friction between two metal objects can send static electricity into the air. While large fans or humidifiers can help disburse a buildup of static electricity in the air, these solutions are often unable to target and mitigate static electric buildup at its source.

Vortec Ionizing Air Knives have no moving parts and no electrical connections at the target site. This design utilizes a static neutralizing bar to generate positive and negatively charged ions that are carried to the target in a uniform sheet of amplified air, all while reducing compressed air usage. With interchangeable shims that enable air flow to be adjusted for a specific application, this process stops static discharges that can damage electronic equipment and shock personnel. The Ionizing Air Knives offer 25 times air amplification over compressed air input and can be easily mounted and moved to tackle static electricity buildup wherever it may occur. With Air Knives available in lengths of 6, 12, 18, and 24 inches, you can choose the size that will best fit your application and space needs.

The Ionizing Air Knife offers a more uniform blow-off of large surfaces than a traditional nozzle or jet, at a significantly lower cost than fans or blowers. The Ionizing Air Knives meet all OSHA requirements for noise and are quieter than loud fans or blowers. The output is easily controlled, and the instant on/off switch makes it easy to use to target and neutralize static electricity in the air.

Like all Vortec products, the Ionizing Air Knives are all designed to enhance facility maintenance, increase equipment efficiency, and improve manufacturing methods and costs for cooling and cleaning by eliminating the danger of static electricity. Vortec promises a no-maintenance, durable product, that is backed by a 10-year warranty.


Watch as Vortec Air Knives provide powerful, amplified, laminar sheets of air.


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