How Do Ionizers Work?

by Andy on March 22, 2013

Benchtop IonizerWhen looking for equipment to keep your workplace ESD-safe you may come across air ionizers. Typically ionizers are used to ground insulated materials, as they cannot be grounded by attaching a cord like conductive or static-dissipative objects. In order to use ionizers correctly it helps to understand exactly how they work; so today we will be going over some basics of ionization.

What Do Ionizers Do?

The function of an air ionizer is to provide a way to neutralize a charge on an insulated object. This is achieved by using a device to create positive and negative ions, and then distributing these ions across the insulated object.

Air ionizers include a way to create ions (both positive and negative molecules) and a way to distribute those ions (usually through the use of a fan). When the ions blow over your workspace the negative ones will attract to any positive charges and the positive ones will attract to any negative charges. Once they bind to the charges your insulated object will be neutralized.

How Do Ionizers Make Ions?

There are three main ways that ionizers make ions. The two that are used the least in normal production are nuclear and photon ionizations. Typical work areas will not use these types, as nuclear ionizers use radioactive materials and are subject to government regulations, and photon ionizers use x-rays and are regulated by the FDA. The most common type of ionizer for normal production facilities are corona ionizers.

Corona ionizers create ions by applying a high voltage to the very tip of a sharp point. This creates a high electrostatic field, which interacts with electrons in the gasses around it. The electrostatic field then attracts and repels various electrons, creating ions in the gas molecules around it. The electrostatic field can then move the ions over the work area, but often corona ionizers also have a fan to make them spread further and more evenly.

How Do I Use an Ionizer?

The best bet to make sure you use your ionizer correctly is to consult the user manual or manufacturer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind for most ionizers to make them work to their full potential.

  • Make sure that your ionizer is able to cover your work area. Check that the coverage area is large enough, as any area outside of that coverage will not be reliably neutralized.
  • Ensure there is no interference from other fans or vents. If you have a cross breeze then that may affect the coverage area, or make your ionizer less effective.
  • If the ionizer has a fan, make sure the environment is right for your worker. If your workplace tends to be cold then you can get ionizers with built in heaters to help operator comfort and increase productivity.
  • Check the decay time of the ionizer for extra sensitive parts. If you need charges to be neutralized in a certain amount of time then you can find ionizers with low decay times.

Do you have any more questions on ionizers? Leave a comment below, or visit our site for information and specifications on different types of ionizers!


Sales at All-Spec Industries

by Andy on March 15, 2013

All-Spec Specials -- Sales, Clearance, and New Items

As you may know we have a section in our site where you can find all of our sale, clearance, and new items. Today we want to highlight a few products from each of these sections that you may have missed!

Sale Items

K-Sun printers: We are currently offering the K-Sun LABELShop, Green Machine, and Bee3+ printers for up to 40% off.

Weller desoldering station: We also have select Weller WR2000 and WR3000 soldering stations for up to 11% off.

Clearance Items

Kester flux: We have some of our Kester flux on sale for 33% off until we run out of stock.

Wrist straps: Some of our Desco Jewel and All-Spec adjustable wrist straps are on clearance for 60% and 30% respectively.

New Items

Lab Coats: We have greatly expanded our Desco and Lab Tech offerings! We now have more sizes, styles, and colors to fit your needs.

Simco-Ion Ionizers: All-Spec has added some new bench-top ionizers for critical environments to our site.


ION Systems is New to All-Spec Industries

by Andy on January 13, 2011

In order to expand our selection of ionizing equipment, All-Spec Industries is excited to welcome ION Systems to our line card. As a division of Illinois Tools Works Inc., ION Systems specializes in providing electrostatic solutions to a wide range of industries.

All-Spec has recently added bench top ionizers and ionizer air guns from ION Systems, popular for the self balancing IsoStat® technology that requires no calibration. These are a few of our newest additions:

ION Systems Ionizing Air Gun

ION Systems Air Force Ionizing Air Gun With Air Hose and Console

The ION Systems 91-6115-NXFMR ergonomic Ionizing Air Force Gun comes complete with a light touch trigger, flexible air hose and a console which can be mounted. This air gun also produces only a low audible noise.





ION Systems Ionizing BlowerION Systems Point of Use Ionizing Blower With LED Indicators

The ION Systems 91-6432E is a small ionizing blower used to control static charge in hard-to-reach areas and during process tool applications. This blower also has visual and remote alarm LED indicators.

Stay tuned for future product offerings from ION Systems!


In the workplace, ESD can often be a dangerous and costly cause of device failures. So, let’s take action to correct this matter. According to, a semiconductor manufacturing reference, there are three major categories of ESD controls: (1) prevention of static charge build-up, (2) safe dissipation of any charge build-up, and (3) improvements in the awareness of ESD-sensitive products.

Although the first two categories are similar, some charge build-up can be avoided altogether by using the proper materials. For instance, ionizers will neutralize newly generate charges and will therefore prevent charge build-up. Also, avoid equipment with moving parts that can also generate new charges.

On a similar note, safe dissipation is important when it comes to controlling ESD. Because not all charge build-up can be prevented, it needs somewhere to go without being damaging to the static sensitive device. Accordingly, a proper grounding system should be in effect within a factory environment, allowing charges to flow to the ground. In addition, properly grounded garments (such as the wrist strap to the left) add protection.

Thirdly, improvements can always be made to assist in the control of ESD. Training and retraining of ESD precautions is of utmost importance, especially to individuals working on the production line. Afterwards, a standard ESD audit of the manufacturing line is necessary to maintain ESD compliance. Also, ESD-sensitive items need to be identified, along with their respective levels of sensitivity.

Save yourself time, money, and stress by taking these simple ESD control measures. Remember… Prevent, Dissipate, Improve!