Conventional warm-air hand dryers never seem to do a great job of actually drying your hands. That’s because they simply blow out a low-power stream of warm air that slowly evaporates the water from your hands.
Indeed, inventor Sir James Dyson was so fed up with having to wipe his hands down his trousers after using a dryer, that he took a fresh look at the problem and came up with the Dyson Airblade -a dryer that works much faster, more efficiently and without spreading germs.
To use the Airblade, simply place your hands in it and draw them slowly up. ‘Blades’ of cool air travelling at 640km/h (400mph) and driven by a special digital motor scrape the water from your hands, leaving them dry. And the Airblade takes just ten seconds to dry your hands, while a conventional dryer takes up to 44 seconds.
What’s more, because the air has been effectively filtered as it entered the Airblade, it’s free of bacteria, which makes it more hygienic. In fact, the Airblade is said to be the world’s only dryer that has been certified as hygienic by NSF International, the public health specialist. Other dryers simply suck in germ-filled air from the washroom, warm it up and blow it back out, germs and all.
The secret of the Airblade lies in a special electric motor developed by Dyson’s engineers. Conventional electric motors use brushes which create friction, wear out and produce carbon dust. They also have heavy, bulky magnets and windings.
The Dyson digital motor, on the other hand, dispenses with brushes and instead uses digital pulse technology to spin at high speed. Because they don’t have such large windings and magnets, digital motors are lighter and smaller than conventional ones. Similar motors are also used in Dyson’s famous vacuum cleaners.