Vortech - Low-pressure, swirling vortex cleaning equipment

VorTech is a 'swirl-abrasive' system, born out of the "Jos" (pron. "Yoss") technology, originally developed in Germany, in the 1980s. The system uses a selected abrasive carried by a flow of compressed air to a nozzle, at which point water is added. The mixture then passes through the nozzle and exits in a vortex, which is directed at the substrate to be cleaned.

In the development of the VorTech system, Restorative Techniques paid particular attention to:

  • Maximising portability
  • Minimising maintenance
  • Providing robust, user-friendly controls
  • Improving sensitivity and repeatability of adjustment
  • Reducing reliance on electricity
  • Reducing cost
  • Increasing performance, without compromising sensitivity.
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Technical Guide
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VorTech is a 'swirl-abrasive' system, born out of the "Jos" (pron. "Yoss") technology, originally developed in Germany, in the 1980s. The system uses a selected abrasive carried by a flow of compressed air to a nozzle, at which point water is added. The mixture then passes through the nozzle and exits in a vortex, which is directed at the substrate to be cleaned.

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VorTech is a 'swirl-abrasive' system, born out of the "Jos" (pron. "Yoss") technology, originally developed in Germany, in the 1980s. The system uses a selected abrasive carried by a flow of compressed air to a nozzle, at which point water is added. The mixture then passes through the nozzle and exits in a vortex, which is directed at the substrate to be cleaned.

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VorTech has been specifically designed to maximise operational efficiency, reducing running times and thus costs

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VorTech has been specifically designed to maximise operational efficiency, reducing running times and thus costs

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The VorTech systems comprise four parts: The air cooler, to cool the incoming pressurised supply.
The pressure pot, which serves as the reservoir for the granulate abrasive. The air powered water pump, which pumps a medium pressure supply of water to the nozzle and the hose set, to deliver the pressurised abrasive mixture to the area being cleaned.

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The VorTech systems comprise four parts: The air cooler, to cool the incoming pressurised supply.
The pressure pot, which serves as the reservoir for the granulate abrasive. The air powered water pump, which pumps a medium pressure supply of water to the nozzle and the hose set, to deliver the pressurised abrasive mixture to the area being cleaned.

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A standard hose set is of 20m length, which ordinarily provides enough range from the pressure pot for most sites, whilst being short enough to pack away and transport more easily. The hoses are set up in such a way as to provide instantaneous start up and shut down, which sets us apart from the 3-5 second delay exhibited by earlier Jos-type systems.

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A standard hose set is of 20m length, which ordinarily provides enough range from the pressure pot for most sites, whilst being short enough to pack away and transport more easily. The hoses are set up in such a way as to provide instantaneous start up and shut down, which sets us apart from the 3-5 second delay exhibited by earlier Jos-type systems.

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The water pump can be fed from a standard hosepipe, or draw its own supply from a static water source. It hangs on the pressure pot and performs two main functions. Firstly to combine with the air/abrasive mixture, which minimises dust production and flushes the surface pores of the substrate whilst cleaning. Secondly, via a separate wash down nozzle, the freshly cleaned area can be rinsed free of debris.

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The water pump can be fed from a standard hosepipe, or draw its own supply from a static water source. It hangs on the pressure pot and performs two main functions. Firstly to combine with the air/abrasive mixture, which minimises dust production and flushes the surface pores of the substrate whilst cleaning. Secondly, via a separate wash down nozzle, the freshly cleaned area can be rinsed free of debris.

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The air cooler is provided to cool and dehumidify the incoming air from the compressor. It has an automatic water trap, which will periodically dump water condensed in the cooler. The amount of water released is dependent on atmospheric conditions daily.

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The air cooler is provided to cool and dehumidify the incoming air from the compressor. It has an automatic water trap, which will periodically dump water condensed in the cooler. The amount of water released is dependent on atmospheric conditions daily.

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The internal cleaning, conservation and repair of St Mary's Church was carried out by Humphries & Jones Ltd over a two year period, with the work mainly focused on the cleaning of all internal stonework.

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The internal cleaning, conservation and repair of St Mary's Church was carried out by Humphries & Jones Ltd over a two year period, with the work mainly focused on the cleaning of all internal stonework.

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Despite being a relatively 'modern' building, built between 1905 and 1937, thousands of annual visitors along with 75 years of candle burning had contributed to a high level of soot and dirt build up throughout. There were also areas of severe staining caused by water ingress from windows, gutters and roofs. Although the main area to be cleaned was stone, there were also many other different materials including gilded altars, mosaic floors and figurative ceiling paintings, polychrome sculpture and carved timber choir stalls.

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Despite being a relatively 'modern' building, built between 1905 and 1937, thousands of annual visitors along with 75 years of candle burning had contributed to a high level of soot and dirt build up throughout. There were also areas of severe staining caused by water ingress from windows, gutters and roofs. Although the main area to be cleaned was stone, there were also many other different materials including gilded altars, mosaic floors and figurative ceiling paintings, polychrome sculpture and carved timber choir stalls.

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The majority of stone surfaces were simply cleaned by washing with water, but the sandstone and render vaulting within the church as well as some of the chapel altars and areas of limestone had suffered from more ingrained dirt and staining. We used Restorative Techniques' Latex Poultice Cleaner (weakest strength A) on these areas. The controlled method of cleaning, and stable non hazardous waste product made this an efficient and effective cleaning method for these areas of the church.

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The majority of stone surfaces were simply cleaned by washing with water, but the sandstone and render vaulting within the church as well as some of the chapel altars and areas of limestone had suffered from more ingrained dirt and staining. We used Restorative Techniques' Latex Poultice Cleaner (weakest strength A) on these areas. The controlled method of cleaning, and stable non hazardous waste product made this an efficient and effective cleaning method for these areas of the church.

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The long duration of this project enabled us to develop our method of working with the latex to achieve a wonderful even appearance, and the client was extremely happy with the results. The smell of ammonia from the pre-cured latex was an issue, so applications were limited and when possible applied late in the day to minimise the impact on visitors. We would certainly consider using the Restorative Latex Poultices again on future projects and indeed have since.

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The long duration of this project enabled us to develop our method of working with the latex to achieve a wonderful even appearance, and the client was extremely happy with the results. The smell of ammonia from the pre-cured latex was an issue, so applications were limited and when possible applied late in the day to minimise the impact on visitors. We would certainly consider using the Restorative Latex Poultices again on future projects and indeed have since.

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Stone and Brick Cleaning Ltd was asked to carry out cleaning of stonework in the garden of this private residence in Surrey. The grounds included a sunken rose garden and some 380 square metres of stone patio, which had not been used or maintained for ten years.

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Stone and Brick Cleaning Ltd was asked to carry out cleaning of stonework in the garden of this private residence in Surrey. The grounds included a sunken rose garden and some 380 square metres of stone patio, which had not been used or maintained for ten years.

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The patio and sunken garden had been neglected for many years, and there was substantial staining and algae on the surface of the stone. The brick walls surrounding the sunken garden were also affected. A test area by another firm using high pressure washers had caused noticeable damage to the surface of the brick and pitting of the stone. We were asked to clean these areas without damaging the brick or stone.

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The patio and sunken garden had been neglected for many years, and there was substantial staining and algae on the surface of the stone. The brick walls surrounding the sunken garden were also affected. A test area by another firm using high pressure washers had caused noticeable damage to the surface of the brick and pitting of the stone. We were asked to clean these areas without damaging the brick or stone.

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As well as cleaning the sunken garden we were asked to clean 450m2of stone patio. We also had to remove modern plastic paint from the exterior brick of the main house, some 3,240m2, and then repair damage and repaint with mineral paint. Jamie visited the site and we decided that the best approach to take would be to use the Thermatech Superheated Water Cleaning System. Whilst some areas in the rose garden had stubborn staining, we achieved the desired result by going over them two or three times.

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As well as cleaning the sunken garden we were asked to clean 450m2of stone patio. We also had to remove modern plastic paint from the exterior brick of the main house, some 3,240m2, and then repair damage and repaint with mineral paint. Jamie visited the site and we decided that the best approach to take would be to use the Thermatech Superheated Water Cleaning System. Whilst some areas in the rose garden had stubborn staining, we achieved the desired result by going over them two or three times.

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The Thermatech system worked very well, cleaning the stone and brickwork to the desired standard without causing any further damage. The before and after pictures clearly show the effectiveness of the system and its multiple applications - for example we've also used it to clean moss from the roof of a Grade II listed Almshouse.

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The Thermatech system worked very well, cleaning the stone and brickwork to the desired standard without causing any further damage. The before and after pictures clearly show the effectiveness of the system and its multiple applications - for example we've also used it to clean moss from the roof of a Grade II listed Almshouse.

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AVV Solutions was contracted to carry out cleaning and repairs to this Grade I listed church, which was built circa 1758 and was possibly designed by John Pitt.

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AVV Solutions was contracted to carry out cleaning and repairs to this Grade I listed church, which was built circa 1758 and was possibly designed by John Pitt.

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The church takes the form of a Greek cross plan, with an octagonal tower above the crossing. The church has been painted white - originally with a lime wash, then with Snowcem paint and finally with a non-breathable paint. This had caused a significant damp problem within the church and spalling to the bricks. Our task was to remove the existing paint coatings and carry out the necessary masonry repairs.

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The church takes the form of a Greek cross plan, with an octagonal tower above the crossing. The church has been painted white - originally with a lime wash, then with Snowcem paint and finally with a non-breathable paint. This had caused a significant damp problem within the church and spalling to the bricks. Our task was to remove the existing paint coatings and carry out the necessary masonry repairs.

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The paint removal was achieved using a paint softener and the ThermaTech Superheated Water Cleaning System. To assist us in identifying the right approach, Jamie came to site and we carried out various settings for water pressure and temperature. On areas of firmly adhered paint coatings we used the acrylic and polyurethane paint softeners. Having removed the old coatings, we replaced the spalled bricks with matching reclaimed bricks. The existing lime pointing was matched using lime and sand.

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The paint removal was achieved using a paint softener and the ThermaTech Superheated Water Cleaning System. To assist us in identifying the right approach, Jamie came to site and we carried out various settings for water pressure and temperature. On areas of firmly adhered paint coatings we used the acrylic and polyurethane paint softeners. Having removed the old coatings, we replaced the spalled bricks with matching reclaimed bricks. The existing lime pointing was matched using lime and sand.

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The appearance of the church is much improved and the interior environment is showing the benefit of removing the non-breathable paint from masonry. Lady Douro from the Duke of Wellington Estate was extremely impressed with the end result and has since recommended us for further projects. We are currently using ThermaTech at Inner Court, Trinity College in Cambridge and at a number of listed buildings throughout London.

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The appearance of the church is much improved and the interior environment is showing the benefit of removing the non-breathable paint from masonry. Lady Douro from the Duke of Wellington Estate was extremely impressed with the end result and has since recommended us for further projects. We are currently using ThermaTech at Inner Court, Trinity College in Cambridge and at a number of listed buildings throughout London.

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Clearview Cleaning Services was contracted to clean the University Leisure Centre and Restaurant, Limerick, Ireland. A key factor in deciding which cleaning approach to use was that the centre is open seven days a week and has a constant stream of visitors.

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Clearview Cleaning Services was contracted to clean the University Leisure Centre and Restaurant, Limerick, Ireland. A key factor in deciding which cleaning approach to use was that the centre is open seven days a week and has a constant stream of visitors.

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Overall, the rendered substrate was in very good condition. Localised areas of dirt had built up in the splash zones alongside pathways and under some of the more open joints in the coping stones along some walls. Because of the nature and use of the building, algaecides and other cleaning chemicals were prohibited and attention needed to be paid to the segregation of work and public areas

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Overall, the rendered substrate was in very good condition. Localised areas of dirt had built up in the splash zones alongside pathways and under some of the more open joints in the coping stones along some walls. Because of the nature and use of the building, algaecides and other cleaning chemicals were prohibited and attention needed to be paid to the segregation of work and public areas

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We couldn't use chemicals so we tackled the cleaning job using the ThermaTech Superheated Water Cleaning System, as supplied by Restorative Techniques. For the most part, the desired results were achieved in a single pass with the ThermaTech operating at 140ᵒC and 80 Bar pump pressure, allowing us to treat the elevations quickly and efficiently. The areas of deeper, more stubborn staining required a second pass to lighten them to an acceptable level, but yielded very well after the substrate had cooled and dried from the first pass.

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We couldn't use chemicals so we tackled the cleaning job using the ThermaTech Superheated Water Cleaning System, as supplied by Restorative Techniques. For the most part, the desired results were achieved in a single pass with the ThermaTech operating at 140ᵒC and 80 Bar pump pressure, allowing us to treat the elevations quickly and efficiently. The areas of deeper, more stubborn staining required a second pass to lighten them to an acceptable level, but yielded very well after the substrate had cooled and dried from the first pass.

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Had the use of chemicals been permitted, it is very likely that we would have been able to remove more stains from the walls. However the ThermaTech system removed the majority of the dirt very easily and to the satisfaction of all parties. The coping stones on the walls cleaned up very well, as can be seen in the pictures. As a ThermaTech owner, I'm happy to say that it's gaining a good reputation in and around Limerick.

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Had the use of chemicals been permitted, it is very likely that we would have been able to remove more stains from the walls. However the ThermaTech system removed the majority of the dirt very easily and to the satisfaction of all parties. The coping stones on the walls cleaned up very well, as can be seen in the pictures. As a ThermaTech owner, I'm happy to say that it's gaining a good reputation in and around Limerick.

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"We have always found Jamie and others in the Restorative Techniques office extremely helpful in the support and guidance they offer and a pleasure to work with"

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In the development of the VorTech system, Restorative Techniques paid particular attention to:

  • Maximising portability
  • Minimising maintenance
  • Providing robust, user-friendly controls
  • Improving sensitivity and repeatability of adjustment
  • Reducing reliance on electricity
  • Reducing cost
  • Increasing performance, without compromising sensitivity.
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In the development of the VorTech system, Restorative Techniques paid particular attention to:

  • Maximising portability
  • Minimising maintenance
  • Providing robust, user-friendly controls
  • Improving sensitivity and repeatability of adjustment
  • Reducing reliance on electricity
  • Reducing cost
  • Increasing performance, without compromising sensitivity.
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Where has it been used?

"We have always found Jamie and others in the Restorative Techniques office extremely helpful in the support and guidance they offer and a pleasure to work with"

Emma Norris

Humphries & Jones

A modular approach to design

The VorTech systems comprise four parts: The air cooler, to cool the incoming pressurised supply.
The pressure pot, which serves as the reservoir for the granulate abrasive. The air powered water pump, which pumps a medium pressure supply of water to the nozzle and the hose set, to deliver the pressurised abrasive mixture to the area being cleaned.

Hose Set

A standard hose set is of 20m length, which ordinarily provides enough range from the pressure pot for most sites, whilst being short enough to pack away and transport more easily. The hoses are set up in such a way as to provide instantaneous start up and shut down, which sets us apart from the 3-5 second delay exhibited by earlier Jos-type systems.

Air powered water pump

The water pump can be fed from a standard hosepipe, or draw its own supply from a static water source. It hangs on the pressure pot and performs two main functions. Firstly to combine with the air/abrasive mixture, which minimises dust production and flushes the surface pores of the substrate whilst cleaning. Secondly, via a separate wash down nozzle, the freshly cleaned area can be rinsed free of debris.

Air cooler / after cooler

The air cooler is provided to cool and dehumidify the incoming air from the compressor. It has an automatic water trap, which will periodically dump water condensed in the cooler. The amount of water released is dependent on atmospheric conditions daily.

VorTech has been specifically designed to maximise operational efficiency, reducing running times and thus costs

Read More

User Friendly Design

Instant start / shut down.
Lightweight, maintenance-free water pump, which hangs on the pressure pot for portability.
Lightweight, aluminium nozzle housings.
Multiple power options available for running the air cooler.
More compact air cooler with carry handle.
Miniature, palm-sized remote controls as an option.
Easy-fill, self-sealing pressure pot.
Colour-coded air lines with ‘no-mistakes’ connections.

Key Technical Details

Remote pressure adjustment as standard on hose sets.
Remote granulate adjustment available as an optional extra.
Motor options available for Air Cooler: 230v, 110v, 24v or 12v.
Twin condensing chambers within air cooler unit.
High-flow, low-wear pneumatics are capable of achieving 140 cfm (cubic feet per minute) air flow, which means that large-scale areas of simple profile can be can be cleaned productively without sacrificing sensitivity at low pressure settings.
Removable stator allows for a more aggressive clean, where the substrate allows: i.e. Steel, Cast Iron etc.
‘Bypassable’ water pump for dry blasting applications.
Working pressure range of 0.5 – 8.0 Bar permits a wider spectrum of usage, from fine detail to large-scale elevation cleaning.
Environmentally responsible production processes mean little to no non-recyclable waste is produced and 95% of the system is fully recyclable at the end of the machine’s life cycle.
The system is not limited to the Heritage and Restoration industry - it is capable of operating with a wide range of abrasives and blast media used in many other industries.

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