Every once in a while, we receive a call from a customer who has a compressed air nozzle set up for blowing within their application and they are looking to run ionized air through the nozzle so they can have the anticipated benefit of static elimination with their existing nozzle. The thought process makes total sense until you do a little comparison with static eliminators that ionize the airflow after it has escaped from the “compressed state” and is mixed with some ambient air (air amplification).
Compressed air is a turbulent flow and when you have both positive (+) and negative (-) ions within the same flow, they combine with one another and neutralize each other out before they make it to the target. And so they become much less effective at reducing a static charge on your target. Ions that flow in a laminar stream however, have the benefit of the non-turbulent flow which carries them to the surface nicely where they can be used to neutralize the charge on the surface.
The above explanation is why you will see all air powered EXAIR static eliminators with the “ionizer” exposed to the amplified airflow after the compressed air has escaped. Generally, the static charge decay rates are going to be much faster than for in-line type equipment.