In the Cincinnati area, we recently had some days when the temperature dropped down to the mid 20’s Fahrenheit over night. And just as Russ Bowman mentioned in his last blog about all the ill health effects that dry air has on the human body, I was caught by surprise from a few of the more physical effects of running around my house in socks and then touching a light switch to turn it on. I was the one that got lit up when I grounded myself out to one of the face plate screws as I went for the switch. SNAP! I received a jolt that felt like my finger just got caught in an old Victor mouse trap. I quickly yanked my whole arm back in surprise and a bit of pain.
I thought I was in the midst of a Bill Engvall joke, saying to myself, “here’s your sign”. Go get the whole house humidifier re-fitted with a new water pad and dial that baby up to 40% RH! (A quick thought that lasted about half a second).
I thought I was discharged, no more problems, right? I went over to the TV, got to within 1 inch of it and got nailed again! We had just purchased a new flat screen and I was trying to trouble-shoot my HD signal (wasn’t working of course and my reason for being in the room in the first place). Gosh! I hope I didn’t just kill the new TV. Turns out I didn’t kill the new TV but I did change projects for the afternoon and went to the basement to tackle that humidifier to get it on line ASAP. It only took getting a static discharge twice in a row for me to figure out what I really should be doing. (My wife would say that I’m improving)
I did get the humidifier up and running just as our weather here turned back to wet and rainy which made the air in our house humid again so that static wasn’t a problem anymore. That’s the way my luck runs. I’ll be ready next time though. The whole house humidifier is in tip top condition, ready to offset the loss of humidity from the coldest, winter temperatures.
Many people responsible for production in industries such as fiber glass, plastics, printing, geo-textiles, extrusion and more; have similar experiences as the humidity level drops and static problems become more of a headache. These guys sure don’t want to be getting hit by electrostatic discharges from their materials. If they jerk their arm away, the risk of severe injury could be the result. You also have damage to machine and finished goods which are also very real possibilities. EXAIR manufactures a line of static elimination equipment which reduces and neutralizes these charges so that production can continue safely and without risking damage to machines and finished goods. Check out our Static Eliminators for more info on how we can help you take the headache out of running production in dry, winter time environments. Do you need to receive an electrostatic discharge more than twice to learn your lesson?
Note: No application engineers were harmed during the preparation of this blog.