3 Keys for Eliminating Static

Everyone is familiar with static electricity. It is the cause of the shocks we feel during the winter time as we shuffle our socks across a carpet. It is also the driving force behind lightning in the sky. Static electricity can be a nuisance at home, but in an industrial setting it can lead to quality issue, material faults, and hazardous sparks. Though most engineers and maintenance technicians know about static electricity not many of the them understand its intricacies, even fewer understand the best ways to mitigate static and still less understand static eliminators, known as ionizers, that can eliminate static without contacting the surface. Here are 3 keys to know about static.

First, static resides on a surface. Though a part may be charged on one surface. The opposite face of the part may be completely unaffected. Here is an example.

Toner Cartridge – Static inside the plastic container attracts toner.

Even though the outside of this container is free of static the inside of the container still attracts toner to the inside surface. In order to blow out the toner from the inside of the cartridge, we needed to use a static eliminator inside the plastic container.

The second key to eliminating static is that either polarity can cause a problem. Static will cause problems if it is different between materials. Whether the charge on a surface is positive or negative doesn’t matter. It is the difference between charges that causes the attractive forces and static shock. EXAIR static eliminators utilize alternating current to create both positive and negative ions to eliminate both positive and negative ions.

The third key to properly eliminating static is that ionized air works best the closer you can be to a product. Because we eliminate both positive and negative ions, EXAIR static eliminators work best when they are blown directly on a surface that needs treated. The further the ionizer is moved from a surface the less effective it will be. EXAIR products without air assistance typically need to remain within two inches of the surface they are treating. Products with air assistance can be much farther away. It is the inlet pressure, the value of the static charge and the speed of the surface (if it is moving) which will dictate how far away an EXAIR static eliminator can be positioned.

Eliminating static is a very specialized application, it revels its self in dry conditions. It can lead to problems with webs, rollers, and idlers. If you need help with your static problem, please contact an application engineer.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer

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