Applications for Static Eliminating Ion Bars

Ion bar

Many times when we discuss static elimination applications with customers, we will arrive at a solution such as the Ion Bar that does not require the use of compressed air. If we feel that the Ion Bar has ability to be in sufficient contact with the target for a long enough duration of time, then that is one of the most elegant solutions of all. The bonus is that we do not have to add additional compressed air requirement to the customer’s compressed air system by recommending use of the Super Air Knife along with the Ion Bar. While the Super Ion Air Knife is a great way to project the static eliminating ions over a much longer distance, there is the issue that compressed air does have to be factored into the solution.

So, what kinds of applications can benefit from the use of Ion Bars by themselves? There are actually a variety of reasons why an application might not benefit from the addition of compressed air to the static eliminating solution. Allow me to list a few below:

  1. The static elimination target material is very light weight and would be disturbed unnecessarily by the addition of a compressed air flow to deliver ionization from the Ion Bar.
  2. The static elimination application is within a clean room environment where any addition of air movement has to be equally compensated for by the dust collection system, which can complicate matters very quickly.
  3. There may already be an airflow that is moving through the area over the target surface and only ionization is needed.
  4. The addition of an airflow to a static elimination application causes problems with other parts of a process such as un-wanted decrease in drying time, un-wanted cooling, or interference with a measurement process.

In any event, whenever we evaluate a static elimination application, we always want to try and make solution suggestions that would minimize the impact on the customer’s compressed air supply. Many times, we simply can’t do that due to issues with process speed or lack of time in contact with the target part. But in those cases, where it is plausible, we certainly want to apply this strategy for our solutions.

Some recent applications where we were able to recommend an Ion Bar by itself include:

  1. A ceramic tile manufacturer was printing their designs with an ink jet printer onto the tile surface. Static caused the ink to run into areas where it wasn’t supposed to go. Treating the surface of the tiles prior to printing solved the issue.
  2. A solar panel manufacture etches glass for the solar panels and then coats that panel with a metallic coating. Residual lines of force from the remaining static charge on the surface made the metallic coating irregular and so a set of ion bars were mounted so that the glass passed between them just prior to coating, eliminating the irregularities in the coating.
  3. A shipping company was applying bar-coded labels to their shipping boxes. The labels were becoming wrinkled when applied which interfered with the ability to read the bar code. The customer thought it was a label issue, but after a quick check with a model 7905 Static Meter, the problem was found to be a charge on the box surface. Mounting an ion bar to come into close proximity of the box surface prior to labelling took care of the problem.

Overall, Ion Bars are a very effective tool for removing static over a wide area. And when considering the possible solutions for a static removal application, it is always best practice to consider whether the Ion Bar solution can take care of the problem by itself. And if it deemed not possible to get the desired effect with only the Ion Bar, then using a Super Ion Air Knife is the next best and most efficient way to get that ionized air to your charged target.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager

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