When an atom gains or loses an electron from its outer shell, it becomes electrically imbalanced. A material’s propensity to either gain or lose an electron is “ranked” on a list known as the Triboelectric Series.
The buildup of static electricity is a common issue for many converting applications. This type of static generation is known as detachment static build up. Detachment static build up occurs when a material is in contact with another and these two surfaces separate from one another. During the separation, not all of the electrons are able to get back to their original molecule. This results in an instantaneous static charge as the electrons are transferred from one object to another in accordance with the Triboelectric Series. Due to the large surface area in most detachment static buildup scenarios, the amount of static generated is typically far greater than contact static buildup. Detachment static buildup occurs on many converting applications as material separates from a bulk roll.
This typically occurs at a high rate of speed and the large surface area across the width of the roll presents an ideal situation for static buildup. This charge can cause the material to stick to itself and not come off the roll properly, creating issues down the line. It can also result in painful shocks to operators, which not only presents a safety hazard but also negatively impacts productivity and morale.
I recently worked with a customer that was experiencing some issues with their converting process for a line of candy packaging. The high static charge was discharging to their operators along while periodically causing the machine to jam up and need to be stopped, cut, and re-fed. Using the Model 7905 Static Meter, they were measuring charges of over 31 kV on the material.
The solution was to install a Model 112024 Super Ion Air Knife above and below the web to saturate the material with positive and negative ions. The knife carries the ions to the surface of the material and ensures the charge is neutralized immediately upon contact. After implementing a knife above and below the material, the charge was neutralized and also stopped the nuisance shocks experienced by operators nearby.
Each time the machine jammed it would take approximately 30 minutes to fix. This issue was occurring anywhere from 3-4x per day and the machine ran 24/7. By simply implementing the Super Ion Air Knives they gained up to 2hrs more run time by eliminating the presence of static in the process.
Don’t let static continue to create headaches for your personnel. Get yourself a permanent solution from EXAIR and ensure your processes run smoothly.