As the weather starts to change and the colder dryer months turn from autumn to winter, static electricity can become a real nuisance. Machines will start jamming, alignments will be difficult, dirt will collect to surfaces, and hazardous sparks can shock personnel. EXAIR manufactures a line of Gen4 Static Eliminators, also called ionizers, to remove these nuisances.
Static is generated from non-conductive surfaces being “rubbed”. This could be caused from going over rollers on a conveyor, stacking product onto each other, sheet feeding, and even peeling away a backing material. When a non-conductive surface, or insulator, is moved or separated, electrons are “stripped” and redistribute into different areas on the surface. Static charges are typically measured in kilovolts (kV), 1 kV = 1,000 volts, and they can be either positive or negative in nature. The higher the charge, the stronger the static force. At a 10 kV static charge, a spark can jump one inch (25 mm) from the surface. You probably felt that shock when working with plastic or non-conductive materials. EXAIR has a Digital Static Meter to measure the amount of static voltage on a surface. It is a great tool for finding problem areas in your process as well as determining the effectiveness of the treatment.
Static electricity is dynamic. The more you rub or move the material, the higher the static charges can form. Static can also regenerate itself after the charges have been removed. With higher static charges, the attraction force to other materials is much stronger. This attraction could be to other products, dust, lint, and even you. A negative effect of static can be seen with dirty surfaces, tearing, misalignment, jamming and shock to personnel. The EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators are engineered to remove both negative and positive static charges in an assortment of designs to best fit the application.
EXAIR manufactures eight different product lines in two different styles, Gen4 Static Eliminators with Air and Gen4 Static Eliminators without Air. These ionizers are powered by a 5,000V AC power supply. The alternating current, AC, will create both negative ions and positive ions. The result is no matter if the static charge you want to eliminate is positive or negative on a surface, the Gen4 Static Eliminators will be able to remove it. The power supplies come in either a 2 port or 4 port design; so, you can power multiple Gen4 Static Eliminators with one power supply. The input power is selectable from either 115Vac or 230Vac in both 50/60 hz. An armored and electromagnetic shielded cable connects the power supply to the ionizer in a single wire design. This will help to protect the cable from abrasions, cuts and splits in industrial areas. The Gen4 Static Eliminators have a shockless design, and are UL Component Recognized and CE compliant. I will give a brief description of each product that utilizes this rugged design for optimal static neutralization.
Gen4 Static Eliminators with Air:
- Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife: This product has the best compressed air efficiency in removing static by combining the Super Air Knife with an Ionizing Bar. The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife has a 40:1 amplification ratio and uses the laminar air flow to carry the positive and negative ions to the surface. The laminar flow allows for a quick static discharge in fast conveyance speeds. They can also remove static from surfaces up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) away. EXAIR manufactures stock lengths from 3” (76mm) to 108” (2.74 meters). Some typical applications for the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife are found in web cleaning, sheeters, pre-paint dust removal, and shrink wrappers.
- Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knife: Similar to the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife, this product has a good compressed air efficiency. It utilizes the Coanda effect to draw in ambient air at a 30:1 amplification ratio. They come in stocked lengths from 3” (76mm) to 48” (1.22 meters). The Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knife are used in similar applications as well as mold releasing, package cleaning, label applications and plastic bag opening.
- Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe: This product blows ionized air in a 360-degree pattern. They are engineered to remove static and debris from the outside of hoses, plastic pipe, extrusions, and coated wires. With the split design, the Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe can easily mount around the product without having to rethread. They come in two different sizes with a 2” (51mm) and 4” (102mm) inner diameter. The ionized air has a fast static decay for speedy transfers.
- Gen4 Ion Air Cannon: Just like the name, this product will shower an area with ions to remove static. It can reach distances up to 15 feet (4.6 meters). They are used in multiple areas including pre-paint car bodies, containers, shrink packaging, lenses, etc. As an Air Amplifier, a small amount of compressed air will draw in a large amount of ambient air. The ions are carried to the surface from the Gen4 Ion Air Cannon in a laminar air steam. Once the ions coat the surface area, the air flow can gently remove any debris held by static forces.
- Gen4 Ion Air Gun: For manual static removal to target specific areas, the Gen4 Ion Air Gun will work great. This product comes standard with 10 feet (3 meters) of shielded cable for maximum reach. An ergonomic air gun is attached to a Gen4 Ion Air Jet to manually remove static in difficult areas and from “shock” zones. The Ion Air Guns work great for small batch processes used for quality checks or label applications.
- Gen4 Ion Air Jet: Similar to the Ion Air Gun, this product is used for “hands-free” operations. They use a small amount of compressed air to “shoot” the ions onto a surface. They can be operated with a solenoid valve or foot pedal to blow ions during specific times and situations. They can easily be attached to a Stay Set Hose and Magnetic Base for best “hands-free” positioning for optimal cleaning. They work well on small targets for automated systems or inspections areas prior to packaging.
The Gen4 Static Eliminators with air can be purchased with kits which will include the power supply (required for ionization), a filter (to clean contamination from the compressed air), and a regulator (to control the blowing force). In the spirit of compressed air efficiency, EXAIR also offers the Electronic Flow Control, EFC, that uses a photoelectric sensor to turn on the air flow only when the product is under the Static Eliminator.
Gen4 Static Eliminators without Air:
- Gen4 Ionizing Bar: This rugged design is for industrial use to remove static cling from flat surfaces. They range from a length of 3” (76mm) to 108” (2.74 meters). Without the assistance of air, the product has to be within 2 inches (51 mm) from the surface to remove static charges. The Gen4 Ionizing Bar is shockless and works well in applications where blowing air could be a detriment for the process. This would include screen printing, labeling, and large printing process.
- Gen4 Ionizing Point: This single point design is manufactured to remove static on small targets in tight spots. Utilizing the same rugged design of the Gen4 Static Eliminators, this product can remove static in spot areas and help to stop jams in slitting operations. They can also be panel mounted to neutralize duct air.
If you find that static is creating process problems, wasting time, and costing you money, EXAIR has a large line of Gen4 Static Eliminators that can help you. You can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to select the correct model and remove that static nuisance.