Static is coming!!!! With the EXAIR Static Eliminators, we can eliminate any type of static to remove the “hiccups” in your operations. In the video, I will demonstrate the effectiveness of the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife to remove static and debris on non-conductive surfaces.
One of the biggest issues in winter, besides being cold, is static. An outside sales representative was responsible for selling and servicing industrial inkjet printers. He started to receive more complaints about the quality of the print, especially from customers that used plastic bottles. This customer was printing a date code on the outside of a soda bottle prior to packaging. They noticed that the print on the back side was blurry and could be rejected by their distributor. We discussed how static can cause issues like this with printers.
We had a good discussion about how to solve their problem because EXAIR is the leader in Static Eliminators. The quality of the image is based on the dots per inch, or DPI. With very fine droplets, static charges can affect the “landing” area of the small droplets. For the application above, the plastic bottles were generating static charge by bumping and rubbing against each other. A static voltage is generated in either positive or negative charges. The stronger the charge, the stronger the force. To measure the static charges, EXAIR does offer a Static Meter to quantitatively measure the amount of voltage of the static surface.
With a decrease in the moisture that is present in the air, static charges are able to build easier and to a much higher level. Material is the other condition for static generation. The type of non-conductive material will determine how easily it will pass or except electrons. The soda bottles above are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. This material has a moderate ability to generate static electricity. But the charge was enough to affect the print quality.
With the nature of static elimination, we want to target the affected area. In this instance, it was just before the inkjet printer. I recommended the model 8003 Gen4 Ionization Bar with the model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply. The EXAIR Static Eliminators are able to produce both positive and negative ions to neutralize any type of static. They were able to mount the Gen4 Ionizing Bar alongside the bottle near the print area. After they added the Ionization Bar, the static was removed and the date code printing was clear. They were so impressed that they contacted the manufacturer of the inkjet printer to have this as an option for similar applications. Static is a nuisance, and EXAIR has nine different types of Static Eliminators to handle industrial areas as well as labs and clean rooms. If you are experiencing static issues, you can contact EXAIR and speak to one of the Application Engineers. We will be happy to help you select the best solution for your static problems.
In a recent blog post, I discussed the theory behind how static is generated (if you missed it, check it out here!!). One of the troublesome aspects about static electricity is that it’s hard to measure. The static charge on the surface of a part is not visible, that is unless the charge is high enough to result in a static discharge to nearby equipment or personnel. In most cases, issues related to static aren’t always 100% clear and are impossible to measure without the right equipment. So how do we measure static?
It’s actually simple: EXAIR’s Model 7905 Static Meter is designed to take the guesswork out of the equation when evaluating static charges. It allows for an easy one-hand measurement of the static charge on the surface. This allows you to measure in numerous places in the process to evaluate the true source of the static. In most cases, the highest voltage reading will indicate the source of your static problem.
The 7905 Static Meter is sensitive and responsive, indicating the surface voltage and polarity on objects up to +/- 20kV when measured at 1” from the surface! On the front face of the meter is a hold button, a battery indicator, and a “zero” button to zero out the instrument and ensure an accuracy of +/- 5% of the reading when 1” from the charged surface.
When looking for a method to identify the source of your static woes, EXAIR’s Static Meter is an ideal fit. Since the method used to neutralize this static is also invisible, using a Static Meter in conjunction with any EXAIR Static Eliminator allows you to confirm and quantify the result of the products working as intended. To do this, simply take a measurement of the surface before and after treatment with any EXAIR Static Eliminator. After being exposed to the static neutralizing ions, the residual static charge should be neutralized and able to be confirmed on the display of the Static Meter. For customers and applications that require it, EXAIR also offers an ISO 17025 Accredited Calibration service.
The Static Meter is the only device that will allow you to identify and quantify any static charge. Don’t continue to let static charges wreak havoc in your processes, we have them available to ship today from stock alongside all of our cataloged Static Eliminators!!!
Tyler Daniel, CCASS
Application Engineer/International Trade
Did you know that the discharge you’ve likely felt on a cold winter day after walking across a carpeted surface and touching a door knob is a result of static electricity? To understand how this static electricity is generated, let’s first go back to basic chemistry class and talk about the atomic structure of an atom.
An atom consists of three basic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons. The protons (positively charged) and neutrons (neutral charge) form the nucleus. Outside the nucleus, electrons (negatively charged) are quickly zipping around in orbits at specific distances from the nucleus. These electrons are bound to the nucleus due to electromagnetic force. Opposite charges attract, since the protons in the nucleus carry a positive charge this acts on the negative charge of the electrons and keeps them in orbit. The closer the electron to the nucleus, the stronger the bond and the more energy required to break that electron from its original orbit.
When an atom gains or loses an electron, it affects the balance that occurs within an atom. If an atom gains an electron, it now has more electrons than protons. This results in a negatively charged atom. The opposite can be said if an atom loses an electron, it now carries a positive charge. This charge imbalance is where static electricity comes from. Both positive and negative charges will remain statically charged until contacted by or comes into close proximity to a conductive or grounded surface.
The strength of this charge will depend on a few different factors: the types of materials, surface area, environmental conditions, etc. will all play a role in the generation of a static charge. The triboelectric series is a scale, listing various different materials and their tendency to become positive or negative. Those at the far end of the spectrum have an increased propensity to gain or lose an electron, while those in the center are more likely to remain balanced. When two materials on opposite ends of the spectrum come into contact with one another, it poses the greatest risk of generating high levels of static electricity. The chart below shows some common materials and where they fall on the tribolectric series.
When materials carry a static charge, a variety of problems can ensue during manufacturing. These can manifest in the form of painful shocks to operators, materials jamming or tearing, sheet feeding problems, discharges causing imperfections in the material appearance, etc. To remove the charge, we need to introduce static eliminating ions to balance out the charge on the material. EXAIR’s line of Static Eliminators create an equal number of both positive and negative ions to saturate the surface of the material and neutralize any charge present.
With a wide range of different solutions all available from stock, EXAIR has the solution to your static problems this winter. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss the application and help to identify the best method to mitigating any static issues in your processes. Take advantage of EXAIR’s current promotion (now through the end of March) and receive a free AC Sensor with your Static Eliminator purchase!
Tyler Daniel, CCASS