Basics of Static Electricity

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the middle of winter and that means extremely dry air, and frequent shocks when reaching for a door knob after walking across a carpeted surface.  While a shock is mildly uncomfortable and can be annoying to us, the presence of static electricity in an industrial manufacturing process can be much more problematic.

Problems that static cause range from operator discomfort to increased downtime to quality issues.  Dust can cling to product, product can cling to itself, rollers, frames, or conveyors. Materials may tear, jam, curl and sheet fed items can stick and mis-feed. Hazardous sparks and shocks can occur, possibly damaging sensitive electronics.

EXAIR has put together a useful tool, the Basics of Static Electricity white paper with Interactive Regions to help a person learn more about static.

Basics of Static Electricity

 

Topics covered include Electron Theory, Causes of Static Electricity, Triboelectric Series chart, and Types of Static Generation.  Also, the white paper covers the areas of How to Control Static Charge Buildup, Determining the Source of the Static Buildup, Eliminating or Minimizing the Source Causing the Buildup, and Treating Static Buildup.

The Treating Static Buildup is a comprehensive review of the EXAIR Static Elimination products and how each technology is best applied to different processes and applications.

To receive your copy of the Basics of Static Electricity white paper, click the photo above or the link here.

If you would like to talk about static electricity or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Ion Air Jets Make Beekeeper’s Operation As Sweet As Honey

A honey producer sells their product in specialty glass jars. They pay a premium for these jars, as they enhance the appearance of their product, so the “visual” is obviously very important to them. So much so, that they’re willing to go to great lengths to make sure that the jars are sparkly clean and pristine before filling them with honey.

It’s a given that the inside needs to be clean…it’s a food product, so, of course, there’s a thorough cleaning process for that. The outsides of the jars, though, would sometimes have a little dust or debris left over in the ‘nooks and crannies’ which took away from the crystal clear appearance of the rest of the jar.

They got a Model 8494 GEN4 Ion Air Jet Kit, which they use to remove all of this dust & debris from the outside of the bottle, and then they got another Model 8194 GEN4 Ion Air Jet (which uses the same Power Supply, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator from the 8494 Kit) to blow an “insurance” blast of ionized air inside the bottle…just in case. “You can’t be too careful” is a popular mantra for folks who make food products, it seems!

Compact, convenient, easy to use: EXAIR Model 8194 GEN4 Ion Air Jet creates a focused blast of ionized air for static dissipation and cleaning.

Ionized air is extremely effective for ensuring the cleanliness of glass surfaces. Window makers love our Super Ion Air Knives. Some big name sunglasses manufacturers use our Ion Air Jets to ensure the highest quality and consistency of their products. Ion Air Jets and Ion Air Cannons are commonly used to keep optics clean & clear in critical vision inspection systems. If you’d like to find out more about improving “visuals” with ionized air, give me a call.

More Than You Asked For? Not A Problem.

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EXAIR’s brand-new Catalog #27 came out yesterday. It contains 168 pages of details on our fifteen distinct lines of Intelligent Compressed Air Products. When you make products, like we do, that range from coating to cooling to conveying to cleaning to conservation (and those are just the ones we put on the cover), we can hardly blame folks for calling with one product in mind, and finding that another (sometimes) completely different product is the ideal solution to their application…and perhaps another part of their application as well. I had the pleasure of assisting an OEM machine manufacturer with the perfect example of this just the other day:

This customer makes machinery for the food industry. They were experimenting with a machine for a candy maker – small fruit gum candies are fed into a bowl hopper, where they needed to have a static charge eliminated for the next part of their proprietary process. The machine maker had procured a fan-type ionized air blower, which did a decent job of removing the static, but they also needed a way to keep the candies separated…they don’t call them “gummies” for nothing, right?

Anyway, they were looking for suggestions for an air nozzle to provide a little blast of air to break up the ones that were stuck together, and were concerned about disturbing the ionized air flow. In essence, they didn’t want to trade one problem for another. This actually made them quite interested to hear about our Static Eliminators, which could potentially eliminate the cost, space, and installation of their current ionized air blower.

The concentrated airflow of the Model 7294 Ion Air Jet (with Power Supply) is able to be directed to a precise spot in the bowl, and, as the candies pass through, they’re both separated and neutralized of their static charge. This turned into a real all-in-one solution, AND an introduction of a new (to them) EXAIR product line.

EXAIR's Ion Air Jet provides focused blowoff AND static elimination...an all-in-one solution.
EXAIR’s Ion Air Jet provides focused blowoff AND static elimination…an all-in-one solution.

If you want to find out how an EXAIR product can contribute to the efficiency of your process, or the value of your OEM machinery designs, give us a call.  Don’t be surprised, though, if we offer you more than you asked for.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
www.exair.com
twitter.com/exair_rb
facebook.com/exair

A “Static Season”-al Affective Disorder Blog

One of the more popular inquiries we get this time of year is for Static Eliminator Product selection assistance. EXAIR offers a variety of Static Eliminators, to accommodate a wide range of applications.

Static charge can be caused by contact or friction between non-conductive surfaces…and you don’t need a lot of contact, or motion, to produce a decent charge. We keep some clear plastic Lexan plates in our Efficiency Lab, and can get a few hundred volts just by putting one on top of the other, and picking it up. To generate several thousand volts (or more), we’ll rub a plate on the carpet for a few seconds.

This makes for a great all-purpose set up – from here, we can easily and effective demonstrate any of our Static Eliminators (or do an Efficiency Lab test on anyone else’s…just so you know). Not every situation or application involving static dissipation presents itself that simply, though. That’s where the diversity of our Ionizer Products line comes in:

Are you getting zapped by packages coming fresh off your shrink wrapper? Do you need to remove dust from – and keep it off of – parts prior to painting? Are your rolls of fiber, web, paper, film, etc., jamming or mis-feeding? EXAIR Super Ion Air Knives could be the efficient, quiet solution you’re looking for. They produce a high volume, extremely adjustable, laminar curtain of ionized air flow, perfect for large surface area and/or high speed applications. They’re available in lengths from 3” to 96”. If space is tight, our Standard Ion Air Knives, while not quite as efficient or quiet, do provide a smaller profile “footprint,” and are just as effective and fast in eliminating static.

Perhaps your application is smaller, and you need a tighter, focused stream of ionized air. The Ion Air Jet is compact, easy to install (even easier with a Stay Set Hose and Mag Base), and just the right size for table or counter top situations. If this is your size & scale, but you want the convenience and flexibility of a hand-held device, our Ion Air Gun is just the thing.

For jobs that are a bit larger, but still with a need for a compact installation, the Ion Air Cannon provides a high volume, but still concentrated, flow of ionized air. It’s effective over long distances, and very efficient, using a small amount of compressed air to entrain “free” air from the surrounding environment at a rate of 25:1. In dusty or dirty areas, you can even duct clean air in from elsewhere, so you’re not impinging that dust or dirt on your parts’ surfaces.

To remove static from a continuous run of cable, hose, extruded shapes, etc., the Super Ion Air Wipe comes with a 2” or 4” ID. Its split design makes for quick and easy installation, and means you’ll never have to “thread” it if product feed is changed or interrupted.

No compressed air? No problem. If you can mount it within 2” of the part, the Ionizing Point can dissipate up to 5 kilovolts of static charge in under a third of a second. For wider surfaces, our Ionizing Bars offer the same rapid performance, and can be provided in lengths of up to 120”.

All of our Static Eliminators are shockless, UL Listed, low maintenance, and available for same day shipment…except for a couple of our longer Super Ion Air Knives, which we need a day or so to put together.

If you have questions about which Static Eliminator is right for you, give us a call. We’re eager to help!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
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