Understanding Static Electricity

Have you ever walked across the room to pet your cat or dog and got a shock instead? Ever taken off your shirt on a dry winter day and had a “hair raising” experience? How about rubbing a balloon on your shirt and sticking it to the wall? This is static electricity! Before we can understand Static Electricity we need to know the basics of atoms.

All physical objects are made up of atoms. Inside an atom are protons, electrons and neutrons. The protons are positively (+) charged, the electrons are negatively (-) charged, and the neutrons are neutral.

Therefore, all things are made up of charges. Opposite charges attract each other (negative to positive). Like (similar) charges repel each other (positive to positive or negative to negative). Most of the time positive and negative charges are balanced in an object, which makes that object neutral.

Static electricity is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges of an object. These charges can build up on the surface of an object until they find a way to be released or discharged.

The rubbing of certain materials against another can transfer negative charges, or electrons. For example, if you drag your sock on the carpet, your body collects extra electrons. The electrons cling to your body until they can be released. As you reach and touch your furry friend, a shock occurs. This is just the surplus electrons being released from you to your unsuspecting pet.


And what about that “hair raising” experience? As you remove your shirt, electrons are transferred from the shirt to your hair, creating the hair raising experience! Remember, objects with the same charge repel each other. Because they have the same charge, your hair will stand on end. Your hair is trying to get as far away from each other as possible!

When you rub a balloon against your shirt and stick it to a wall, you are adding a surplus of electrons (negative charges) to the surface of the balloon. The wall is now more positively charged than the balloon. As the two come in contact, the balloon will stick because of the rule that opposites attract (positive to negative).

When you relate these too your manufacturing environment and we talk about dust, hair, and fines sticking to your product then EXAIR has the answer for you with our GEN 4 Static Eliminating products. EXAIR Static Eliminators (also called ionizers) can eliminate the charge. These shockless ionizers are electronically powered to produce a bulk of positive and negative ions. The charged surface attracts the appropriate number of positive or negative ions from the ionizer to become neutral or balanced.

If you have a situation where static charges are causing problems with a product finish, print quality, sensor readings, etc. and would like some assistance solving the problem please call EXAIR and ask for one of our knowledgeable Application Engineers to discuss the right product for your application.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Daniel Bernoulli, Entraining EXAIR Products

Daniel Bernoulli was born February 8, 1700 in Groningen in the Netherlands and was the son of Johann Bernoulli an early developer of calculus. It is believed that Daniel did not have a good relationship with his father. This mainly stemmed from the both of them entering the same scientific contest at the University of Paris. The two tied and his father Johann took exception to being compared to his son as “equal” and could not accept the shame and banned Daniel from his home. Daniel tried to reconcile their difference but his father carried this grudge to his death.

Earlier in Daniels life his father convinced Daniel to study business as there was no income incentive to study mathematics but against his will Daniel did choose the study of business. His father then convinced Daniel to study medicine but Daniel still wanted to study mathematics and agreed to study medicine under the condition that his dad teach him mathematics privately. Daniel completed his bachelors degree at the age of 15 and his masters degree when he was 17. Daniel then went on to study medicine and received his PhD in anatomy and botany from the Universities of Basel, Heidelberg and Strasbourg.

Daniel Bernoulli was very accomplished but mostly known for Bernoulli’s principle. Bernoulli’s principle is the relationship between fluid speed and pressure. An increase in the speed of a fluid will occur simultaneously with a decrease in the fluid’s pressure or potential energy. The Venturi effect, published in 1797 by Giovanni Venturi, applies Bernoulli’s principle to a fluid that flows through a tube with a constriction in it. The Venturi tube provides a handy method for mixing fluids or gases, and is popular in carburetors and atomizers, which use the low pressure region generated at the constriction to pull the liquid into the gas flow. It also offers a particularly clear example of the Bernoulli principle.

For example, above is how a Super Air Wipe works. Compressed air flows through an inlet (1) of the Air Wipe into an annular chamber (2). It is then throttled through a small ring nozzle (3) at high velocity. This primary airstream adheres to the Coanda profile (4), which directs it down the angled surface of the Air Wipe. A low pressure area is created at the center (5) inducing a high volume flow of surrounding air into the primary airstream. As the airflow leaves the Air Wipe, it creates a conical 360° ring of air that attaches itself to the surface of the material running through it (6), uniformly wiping the entire surface with the high velocity airflow.

EXAIR incorporates the Bernoulli Principle with our engineered products which entrain air such as our Super Air Knives, Super Air Wipes, Air Amplifiers and Static Eliminating products to name a few. We have several Applications Engineers that will appreciate your call to discuss our products. If you have an application or question please call 800.903.9247 or visit us on our website www,EXAIR,com and let us help you.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Static Elimination for Sensitive Processes, Laboratories, and Clean Environments

Introducing the Intellistat® Ion Air Gun!

Are you looking for fast and efficient static elimination in a convenient, compact product? Look no further than EXAIR Corporation’s brand-new Intellistat Ion Air Gun designed for use in laboratories, electronics manufacturing and testing, clean environments and sensitive processes:

If you have any questions about the Intellistat Ion Air Gun, our other Static Eliminator solutions, or any of our engineered compressed air products, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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