Ionizing Points for Static Elimination Without Airflow

I almost wore three socks this morning: one on each foot, and one inside the sleeve of my shirt. I don’t know if it got in there through the agitation & spin of the washing machine, or the tumbling action in the dryer, but I know how it stayed there through the removal from the dryer, folding, and placing in my shirt drawer: static charge. This was evident from the ‘snap, crackle, and pop’ it made when I pulled it out.

Static charge is all around us. It’s mildly annoying in the clothes we pull from the dryer or the packing peanuts we can’t shake from our hands when unpacking from that new whatever-I-just-ordered from that website. It’s surprisingly uncomfortable when we touch the light switch after walking across a carpeted floor. And it’s terrifying when a lightning bolt hits so close that there’s no discernible delay for the thunder.

It’s also prevalent in many industrial processes: molding, trimming, wrapping (or unwrapping), bag & bottle filling, printing…just to name a few. Some materials are more prone to it than others, but all it takes is contact, and separation, of non-conductive surfaces to generate a static charge. The faster and/or more frequent the contact & separation, the higher the charge, and oftentimes there’s no better way to build up static electricity than sliding or rubbing those surfaces together.

EXAIR has a wide variety of Static Eliminator solutions: Super Ion Air Knives for webs or sheets up to 9 feet in width, Ion Air Cannons or Jets for more focused, conical ionized air blowing, Ion Air Guns for handheld operations, Super Ion Air Wipes for tube, pipe, extruded shapes, etc., and Intellistat Ion Air Guns & Nozzles for laboratory or clean room situations. Two of our Static Eliminator ProductsIonizing Bars & Ionizing Points – require no compressed air at all for operation, and one of those is the point (‘pun intended’ or ‘spoiler alert’ – you decide) of today’s blog.

The EXAIR Gen4 Ionizing Point is compact, versatile, and easy to install. It’s perfect for applications where even a light breeze worth of air flow would be disruptive or problematic. It’s also great for ionizing an existing air flow, like in a blower duct or air conveyance line. If limited space is a problem, it’s got the smallest footprint of just about any static eliminator on the market.

The EXAIR Model 8199 Gen4 Ionizing Point packs a LOT of static elimination in a small package.

They have impressive static dissipation performance as well, as seen in the table below. The only maintenance that’s required is a periodic cleaning of the emitter point (with the Power Supply OFF, using a soft bristled, dry brush). Should the emitter point become fouled, it can also be easily replaced.

If you’ve got problems with static charge, EXAIR has a comprehensive offering of solutions…give me a call to find out more.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
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Super Ion Air Knives Remove Static, Improve Bottle Cap Production

The leaves have all fallen. The sky, more often than not, is dreary. My winter coat is officially part of the “uniform of the day”. And I got shocked by the laundry room doorknob yesterday. All this means that winter is upon us (here in the Northern Hemisphere anyway), and as far as EXAIR is concerned, it’s “static season”. We’re seeing a definite uptick in the numbers of conversations we’re having about static charge-related issues…and solutions that we can provide.

I had the pleasure of speaking to a caller, last month, who works for the US division of a global manufacturer of bottle caps. A machine that sorts & orients plastic caps was particularly prone to static charge problems last winter, causing a marked decrease in their production, and they wanted to get out in front of the problem this year:

As the caps travel horizontally (white arrows), they pass under a static bar (supplied by the machine manufacturer) which provided some reduction in static charge, but was unable to keep up with the higher magnitudes of static charge experienced during the lower humidity winter months. Bottle caps (right) would pile up, slowing production.
A Model 112230 30″ Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit replaced the OEM static bar, resulting in dramatic improvement…no more piling up of bottle caps.

The increased static charge (beyond the OEM static bar’s ability to handle) reduced production by 1/3. The Super Ion Air Knife restored operation to full capacity for this machine…and three others, once they saw the results of the first one.

If static charge is causing you problems with dust clinging to your product, your product clinging to itself, sheets mis-feeding, materials jamming, tearing, or curling, or nuisance shocks to operators, EXAIR has a variety of safe and efficient Static Eliminator solutions. To find out more, give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Top Ten Reasons Why EXAIR’s Super Air Knife Is So Super

1. Efficiency – With an air entrainment ratio of 40:1 (literally means it pulls in 40 SCFM of “free” air from the surrounding environment for every 1 SCFM of consumption), compressed air consumption is dramatically lower than any other blow off device.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier are engineered to entrain enormous amounts of air from the surrounding environment.

2. Laminar air flow – My colleague John Ball did a bang-up job in a video blog explaining the fluid mechanics theory behind this. Operationally, laminar flow is is beneficial because it’s particularly conducive to generating a stripping or sweeping action, as opposed to the turbulent flow from an open blow off, a blower, or a fan.

3. Quiet operation – The high entrainment ratio that makes the Super Air Knife so efficient also makes for amazingly low sound levels. The outermost entrained air creates a boundary layer that attenuates the sound level of the higher velocity, hard hitting center flow.

4. Lengths available – Super Air Knives are stocked in lengths from 3″ to 9ft. Custom lengths can be made if you’re space-limited for installation, and custom shims can be installed if you want to shorten the curtain width of a stock Super Air Knife. Super Air Knives can also be coupled together for even longer lengths.

Air Knife Coupling Bracket Kits are available from stock for Aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS Super Air Knives.

5. Material of construction – No matter how aggressive the environment is, odds are, EXAIR has a Super Air Knife that’ll hold up to it. Durable aluminum models are good to 180°F (82°C). There are also two Types of Stainless Steel to choose from: 303SS for high strength, and 316SS for protection from chloride pitting corrosion & higher strength. Both 303SS & 316SS are good to 800°F (427°C). For exceptionally harsh environments, PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) constructed Super Air Knives have Hastelloy C-276 hardware & PTFE shims, which are resistant to UV light, inorganic chemicals, solvents, ozone, weather, fungi, chlorinated hydrocarbons, highly corrosive acids, weak bases, and salts. They’re good to 275°F (135°C).

6. Easy installation – Like all of our products, the Super Air Knives – from the 3″ to the 9ft models – are “user friendly” as far as mounting & installation goes. The Model 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting System makes for quick installation and easy positioning. 24″ to 42″ Super Air Knives need to be plumbed to both ends…if you hard pipe the air supply, the Super Air Knife itself will essentially be as well supported as the piping. The same holds true for longer Super Air Knives with Plumbing Kits installed. 3″ Super Air Knives can even be fitted with Stay Set Hoses, and Magnetic Bases. And the 1/4″-20 tapped holes on the bottom of the body allow for a wide range of mounting solutions…anything you can put a bolt through, really.

The 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are perfect for simple, fast installation and positioning.
Yes, that’s a door hinge. No, it wasn’t my idea ( but I kind of wish it was.)

7. Low maintenance – With no moving parts, they’ll run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free, as long as you supply them with clean, moisture free compressed air. Oh, and keep them clean, externally, if they’re in an area where environmental contaminants can build up on the precision finished surfaces that are essential to their air entrainment.

8. Reliability – Hand in hand with #7, no moving parts also means there’s not much that can stop them from working. They can operate continuously, if needed, or you can cycle them on & off as frequently as necessary to keep from using valuable compressed air, except when needed.

EXAIR’s award winning EFC Electronic Flow Control can be set to operate a Super Air Knife (or any of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products) in cycles as low as 0.1 seconds.

9. Static Eliminator option -The laminar, high velocity air flow is ideal for many blow off applications, but if static charge is a problem, an Ionizing Bar can be installed, turning the Super Air Knife into a Super Ion Air Knife:

10. Free stuff – OK; this last one is “super” for a limited time. Order a Super Air Knife between 11/1/22 and 12/31/2022, and get a FREE Safety Air Gun. Click here for details.

If you’d like to find out how the Super Air Knife – or any of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products can help you get the most out of your compressed air system, give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Cleans Art!

I took a phone call recently from an artist who applies thin colored films to glass sheets. He then uses several panes of that colored glass to build beautiful simplistic art installations! They are so clean and clear every angle you look through you get a different color and view you wouldn’t expect. But he was having a problem, these sheets of glass were building a large static charge and making every bit of dust and dirt stick to the surface. They were spending countless hours painstakingly cleaning every panel of glass because one spec of dirt would ruin the end goal.

Colored Glass Walk Way

Originally they called in to look at the Super Air Knife, which is good to remove dirt, dust and debris – but does not eliminate static if that debris were to be held on to the glass with static. His idea was to poor water on the glass then use the Super Air Knife to blow the water off, messy but they were hoping to kill two birds with one stone. Getting rid of the static and cleaning the glass all at once. He was excited when I told him about out our GEN4 Super ION Air Knife! It would have the ability to neutralize the static charge and blow away any debris clinging to the surface.

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife floods an area or surface with static eliminating ions. With a uniform airflow across its length, misalignment to critical surfaces, like a web, is avoided.  The force can be adjusted from a light breeze, to a full out blast of air. The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is electrically powered, is shockless and has no moving parts.

How It Works

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How The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Works

In the diagram above, compressed air flows through an inlet (1) into the plenum chamber of the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife. The flow is directed to a precise, slotted orifice. As the primary airflow exits, it creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length, pulling in in surrounding air (2). An electrically powered Gen4 Ionizing Bar (3) fills the curtain of air with positive and negative charges. The air stream delivers the static eliminating ions to the product surface (4) where it instantly neutralizes static and cleans off dust and other particulates.

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives are powerful tools, and very quickly dissipates 5kV of static even at low compressed air supply pressures. At 5 PSIG, only 3.7 SCFM (0.3 BAR, only 105 SLPM) of compressed air per foot of length is required!!  Sound levels are also very low, resulting in quiet operation.

super ion air knife performance

Added Features –

  • Compressed Air Inlets are provided on each end and the bottom of the Super Air Knife
  • Thicker shims can be installed easily if more force is needed.
  • Emitter points are durable stainless steel
  • The high voltage cable is armored to resist cuts and abrasion, and has integral grounding.  Threaded bayonet connector is fully assembled and ready to use
  • Electromagnetically shield cable protects sensitive electronics
  • Gen4 Ionizing Bars and Power Supplies are UL Component Recognized to U.S and Canadian safety standards and are CE and RoHS compliant
  • Power Supplies are 115/230 VAC selectable and come with 2 or 4 outlets
  • Standard lengths from 3″ to 108″ (76mm to 2743mm) are offered, and custom lengths are available to meet your process needs

Successful applications include web cleaning, pre-paint dust removal, shrink wrapper machinery, printing equipment, package cleaning,and bag opening/filling operations.

If you have questions about Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives, other types of Static Elimination products,  or any of the 16 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Image courtesy of Jared Yeh Rainbow Panorama, Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)