EXAIR’s Super Ion Air Knife Stops Painful Shocks to Operators on Slitting/Rewinding Operation

During a recent trip to South America while visiting our Distributor in Lima, Peru I had the opportunity to look at a few applications at an abrasives manufacturing plant. The company manufactures a wide range of abrasive products as well as adhesive tape.

Before we dive in to the application, let’s discuss static generation. There’s three ways that static can be generated. The simplest method of static generation occurs when two non-conductive objects come into contact with one another and separate. Electrons are transferred from one object to another according to the Tribolectric Series. The second method of static generation occurs as a result of friction. When two materials rub together, especially if increasing force presses the objects together, electrons can also transfer from one material to another increasing the static charge. The final method, and the one occurring in this particular application, is detachment static buildup. Due to the large contact surface area, significantly greater static charges can be generated.

Triboelectric series showing the propensity of a material to gain/lose an electron

They had several converting applications that were causing static issues in the plant. The primary concern was the operators that were constantly getting shocked whenever they had to change out the rolls. A side concern was that there was occasionally a buildup of static that resulted in the product jamming, causing production to be stopped while they fix the jam and re-feed the material.


The application that I’d like to highlight was on a slitting and rewinding machine. A roll of plastic film was fed through rollers where it is slit into three different sizes and then re-rolled. As the film separates from the roll, a high static charge is generated. After each operation, an operator had to go in and remove all (3) rolls from the machine. Each time he was zapped as he touched the roll. This not only affects productivity as they’re hesitant to remove them quickly, but was also a major concern for their safety department.

The proposed solution was to install (2) Model 112006 Super Ion Air Knives, one above and one below the plastic film just after it was slit. All EXAIR Static Eliminators produce an equal quantity of both positive and negative electrons. So, regardless of if the charge is positive or negative there’s sufficient ions to neutralize it. After installation, the static charge was immediately removed. The operator, although hesitant at first, was able to remove the finished rolls from the machine without getting a nice jolt! As an added bonus, they also no longer had an issue with the material periodically jamming in the machine.

Don’t let static problems cause problems in your process or potential harm to your operators. With a wide range of different Static Eliminators available from stock, EXAIR has a solution available that will quickly take care of it for you. Reach out to an Application Engineer today, you’ll be shocked (no pun intended) at how quickly you’ll notice an improvement.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Super Ion Air Knife Set to Eliminate Static in Polystryene Foam Board Extrusion

Perhaps you have seen the blue or pink foam boards used to insulate anything from basement walls to garage doors, to walk-in freezers. The stuff is used everywhere in building trades and for any application that requires a great deal of insulating value from a rather thin piece of material.

One of our customers manufactures these foam boards and was having a good deal of difficulty with static electricity within the process. The static electricity in this process was being generated between the Polystyrene board and the Teflon sheet used to create the smooth finish within the calibrator section of the extruding process.

Specifically, the static field was forming where the Teflon sheet peeled away from the material. Whenever you separate two insulating materials which are in contact with one another, an amount of static will form at this point. In this application, the resulting problem was that the conveyor drives did not have enough power to overcome the friction created by a meter wide foam board providing resistance to the flow of the material through the die. Also, operators received frequent static shocks from the material if they even came close to the side of the process.

In the video, you will see the actual extrusion process with the calibration die which has the white Teflon sheet.  The Super Ion Air Knife was not installed at the time the video was taken, but it gives a good perspective of what the customer has to deal with.

Once the customer installed (2) model 111242 (42” Super Ion Air Knife kits) where the blue foam exits (one for top and one for bottom), the conveyor drives no longer had problems moving the material and the operators were safe to come into close proximity to observe.

Sheets of fiberglass, polypropylene, ABS and other polymers are extruded into sheet form in a similar way. In the past we have solved other similar static issues when the process involves a “carrier” type of material to set the surface of the extruded material and subsequently removed by a peeling action.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer