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General

  • What is static electricity?

    Static electricity is electricity that occurs in bad- or non-conducting matter like many plastics. In these isolating materials an electrical charge can be induced by different types of actions. These actions that cause static-electricity are usually based upon friction between materials or seperation of materials. The static charge or static electricity does not move, hence the word static, and since it does not move or flow it is not possible to neutralize by means of earthing the material(connecting to earth). A static Voltage can exist between charged spots on the same material, the material and earth and the material and other material because of difference in the number of electrons and protons. This voltage can be measured. The static discharge of the material(spots) can often be seen and heard as a spark.

  • Is static electricity visible?

    The presence of static electricity can not be seen without the aid of a conducting element or method to make the static electricity move or neutralize (partially). This flowing or discharging of the object can be seen and heard and the discharge normally makes a spark. This spark can, when strong enough, both be seen and heard. In production environments the high static charge can be seen as a “glow” surrounding the material.

  • Is static electricity ac or dc?

    Static electricity is a form of dc electricity or better a dc charge. The container of this charge usually is an isolator with negative or positive charged molecules on the surface. This charge is steady and not alternating in polarity. On the same isolating surface however there can be multiple “spots” that contain a charge with a different polarity. So on a surface there can be both one or more negative and one or more positive polarity charges but the charge itself does not change in polarity in time and is therefor a dc charge.

  • Is static electricity harmful?

    Static electricity is a form of electricity and when discharging it consists of an electrical current. Usually this electrical current is small(smaller than 1mA). It is low in potential harmful energy but it is high in Voltage, usually some kilovolts. The effects of static electricity normally are considered to be more annoying than being dangerous but for sure it can be harmfull to people. More detailed information about the dangers of static electricity and electricity in general on the body can be found here.

  • Is static electricity dangerous?

    Static electricity is a form of electricity and when discharging it consists of an electrical current. Usually this electrical current is small(smaller than 1mA). It is low in potential harmful Energy but it is high in Voltage, usually some kilovolts. The effects of static electricity normally are considered to be more annoying than being dangerous but for sure it can be harmfull to people. More detailed information about the dangers of static electricity and electricity in general on the body can be found here. Static electricity can be discharged by means of a anti static bar or ionizer, please have a look at our solutions for static electricity pages to find your solution.

  • Does the weather influence static electricity?

    The weather influences the level of static electricity because of the humidity conditions in the air. The humidity conditions make the flow of charge more or less easy and therefor is the weather a strong influence on the level of static charge. In humid conditions a high charge can more easily move since water is a strong conductor and therefor more easily find a way to balance hence reduce to zero. In “dry” weather charges move less easy and the buildup and discharge create normally a stronger spark. There are many factors from the weather that influence the buildup and discharge of static electricity.

  • Do cat hair and dog hair attract to my clothing because of static charge?

    Charged objects attract dust and small particles and also hair from your cat or dog or other pets. This is because the fabric of your clothing is synthetic meaning that they are not natural fibers but man-made by means of joining monomers into polymers. Some of the polymers used in your clothing are polyester, fleece, polyamide or nylon and these can generate and/or hold a static charge and therefor attract dust and hair from your pets.

  • Is dust attracted by static electricity?

    Static charge on objects attracts dust(and other small particles) from the surrounding area. Dust is being attracted towards all objects that hold a high enough static charge. Old TV’s were the best example that a charge attracts dust. These old TV’s had a charge of up to 30kV and were after a few years completely polluted with dust.

    Objects in your home can be charged with high voltages and therefore attract dust from the surrounding.

    In Industrial surroundings static charge on a material can build up along the process. Friction between idle rollers and film or the cooling process of objects creates a charge. Each new friction or temperature change accumulates charge. Charges can rapidly become very high. Charges over 100 kV are not uncommon. Static charge on material will attract particles from the surrounding. This is usually dust, but can also be other contaminates including small flies. In most cases this is unwanted and should be prevented. Special care should be taken when films run close to the floor because attraction of dust is inevitable. Solutions can be found by means of installing  anti-static equipment and Simco anti-static bars. Please have a look here to find a suitable solution to your problem.

  • Can people be charged with static electricity?

    Static electricity is produced when the positive and negative charges of an atom are out of balance. Some objects such as wool, glass, human skin and hair are more likely to accumulate electric charges and have static electricity. Usually this electrical current y dicharging is small(smaller than 1mA). It is low in potential harmful Energy but it is high in Voltage, usually some kilovolts. The effects of static electricity normally are considered to be more annoying than being dangerous but for sure it can be harmfull to people. More detailed information about the dangers of static electricity and electricity in general on the body can be found here. Static electricity can be discharged by means of a anti static bar or ionizer, please have a look at our solutions for static electricity pages to find your solution.

  • How is static electricity generated?

    Static electricity is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object. When completely in balance no charge can be measuerd. Imbalanced charges can build up on the surface of an object until they find a way to be released or discharged by sparks or other means. Rubbing certain materials against one another is one way to create a static charge by transfering negative charges, or electrons from one to the other non-conductive material.

  • I see sparks or feel shocks by touching an object

    A charge can exist between human bodies and this can lead to a discharge. This happens when the charge between bodies is different in polarity and/or the difference between the similar charges is high enough. The discharging or the normalization of the difference between the charges occurs when people touch eachother. This discharging of the electrical charge can be felt by means of a little shock. Sometimes it can also be heard. To read more about static electrity please check our FAQ.

  • Can static electricity cause a fire or an explosion?

    Static electricity is a form of electricity and when discharging it consists of an electrical current. Usually, this electrical current is small(smaller than 1mA). It is low in potential harmful Energy but it is high in Voltage, usually some kilovolts. The effects of static electricity normally are considered to be more annoying than being dangerous but for sure it can be harmful to people. More detailed information about the dangers of static electricity and electricity in general on the body can be found here. Static electricity can be discharged by means of an anti-static bar or ionizer, please have a look at our solutions for static electricity pages to find your solution.

Repair

Static charging

  • How can I use static charge to improve a process?

    An electrostatic charge can be very useful! Materials can be charged deliberately to make them bond temporarily. Static charge can be an invisible helping hand in your production process. This method is already used in many processes in various industries. Some examples are:

    • Block a stack of paper or magazines to prevent shifting during transport or packaging.
    • Fix an address label to a brochure before the brochure is packed in a wrapping film.
    • Keep the last bag of a roll (e.g. Garbage bags) fixed to the roll to make packaging in a carton easier
    • Bond a small section of a film during winding on a roll to prevent the roll from telescoping.

Static elimination

  • How is static charge created?

    The most common method of charge generation is triboelectric charging. Whenever materials are brought into close contact, a charge exchange may occur between the surfaces of the two materials. The magnitude of this charge exchange will depend on a number of factors, but the result is two oppositely charged objects when the materials are separated. The second common method of creating static charge is known as inductive charging. This occurs when a charge is “induced” on an isolated conductive object that is brought into the field created by the charge on another object.

  • What is an ion?

    Air ions are molecules of one or more of the gases that make up air (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc.) that have gained or lost electrons. If they lose electrons the molecules have a net positive charge, and are “positive ions”. If they gain electrons, the molecules have a net negative charge, and are negative ions. Air ions are a normal constituent of outdoor air, but natural ion levels are too low to be used to neutralize static charge in indoor environments.

  • How does humidity affect static charge?

    The moisture content in the air affects the conductivity of certain insulating materials and their ability to hold static charge. The higher the relative humidity (>50%), the higher the conductivity of these materials. Conversely, the lower the humidity (<30%), the more insulative these materials become and the more charge they hold. Logically, it would follow that high humidity would be an effective means of controlling static. However, even under high relative humidity, unacceptable levels of static charge can be generated and remain for long periods of time. Additionally, high humidity can contribute to other problems including oxidation and soldering difficulties. Using high humidity as a means to control static charge is slow, uncomfortable, expensive, and often ineffective.

  • How can I control electrostatic charge in my (production) facility?

    No single method exists for controlling all static problems. The proper use of equipment and remedial procedures help cure most static problems. Grounding:

    Static on a conductor can be easily controlled if the object is grounded. Grounding provides a path so that charge can migrate to ground, effectively neutralising the charge. However, grounding an insulator does not work, because charges do not migrate on insulators. Antistatic or static dissipative materials:

    Insulative materials, usually plastics, that are made conductive with the addition of carbon or metal fillings. The conductive dispersion can be adjusted depending on the amount of fillings added to provide resistivity ranging from fully conductive to dissipative. Ionisation:

    Air ionisers work by flooding the atmosphere with positive and negative ions. These ions are attracted to ions of the opposite polarity on a charged surface. As a result, the static electricity that has built up on products, equipment and surfaces is neutralised. Education:

    Training personnel and making them aware of electrostatic issues and the need for antistatic gloves, suits, smocks, and wrist/heel straps can make a large difference in the amount of problems that occur in a production facility.

  • Which type of ionizer do I use in my application?

    There is no “best ioniser technology” for all applications. The application will determine the appropriate type to use.

    This depends on the following factors:

    • Charge Neutralisation. How effective is the ionizer at reducing static charge?
    • Impact on static problem. Does the ionizer help reduce or eliminate the static problem?
    • Environmental considerations. Does the environment use laminar, turbulent, or even no airflow?
    • Installation considerations: Distance, power distribution and control.
    • Operation: safety considerations, maintenance, reliability, and warranty, cost.
  • Where to mount a static control device?

    position it too far “upstream” the charge could be regenerated by rollers or other static generative processes.

    How far from the material? This depends on the type of static eliminator – there are short range, and long range static eliminators. Whichever type you use, the life of the ionised air produced is limited and generally good guidance says “the closer the better” subject to the minimum distance specified by the manufacturer.

    The material should be in free air! This is a very important rule which is often ignored. When a material touches another object, such as a roller, the static charge couples with that object and is not available to be measured or neutralised. If you put an anti-static bar to neutralise film when it is travelling over a roller it will not be effective. This is probably the most common mistake in the installation of static control equipment.

  • Can I connect (old) analogue 24V anti static bars to the Manager IQ Easy?

    You can use 2 (old) Analogue devices on port 5 and 6 of the Manager IQ Easy. This can be the ThunderION or Performax IQ Easy.

    These devices will get the 24V from the manager and will indicate the HV OK signal from the bar to indicator if the bar is functioning OK. (Not OK means red Warning)

    The bars can be set to run or standby or switched with remote on/off via the Manager IQ Easy.

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