Problem: Static electricity can build up a high charge on a material during many processes and in many environments. Friction between idle rollers and film create a charge that can become very high and when the static electricity is not eliminated on time a discharge of the static is likely to happen. This can create fires, especially in area’s with high risk of inflammation where there ar flammable gasses available for igniation. The spark generated by static electricity can cause an explosion. Examples of explosions caused by static electricity are for instance the explosion at the Solvents facility in Kansas and many believe that the explosion that destroyed the Hindenburg was caused by static electricity while most explosions in printing facilities are caused by the buildup of static and the presence of the right mixture of solvents. This often is the case in for instance flexo print machines or coating machines.
Each new friction in machines accumulates charge. Charges can rapidly become very high. Charges over 100 kV are not uncommon. Measurement of the static charge can be done with the help op a static meter, the FMX-004. When a static charge exceeds a certain level, spontaneous discharges and sparks can occur. This, as explained before, may lead to ignition of the fumes, and most likely a fire.
Solution: In explosion unsafe or hazardous zone(with solvents in flammable mixtures) it is very important to keep the static level below 3000 V to prevent spontaneous sparks and discharges. Anti static bars or static eliminators should be places at various stages in the process to keep the level below 3000 V. Products used in this application: P-Sh-N-Ex or Performax Easy EX specially for use in AT(EX) zones.
Full controll of all levels of static in the machine can be achieved by means of using the Manager IQ Easy in these AT(EX) zones. A short video on these special industrial static eliminating system can be found here.
Simco-Ion anti-static bars or static eliminators generate an electrical field which causes the air molecules in the vicinity of the bar to break down into positive and negative ions. Because opposite charges attract, any static electrical charged material passing near the bar will attract ions until the charge on the material is neutralized. The materials will no longer be attracted to each other or to the machine parts. Attraction of dust, explosion or fire hazards and electrical or static shock to personnel caused by static discharge are avoided. Simco-Ion produces and offers a very wide range of antistatic bars in shockless and non-shockless versions, both powered by 24V or by high-voltage-generators: Performax Easy, Performax IQ Easy, Performax IQ Easy Ex, Performax Easy Ex, ThunderION 2.0, MEB, MEJ, 1/2″SS, MaxION, P-Sh-N and the P-Sh-N-Ex. Check out your local agent or distributor to get the best advice on what to use and how to eliminate the static electricity in your process.