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FAQs

Workers get shocks

Problem

A very common problem is when people get static shocks from working close to objects that carry a high electrostatic charge. Problems occur when machine operators come close to highly charged materials eg. film on a roll at a winding or unwinding section.

A direct spark can jump from the object to the person which is unpleasant and sometimes dangerous. The person can also become charged by standing close to the charged object. A spark will occur only when the person comes near to a grounded metal surface.

Solution

How can you stop static shocks? In both cases, the solution is not related to the person. The solution is to prevent a high static charge building upon the object. Static charges should be reduced by fitting anti-static devices at the last stage off the process, where the person gets a shock or becomes charged. In most cases, this will solve the problem. Occasionally the charge generation is so high that the object needs to be discharged at other points throughout the production process. The anti-static equipment in the last stage will then reduce the remaining charge to a safe level.

We recommend

ThunderION

The ThunderION anti-static ionising bar makes long-range ionisation possible, without air assist. Being innovative in both design and functionality. This market leader offers long-distance static elimination, over one meter, consistently outperforming its nearest rivals. The robust design of the reinforced extruded profile allows the use in industrial environment up to even 5 m length.

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The process is disrupted

Problem

The build-up of static charges on non-conductive objects can create enormous adhesion forces. These forces cause materials to stick together or repel each other at locations in a production process creating disruptions.

Examples of adhesion:

  • The plastic film sticks to the idle roller causing disruption in the web tension and web guidance.
  • Small punched parts stick together
  • Sheets on a stack stick causing feeding of multiple sheets
  • Plastic film wound on a roll sticks to the roll when trying to unwind
  • Bags do not open because the layers are stuck together

Examples of repelling:

  • Yarns for textile travel alongside at very small spacing. Repelling causes irregular spacing
  • Small injection moulded parts jump out of the box
  • Sheets float on a stack
  • Film on a roll during winding is telescoping

Solution

Placing anti-static devices at strategic positions in the process will help to reduce the static charge and eliminate the problem. Depending on the process various anti-static devices are available for flat surfaces, 3D objects, low speed and high speed and with additional air support if required.

Static damages the material

Problem

Static charge on a material can build up along the process. Friction between idle rollers and film create a charge. Each new friction accumulates charge. Charges can rapidly become very high. Charges over 100 kV are not uncommon. When a static charge exceeds a certain level, spontaneous discharges and sparks can occur causing damage to the material or electronic equipment in the vicinity.

Solution

Work backwards in the process from the point where sparks have occurred. Place anti-static ionising bars prior to the idle roller. In most cases, static charges are too high to be eliminated by one stage of anti-static bars. Additional anti-static bars are needed to control the static charge from the beginning to the end of the process.

My customer has problems with my material

Problem

Static charge in a material can cause problems when this material is used in its next production phase e.g. tubular film used to make bags or a film on a roll which has to be unwound. Due to static charges on the film, the layers will cling together, this will cause issues when trying to separate the layers of material.

Solution

Start the neutralisation as early as possible in your process, when the layers are still separate because when a static charge is in between two layers it is almost impossible to neutralise. Throughout the whole production process, anti-static equipment should be fitted to keep static levels as low as possible, so preventing a static charge build-up between the layers.

Static can cause fire

Problem

Static charge on a material can build up along the process. Friction between idle rollers and film create a charge. Each new friction accumulates charge, charges can rapidly increase becoming very high. Charges over 100 kV are not uncommon. When a static charge exceeds a certain level, spontaneous discharges and sparks can occur. This may lead to ignition of the fumes, and most likely a fire.

Solution

In explosion hazardous zones it is very important to keep the static level below 3000 V to prevent spontaneous sparks. Anti-static bars should be placed at various stages in the process to keep the level below 3000 V.

I want to prevent dust attraction

Problem

Static charge on a material can build up along the process, friction between idle rollers and film creates a charge. Each new friction accumulates charge, these charges can rapidly increase becoming very high. Charges over 100 kV are not uncommon. Static charge on a material will attract particles from the surroundings. In most cases, this is unwanted and should be prevented.

Solution

Place anti-static equipment at various strategic locations along the production process.

To prevent air inclusion

Problem

Static charge can be used to bond 2 materials together to prevent air entrapment. Applications that benefit from this technique are

  • During bag making, parts of the bag are held together to prevent air inclusion during finishing.
  • A roll of bags or film will be much tighter without air inclusion.
  • Sticking material to a cooling roller without air inclusion optimises the cooling process 

Solution

The materials that need to be bonded have to pass a charging electrode. Opposite to the charging electrode a ground reference is positioned, e.g. an idle roller. A static charge can be applied ranging from 3 kV to 120 kV depending on the material thickness, speed and adhesion force required.

To temporarily bond 2 materials

Problem

Static charge between two surfaces can create enormous adhesion forces. These forces can also be used in a productive way in all kinds of production applications.

  • Keep materials together to prevent shifting during cutting, punching, laminating or packaging
  • Position a label for In mould labelling or on a magazine prior to packaging
  • Keep extruded film on the cooling roller to prevent shrinking

Solution

The materials that need to be bonded have to pass a charging electrode. Opposite to the charging electrode a ground reference is positioned, e.g. an idle roller. A static charge can be applied ranging from 3 kV to 120 kV depending on the material thickness, speed and adhesion force required. 

To optimise a process

Problem

Static charge can be used to optimise a process. Proven applications include:

  • Charge a small section of a film during winding on a roll to prevent the roll from telescoping.
  • Charge a surface to make the dispersion of fluids on the surface more homogeneous.
  • Assist in better paint distribution.
  • Material separation e.g. separation of recycled plastic.
  • Use static charge as web tension device.
  • Use static charge as web positioning
 

Solution

The aforementioned applications are very complex and need a comprehensive knowledge of the process and charging techniques. eStat Solutions have extensive knowledge and experience and are able to help you find a suitable solution.

On a moving web

Problem

It may be necessary to remove particles from a moving web for the following reasons:

  • Remove particles that can damage material during winding or stacking
  • Remove particles prior to printing, coating or laminating
  • Remove particles for quality assurance for food or medical-grade products
  • Remove particles after cutting, punching or slitting

Solution

eStat Solutions provides a range of products for surface cleaning. Selection of the most suited systems depends on a number of factors:

  • Width of the material
  • Speed of the material
  • Is contact by brushes allowed
  • Level of cleanliness desired
  • Quantity of particles
  • Web tension
  • Space restrictions in the machine

Using CleanION Systems

Problem

CleanION web cleaning systems have been designed to neutralise static charges and, at the same time, to remove particles, even at higher velocities! Each CleanION system is designed to meet specific production requirements. A variety of vacuum hood configurations and dust collectors are available to ensure maximum cleaning and static neutralisation for each application.

For all web widths, there are vacuum hoods for non-contact cleaning or contact (brush) cleaning. Vacuum hood configurations are adapted to their individual need. Three basic principles are used:

  • High vacuum /low volume full contact cleaning
  • Medium vacuum/medium volume contact cleaning with air assist
  • High vacuum/high volume non-contact cleaning with balanced air assist
 

Solution

A vacuum hood is constructed with a specially shaped suction slot. Prior to the suction slot, the substrate will be neutralised by an anti-static ionising bar. This removes the adhesion force caused by static electricity and creates an ideal basis for the cleaning. Contact systems use a soft brush to loosen particles from the substrate prior to cleaning. Contact cleaning with air assist and non-contact cleaning systems use an MEB Air Knife to blow against the movement of the substrate to force particles into the suction slot. Non-contact cleaners use a closed-loop blower system for the vacuum and blowing air. The web is guided through the double-sided cleaning heads that provide excellent web guidance.

Dust collectors are available for each specific system ensuring maximum cleaning efficiency. All dust collectors are equipped with durable three-phase 400V motors. This process can also be used for sheet cleaning.

Please contact eStat Solutions for detailed advice tailored to your specific situation. CleanION cleaning systems are very versatile and can be used for many applications and processes.

Of a 3D object

Problem

Cleaning of a 3D object can be performed efficiently by using ionised air. Ionised air can be produced by ionising air nozzles, air guns or an air knife using compressed air. For large installations e.g. car parts or a complete car, bodies are it more economical to use blower driven blow-off systems. Depending on the application, manual cleaning with a handgun or automated cleaning can be used. This process can also be used for sheet cleaning.

Solution

Typhoon blower drove ionising air knife system, please contact eStat Solutions for detailed advice tailored to your specific situation.

To count bags

Problem

High voltage arcing can be used in a controlled way. A spark from a special electrode to a ground reference can be detected and evaluated. Perforations in plastic webs can be detected and counted. A Perfomaster provides the hardware and software to generate a controlled spark over, detect this and evaluate the spark to produce a pulse signal. The pulse signal is available on the output connector and can be used for counting the detected spark and thus perforations.

Solution

Counting perforations with a Perfomaster to determine the quantity of bags to go on a roll.

In a moving web

Problem

Perforations in a web.

Solution

Perforations in moving webs can be detected with a special detection bar and a high voltage generator. Perforations will be detected but not localised. A special HD-R or HD-C charging bar is mounted over a roller to create a strong electrical field. A perforation in the film will create a spark through the material and will generate an output signal on the charging generator. Due to the strong electrical field, placement of anti-static ionising bars after the perforation detection is mandatory.

In products

Problem

Perforations in products can be detected using high voltage to create a spark through the perforation. A common application is testing the injection point of injection moulded products e.g. yoghurt pots, bottles and containers.

Solution

A special electrode can be placed under the product. Inside the product, a ground electrode is placed opposite to the injection point. Even very small perforations can be detected that cannot be detected by vacuum or pressure systems.

 

To determine the position of a material

Problem

Perforations in a web material can be used to determine the position of the material in the machine. The perforation can be the 'tear-off perforations' of bags or a deliberate perforation made to determine a position. Perforation detection with the use of high voltage is not dependant on the material surface and can also be used with transparent materials. When a perforation passes between the high voltage electrode and a ground electrode, a spark is generated. This spark will be detected and a pulse signal will be available for use by the machine control system.

Solution

Detect the perforations with a Perfomaster