What is Static Charge and how do we combat it?

Static electricity is nothing new and can be encountered on a daily basis, but the impact can be more troublesome when static charge is transferred into a controlled environment and exposed to flammable substance.

If you are suffering from any of the following problems the cause might well be static electricity.

  • High rejection rates
  • Quality problems with final products
  • Particulates being attracted to your product
  • Misaligned labelling
  • Packaging problems on your filling line
  • Operators experiencing shocks
  • Electronic products being blown

What is Static Electricity?

A charge can be created when bringing two different materials into contact with each other or separating them, this is caused by the movement of electrons surrounding the objects. If one material attracts electrons more than the other, it’s possible for electrons to be pulled across creating a negative charge, whilst the other material has lost electrons, causing a positive charge. Ultimately, then a static charge is created.

Static electricity is nothing new and can be encountered on a daily basis, most of us have experienced the effects of the Van de Graaff generator.But the impact can be more troublesome when this is transferred into a controlled environment, working with sensitive electronic goods or where it can cause quality problems in product fill-finish and packaging areas.

How to Stop Static Charge?

Like most process parameters, if you can’t measure it then it is difficult to control it. Using electro static sensors, makes it possible to identify levels of static building up, this can help determine any potential causes in the process. In recognising the potential cause, you can either look to rework the process to avoid the build up or you can utilise Ionizers to neutralise the charge.

These SMC sensors available from BioPharma Dynamics give a clear visual of out of parameter readings using a RED/GREEN display.

Electrostatic charge can be reduced by using products designed for this purpose, such as vacuum pads manufactured from conductive materials, or Anti-Static Hose, Tubing and Fittings. As well as specially modified air cylinders to reduce the static build up.


What if having identified the problem areas and reduced the static as much as possible, you still find yourself with a problem?

This is the time to consider your options to neutralise the charge being generated.

The method you choose is as much about your process and application as anything else. From bench mounted fans and nozzle ionizers, to Bar Ionizers (340mm to 2500mm). Or even dedicated box ionizers, which have built in sensors, which automatically start the unit as the product is introduced.

There are a variety of options to suit every application, in our next blog we will be highlighting these options, helping you to understand and identify which method works for you.


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