Controlling Static in Industry

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Static control for the plastic industry

Static electricity can be a major problem in the plastics industry because of the non-conductive nature of the materials used in its static generative processes. For further information on where a material sits in terms of conductivity see the Triboelectric Scale

The most common problems faced by the plastics industry are:

  • Process Control
  • Quality and Product Rejection
  • Dust Attraction and Contamination
  • Operator Shock

 

Process Control

Static issues occurring during plastic processing will often cause material misbehavior. This can result in reduced process speeds and other expensive manual intervention in order to prevent parts sticking, jamming or mis-feeding. The correct choice of static eliminator when properly mounted should eliminate these issues.

 

Quality and Product Rejection

If static electricity is present and as is likely the case being generated by a plastics process, there is a better than average chance that product faults will occur resulting in the inevitable product rejection. Even if there are no visible faults during production, having static present on a part can still cause contamination and operator shock at a later stage.

 

Dust Attraction and Contamination

The attraction of dust and airborne particles are of particular concern in processes where there is zero tolerance. Contact lenses, pharmaceutical packaging, electronic screen production, automotive finishing and an increasing number of other types of production have increasingly high standards for the end product. Dust and other contaminates which are attracted to the static charge on a product or part can result in unacceptable and costly rejection rates. These issues can be easily addressed by the correct type of static eliminator used in the correct location. Incorrectly located static eliminators can actually contribute to the problem and best case scenario do nothing. See coupling effect

 

Operator Shock

While most operator shocks from static discharge are painful, they are for the most part relatively safe. Certain medical conditions and the presence of flammable materials can of course escalate the severity significantly. Operator shocks are often the result of static charges which accumulate creating a "battery effect" when they combine in collection bins and assembly areas. The secondary actions of an operator after receiving a static shock are where the serious concerns arise. It is typical to recoil or jump when a static discharge occurs and if there is any dangerous equipment or material in the immediate vicinity this can add a significant risk to health and safety.

 

There are usually cost-effective answers to most static problems in plastics and the place to start looking for these is by browsing through the Fraser Anti-static website for background information and general advice.

For customers` specific applications Fraser can offer a range of market-leading equipment wherever you are located.

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