Long range static neutralisation
Most converters are familiar with standard static eliminator bars which are placed 5-10cm from the film or paper. For many years longer range static elimination depended on Ionised Air Blowers which transported the ions to the target with air from built-in fans, or air-assisted short range static eliminators.
Long range neutralisation is needed in numerous areas of the converting industry:
- Where the geometry changes, such as on winders.
- Where the product is unsuitable for close neutralisation, such as in non-wovens.
- Where three-dimensional products are being produced.
- Where wide areas have to be neutralised.
- Where personnel need the protection of an ionised air shower.
Ionised Air Blowers were not suitable for many of these application as dirty factory air would be blown onto the product or personnel. They were also large and expensive. In the late 1980s technology was developed in the electronics industry to transport ions without air assistance. By separating the positive and negative polarities and having a slower frequency ions could be pushed outwards from the static eliminator towards the object without air movement. The static charge in the object then “sucked in” ions of the opposite polarity to neutralise itself. This is shown in the illustration below.
Ionstorm & 3024L
Products using this technology were not very powerful and quite expensive until 2004. In that year Fraser Anti-Static, a UK based manufacturer of static control equipment, launched the first version of Ionstorm, a pulsed DC Bar which used a high voltage of 12kV and up to 400µA of current. Ionstorm was the first high power long range static eliminator and set new standards for cost-effective static neutralisation.
Since then there has been continuous performance improvements and cost reductions in this technology, such as the new 3024L Bar and the hugely powerful Jupiter.
The latest addition to the Fraser range is the 3024L Bar which was launched earlier this year.
Fraser claims that it incorporates the most advanced power electronics ever used in commercial static control products.
Since its launch the 3024L has shown itself to be the best compact, long range static eliminator bar available, offering an unbeatable performance – cost relationship. The 3024L is best installed at distances from 100mm to 500m from the product. It has tungsten emitters and is powered by 24V DC. The 3024L has been tested for use in ISO Class 5 Cleanrooms.
3024L Long Range Static Eliminator:
The photos show the 3024L on film winders, but it is equally effective in other wide area and long range applications.
Ionstorm is a versatile system with a separate controller, which makes it cost-effective for multi-bar systems. Ionstorm is able to neutralise static charge at distances up to 1m. It incorporates:
- Multiple Bar systems in series or with connector boxes.
- 24VDC or 115/230V operation.
- Replaceable tungsten emitters.
- Adjustable settings to allow the operator to customise output to meet particular job requirements.
- Remote monitoring.
Ionstorm Bar and Controller:
Ionstorm equipment has been proved in thousands of installations worldwide. Some of these are shown below: (Left – On a Film Winder, Right – Neutralising plastic bottles in a filling line hopper)
The most powerful long range static eliminator Bar in the Fraser range is Jupiter. This robust Bar was launched in 2010 and can neutralise static charge at distances up to 2m using its 30kV output. Like all Fraser static eliminators Jupiter has a resistively coupled output for safe operation. Additional benefits include;
- 24VDC operation
- Remote monitoring.
- Tungsten emitters maintain optimal performance.
Replaceable if worn or broken.
- “On bar” indication of operation.
- All control and high voltage parts in-bar
and encapsulated for reliability and safety.
Ionised Air Blowers
Ionised Air Blowers have not been completely replaced by higher tech long range static eliminators. Blowers are still used for specialist applications where air movement is required to transport the ions to the object.
Fraser manufactures two ranges of ionised air Blowers. In addition to the heavy duty Model 2000 Series a range of smaller, compact blowers have been developed, called the 2050 range. These are available for applications such as RFID where a balanced ionisation is required to penetrate the packaging process.
Left – The 2050 Ionised Air Blower for RFID Applications, Right – Longer Models in the 2050 Range: