Electrostatic surface charges are common in most coating and laminating operations where insulating (non-conductive) materials are processed at very high web speeds. The static charges cause a myriad of production problems ranging from:
- electrical shocks to operators.
- to the attraction of airborne contaminants on the surface of the material.
- to hazardous environments due to the presence of volatile solvents.
The most dangerous situation arises when a spark from a static discharge occurs in the coating/laminating area, that is saturated with volatile vapors, and ignites a fire. ATEX approved static elimination equipment is required in these environments to neutralise static charges and thus prevent fires. Outside the hazardous area ionising bars and blowers can be used for unwind and rewind stations.