Static eliminators are products used to protect sensitive objects and materials from the hazardous effects of static electricity. Static electricity refers to electricity that is at rest, which is produced as a result of an unbalance in the molecular structure of insulating materials such as paper and plastics, producing either excessive positive or negative charged particles known as ions.
Common ways that these excessive charges are produced include friction, separation and changes in temperature, all of which result in the need for static eliminators, because a disproportionate amount of ions can be harmful to objects and materials, resulting in such ill-effects as fire hazards, minor electrical shocks to workers and equipment damage. One way to determine if static electricity has developed is through the use of a static meter. Once the presence of static electricity is established, the next step is to neutralize the effects of static electricity, or at least combat them as well as possible through electrostatic discharge or ESD products such as anti static mats, anti-static spray, ionizers and anti static gloves. Other forms of ESD protection include corona treaters, static brushes, static bags and ground straps. These static control products are utilized in many industries including electronics, semiconductor, printing, automotive, medical, residential, plastics and power generation.There are two main types of solutions to static electricity: active and passive. A static control solution is passive when it reduces the surface charge of the static electricity through absorption. They are a less effective method of static control than active since they simply reduce rather than eliminate static electricity, the passive static control methods do not require power and include electro-static induction and grounding. Electro-static induction works to control static electricity through using a body or material, such as a static brush, which possesses a charge of static electricity that corrects the proportion of ions by developing a charge of static electricity of the opposite character in the desired object. The two objects do not need to be touching, but should be in close proximity to one another for effective induction to occur. Another couple of examples of static eliminators that work by induction are anti static mats and static bags. Grounding also controls static electricity without power, but in a much different method. Grounding works by establishing a direct electric connection to the earth, providing an outlet for excessive electrical charges. The most common type of static eliminator that controls static electricity is a grounding strap. Grounding straps are often used in the industrial manufacturing industry to ground various machinery and equipment.
- The failure of a product caused by electrostatic overstress.
- A substance that maintains the ability to transmit an electrical charge. Conductors have high electrical resistance.
- Product damage, resulting from static electricity or ESD, in which the product works at a lower level of efficiency, but has not yet failed.
- A measurement reflecting an object's ability to carry an electrical charge. A conductive object with low electrical resistance can transmit a high level of electricity across its surface; a non-conductive object with high electrical resistance transmits little or no electricity across its surface.
- The electrical charge generated when two objects contact each other and separate, a process called "triboelectric charging" or "tribocharging."
- The release of electrical energy, usually caused by the shift of electrons from one object to another as the objects come into contact with and separate from one another. ESD occurs between two objects with different electrical potential and may reduce product effectiveness or cause product failure.
- A circumstance in which an object is exposed to an electrical current greater than that to which the object is normally exposed. Stressing a product past its tolerance may result in reduced product effectiveness or product failure.
- A process in which an object containing an electrical charge connects with a conductor, such as the earth.
- An increase in an electrical field's strength that may result in static electricity.
- A substance with little or no ability to carry an electric charge. Insulators have low electrical resistance.
- A term synonymous with "anti-static."
- A measurement indicative of a conductive object's electrical resistance.
- An object's ability to carry a charge throughout its surface. An object that is static dissipative ranges between conductivity and insulation.
- A major cause of ESD in which a charge is created when electrons shift from one object to another during the contact and separation of the two objects with one another.