It may be hot and muggy now, but by October dry air will sweep in to the Upper Midwest and beyond. This is the beginning of what we call ‘static season’.
Static electricity by definition is stationary. It is the result of the ‘Triboelectric effect’ – two materials rub together and produce an electric charge. These charges sit on surfaces and not necessarily in even amounts. As with any electrical potential, it will flow to a conductor. Moist air – high dew points – can conduct electricity better than dry air – low dew points – with temperature being equal. In the moist environment the electrical charges can find conductors at low potentials. Once dry air moves in and the air is an insulator, the potentials can reach harmful levels. Electronics, motors and people can be at risk. A few years ago, Bursten made a static dissipative brush ‘wand’ for a building wrap manufacturer to conduct away absolutely deadly static potentials that would occur if their web broke.
There is a mantra in the static control industry to eliminate the potentials totally and there are some instances where that is important. From our experience in solving harmful static charges, we just need to keep the potentials moving away so they do not build up to harmful levels. The fact that of moist air keeping charges down proves that.
To completely eliminate static requires devices that use electricity and require adjustments depending on humidity levels. This is a lot of expense and maintenance to work towards a goal that could be overkill.
Bursten conductive brushes offer passive, effective static electric dissipation. They can be made as wide as the affected area to reach the ‘pools’ of high electrical potentials across the whole surface. Our stock aluminum brush holders give mounting options. Some are strong enough to wipe light particulate off of conveyor lines, while still dissipating static. Another can stand off the electrically loaded surface and still reduce static to harmless levels. This is important for printed plastic webs.