Static Eliminator develops when the balance between Protons, which have positive (+) charges, and Electrons, which have negative (-) charges (normally they are equal in numbers) in atoms, is disturbed. This can happen because of induction, friction, and separation. What actually happens is that sometimes the Electrons migrate to another atom, leaving less or no negative (-) charge to counter the positive (+) charge of Protons. Factors that assist the move include humidity and temperature.
While Static Eliminator does have certain benefits, it also carries a high-risk factor. Billions of dollars are lost annually because of process problems it causes in industry, like damage to costly equipment and materials, quality variation in products, shocks, sometimes fatal, to workmen, fire, and explosion. Static electricity attracts dust. Electronic components, which are usually expensive, are particularly vulnerable to it. Therefore it is often necessary to eliminate static electricity.
Static charge can be neutralized through different methods. One is to reestablish the equilibrium by supplying Electrons. Another is to ground or earth the charge. Leaking out static electricity by using charged particles called ‘ions’ is also an effective technique. Efficient equipment and systems are available to achieve the objective. It is advisable to seek expert opinion to tackle the problem. A specialist would measure and analyze the static electricity and suggest the appropriate countermeasures, which are generally known as static eliminators.
Several types of general and case-specific Static Eliminator can be used. Ionized air circulated with high-velocity air blowers will not only neutralize static in the area but also blow away the accumulated dust. In some instances, pulsed Direct Current (DC) bars are used. There is a cord made of special polyester that conducts the static electricity and grounds it. Static bars are also used. Other static eliminators include antistatic spray for optics, disk drives, metal rolls, and photographic materials. Antistatic brushes using resistance flow remove dust and static charge. In labs where static electricity control is required, solid vinyl tablemats are effective. Strap-on heel grounders earth the dangerous charge. There are even adjustable wristbands that give protection from static electricity.