Identifying sources of static can help uncover the shocking truth

10-05-2022

Identifying problem areas where high static voltage develops allows precautions to be taken – these can include grounding contact points and using ionising devices to neutralise static charge.

An invisible enemy in many manufacturing contexts, static electricity has the potential to cause severe and costly damage without detection or warning. A spark discharge can start a fire or ignite an explosion, and static electricity is also notorious for causing sensitive electronic components to fail.

Static electricity can lead to jams in machinery, and in an industrial setting, a large enough charge can accumulate to result in a hazardous shock to a person. Static can attract dust to materials, may cause product to cling to itself and increase the risk of tearing.

Surfaces that are in contact and then quickly pulled apart can develop a static charge, which is an imbalance of positive and negative ions between them. Static electricity also commonly builds up as a result of friction between two non-conductive surfaces. Identifying problem areas where high static voltage develops allows precautions to be taken – these can include grounding contact points and using ionising devices to neutralise static charge.

The EXAIR 7905 Digital Static Meter is a handheld diagnostic tool that can pinpoint and measure voltage and polarity of static charge, indicating up to ± 20kV at 25mm away from the surface being tested. The instrument can also indicate when there is a risk of an electric arc forming.

Operating the meter is very straightforward – after zeroing the scale, it simply needs to be moved to 25mm from the test area. The static voltage and polarity will be indicated on its screen, with LED illumination making it easier to see in dark spaces.

As a precision diagnostic tool, the EXAIR 7905 is accurate to within 10 percent of its full scale, and certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The instrument also features a hold button to freeze readings, and an auto power-off function that switches it off after one minute from when the ‘power on/hold’ button is last pressed. With the recommended 9V battery, the static meter offers roughly 200 hours of usage time.

 

 

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