Clearing the Static

31 August 2020 News

Ionisation and static control

Electronic products normally consist of conductors and insulators. Within the ESD-protected workstation, insulators can be found on products such as PCBs, onthe tools being used, tapes for masking, and even plastic cups or bins. A static charge on an insulator cannot be drained by grounding alone, as you could with a conductive material, which is why ionisation is required.

Greg Barron.

To effectively remove charges from insulators, the surrounding air needs to be more conductive and static charges need to be neutralised. Air ionisation is one of the most effective ways of increasing conductivity to prevent electrostatic charge generation and consequent ESD events from occurring.

How do ionisers work?

Ionisers create large numbers of positively and negatively charged ions that are distributed through the air using fans. If there is a static charge present on any of the work-surface items, it will be reduced and neutralised by attracting opposite polarity charges from the air. This process of charge neutralisation happens within seconds.

Ionisers improve workstation and product safety by:

• Eliminating charges on process-essential insulators.

• Neutralising workstation air where ESD-sensitive objects are being handled.

• Neutralising charges on non-essential insulators.

• Removing charged particulates and

minimising triboelectric charging.

*Information credit: Desco Europe: How does Ionisation fit into an ESD Control Programme? | 18 February 2019

Through our static control division, Altico, Actum Group specialises in ESD control within the working environment.

Contact us on +27 11 608 3001 or to enquire aboutour cleaning solutions.


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