Monday, August 10, 2009

What is Static Electricity?

Static electricity refers to the build-up of electric charge on the surface of objects. The static charges remain on an object until they either bleed off to ground or are quickly neutralised by a discharge. Although charge exchange can happen whenever any two surfaces come into contact and separate, a static charge will only remain when at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical flow (an electrical insulator). The effects of static electricity are familiar to most people because we can see, feel and even hear the spark as the excess charge is neutralised when brought close to a large electrical conductor (for example a path to ground), or a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity. The familiar phenomenon of static 'shock' is caused by the neutralisation of charge.

Static build-up in flowing flammable and ignitable materials

Discharge of static electricity can create severe hazards in those industries dealing with flammable substances, where a small electrical spark may ignite explosive mixtures.
The flowing movement of finely powdered substances or low conductivity fluids in pipes or through mechanical agitation can build up static electricity. Dust clouds of finely powdered substances can become combustible or explosive. When there is static discharge in a dust or vapour cloud, explosions have occurred.

Newson Gale – Anti Static Electricity Solutions

Newson Gale’s solutions are divided into three flexible product categories that are specified for customers depending on the level of safety required to protect people and plant assets from the flammable and explosive hazard.
1. Earth Rite: Wherever there is a real danger of conductive plant equipment and materials accumulating static charge within flammable and combustible atmospheres, Newson Gale's range of Earth-Rite Static Earth Monitoring & Interlock Systems provide added operational safety for critical hazardous area processing and handling operations.
2. Bond Rite: For applications where control switches or PLCs are not available for output contacts, the Bond-Rite range is the best solution for maximising the safety of processes generating static in hazardous areas.
3. Cen Stat: The Cen-Stat range of clamps, cables and reels are single circuit applications that rely on high strength mechanical circuits to dissipate static electricity from potentially charged equipment.