One of the ongoing challenges that the packaging and labeling sectors continue to face is the generation of static charges on production lines. The presence of static can result in a number of issues – such as poor print quality, tiny holes that appear in extruded film or blockages in machinery equipment – but dust attraction remains arguably the biggest challenge in a sector concerned with quality control, as airborne particles are attracted to charged surfaces, leading to high reject rates and wastage.
Static arises when an external force causes an electrical charge to move from one material to another, leaving one positively charged and the other negatively charged. Speed and force of the friction, pressure and separation are all factors that contribute to the intensity of the charge, with increased force or faster processes leading to larger charges being generated. If one of the materials is conductive, it won’t hold the charge. But if the material is non-conductive, the charge is unable to move across the surface, creating a static “pool” of electrical charges.