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Question How does an Ionizer Reduce Static Charges?

Typically a surface has a positive or negative charge (at times an insulator can have a positive charge on some portion and a negative charge elsewhere).

Atom protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charge. If equal, there is no charge. It balances out. If it has a negative charge, after contact and separation, a material received an excess of electrons. If it has a positive charge, after contact and separation, it lost electrons and has a deficiency of electrons.

Ionizers are designed to provide a low offset voltage, and provide an airflow of a near equal amount of positive and negative ions (an ion is a cluster of molecules). If the material’s surface has a positive charge it will attract negatively charged ions while repelling positively charged ions. Until balanced or neutralized, then the surface will basically ignore the ionized airflow.

We caution that ionizers can at times do more harm than good. If out of balance, instead of neutralizing a surface, it will put a charge on the surface equal to the amount of the offset voltage. So auto-balancing is an important product feature as is out of balance alarms.

Ionizers should be tested periodically for both polarity’s discharge times, and for offset voltage balance per ESD Association Technical Report ESD TR53-2006

Compliance Verification of ESD Protective Equipment and Materials. The most accurate tool to use for this is a Charged Plate Monitor. Alternatively, a portable battery operated Ionization Test Kit can be used.

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