Static electricity can be a downright nuisance in certain industries and workplaces. Fortunately, we have several conductive products at our disposal that assist with mitigating this persistent issue and, at times, even preventing it from happening altogether.
One of these tools is the anti-static brush. In this article, we will learn what anti-static brushes are and how anti-static brushes work.
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How Do Anti Static Brushes Work?
The way anti static brushes work is that they provide electrostatically charged materials and products a means to discharge that energy. The anti static brush is placed in very close vicinity of or in direct contact with the material or surface that is accumulating the charge.
This close proximity enables the conductive fibers to take up the charge on the surface of the product or any object that it is being rubbed against.
What Types of Anti Static Brushes are Available?
There are mainly two types of anti static brushes. Ones that you have to connect to the ground and ones that you can use without having to connect them to the ground.
Anti Static Brushes that Require Grounding
The kind of anti static brush has to be connected to the ground so that it may transfer the conducted charge safely without endangering the product, personnel, or surrounding items.
It is typically used in manufacturing setups and industrial settings. Your brush will be mounted after the place where the charge is being generated on the material.
When trying to install this type of an anti static brush, you need to make sure that you ground it properly. Accurate grounding is what ensures that your brush works effectively and dissipates the accumulating electrostatic charge.
If you are using a single brush or a few brushes mounted at some distance from each other, you can screw, tape, punch, or drill them on individually. If you are using multiple brushes at a time, you can use a mounting bar for convenience’s sake as well.
Anti Static Brushes that Do Not Require Grounding
On the other hand, you also have brushes that do not require grounding, but still provide the same anti static benefits. These are used for a variety of purposes. One of the most important ones is for the sake of cleaning sensitive electronics such as phones and computer parts.
When trying to clean such sensitive electronic components, using a regular brush can produce static electricity on the surface which can disrupt the function of the sensitive transistors and ICs. An anti static brush prevents this from happening as it resists the production of static charge due to friction in the first place.
Similar to this, you have anti static brushes that are designed for the cleaning of vinyl records as well. These brushes attract the minute dirt and dust particles that can block the microscopic grooves of the disc and hamper the sound quality.
You can even get anti-static hair brushes that save you from dry, frizzy hair after you do a comb through, particularly during the cold winter seasons.
Why Do I Need to Use an Anti Static Brush?
Electrostatic energy is usually generated because of contact, rubbing, and friction. We see a lot of examples of this in our daily lives as well as in manufacturing industries.
If the static charge finds a point to conduct to, it can produce a significant enough discharge that can either cause injury or damage the material in question. An anti-static brush allows you to mitigate such a potential hazard by giving the charge a safe unloading point.
Where Are Anti Static Brushes Used?
The use of static eliminating brushes is very common in the packaging industry. These brushes are also convenient to use for flat, sheet-like surfaces, which is why they are a common find in equipment that deals with paper, including printers, copiers, and machines.
Hands free anti static brushes that are not tethered have limitless applications. You can use these anti static brushes for the purposes of brushing your hair without making it frizzy due to static charge.
You can use anti-static brushes that are designed specifically to help clean vinyl discs without causing them damage due to friction. You even have extremely delicate brushes that are manufactured to enable you to successfully and carefully clean sensitive electronics.
How to Select the Ideal Anti Static Brush?
One of the things you need to figure out is the material of the brush fibers. You have the option to choose between nylon fiber, carbon fiber, and even stainless steel fiber. These fibers are able to conduct charge and are generally quite flexible and pliable to adjust to the movement of the material surface against them.
While steel and carbon fibers have quite a small diameter at 8-12 microns, nylon fibers are relatively thicker at 45 microns. The latter is the least rigid material out of the three options, although it is not as conductive.
Can the Anti-static Brushes Cause Damage Due to Contact?
This is a concern that many people have about using anti-static brushes. Considering that it is an abrasive material and texture, you are right to worry about damage due to contact and friction.
The best and safest thing to do is to invest in anti-static brushes that are made from non-abrasive materials that will not scratch up the surfaces of your products and materials. Look for brushes that have filaments made from a soft and flexible material, such as carbon or nylon.
Well crafted stainless steel fiber brushes are also well suited if you are concerned about friction associated damage.