How can I eliminate static electricity when spray-painting?

Question: We are currently experiencing difficulties with static electricity in our paint booth. All of our products cannot be cleaned well enough before topcoating and we are looking into several solutions, but wondering which actually works.  I also can’t  get the color to go on evenly. The sprayed paint seems to dance before landing on the sheet in funny patterns.

Answer:

In the painting industry, electrostatic discharge is a constant challenge in a world where perfection is the only option–and dust and static are a constant. Static attracts dust and unwanted particles, making it very difficult to keep surfaces clean, causing blemishes in paint finishes and other work surfaces. It’s absolutely essential to eliminate static from the environment–at every stage of painting–in order to avoid costly reworking.

Specialty ionizers for the auto body industry are used to eliminate surface contamination. These ionizers allow you to keep the surface clean so you can avoid unnecessary reworking and buffing, saving both time and money.  The guns work twofold: as a forceful blow off gun that easily removes particulate from surfaces and as a neutralizer to remove the charges responsible for the attraction of contaminants to product surfaces in the first place.

Anti-static wipers have been developed to clean off surfaces and can be used to clean surfaces as well.  Static is caused by friction, so wiping down surfaces to remove dirt can actually make the static problem worse.   The anti-static wipers are made with a specially designed fabric that will not tribocharge and will not lead to more static buildup.

ESD inspection/assembly gloves are designed to be worn when handling items that can be affected by static. They are made with dissipative nylon fibers that reduce charge generation. The gloves will decrease contamination to parts due to oils, dust and fingerprints.  Cut resistant ESD inspection gloves are also available if you must handle items with sharp edges such as glass and metal.

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