Anti Static Paint
Introduction to Anti Static Paint
Anti static paint is a paint to put on surfaces such as walls, floors etc where anti static properties are required. Why? Static electricity is a common phenomenon that most of experience on a regular basis. In most cases, however, static electricity is a nuisance such as when we get a shock when touching a door knob after walking on a carpet. In other situations, static electricity can be a real problem and even be a safety concern. Modern manufacturing plants of certain goods, as well as warehouses, and industries that extract or process flammable materials need to constantly be on guard against stray static electricity. For many of these situations, anti-static paint is a solution to the problem.
How does anti static paint work?
- Static electricity is an electric charge that stays in one place, hence the name “static”. Most of the time we think of electricity in terms of a current or movement of electrons through a conductor. Static electricity can accumulate in poor conductors that are constantly being rubbed.
- To prevent static electricity from building up, there needs to be a conductive material present to for a circuit that the electricity can follow to dissipate the charge. One of the most common and visible methods to accomplish this task are through the use of ground straps that are attached to people or machines that handle sensitive electrical components such as computer hard drives.
- The other method of controlling static build up is through chemical means. Conductive polymers and solvents made from deionized water and alcohol are added to coating materials such as paint to create anti-static paints. When the solvent evaporates after application, there is a thin skin or coating of conductive material that is left behind. This is the fundamental science behind anti-static paints.
Applications For Anti-Static Paints
While anti-static paint can be used almost anywhere, industry applications are most often found in:
- Semi-conductor manufacturing facilities where the need to control static electricity is necessary throughout the entire manufacturing floor.
- The hard disk drive industry is a large user of anti-static paints in their clean room environments where incredibly sensitive read-write recording heads are attached to the rest of the components of the disk drive. Even the smallest build up of electricity can ruin thousands of read-write heads in an instant.
- Large refineries where crude oil is turned into petroleum products are heavily dependent on anti-static paints throughout their plants. Even the smallest spark created by static electricity can be catastrophic in these plants where highly volatile petroleum vapors are constantly present.
- The Pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is also a heavy user of anti-static paints in their manufacturing environments as well as in warehouses that store the different components used in the manufacture of pharma. Many of these components can be highly flammable in their powdered form and the danger of fires is significantly reduced when the facility is protected with anti-static painted surfaces.