The Effects of Static During the Printing Process
Did you know that a buildup of static electricity during the printing process can result in misprints and missed deadlines? Here are a few common issues caused by static build-up:
- Substrates & films can stick together – Static can cause sheets to cling to one another, which may lead to printer jams and misprints.
- Dust – When substrates are charged with electrostatic they tend to attract dust and lint particles. A tiny spec of dust might look more like a mountain once your print is complete.
- Ink droplet influence – Similar to dust particles, ink droplets can be manipulated (influenced) by static electricity. Your final product may be altered if the ink is repelled from its intended destination or drawn to improper areas on your substrate.
So how can you tamp down the effects of static electricity during printing?
- Use a humidifier – Adding moisture to the air (especially during the colder months) can help prevent static electric buildup as the charged particles will harmlessly bond with the water in the air.
- Static eliminators – There are various tapes, brushes, wands, and articles of clothing that are used to neutralize static.
- Wet wipes – While you wouldn’t use wet wipes on a sheet of PVC you are about to print on, you may want to consider wiping down equipment, carpet, or furniture in the surrounding work area. Commercial anti-static cleaners can help eliminate static but might leave behind a residue on your print surface that may lead to ink adhesion problems.