Alpha ionization is slowing becoming the static elimination solution of choice for many organizations because of its flexibility, reliability, lack of maintenance, and ability to perform in environments where corona is not an option. NRD is the only company to offer advanced alpha ionization technology and has spent over 30 years perfecting safe, effective solutions that meet the demands of customers worldwide.
What is Alpha Ionization?
Alpha ionization uses Polonium-210, a naturally occurring radioisotope found in the soil, plants, vegetables, etc. Exceptionally effective as an ion source to neutralize static charges, Polonium-210 releases a form of energy known as alpha energy.
Alpha particles collide with surrounding air molecules, creating pairs of positive and negative ions. And since only airflow is used to move the ions, no external energy source is required as it is with corona solutions. Also, alpha ionization is not limited to a single point, as it is with corona, so it is a very effective and predictable method of ionization. Static charges are neutralized right at the source, with the ionization process remaining in constant balance. That translates to improved results and cost efficiencies.
- Ideal in high and low temperatures (-40C to +180C)
- Safe in volatile or solvent-laden environments
- Works in both air or nitrogen
- Flexible enough to fit in most location
- No monthly calibration or maintenance required
- No fuzz balls or nano particles
- No voltage offset or balance wander
- No balance readjustments necessary
- No outside power source necessary
- No risk of electrical shock
- No downtime or yield losses
- No radio frequency interference
- More cost effective than corona solutions
Ideal uses for Alpha
- Applications with temperature extremes (-40°C to 180°C)
- Areas with tight confines, like a handler
- Applications involving Class 0, highly static sensitive parts
- In fields of high technology, electronics manufacturing and testing
Alpha Safety and Reliability
Because there’s still not a lot of understanding about alpha ionization yet, the question of safety frequently comes up. However, Polonium-210 poses no hazard to workers or materials. In fact, after several decades of field use in NRD products, there have never been any safety concerns.
NRD uses a patented encapsulation process to lock the radioisotope inside a solid foil of pressure-welded gold and silver, assuring the most safely sealed ionization source available, resistant to oxidation, extreme temperatures, and exposure to solvents. And, since alpha energy is not capable of penetrating even paper, there is no possibility of it causing exposure from outside your body, even if an NRD ionizer unit is subject to the types of impact or vibration common in industrial use.
- Polonium-210 can’t escape unless the foil is ground into a powder. It’s integral to the foil.
- Radioactivity half-life of Polonium-210 is 138 days.
- All but .01% of the radioactivity turns to lead within 5 years.
Alpha Quality Standard
Naturally, our products must meet stringent quality and production testing. In addition to our own comprehensive tests, they have successfully completed all tests and evaluation programs required by the U.S. government including, ANSI N542 and ISO 2919 standards.
To maintain peak performance and conform to government regulations, NRD alpha ionizers are available to customers on a convenient, one-year lease. Each leaseholder is notified prior to their lease expiration and provided all the necessary information to obtain a replacement ionizer. No maintenance is required on the ionizers other than the yearly replacement.
Did you know?
There are many types of nuclear energy and not all are scary. Many everyday products, materials and activities–similar to alpha ionizers–can produce minute, yet measurable exposures, including:
- Smoke detectors
- Gas cooking ranges
- Medical X-rays
- Bricks and masonry
NRD ionizers use a safe, effective, totally encapsulated source of nuclear energy. They blow out ionized air, not nuclear energy. And they do not cause any measurable exposure.
Typical sources of natural and man-made radiation