What is Alpha Ionization?
Static charges tend to develop when different materials rub against one another. Some materials pick up excess electrons, resulting in negative static charge, while other materials give up electrons, resulting in a positive charge. If the charged material is non-conductive (as are films, glasses, ceramic, and plastics), then the static charge remains.
NRD’s polonium 210 element emits alpha particles (positively charged helium atoms) that collide with molecules of air, creating a supply of oxygen and nitrogen ions sufficient to neutralize both positive and negative static charges to zero volts without ozone creation. After they provide the neutralizing power for static to be eliminated, the ions recombine with each other again and become normal air.
This method of ionization is always balanced, unlike electrical ionization, which cannot maintain <± 5 volts. Because of this method, alpha ionization is not limited to emitter pins, which is used by corona ionization to create ions. Corona ionization will go out of balance and the emitter pins need to be maintained and replaced, whereas alpha ionization remains in constant balance.
Alpha particles collide with surrounding air molecules, creating pairs of positive and negative ions. No external energy source is required as it is with corona solutions. Alpha ionization is not limited to an emitter point, as it is with electrical, 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 locations
- 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 electrical solutions
Ideal Uses for Alpha
Applications with temperature extremes (-40°C to 180°C)
Areas with tight confines, like a handler
Alpha Safety and Reliability
NRD uses an 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. Our alpha line of products are intrinsically safe.
No maintenance is required on the ionizers other than a yearly replacement of the source.
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 emit ions, not nuclear energy. And they do not cause any measurable exposure.
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