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Antistatic Agents

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Antistatic Agents

Antistatic Agents

Antistatic agents are a series of chemical reagents capable of increasing the dielectric surface conductivity and volume conductivity to prevent static electricity. Antistatic agents often have both hydrophilic and hydrophobic areas, similar to those of surfactants. Hence, some surfactants can act as antistatic agents which are widely used in makeup, facial powders, cleansers, soaps, laundry detergents, and body washes to reduce or eliminate buildup of static electricity.

Working Principle

The role of an antistatic agent is to make the material itself slightly conductive, either by being conductive itself, or by absorbing moisture from the air.

Surfactants have a hydrophobic (water-hating) tail and a hydrophilic (water-loving) head. Most of the hydrophobic terminals are adsorbed on the surface of object due to its hydrophobic. Such adsorbent comprises ion exchange, ion pair, π electron polarized absorption, and hydrogen bonding and dispersion forces. The hydrophilic terminals can form a layer of continuous hydrophilic group on the surface. Then a trace of water molecules is absorbed by the hydrophilic group from the surrounding environment. A thin film of moisture forms along the surface, which increases the surface conductivity. Electrons are transferred out into the air, and the potential difference producing the static electricity is eliminated. Ionic surfactants also function by conducting electrons through ions present at the surface.

Antistatic Agents

The antistatic surfactants can be divided into anionic ionic, cationic ionic, amphoteric, and nonionic surfactants. Compared with other antistatic surfactants, ionic surfactant is easier to form water molecule film through absorbing water molecules from the surrounding environment. The ionic antistatic surfactant exhibits stronger adsorption capacity, longer duration, and better antistatic effect.

Common Surfactants Used As Antistatic Agents

There is no way we can do without surfactants in our daily lives. Whether washing dishes, cleansing your face or doing a load of laundry, surfactants make cleaners work better.

Anionic antistatic surfactants

Anionic antistatic surfactants

The commonly used anionic antistatic surfactants are high-grade alcohol sulfate ester salts, aliphatic sulfonate, and high-grade alcohol phosphate ester salt. The feature of the anionic antistatic agent is the excellent thermal stability.

Cationic antistatic surfactants

Cationic antistatic surfactants

The commonly used Cationic antistatic surfactants are alkyl quaternary ammonium salts and alkyl amine salts with 8 to 22 carbon atoms in the molecules. These surfactants have the strongest antistatic ability but poor thermal stability.

Non-ionic antistatic surfactants

Non-ionic antistatic surfactants

The commonly used non-ionic antistatic surfactants are polyethylene glycol fatty acid esters and ethers, polyol-fatty acid esters, fatty amine ethoxylates. These are the lowest irritants to skin among the different types of surfactants.

Amphoteric antistatic surfactants

Amphoteric antistatic surfactants

The commonly used amphoteric antistatic surfactants are betaine amphoteric surfactants, quaternary ammonium carboxylates. These surfactants are with low toxicity, and they have the compatibility with different pHs.

Alfa Chemistry is a professional supplier of antistatic surfactants. For high quality surfactants, professional technical service, use suggestion and latest industry news, please feel free to contact us.

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