Antistatic additives for plastics


The Antistatic additives for plastics are special additives for reducing the build-up of static electricity as well as the electric charge in the case of plastic products. The antistatic additives help in reducing the buildup of static charges on the surface of plastic which if not used to reduce the static charge buildup will hamper the processing procedures.

Also, the antistatic additives help in reducing hygiene as well as aesthetics issues due to charges(Grob et al., 1999). These additives are majorly added during processing and molding procedures and are mixed with the plastic matrix during extrusion as well as these migrate to the surface of the plastic. Also, these are used in association with conductive fillers for improving anti-static efficiency. The commonly used antistatic additives for plastics consist of ethoxylated amines(Yanjin, 2003) fatty acid esters as well as quaternary ammonium compounds along with alkyl phosphates and alkyl sulfonates.

The major role of antistatic additives for plastic is based on making the plastic surface conductive as well as improved absorption of moisture present in surrounding air. The major application of the antistatic additive in plastic is during transportation of the plastics as well as during processing along with filling and handling bulk plastics. In addition to this, these additives are useful for avoiding dust which is a major problem of catch by packed products by plastic films.

Working of anti-static additives:

These anti-static additives help in reducing the static build-up on the plastic surface. The plastic surfaces are majorly electrical insulators and thus have the support of high static build-up. Thus anti-static additives help reducing static which gets produced due to charge separation as well as the movement of one material over another. These additives reduce the resistivity of the plastic materials and help in neutralizing the surrounding static field. The anti-static additive help in eliminating issues related to high static in plastic-like dust attraction to surfaces as well as electrostatic discharge (ESD). These are added to plastics while the compounding as well as injection molding.

 The work is based on utilizing a co-continuous ion-conductive polymer phase in case of long term anti-static activity. Majorly the ions play the role of charge carriers present in the additive and help in dissipating the static field.

In the case of anti-static additives in plastics, the major role is to control or limit ionization. For plastics the use of anti-static additives like high impact polystyrene helps in reduces the static buildup by decreasing the surface resistance. 

Thus, the additives decrease the static electric charges which make the plastics conductive, as well as help in improving interaction with moisture in the atmosphere and ultimately results in the formation of a microscopic layer of water on the plastic surface. This moisture layer helps in the production of conductive path useful for static dissipation.

Types of anti-static additives for plastics:

The anti-static additives are major of two categories internal as well as external additives.

  • The internal anti-static additives are added in the blending process of plastic manufacturing which occurs at the extrusion level as well as molding. The addition of the molecular additive is done by blended homogeneously with the plastic which helps in building the required surface resistivity useful for electronics packaging. After the cooling of the mix, the antistatic additive migrates to the plastic surface and starts picking moisture from the environmental air. 
  • The external anti-static additives are dissolved into a solvent which is then sprayed and also can be applied as a coating on the plastic. It is a topical coating which is not blended with the plastic material, thus there is a risk that this additive might be rubbed off which reduces the effectiveness of the product in the long term (Huang et al., 2004). 

The antistatic additives area further categorized on basis of the type of plastic, and thus chemical structures of the additives vary. The two major groups of anti-static additives for plastics are non-ionic as well as ionic additives.

  • The ionic additives are majorly used for plastics that have relatively high polarity. Also, they are further categorized as cationic compounds and majorly consist of quaternary ammonium salts.
  • Also ionic contain anionic compounds which consist of phosphorus which are phosphoric acid along with phosphates and used for polyvinyl chloride as well as polystyrene.
  • Also, the non-ionic additives are used for polyolefins and consist of amide derivatives i.e. alkoxylated amides as well as glycerol esters(Hochberg et al., 2001).

Advantages of using Antistatic Additives for Plastics:

  • These anti-static additives provide a permanent as well as immediate effect
  • Also it doesnot alter the properties of the host plastic material(Ding et al., 2004).
  • These are helpful for reducing the handling problems while transportation as well as storage along with packing in case of plastic products with high static electricity.
  • Also, these additives are helpful in reducing dust attraction and thus affects the performance as well as the appearance of the plastic products
  • These are beneficial in avoiding the risk and hazard of electrical shock to employees who work with plastics and customers that use them
  • Also, the anti-static additives are helpful in decreasing the hazard of electrical discharge which might cause an explosion or erupt a fire(Markarian, 2008).

Characteristic features of anti-static additives for plastic: 

 •Majorly these compounds are hydrophilic as well as possess hygroscopic properties,

• These additives have the property of ionization in water these additives have ions enhance the conductivity of water.

• Majority of anti-static additives have the ability to migrate towards the plastic surface material(Dudler et al., 2000).

Application of antistatic additives for plastic:

The raw material which is majorly used in the production of packaging film in the food industry is polyethylene which is made with the significant addition of anti-static additives. It is used in the production of foils, bottles as well as packaging, containers along with drinking water pipes(Hausmann, 2007). The use of anti-static additives is vital as this plastic surface has a high level of resistance which makes it essential to avoid the electrostatic phenomena and prevent the accumulation of various charges.


Q1: What are antistatic additives for plastic?

Ans: Antistatic additives are also known as surfactants help in decreasing the polarization of plastic products.

Q2: How antistatic additives for plastic work?

Ans:  Antistatic additives which are added during extrusion and moulding of plastic products work by decreasing the surface resistivity of plastic materials as well as static electricity causing charge dissipation. Thus these additives help in reducing the risk of occurrence of the adverse electric shock phenomenon.

Q3: What are different categories of anti-static additives for plastic?Ans: On basis of the addition of the additives to the plastic they are external as well as internal additives. But on basis of charge, they are categorized as ionic and non-ionic additives. The ionic additives are further of two types:

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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