Electrostatic Discharge for Plastic Painting Efficiency

For most things in life, there’s a direct relationship between effort and results. If you want to improve your golf game, you need to play regularly.  If you want to be an authority on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, then you’re going to have to hit the books.  But occasionally there are some low-effort shortcuts available that make positive contributions to our everyday lives.  Perhaps they are not life transformative, but when they come along, you scoop them up as a freebie.

If you do plastics painting, you’re already well-aware of the many variables that impact quality…which can be particularly challenging if the parts need to be visually perfect. Spray equipment, paint, flow rates, dispersion patterns, technique, and parts preparation are all important variables in the process.  There are, however, other subtle variables that can negatively impact part quality if not properly addressed.  Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is one of those variables.

 Most plastic painting processes address electrostatic discharge in some way. Those who don’t control this variable risk inconsistent paint application and the dreaded “R” word…rework.  Commonly used grounding methods include the use of clip & wire assemblies, foil underlining, and parts carriers with integral grounding mechanisms.  If you’re using a clip & wire assembly, or foil underlining, then this is where the “freebie” aspect I mentioned earlier comes into play.  Foil underlining is effective, but prone to failure with tears and messy paint build-up.  Clip & wire assemblies work well, but many users are burdened with buying individual components and assembling themselves.  Pre-built, ready-to-use clip & wire assemblies, customized to your specific process and needs are readily available.  Mueller Electric has been in the grounding business for over 100 years and offers a wide range of solutions.


Mueller ready-to-use grounding assemblies offer:

  • A customized solution that fits your exact need (clip selection, wire selection, wire length, cleanable/reuse)
  • Cost Savings. The assembly is oftentimes LESS expensive than buying the individual parts and assembling in-house yourself
  • Rework & Scrap reduction with reliable connections

Here are a few commonly purchased Plastic Painting Grounding Solutions by Mueller Electric:

  • AI-000422 Assembly: Quick-disconnect clip design enables the clip to gently slide off the painted component. Large conductive contact area, ensuring a solid grounding connection and firm, non-damaging grip
  • AI-000443 Assembly: Recommended for fully-automated part painting processes that require a rugged connection on the discharge end of the assembly 
  • AI-000441 & AI-000448 Assemblies: Used in applications requiring highly-reliable, extra-firm clip connection on both sides of the assembly to prevent inadvertent disconnection

For more information, contact Mueller, or download our Grounding Cables for Painting Guide.  Mueller offers free samples to test/validate your process, delivered OEM direct or through your preferred supply chain partner.

For more information on grounding, read our whitepaper Static Electricity and Grounding in Industry.

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