Abstract For maximum energy input in an electrostatic precipitator, the field distribution at the collecting plate must be as even as possible. It must be realized, however, that there are peaks in the field distribution at exposed points such as stiffening elements. Spark-over is most probable to occur from these points. In this report the static field at profiled collecting elecrodes has been analyzed using a combined conductive paper—computer aided design technique. The presented results verify that the field strength rises significantly in local areas: investigations of the field distribution at collection electrodes of new design are of great importance therefore if sparking at too low a voltage is to be avoided.