Welcome everyone, today we are going to learn
about static electricity. And this is Paul, he works for Bekaert, the
industry leader in antistatic fiber technology. Paul, how does static electricity work?
Well, it is an imbalance between negative and positive charges in objects.
But what does this mean? You have probably experienced it yourself
when you pulled off a woolen sweater the hairs on your
arms stood up, well, that’s electrostatic energy!
In practice this could be bad like when touching electronic parts…
or even people. But even without a woolen sweater, there’s
always a chance static electricity could build up.
However, Bekaert has a practical solution for these problems, just watch these examples. Paul is inspecting a gasplant.
With each step he, he becomes more and more charged due to the rubbing of
his arms with his clothing. Charged Paul touches a gas tap and he feels
a spark. Paul has to repair a gas leakage.
He walks through the gas plant and with each step he takes he becomes more and more charged.
The charges are coming from his feet and from above due to the rubbing of his arms with
his clothing. Charged Paul approaches the gas pipe which
has a gas leakage and touches the pipe. Paul is heading over to a production unit.
He comes in the proximity of a charged BigBag and the charges are attracted to Paul’s clothing
Charged Paul approaches a metal gas pipe which has a gas leakage and touches the pipe. Well Paul, these examples have shown us how
static electricity is created: Electrostatic energy builds up in 3 ways:
through the movement of a person like the contact and separation of their shoe soles
and the ground. Also, through the contact of a person’s clothing
and their body. And lastly, by induction, for example when
a person comes into the electrical field of a charged object.
And what affected the charge your body built up in these last examples? Two factors: one,
the resistance of a body person to the ground. The higher the resistance, the higher the
charge. And two, the atmospheric humidity- the lower
the relative humidity, the higher the charge. Paul is inspecting the plant but this time
he’s wearing antistatic shoes in addition to the antistatic
workwear. When he walks, the charges created by rubbing
his arms against his clothing are immediately grounded. No sparks or explosions occur when he touches
a metal gas tap or pipe. Paul is heading over to the production unit
but this time he’s wearing antistatic shoes in addition to the
antistatic workwear. He comes in the proximity of a charged Bigbag
and the charges are attracted by Paul’s clothing by induction.
The charges immediately flow over Paul to the ground.
When Paul moves away from the charged Bigbag, the flow of charges from the Bigbag to the
person stop and the remaining charges leave Paul and are grounded Well Paul, why do we need to be grounded?
To prevent charge build-up on a person and their clothing, and to provide static charges
on a person or on their clothing a path to ground to prevent shocks or explosions in
the future. How can we ground ourselves?
In potentially explosive atmospheres, personnel are grounded by wearing antistatic shoes in
combination with antistatic garments. We hope Paul demonstrated the advantages of
wearing proper protection and from now on we hope you’ll keep it safe too!
As a bonus, we have some scientific footage from our lab proving how efficient our product
really is. Stay safe! Stay grounded!