Static ElectricityDenoting or pertaining to electricity at rest. How simple and inadequate this definition is of a phenomenon that creates problems which cost industry millions of dollars per year. A clearer understanding can be gained by explaining lightning. Static electricity in the atmosphere remains at rest until the potential gradient between clouds reaches a level that causes the insulator between clouds, in this case air, to break down or fail, and lightning is created to equalize the potential gradient. For the brief instant the lightning flashes, the static electricity is no longer at rest.
How Static Affects Product QualityStatic electricity is a well known but little understood phenomenon that affects many industries and diverse environments. It can be something of a phantom - impossible to see, touch, or smell. However, the results of static charge buildup are quite noticeable. These results include potentially dangerous electrical shocks which can cause decreases in productivity, machinery jams, fires, and explosions. Static charges can also cause severe damage to sensitive electronic components, requiring costly rework and/or field service repair.
Four Approaches to Controlling Plastics ESDStatic electricity is a little like a bomb waiting to explode. Its energy, therefore, must be managed. The relevant question is: How can a material respond to electrical energy as a shock absorber reacts to mechanical energy? Or, foam rubber to audio energy? Or, more specifically, how far should resistance to electron flow be lowered?
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
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