Static electricity is a result of inequity in positive and negative charges over a surface. Such a phenomenon is common and often happens due to certain actions. For example, adjusting your feet across a carpeted floor, combing your hair in dry seasons. A common playful among children are rubbing their hands together to form static charge and then sticking to papers etc.
“Your body picks up negative charges, making you more negative,” as explained by Dr. Burkhauser, a technologist and educationist. He further says, “Negative and negative or positive and positive [charges] do not like to be near each other, so they push away from each other.”
Attraction among opposites is a natural phenomenon. Your body is always carrying a negative charge. When you reach for a door handle, the negative charges continue to increase until there is some uncertainty or imbalance created. Once you reach an imbalance, the charges on your hand and metal interact, and due to that imbalance, that metal gives you a shock acting like a spark. You will get a single jerk on your first touch, but if you continue to touch, you will not get any more shocks as you let the charges charge your body. But if you move your hand after the first jerk and hold again, chances are that you might get another zap. This will happen under dry conditions when you touch metal or rub against plastic, or even walk over a carpet. The following video can help you understand the phenomenon of charge diffusion, better.
Static shocks are an interesting phenomenon and can surprise you anytime, anywhere. While touching a surface, if you feel some static shocks, it means that there is some current which is making its path to ground through you. The amount of current will although be ridiculously small, but you can feel it, especially if you brush the backs of your fingers across that surface. Possibilities are that the metal may not be grounded, and current would be flowing through it towards the ground. You could be a medium of flow for it, especially when you are close to some electric appliance that is not properly grounded, and you touch a metal object. This is not dangerous, but it still can be uncomfortable or unpleasant.
To avoid such surprises, here are 7 tips for you to prevent static shocks from touching metal.
1.Changes Your Shoes
Static electricity is a result of contact between two materials. Sometimes while you walk, you might be getting charged and upon contact with any metal service, you may get zapped. Now, this seems ridiculous, but your shoes could be one of the many reasons for this.
Your shoes could be that medium which may be getting charged when you walk. It interacts with fabrics and other surfaces and ultimately creates an imbalance of electrons in your body when you encounter any metal surface. Certain types of shoes can reduce the risk of shock.
Rubber, for example, is a powerful insulator. If you have carpeted floors at home or office, wearing rubber-soled shoes can you put at a greater risk of static shocks? Using leather-soled shoes can decrease this. Wool is also a good conductor and can rub against fabrics to generate a static charge. So at home, opt for cotton socks to avoid static shocks.
2. Get an Anti-Static Wristbands
Anti-static wristbands are wearable devices that you can wear on your wrist and avoid getting static shocks. With just a small investment of less than $10, you can prevent yourself from static shocks.
Anti-Static wristbands work on a technology called passive ionization. There are fibres made of conductive material in these bands. They reduce the voltage levels in your body flowing through your wrist, hence making you less prone to static shocks.
With such a little investment, you can avoid static shocks and also these bands come in aesthetically beautiful designs, which surely will look good on you.
3. Get a humidifier
Static shocks are more frequent in dry environments such as winters. Keeping your home or workplace humid can reduce your risk of getting static shocks.
As per ideal living conditions, your room should be above 30% RH or relative humidity. You can measure the humidity of your home by getting a humidity thermometer online or at your local hardware/DIY store.
Increasing the air humidity level to 40 or 50% RH can reduce the risk of static shock. To get this, you may need a humidifier for your room which again, is available locally at any hardware or electronics store. Humidifiers are cheap. A single room humidifier would cost you no more than $10-20. For large places or rooms, the price may differ.
4. Choose Your Fabric Wisely
Static shocks also depend on the type of clothes you wear and can increase your risk of getting static shocks. Certain fabrics are better at conducting electricity than others and should be avoided.
Wearing layers in general even of similar materials can put you at greater risk of static shock as materials with different electron charges can interact to produce static shocks.
Synthetic fabrics, like polyester, are good insulators. Limiting the use of such materials in your personal wardrobe can reduce the risk of static shock. Wool clothes like sweaters or socks, attract more static charges. Using cotton clothes instead can help.
5. Using a Coin
Using a coin or a metal object can be helpful while handling metal objects. You may first touch the object using a coin so that the charges which are going to surprise you can get diffuse and be friendly towards you. This is also helpful when you are handling doorknobs, car doors, metal utensils, and other metallic objects at home or work.
6. Keep Touching Metal
A simple way to avoid static shocks is to keep touching some metal frequently. You may also keep wearing an anti-static band. In case you do not have one, keep touching some metal objects to diffuse the charges that have formed in or over your body. One simple way is to use a coin to play with. Or remind yourself to touch any metallic object frequently in winters.
- Use A Moisturizer Lotion
It may not be always possible to have a metal object in hand, hence using a moisturizer can help. Since hands are the ones always interacting with objects, so we need to keep them moisturized. You can have a pocket-sized bottle for your daily use and keep your hands moisturized all time. In this way, you can avoid getting static shocks.