Static electricity is a serious risk when working with fragile electronic equipment. When you discharge static electricity, it causes static shock or electrostatic discharge. This electrostatic discharge can damage electronic equipment. It can also cause explosions when working with flammable liquids or gases. To reduce the risk of static electricity, we use antistatic devices.
These devices prevent the buildup of static electricity. They either absorb or dissipate the static electricity, preventing static shock. Antistatic devices are thus useful in protecting electronic equipment or preventing explosions. Antistatic jackets or coveralls are some of the devices you can use as antistatic devices.
So how do antistatic coveralls and jackets work to prevent static shock and prevent damage? They usually make antistatic coveralls and jackets of conductive material. This distributes any built-up static electricity through the fabric. The distribution of static electricity prevents the accumulation of static electricity in one place and allows the dissipation of static electricity to the ground.
This article will shed more light on further aspects relating to this question. These include:
How static electricity can cause damage.
Why we need to use antistatic coveralls and jackets.
How antistatic coveralls and jackets work.
How static electricity can cause damage
Static electricity can damage fragile electrical components. It can even cause explosions in gas, fuel, or coal dust clouds. To explain why this is possible, we have to look at static electricity in further detail.
When we talk about static electricity, we mean an imbalance between electrical charges in objects. We can create this imbalance when rubbing two objects together. The one object gives up electrons, and the other object collects electrons. The separation of the objects leads to a charge imbalance.
In simpler terms, when two surfaces contact and separate it causes an electrical charge. When one of the surfaces has a higher resistance, it leads to the storage of electrical charge. In other words, it stores the electrical charge as static electricity because it doesn’t flow away.
A typical example of this is when you shuffle your feet across a carpet. When you touch someone afterwards, you can feel, hear, and even see the spark when the excess charge neutralizes. On a bigger scale, but based on the same principle, we have lightning.
But why can static electricity be dangerous? When the charge neutralizes, we call it static shock or electrostatic discharge. This means that there is a sudden discharge of the stored static electricity. We usually experience it when we touch someone else or a metal structure. This discharge can also happen when we work with delicate electrical components.
A simple spark from your finger can damage sensitive electrical components. In fact, a charge as little as 25 volts can damage an electrical circuit. The human body and its clothing can store an electrostatic charge of between 500 volts and 2500 volts during a normal workday. You can generate and store up to 12000 volts by walking across a vinyl floor.
In relative terms, you can thus generate and store a large amount of electrical charge. This amount is capable of damaging an electrical circuit and making it unusable. Also, the amount of charge necessary to damage such a circuit is far lower than the amount you can feel. You can thus damage the circuit without even knowing or realizing it.
Taking this into account, you can now see that you have to reduce the risk of electrostatic discharge.
Why we need to use antistatic coveralls and jackets
We need certain measures to control static electricity. As computers and electronics become more common in consumer products, there is an increasing need for these measures. They reduce the risk of electrostatic discharge and include the use of an antistatic device.
People are the greatest source of static electricity in the workplace. We thus need to limit the amount of static electricity generated by the human body. To do this we can use antistatic jackets and coveralls.
Antistatic coveralls and jackets fall under the broad category of antistatic clothing or garments. This category also includes shirts, shoes, trousers, and the like. They are an excellent complimentary precaution to prevent electrostatic discharge. As such, they can be used with great success as part of an overall strategy to combat the occurrence of electrostatic discharge.
How do antistatic jackets and coveralls work
We need antistatic coveralls and jackets to reduce the occurrence of electrostatic discharge. They prevent damage to electrical components and prevent explosions when working with flammable liquids. But how do they work?
There are multiple types of antistatic jackets and coveralls. One type has conductive threads or materials woven into them. The conductive threads absorb the static electricity and allow it to be discharged into the ground if it is grounded.
These threads also form a grid throughout the garment. This grid forms a Faraday cage effect around the wearer. A Faraday cage is an enclosure that blocks electromagnetic fields. This cage wards off external static and non-static electric fields by channelling electricity around the object.
This effect prevents the electrical charges generated by the wearers clothing from damaging sensitive electronic devices. The threads also lower the static charge generation of the jacket or coverall.
The other type is made of a material that minimizes friction. When we reduce friction, we reduce the generation of static electricity. Keep in mind that with this type of garment static charges won’t be stored and discharged into the ground.
It is important to remember that many antistatic garments are not conductive enough to provide grounding. For this reason, you should use these garments with antistatic foot straps or antistatic wrist straps.
Whichever type of anti-static clothing you use, the goal is the same. The goal is the safe dissipation or elimination of static electricity. When you reach the goal, you prevent potential damage caused by electrostatic discharge.
You require antistatic jackets and coveralls to prevent damage to electrical components. Depending on your setup, it may also prevent fires and explosions when working with flammable liquids and gases. They are an important part of a static electricity control program.
There are many styles to choose from, but antistatic properties should be the most important factor in choosing an antistatic jacket or coverall. You should ensure that your jacket will be suitable for your application. Thereafter, you can choose fabrics, collars, sleeves, and colours.
If antistatic jackets and coveralls are properly suited to their application and they fulfil their requirements, they make up an integral part of any antistatic toolbox.