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Understanding static electricity




There are two forms of electricity: static or current when working with electronics, current electricity is usually more common, but static electricity is important to understand as well.

Static electricity prevails when there is an increase of opposite charges on objects divided by an insulator. Static (as in “at rest”) electricity exists until the two groups of opposite charges can find a path between each other to stabilize the system.

Understanding static electricity
Understanding static electricity

Static Electricity

When the charges do find a means to even up, a static discharge takes place. The charges begin to attract in such a great manner that they begin to flow through even the finest insulators (air, glass, plastic, rubber, etc.). Static discharges can be detrimental, this can be dependent on the type of medium that the charges pass through and the type of surface the charges are transferring. Charges balancing through an air space can result in evident shock as the travelling electrons collide with electrons in the air, which become excited and release energy in the form of light.


static electricity everywhere
static electricity everywhere

There’s static electricity everywhere

Static electricity is common due to the weather: when it’s incredibly dry and cool, people usually feel it more. When the humidity is down to 10 per cent it means that there is no moisture in the air, so the experience increases.

Static electricity came from moving electrons just after an electrical charge builds up around objects, and when the electrons come together, the electrons flow from one place to another and then it gives you an electric shock.

While growing up, many of us tried to rub our feet on the carpet to zap unsuspecting friends and siblings but the carpet was not the key ingredient to creating static electricity.

How static electricity builds up

Static electricity is a gradual accumulation of an electrical charge on the surface of an object. The reason why its named static electricity is that the charges remain in one place for a long time and it does not flow or move to a different place. Surprisingly we see static electricity every single day; it even builds upon us. Have you ever tried to rub your feet on the carpet and then zapped something when you touch it? That is exactly what static electricity is.

When you have a bad hair day and it sticks straight up, it usually means that your hair has been charged, nobody wants to go out like that. Another irritating instance is when pants or skirts stick to your legs, and they just keep on irritating you, no matter what you do.

Sometimes there is a battle of clingy clothes and this can be infuriating for many people when the weather is dry. Different fibres affect how much static electricity you attract. Some fibres are much worse than others, and in many instances, it’s the different kinds of materials that come into contact and the combinations of material are worse than others. So it’s important to note that it’s not just the material but also what it comes into contact with. Good static electricity can be created with wool or silk and this depends on what you rub against it.

Lightning is most definitely a dramatic example of static electricity. It occurs when a cloud system assembles sufficient charge respective to either another group of clouds or the earth’s ground; the charges will try to balance. At the same time that the cloud releases, an enormous amount of positive (or occasionally negative) charges pass through the air from ground to cloud causing the clear effect we’re all acquainted with. Another instance of static electricity familiarly exists when we rub balloons on our head to make our hair stand up, or when we shuffle on the floor with fuzzy slippers and shock the family cat. In these instances, friction from rubbing various types of material passes electrons. The object that loses electrons becomes positively charged, meanwhile the object accepting electrons becomes negatively charged. The two objects become attracted to each other until they can find a way to balance up.

When working with electronics, we usually do not have to take action concerning static electricity. When we to deal with static electricity, we normally try to protect our electronic components that are very sensitive from being subjected to static discharge. Measures are taken to prevent static electricity; this includes wearing ESD (electrostatic discharge) wrist straps or adding special components in circuits to protect against very high spikes of charge.

How to Prevent Static Electricity

The best way to do away with static electricity was to discharge it.

In the majority of cases, you need to touch your clothing against something that’s grounded — literally the ground. It allows the charge to come off you and your clothes into the ground which stops things from being clingy. That’s usually not always easy to do when you’re sitting on a chair with a rubber mat because the static electricity can’t get away as easily.

It is important to keep your skin moisturized in dry conditions; this can also help in reducing static between your skin and clothes.

An anti-static device safeguards individuals or equipment from the damaging effects of electrostatic discharge (ESD). It is generally used for computer equipment that is extremely sensitive to static electricity like motherboards, CPUs, expansion cards and memory devices. One Anti-Static Floor Mat is grounded; it is advisable not to lift computer components off the mat.

The lives of people and their equipment all are affected by the static electricity directly or indirectly and may bring varying degrees of harm to them sometimes. For a long time, people were using a grounding shield to protect them from the harm caused by static electricity. Nevertheless, with development in technology, anti-static equipment has come into being to provide the body with static shielding and make less the electrostatic hazards of the function.

Anti-static foot mats are durable and comfortable mat, they help absorb shock and they also minimize the chances of injury. Besides, they are great for small areas, like spare bedrooms or kitchens, they can be easily placed anywhere you want.

Static electricity is one of the forms of electricity that is experienced every day. Its effects are useful but sometimes it can be quite irritating, in other to reduce the irritating effect, I recommend the use of anti-static devices most especially anti-static foot mat in other to eliminate the zap effect that occurs when you rub your feet on a regular mat.

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