Static electricity is a serious risk when you’re 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 recommend anti-static devices.
These devices prevent the buildup of static electricity by either absorbing or dissipating the static electricity, preventing static shock. Anti-static devices are thus useful in protecting electronic equipment or preventing explosions. Anti-static jackets or coveralls are some of the devices you can use as anti-static devices.
So, how do anti-static coveralls and jackets work to prevent static shock and damage? They usually make anti-static coveralls and jackets from a conductive material. This distributes any built-up static electricity throughout 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.
Here, we will shed more light on further aspects relating to this question. These include:
- How static electricity can cause damage
- Why we need to use anti-static coveralls and jackets
- How anti-static coveralls and jackets work
How static electricity can cause damage
Static electricity can damage fragile electrical components. It can even cause explosions in gas and fuel or create 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 by rubbing two objects together. One object gives up electrons, while 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 afterward, 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 touch 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 between 500 volts and 2,500 volts during a normal workday. You can generate and store up to 12,000 volts by walking across a vinyl floor.
In relative terms, you can, therefore, 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 anti-static 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 by using an anti-static 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 anti-static jackets and coveralls.
Anti-static coveralls and jackets fall under the broad category of anti-static clothing or garments. This category also includes shirts, shoes, trousers, and the like. They are an excellent precaution for preventing 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 anti-static jackets and coveralls work
We need anti-static 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 anti-static 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 channeling electricity around the object.
This effect prevents the electrical charges generated by the wearer’s 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 anti-static garments are not conductive enough to provide grounding. For this reason, you should use these garments with anti-static foot straps or anti-static 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 that goal, you prevent potential damage caused by electrostatic discharge.
You require anti-static jackets and coveralls to prevent damage to electrical components. Depending on your setup, they 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 anti-static properties should be the most important factor in choosing an anti-static jacket or coverall. You should ensure that your jacket will be suitable for your application. Thereafter, you can choose the fabrics, collars, sleeves, and colors.
If anti-static jackets and coveralls are properly suited to their application and they fulfill their requirements, they make up an integral part of any anti-static toolbox.
- Best Marine: Antistatic Coveralls
- Livescience: What Is Static Electricity
- EC&M: Electrostatic Discharge: Causes, Effects, and Solutions
- How Does Anti-Static Clothing Work and Its Importance in Workplace Safety
- Transforming Technologies: http://transforming-technologies.com/esd-fyi/how-to-choose-an-esd-jacket/