Plastics and Static Electricity

Van De Graaff Generator-4

I’m not sure if anyone does this anymore but when I was a kid it was great fun to shuffle your feet on carpeting and then zap your unsuspecting sibling with a nice static shock. This typically worked best if you had nylon carpeting and it was nice and dry in the house like in the winter time.

This worked because plastic is a great insulator and thus cannot dissipate static electricity very well. When we need to reduce the likelihood of static build up in plastics, we have some options. There are materials described as having anti-stat additives and other materials described as being statically dissipative and still others as being conductive. What’s the difference?

Continue reading “Plastics and Static Electricity”