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Electrostatic charge is a safety-relevant topic in plastics

Everyone is familiar with electrostatic charging from everyday life. The balloon is charged by friction on the hair, remains hanging on the ceiling, can attract paper scraps and makes children's eyes wonder. Why this effect also plays an important role in plastics processing and can even be a source of danger is explained clearly in a course at the German Plastics Center (SKZ).

October 31, 2022
Elektrostatische Entladung

Electrostatic discharge in the form of a lightning bolt (Photo: manipulateur / stock.adobe.com)

Course of the German Plastics Center (SKZ) illustrates the interrelationships and dangers of electrostatic charging in plastics

The charged balloon is a simple example of electrostatics and can also be easily imitated at home. However, the dangers of electrostatic charging are only known from everyday life in the form of smaller electric shocks, e.g. when leaving the car. Here, the friction of clothing and car seat is responsible for the charge, which spontaneously discharges on metal. 

In everyday industrial life, however, this spontaneous discharge also poses significant risks, such as ignition sparks. The SKZ course "Electrostatic Charging in Plastics" provides interested parties with the background to electrostatics, illustrates the often complex interrelationships and teaches hazards, measurement methods and earthing systems using practical examples. A special highlight of the training are the many experiments, which on the one hand clarify the effects and interrelationships, but on the other hand also offer a certain entertainment value through great effects. Participants learn about different types of discharges, such as tuft, sliding tuft or spark discharges. After the course, participants will be familiar with the most important earthing procedures and will be aware of typical measurement problems.

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