A Guide to Static Electricity and Static Grounding in Industry
An electric charge is present on every object be it a conductor or non-conductor. You also need to know that the objects which are connected to each other using an conductor at a certain point have the same electric charge. This means that it is hard for them to discharge since the concentration of the charge is the same at a point. From the definition, static electricity is the charge on an object which is not neutral. They can exist in two states being either positive or negative. Also, this is a charge which can be easily produced upon frictional contact of two bodies of different materials producing an effect called bioelectric effect. You also need to know that as charges attract and if a body is charged with more negative, it will want to transfer the same to another body of more positive charges. The electric potential difference or the voltage is the one that can be used to tell the difference in charge concentration between bodies measured in volts.
In most industries, using static electricity is in high amounts which is more than 30kV. In the same environment, upon bringing objects together of a higher potential difference, a spark will have to occur. This is to equalize the PD between the objects provided that they were connected by a good conductor of electricity. This is something that will cause explosion and burns. It is therefore important if you are working in such an environment, you know the appropriate ways of preventing the accumulation of these static charges. In the industry, various operations like blending, spraying, conveyor belts movement, liquid and power movement, and many others will generate these statics. Such will be dangerous in the industry if not handled well.
Understanding the sources of static discharge is the first protection step. Pipes and walls will have to accumulate these charges and sometimes are carried away by the liquid flowing through them. This means that the pipe eventually will have electrostatic fields around and it will be very dangerous unless when bonded or grounded well. Coating and dispersing operations which will use these charges on products like when you are painting a car using a spray gun. The coat is usually even and the waste here is insignificant. Whenever there are any tow materials in contact, the exchange of electrons occurs. This means that even human movement in the industry will produce these static charges.
Grounding and boating are the methods that industries need to use to avoid dangers due to electric charges due to statics. Grounding is the connection of the object with the earth while bonding works by connecting tow objects together. Boding will not provide an effective statics transfer just by touching each other. When it comes to industrial safety, then grounding is the best where the object is linked to the earth using an electrode stuck or rod where the charges will have to be directed to the earth. In these two methods, using good conductors is important to make sure there is a good connection for the effective transfer of the static charges between bodies.
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