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Polymers and electrical behaviour I - Outline and antistatic solutions to make ESD polymers

SpecialChem / Jun 9, 2004

The unique cause: Matter is made of electrical charged particles: electrons have a negative charge and protons a positive one. For each atom, negative and positive charges are balanced but according to the materials, some electrons can be more or less tightly held and can be more or less easily moved: the material is more or less conductive or, in other words, more or less insulating. If the material is highly insulating, by contact with another less insulating material, these movable electrons of the less insulating material can migrate and create a negative charge on the insulator: it is the scheme of static build-up. Then if this negatively charged material meets a less insulating one (or more conductive) it can transfer its extra electrons to become again electrically neutral: this is the scheme of electrostatic discharge or ESD. Figure 1 displays the schemes of electrostatic build-up and electrostatic discharge (ESD) Antistatic behaviour can be evaluated by: Visual method such as ASTM D2741: the plastic sample is exposed to the fumes of a burning mixture of an hydrocarbon and wetted paper.

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