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B Electricity: plastic on plastic

  1. Apr 7, 2016 #1
    We know that objects like plastic become negative (with rubbing) but what will happen if we rub plastic and plastic, one of them will become positive which one ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2016 #2

    ProfuselyQuarky

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    No. Different materials tend to become negative and positive while being rubbed. For example, glass and human hair gain positive electric charges (they lose electrons) while wood and polyester gain negative charge (they acquire electrons). Plastics, such as PVC, gain negative charges. They are the same type of material, thus there is no different material to take electrons away from.

    http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/static_materials.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  4. Apr 7, 2016 #3

    ProfuselyQuarky

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    Think about chemical reactions and ionic bonds to help understand. Let's use iron oxide (rust) as an example. For ionic bonds to form, you need both a metal (in this case, iron) and a nonmetal (in this case, oxygen). If you have a two handfuls of iron power and you throw it into a bucket that's in a vacuum (no oxygen), nothing is going to happen. The iron will stay as iron because there is nothing to react with. Iron does not do anything to more iron. If you take the bucket of iron out of the vacuum and reveal it to the air (with oxygen), however, the iron will eventually turn to rust because it has something to react with. It’s kind of the same thing. A plastic rubbed against plastic won’t create any charge.
     
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