Inflammable material carrying vehicles

  1. Special rubber tires are made slightly conducting, in aircrafts, to enable them to pass on charge (produced by friction) to the ground, as too much charge may result in a spark and hence cause a fire. This is apparently the same reason why some vehicles usually have metallic ropes touching the ground during motion especially when they carry inflammable materials. But I don't get how exactly the charge causes the spark.
  2. jcsd
  3. UltrafastPED

    UltrafastPED 1,912
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sparks are what you see when there is an air breakdown due to the strength of the electrostatic field (volts/meter) between two objects.

    Providing a conductive path (drag chains, conductive tires, etc) allows the electrostatic charges to be drained ... thus the vehicle should not build up a static charge strong enough to spark. This makes it safer when refueling.
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