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Static Cling

  1. Feb 20, 2004 #1
    I have read in a book that "static cling" does not develop when a clothes dryer is used to dry a load consisting only of cotton towels. I dont know why. Can anybody tell me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2004 #2

    Chi Meson

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    Static cling is a common term for the attractive electrostatic force between two objects that have opposite types of electrical charge. Two objects will get oppositely charged when they are rubbed together. THis action actually causes one of the objects to pull a few electrons off the other object. For example, silk will pull electrons off of glass, making the glass positiely charged and the silk negatively charged. Rubber will pull electrons off of wool making the wool positively charged, etc.

    Whether an object will pull electons off another object or get electrons pulled off it depends on the configuration of the molecules. All materials can be ranked in an order of increasing likeliness to lose electrons. The charge seperation that occurs requires that the two objects be from different parts of the list (one higher, one lower) otherwise each of the two objects will be equally as likely to lose electrons, and therefore each would be just as likely to gain them. There would be no net gain or loss of electrons for either object.

    If the two objects are the same material then they will be at exactly the same location on the list, of course. The reason for different materials being at different locations on the list is a much harder question to answer
  4. Feb 21, 2004 #3
    What happens in clothes dryer?
  5. Feb 21, 2004 #4


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    Things rub together.
  6. Feb 21, 2004 #5
    Then there should be a "static cling".
  7. Feb 21, 2004 #6


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    There is, when the things in the dryer are dissimilar. Did you read and understand the first reply?
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