Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Static Jacket

  1. Nov 26, 2008 #1
    First of all, I know nothing about physics, so if I use the wrong term, or something don't get me too hard of a time :smile: But this problem has been really bugging me these past few weeks. For some reason, my jacket seems to give me a huge amount of static electricity. Almost every time I get out of my car, I touch the door (to close it) and I get a little shock. Then I walk into my apartment, take my jacket off, and I hear all these little sparks, and my entire backside of my shirt has a "static" feel to it. Also, the other night when I was going to bed, I had a ton of build up I guess, and just moving my hands across my blanket at night, I could see a ton of little sparks lighting up. This has really got to the point where I wonder if I could seriously injure myself. Any ideas as to what is going on and what I can do to stop this? If it helps, it is a faux-shearling coat. Thanks!!!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That happens to me when the air is very dry and I'm wearing particular close that are really good insulators and I've been walking on certain carpets or slid across a seat (e.g. car seat), or if I remove a well insulated jacket from certain shirts or pullovers. If one has a metal key, then use the key to discharge onself, or touch the cuff or elbow of the jacket against a conductive surface.

    Try not to shuffle (slide) one's feet on a carpet, but step.

    There are also sprays (even water) that one could use to improve the conductance of one clothes such that a static charge will not build up.


    It's cool to take off a jacket or sweater in the dark and see the flashes of light from the charge transfer. :biggrin:
     
  4. Nov 26, 2008 #3
    maybe cover your car seat with a shirt that doesn't transfer static on your jacket i guess..??
     
  5. Nov 26, 2008 #4
    I don't think it's just your jacket's fault completely. It tends to happen a lot this time of the year...
     
  6. Nov 26, 2008 #5
    Different types of fabric touch, the fibers ultimately contain atoms/molecules with different affinities for electrons. If the difference is large, the electrons can get transferred easily, resulting in static electricity. Ex.: if I do the laundry at hop and throw in my favorite 70's polyester top (it's not one of those big-collar things, although I can pull those off!) in the dryer with our cotton sheets, we have a problem (actually, it causes a problem pretty much no matter what!). I suspect, sadly, that your jacket is the problem (it likely has a different affinity for electrons than your cat-seat fabric and your shirts). Humidity would help alleviate the problem because water molecules would somewhat cover the surface of both materials, making transfer more difficult, and sprays would help too like AstroNuc suggests... but ultimately, I think it's just your jacket. It's Faux... i.e. some type of poly/plastic (think "glide-wrap" with static cling!). Sorry... :frown:
     
  7. Nov 26, 2008 #6

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A humidifier in your home will help eliminate the issues when you're home. Not much to be done when you're outside this time of year though. I just got the humidifiers turned on this week...my cue that it's time to do that is when I try to brush the cat and all her fur starts sticking straight up, and I get shocks from the static when I try to pet her.
     
  8. Nov 29, 2008 #7
    Going down the plastic slide at any children's playground a few times with your jacket on should cure the problem. o:)
     
  9. Nov 29, 2008 #8
    Maybe you should look into harnessing power from your jacket?

    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,16628269-1702,00.html
     
  10. Nov 29, 2008 #9
    I suggest just using an anti-static spray. But beware, that stuff is very unpleasant to inhale.
     
  11. Nov 29, 2008 #10
  12. Nov 29, 2008 #11
    Your in Arizona aren't you Matt?
     
  13. Nov 29, 2008 #12
  14. Nov 29, 2008 #13
    Yeah, I think so War...He must have had some good current there though...
     
  15. Nov 30, 2008 #14
    I remember on CSI I think yesterday they were testing tasers/stun guns and one of the "military grade" ones was super extra dangerous because it output 1 million volts. I was like "So?"

    If it has a ridiculously low current, it won't make too much of a difference from a static shock.
     
  16. Nov 30, 2008 #15

    Pythagorean

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It gets -40 in the winter here so it tends to get really dry. As a result, I got shocked almost every time I stepped out of my truck. I know have the habit of touching the metal door frame before my feet ever touch the ground when getting out of a vehicle (even in the summer :/).
     
  17. Nov 30, 2008 #16
    you can kill someone with "ridiculously low" currents if you poke electrodes into them. it's called a microshock hazard. what saves you here, probably, is high frequency and the current path.
     
  18. Nov 30, 2008 #17
    Microshock hazard? You mean having your heart fibrillate and then you die? I know about that, but I was thinking even lower than that.

    How many amps does it take to make the heart fibrillate? Something like 70mA? Or was it 700mA?

    Apparently this book says 70mA:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Fd...&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

    So 70mA * 1MV = 70kW

    That will fry you. But if you have something like a few microamps or even nanoamps going through, then you really won't feel much besides a regular shock.
     
  19. Nov 30, 2008 #18
    Thanks for all the suggestions!!! It has been very dry and cold here in Denver, though we finally got some snow today. I will check out the anti static spray (the anti-static Jackets are cool, but I don't think I could pull off the look). The ideas about touching metal objects sound good and I will give them a test. Again, thanks!
     
  20. Dec 1, 2008 #19
    On the other hand, consider what he did to his environment.
     
  21. Dec 1, 2008 #20
    a microshock is invasive, and it will depend on current density, path, and frequency. applied directly to cardiac muscle of a dog, as low as 20 uA will cause fibrillation. when you have devices with electrodes that puncture the skin, such as these police tasers, the effect is much greater than with some low-end consumer device with a couple of blunt electrodes sticking out.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Static Jacket
  1. Winter and static cling (Replies: 30)

Loading...