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Statically charging polypropylene sheets

  1. Dec 23, 2013 #1
    So recently, I discovered this: http://www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk/

    It's a statically charged polypropylene sheet that sticks to walls, paper, etc. Apparently they retain their static for a long time.

    How do they charge these? A giant Van de Graaff generator? Rubbing it against a large carpet? Or is the sheet charged somehow during the process of production?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2013 #2

    CWatters

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    I don't know for sure but I suspect the static is created as you unroll it.
     
  4. Dec 24, 2013 #3

    sophiecentaur

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    They probably haves a large supply of cats in the factory. :biggrin:
     
  5. Dec 24, 2013 #4
    Those sheets may be statically charged when you first unroll them, just like many other kinds of plastic foil, but I don't think they are able to keep that charge for a long time under normal circumstances.
    You can take any normal plastic foil and stick it to a wall by rubbing over it. But on most walls the foil will fall off again within a few hours. Wood and wallpaper are hygroscopic. So the moisture contained in those substances will slowly discharge the foil.
    However if you "glue" plastic foil to a metal wall (or a wall covered in aluminum foil), it can stick there for years.

    Anyway, in my opinion that whiteboard foil works similar to plastic wrap, which often has a cling agent added to it (e.g. polyisobutene) to increase the Van der Waals forces that make it stick.
     
  6. Dec 24, 2013 #5
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S65ZzffW-Cw
    Makes sense, thanks for your answer http://gizmodo.com/5807661/how-does-cling-wrap-cling
     
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