05 Dec

What is Static Electricity?

Q: What is Static Electricity?

A: Static Electricity can be defined as an electrical charge at rest.  ESD is the transfer of static charges between bodies or objects at different electrical potentials. This may be caused by either direct contact or by induction of an electrostatic field.  Static Charges are generated when two materials are rubbed together. This term is called Triboelectric Generation or Tribocharging

Factors that Influence Tribocharging:

  • Intimacy of Contact Speed of Separation
  • Conductivity of Materials
  • Triboelectric Series Position
  • Relative Humidity

Q: How Do You Measure the Effect of Tribocharging on a Person?

A: Body Voltage Generation (BVG) is the amount of static electricity accumulated on a body walking across the floor as a result of tribocharging (as measured in volts).  In relation to floors, it is the measurement of static electricity built on the body walking across the floor.

Q: Why is BVG Important?

A: ESD Incidents Can Cause:

  • Damage Your Electronic Equipment
  • Interruptions in Productivity
  • Unnecessary Safety Concerns for Safety Engineers
  • Sparks and/or Possibly Ignition
  • Personnel Discomfort
Q: How Does Static Electricity Damage Your Products?
A: When a human body becomes charged and touches an ESD sensitive device, it allows the body to discharge the static electricity to an object of lower potential, which could be a component, a combustible or other unwanted material or item, causing damage and possibly serious injury depending on the environment.

A Charged body walks by a grounded table, work-surface or area with an ESD sensitive device or material (without touching it) and the body’s charge travels to damage the component with direct contact.

Q: What is Your Criteria for the Selection of Static Control Flooring?


  • Performance Characteristics (BVG)
  • Physical Properties (Durability)
  • Aesthetics
  • Repairability
  • Relative Cost

Typical Electrostatic Voltages

Means of Generation Electrostatic Voltage
10 – 20%RH 65 -90% RH
Walking on Carpet 35,000 1,500
Walking on Vinyl 12,000 250
Working at Bench 6,000 100
Poly Bag Picked up at Bench 20,000 1,200
Work Chair Padded with Foam 18,000 1,500
Walking on Standard Epoxy Floor 20,000 10,000
Walking on Ground Zero Floor
with Proper Footwear
<15 <15
Static Control Program Benefits:

  • Cost benefits: A mid-1990 cost estimate for ESD damage was in the $4,000,000,000 range for the US Electronics Industry
  • More reliable products, lower scrap rate
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • Safety in Explosive Environments

Ground Zero Specializes in all kinds of ESD and Static Control Flooring

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