Significance and Use
4.1 Whenever two dissimilar materials are contacted and separated, excess electrostatic charge (triboelectric charge) will be found on these materials if at least one of the materials is a good insulator. This excess charge gives rise to electric fields which can exert forces on other objects. If these fields exceed the breakdown strength of the surrounding gas, a disruptive discharge (spark) can occur. The heat from this discharge can ignite explosive atmospheres, the light can fog photosensitized materials, and the current flowing in a static discharge can cause catastrophic failure of solid state devices. Electric forces can be used beneficially, as in electrostatic copying, spray painting and beneficiation of ores. They can be detrimental as when they attract dirt to a surface or when they cause sheets to stick together. Since most plastic materials in use today have very good insulating qualities, it is difficult to avoid generation of static electricity. Since it depends on many parameters, it is difficult to generate static electricity reliably and reproducibly.
1.1 This test method covers the generation of electrostatic charge, the measurement of this charge and its associated electric field, and the test conditions which must be controlled in order to obtain reproducible results. This test method is applicable to both solids and liquids. This test method is not applicable to gases, since a transfer of a gas with no solid impurities in it does not generate an electrostatic charge. This test method also does not cover the beneficial uses of static electrification, its associated problems or hazards, or the elimination or reduction of unwanted electrostatic charge.2
1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.
1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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