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Electric touch... Answered

Good day!

I have a special problem and I am not even sure this is the right place where to ask for help... I have carpet in my office and by walking around I get charged like a battery (electrostatic)...

Often I touch someone and I get a shock! (Also the other person, at least I am not the only one...) This is pretty strong some times and annoying most of the times so I thought maybe I can make (or maybe it exists already) a bracelet or a ring or anything with a LED or with any kind of resistance that I could wear and it could "decharge" me. I think I can figure out how to make something fancy but I am not that, lets say, skilled in electronic and I don't know what would actually do the job. Am I the only one with such problem? Does anyone have any idea?

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Jack A Lopez

7 months ago

For persons who assemble sensitive electronics, that is, electronic devices sensitive to electrostatic discharge (aka ESD)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrostatic_discha...

the usual trick is to use special grounded work area, plus a conductive wrist strap,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antistatic_device#An...

so this worker, he or she, is always at the same potential as the grounded work area.

However, if your job requires you walk around in a carpeted office, and touch people from time to time, the grounded wrist strap might cumbersome, unless its cord attaches to your back, and trails up to a gantry on the ceiling that follows you around, or something like that.

Another trick is to dump the charge into a grounded node, like the metal case of a desktop PC, or the metal part of a light switch on the wall, or something grounded, immediately before touching anyone.

This intentional discharge will usually be less painful if you can do it through a conductive object, held in your hand, instead of letting the discharge strike your skin, especially on your fingers, directly.

I do not really follow where you're going with this idea to discharge yourself just through the act of wearing something. I mean, if that magic ring, or amulet, or whatever it is, is surrounded by dry air, or there is just a mass of dry air between you and a place where the charge can be dumped, that is not going to work because the air is a very good insulator.

Although maybe you could dump charge into the air, if you had some little pointy, needle-like, emitters. But where to put those? Maybe on your shoulders, or the top of your head?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_discharge

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Elmo%27s_fire

The smell of ozone might be bothersome, or unhealthy.

Another possibility is you could take steps (if you can forgive the pun) so as to not build up charge in the first place.

The charge separation is happening due to your shoes touching the carpet. Different shoes, different carpet, or even not wearing shoes, might help.

The Wiki article I linked above titled, "Antistatic device", might have some hints on that; i.e. how to avoid building up charge in the first place.

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RicKamiJack A Lopez

Reply 7 months ago

Well, ya, my job include walking a lot and having to come in contact with other people time to time... Walking around without shoes, although is inviting, cannot really be done as my boss would not really like it...
My idea was: as this is basically electricity, why can't it simply light a LED or a resistance? Why does it HAVE to be discharged on the ground or grounded metal thing?
Otherwise thanks a lot for your data, this helps!

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Jack A LopezRicKami

Reply 7 months ago

The place to dump the charge does not have to be, "the ground", or "grounded metal thing", a place both large and conductive will work too.

Mostly the charges on a charged object just want to move away from each other, or move toward charges of opposite polarity, if any can be found.

The ability for charges to actually move, through matter, depends on this property called conductivity (electrical conductivity).

I mean, the charges on you probably want to move back to the carpet, but cannot, because both your shoes and the carpet itself are poor electrical conductors.

This might make you wonder how those charges got torn loose from the carpet in the first place. That's the part that has always seemed mysterious to me. There's a word for it, "triboelectric effect", even if good explanations are lacking. Hmmm.... maybe that's two words. Did I link to that one yet? Um, here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triboelectric_effect

The words, "contact electrification", probably the same thing,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_electrificat...

The Wiki articles for "Static electricity" and "Electrostatics", should probably both contain a link pointing to "Triboelectric effect", because that is often the source of these troublesome accumulations of static charge.

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RicKami

7 months ago

Wow, thank you for all these data! I will see which one is best.
Thank you again!

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iceng

7 months ago

Gaming clubs in Reno use a spray bottle of Downy liquid cleaner cut 50/50 with water on the carpets to prevent guests from reaction injury in the dry winter months :-))

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Downunder35m

7 months ago

Just wear proper shoes!
You only hold this charge because your shoes insulate you, change that detail and all is good.

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gandymarsh

7 months ago

This happens when the air in the room is dry. For a small area, you could buy a small vaporizer that sits on a table or shelf. They are fairly inexpensive. They also sell larger ones called Humidifiers that will increase the humidity in a larger area.