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If I spray a PVC tube with compressed air, will it become charged? Answered




Best Answer 8 years ago

It might take on a slight charge.

As I said and still stand by that statement, it might take on a slight charge.  If the air is dusty then it will take on a larger charge. 

Use the pipe as an extension to your shop vacuum and vacuum up a pile of sawdust in the winter and it can build up a charge that will knock you off your feet.  I know this for a fact as I have been shocked several times by my shop vacuum system while holding the "Wand" made out of a 2" pvc pipe.

What is your project?  If you are planning to use the pvc as a compressor line you won't have a problem with static.  But I would be more concerned about using pvc under air pressure.  Pvc pipe has a tendency to explode when over pressurized of damaged.  That's why I decided to make my comp. lines out of copper tubing.

In fact, with your sawdust example, it can result in an explosion. ever wonder why dust removal systems have ground wires ...?

+1 at least. I have directly observed charging from compressed air, sure, you need dry air. Friend of mine with a CNC router has had powder explosion in the dust bag !

Electrically-charged? Why?

This sounds like a dead-end idea to me.


 Air and PVC are on opposite ends of the triboelectric series.

That's not an answer - are you trying to create electric charge and how?


I was wondering purely out curiosity if a large amount of air was passed over a PVC pipe, whether it would generate a static electric charge or not. Theoretically, it should because PVC will easily become charged when something at the positive end of the triboelectric series is rubbed against it.
But I have very little experience and was hoping to get some input from people that have tried it before.

Well you've already got some good answers. The rubbing bit is important, air alone doesn't create much "rub", but dust and stuff does like the other comments describe it.


someones been watching too much mythbusters