Antistatic fabrics – Deft handling of electrostatic discharge
Antistatic fabrics increase the safety of any kind of working environment in which electrostatic charges can be generated. This not only benefits personnel working in the vicinity of such sources of electrical charge, but also the sensitive technical apparatus that needs to be kept well away from discharges of this kind. Without the industry-standard use of antistatic fabrics, there could even be a risk of explosion. While antistatic fabrics can protect the health of personnel and ensure they do not suffer injuries, in a technical context, the fabrics have the function of an insulator.
Accordingly, electrostatic charges are not discharged into people or sensitive apparatus, but conducted away via the nearest contact point, which is generally the floor in most cases. The charge is in fact only created by friction, which is often generated by the floor itself. Antistatic fabrics can contain a small proportion of metallic fibres – typically made from steel – which can conduct away electrostatic charges. Similar protective functionality is achieved by weaving in cotton fibres.