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Painting and Staining
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Electrostatics

Uses of static electricity?

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May 22, 2012 7:12PM

Practical Uses of Static Charges

The ability of opposite charges in static electricity is what's used when designing applications for it.

  • Dust removal: There are some appliances that can eliminate dust from the air, like air purifiers. They use static electricity to alter the charges in the dust particles so that they stick to a plate or filter of the purifier that has an opposite charge as that of the dust (opposite charges attract each other).

    This effect is also used in industrial smokestacks to reduce the pollution that they generate, altough they work in a very large scale, the effect is basically the same as the home air purifier.

  • Photocopy: Copy machines use static to make ink get attracted to the areas where we need the information copied. It uses the charges to apply the ink only in the areas where the paper to be copied is darker (usually this means text or other information) and not where the paper is white, this process is called xerography.
  • Car painting: To make sure a car's paint is uniform and that it will resist the high speeds and weather to protect the car's metal interior, it is applied with a static charge. The metal body of the car is submerged in a substance that charges it positively, and the paint is charged negatively with the paint sprayer.

    This process ensures a uniform layer of paint, since when there is enough negative paint in the car the extra will be repelled by the paint already in the car.

    It also ensures that the paint won't fall off, since the electrical attraction between the paint and the car is stronger than if it was just sprayed.

All of these processes use electronic circuits to generate and control the static charges generated. If you are interested in electricity and electronics, check out my electronic circuits for beginners site, where you will find simple circuits to get you started, When you have learned enough you can build your own practical static electricity circuits for your own use!