Anti-static fibers and yarns FAQ

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  1. What are the discomforts and risks of electrostatic electricity?
  2. Where are anti-static air filters used?
  3. Which products can reduce the resistivity below the specified level for textile filters?
  4. Why should I make my floor covering anti-static?
  5. Why do fabrics have to be made anti-static?
  6. What is the purpose of an anti-static brush?
  7. What are the main safety risks regarding a flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) and how can you make an FIBC anti-static?
  8. What is the main principle of discharging? How does the charge move over the surface?
  9. What conditions influence the electrostatic properties of a fabric?
  10. How does the type and structure of the fiber influence a fabric’s electrostatic properties?

Answers

1. What are the discomforts and risks of electrostatic electricity? 

  • Undesired attraction or repulsion of materials
  • Electrical shocks
  • Flammable-vapor fires
  • Dust-cloud explosions
  • Electronics damage
  • Etc.

 

All these result from the effects of electrical charging and discharging. To avoid them, electrical charges must be led away before they have the chance to build up to a dangerous level. This can be achieved by making objects more conductive (anti-static) and, if required, by grounding them.

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2. Where are anti-static air filters used?

  • Production processes involving cereals, sugars, flour or starch
  • Industries such as mining, metallurgy, and pulp & paper
  • Pharmaceutical plants

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3. Which products can reduce the resistivity below the specified level for textile filters?

  • Bekinox® VS: 100% Bekinox® fibers in sliver form, used by spinners to make conductive yarns for the scrim.
  • Bekinox® PES 12/50: A blend in bulk form, consisting of 50% PES fibers and 50% Bekinox® fibers.
  • Bekinox® BK 50: Spun PES yarn with 20% Bekinox® fibers, used to weave a conductive scrim. 

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4. Why should I make my floor covering anti-static?

Bekinox® fibers in floor coverings provide comfort and protect electronic apparatus against damage caused by electrostatic discharge.

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5. Why do fabrics have to be made anti-static?

Fabrics are made anti-static in order to quickly discharge electrostatic charges to the ground before they can build up and become a potential source of problems, such as causing damage to equipment (e.g. electronics) or to people (e.g. through explosions).

There are two methods to make textiles anti-static with stainless steel fibers:

  • Homogeneous blending of 1% to 2% stainless steel fibers with the textile yarn: Bekinox® VS 08
  • Making a grid in the textile with yarn containing a certain percentage of stainless steel fibers: Bekinox® BK 50/2.

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6. What is the purpose of an anti-static brush?

To lead away electrostatic charges before they can damage equipment. Anti-static brushes can lead away electrostatic charges from anything that is broad, thin and transferred, such as paper, plastic films, etc. 

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7. What are the main safety risks regarding a flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) and how can you make an FIBC anti-static?

The main safety risks associated with the loading and unloading of FIBCs are dust-cloud explosions and flammable-vapor fires caused by the build-up of electrostatic charges. These risks can largely be prevented by making FIBCs anti-static by introducing a conductive yarn (Bekinox® BK 50/1 or BK 50/2) in a grid. 

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8. What is the main principle of discharging? How does the charge move over the surface?

Because of the low surface resistance of Bekinox® in combination with grounding through anti-static shoe wear, the surface potential (voltage) on the garment and on the person will be zero. The charge that might be created will move by conduction immediately to ground. 

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9. What conditions influence the electrostatic properties of a fabric?

Humidity has a high influence on the electrostatic properties of a fabric. In the case of Bekinox®, humidity has no influence because of the low surface resistance of Bekinox®. For this reason, Bekinox® is specified by Boeing and Airbus for use in airplane carpets, because of the low humidity at an altitude of 10 km. With other anti-static fibers, humidity might have an influence on the electrostatic properties of the fabric.

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10. How does the type and structure of the fiber influence a fabric’s electrostatic properties?

Some suppliers of anti-static fibers state that the discharge occurs through the air and therefore grounding is not needed. This is totally incorrect and even very dangerous.

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