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Does Steel Attract Static Electricity?


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#1 TinGin

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 04:47 PM

I have a steel rod, cages and screws in my back. I was grocery shopping and kept getting these really horrible static

shocks. At times it popped so loud it sounded like a fire cracker. The cooler doors were the scariest . It felt like this

energy coming at my hand. I backed away from even trying to open the doors. I've never experienced this before.

Others were getting the same thing but not nearly as bad as me. What possibly could have caused this and could

the steel in my back made it worse for me?



#2 spartan45

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 01:22 PM

The steel would make it worse, I think, because conductivity of stainless steel, (titanium is slightly less conductive than stainless steel), appears about one million times greater than muscle, allowing the electricity to be conducted to earth more rapidly. Rubber soled shoes may be the solution.

http://www.engineeri...vity-d_418.html



#3 TinGin

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the reply. I'm really hesitant about ever shopping there again. I was told they had just waxed the floors and hadn't buffed them out yet to the 

fact they had new carts made out of a different metal. I don't have a clue what this had to do with getting shocked almost every time I tried to P/u

something. I'm thinking that maybe it was a combination of whatever they waxed their floors with to the new grocery cart I was pushing through

the store. I was wearing rubber soled sandals that day. This has never happened in the 6 plus years since my surgery.



#4 spartan45

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:07 PM

The problem of personnel-generated static seems to be well known in the flooring industry because although vinyl is a poor conductor, solid vinyl conductive floor tiles have been in general use for over 50 years with static control is typically achieved by manufacturing the tile by first coating vinyl chips with conductive carbon black. The coated chips are then fused in a compression press into a slab from which the tiles are cut, with conductive adhesive containing around 12-15% carbon black used to secure the tile flooring. http://www.cemag.us/...inyl-floor-tile

I’m guessing something has caused the floor under the fridge freezer to lose its conductivity allowing the accumulation of a static charge. You could try using cheap, disposable rubber or vinyl ( poor conductors) gloves which can be discretely scrunched in a pocket and put on before the risk of static discharge, but I’m not sure if I’ve understood the full scenario; so ultimately, please use your own judgement.



#5 TinGin

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 04:55 PM

Hi and Thank You. The static came from just about everything I touched in he store. From a jar of pickles to the freezer doors and the worst being a can of tuna. Before I even got my hand on the can it felt like the static jumped out at me into my hand. When this happened it let out the loudest pop of all. It literally hurt like heck and was really scary. I've shopped in this store for over 15 years and nothing like this has ever happened. I was told it was caused by them waxing the floors and not buffing them out yet to it being the new carts. This was affecting a lot of people in the one hour I was in the store that day. It just seemed to be affecting me more. That's why I was curious about the steel rod in my back and if that was why I was getting shocked worse. Thanks!



#6 exchemist

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:52 AM

Hi and Thank You. The static came from just about everything I touched in he store. From a jar of pickles to the freezer doors and the worst being a can of tuna. Before I even got my hand on the can it felt like the static jumped out at me into my hand. When this happened it let out the loudest pop of all. It literally hurt like heck and was really scary. I've shopped in this store for over 15 years and nothing like this has ever happened. I was told it was caused by them waxing the floors and not buffing them out yet to it being the new carts. This was affecting a lot of people in the one hour I was in the store that day. It just seemed to be affecting me more. That's why I was curious about the steel rod in my back and if that was why I was getting shocked worse. Thanks!

What it seems to me you are in effect asking is whether having a steel rod in your body would increase its capacitance significantly. Because that's what I think would be required for you to experience a uniquely strong electrical discharge.  The voltage you pick up will be determined whatever is casing the charge separation to take place, i.e. your shoes and the floor, so a stronger discharge must imply that somehow you are storing more coulombs of electricity, at a given voltage, than someone else, i.e. your capacitance is higher.

 

I suppose that the presence of an internal, polarisable conductor might increase it to some extent, but normally static charge sits on the outside of objects, so perhaps not much. It's an interesting question. Perhaps you should offer yourself to a local uni physics lab to test it. I'm sure they could measure it as a project for the students - if you can stand a few mild shocks.  



#7 TinGin

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 09:59 AM

Thanks but no Thanks. I know they have lightning rods for homes ect... and I wasn't sure if the steel rod in my back would basically be the same concept. I don't like

lightning with or without the steel rod in my back. I feel like it may be more attracted to me because of this. I'm no scientist as you can tell and just trying to figure out

what caused this to happen that day . Thanks!



#8 exchemist

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:50 AM

Thanks but no Thanks. I know they have lightning rods for homes ect... and I wasn't sure if the steel rod in my back would basically be the same concept. I don't like

lightning with or without the steel rod in my back. I feel like it may be more attracted to me because of this. I'm no scientist as you can tell and just trying to figure out

what caused this to happen that day . Thanks!

I can't say I blame you.   

 

It must be bad enough dealing with the hassle at airport security - presume you never fly United! :)



#9 Turtle

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:40 PM

Some explanation of the incident may be found in the  triboelectric effect and per se, the triboelectric series.

#10 TinGin

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:24 AM

Hi, I actually carry a spine implant patient I.D. card. I haven't flown since the operation and honestly if I set off the metal detectors

at United the card probably wouldn't do me any good. I read the triboelectric effect and I still can't figure out if I was affected more

due to the steel rod. I hate to say it but I've never been real good at scientific matters. Thanks for all the info.



#11 billvon

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:38 AM

I have a steel rod, cages and screws in my back. I was grocery shopping and kept getting these really horrible static

shocks. At times it popped so loud it sounded like a fire cracker. The cooler doors were the scariest . It felt like this

energy coming at my hand. I backed away from even trying to open the doors. I've never experienced this before.

Others were getting the same thing but not nearly as bad as me. What possibly could have caused this and could

the steel in my back made it worse for me?

Implants don't make it significantly worse.

 

To avoid this problem:

1) Higher humidity (easy in your home, hard in stores)

2) Touch the can/cart/shelf etc with a key before you touch it with your hand

3) Use more-conductive shoes.  Some rubber shoes with black soles get the black with carbon; this makes the rubber slightly conductive, which is good.  There are also shoe straps that reduce resistance but that's probably overkill.



#12 exchemist

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:58 AM

Implants don't make it significantly worse.

 

To avoid this problem:

1) Higher humidity (easy in your home, hard in stores)

2) Touch the can/cart/shelf etc with a key before you touch it with your hand

3) Use more-conductive shoes.  Some rubber shoes with black soles get the black with carbon; this makes the rubber slightly conductive, which is good.  There are also shoe straps that reduce resistance but that's probably overkill.

Good reply.



#13 malform11

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:31 AM

The question wasn't really answered, literally.

The problem was getting shocked.

 

Anyway....

I go through this every winter, but only in winter.

Warm clothing, sweaters, anything with wool, creates the static charge.

 

I touch metal with a key first, the spark carries the excess static charge.

 

 

2) Touch the can/cart/shelf etc with a key before you touch it with your hand

Science quiz for the day:

Which direction are the electrons moving?

 

From you, through the key, to the metal, or

From the metal, through the key, to you?



#14 billvon

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:21 PM

The question wasn't really answered, literally.

The problem was getting shocked.

 

Anyway....

I go through this every winter, but only in winter.

Warm clothing, sweaters, anything with wool, creates the static charge.

I did too when I lived in NY.  Got a lot of shocks in winter.

 

Science quiz for the day:

Which direction are the electrons moving?

 

 

From the more negative potential to the more positive potential.