Offer Electrostatic Control Solutions
By Dean Yarborough,
Shakespeare Conductive Fibers LLC, USA
June 26, 2004
Everyone has experienced the discharge
of static electricity in the course of everyday life. The experience
could be as benign as the discomfort associated with toughing a
doorknob, but there are some results of discharge that are much
more serious than others. These could include loss of electronic
data, financial loss from defects in manufacturing of sensitive
components, personal injury and risk of explosion of volatile gasses.
Fibers produced by Shakespeare Conductive Fibers, LLC are incorporated
in many of the products that are used to control electrostatic discharge
(ESD). These fibers, sold under the Resistat trademark, are offered
in many different forms to accomplish the desired ESD property of
the article containing the fiber.
For woven and knitted fabrics, the conductive fibers usually comprise
from 2% to 13% of the yarns and are arranged as a stripe or grid
pattern. These fabrics are used in specialized apparel, coverings,
upholstery, conveyor belting and processing belts. Generally, a
continuous monofilament fiber is used. The size could be as small
as a 22-denier monofilament to over 7,000-denior monofilament.
For some weaving applications, the conductive fiber is twisted with
a continuous filament PET or nylon to enhance processing. An additional
use for woven fabrics is in bulk container bags for shipping of
powered and granular products, where static discharge is critical.
Staple fibers, on the other hand, are supplied for application in
needle-pucnched nonwovens, where a primary function is gas filtration.
Staple fibers are also supplied to converters wishing to produce
their won spun yarn combinations. Conductive staple filament, provided
as small as 5 denier, is particularly useful when the static buildup
is to be dissipated through a phenomena known as Corona Discharge.
In this type of discharge, the multiple terminating ends of the
staple fiber promote ionization of the charge into the surrounding
atmosphere. Micro fibers as small as 44 micron in diameter and .5mm
in length are often used in wetlaid adhesives and flooring. These
short-length chopped fibers are also utilized in flocking.
Carpet producers incorporate Resistant conductive filaments into
face yarn and backing to produce ESD flooring. Typical applications
would be critical computer installations and call centers where
static discharge can be devastating. For this type of application
where aesthetics are a consideration, a gray fiber is offered in
addition to the usual black color.
Conductive tow fibers, or strands of 40 ends of continuous filament
fiber without a twist, each have particles of electrically conductive
carbon suffused to the surface. Multifilament and two bundles are
supplied to brush manufactures. These static-dissipative brushes
are found in office equipment such as printers, copiers and check
processors. They are also used in industries for cleaning and as
Conductive fibers are an integral component in the design of many
products. They can be offered in many forms to accommodate challenging
manufacturing processing and design criteria. Although currently
used in many established products there are many more applications
that would benefit from the comfort, safety and economic advantages
of controlling electrostatic discharge.
For more information, please contact:
Shakespeare Conductive Fibers, LLC
Telephone: 803-754-7011 ext. 1471
Reprinted with permission of International