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'[OT:] Static and petrol vapours'
2004\02\16@191436 by Jinx

face picon face
> I just got a lecture form the guy at the gas station because I got
> back into my car while refuelling. He showed me photos of car
> fires he reckons have been caused by static. I would be
> interested in your opinion (and others on Piclist) - Paul G

http://www.pei.org/static/

(statistics here http://www.pei.org/static/fire_reports.htm)

http://www.snopes.com/autos/hazards/static.asp

Comments anyone ? Safety first and all that, but it does seem
a bit of a beat-up. 154 incidents in 12 years for the US

==============================================
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- Wernher von Braun

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2004\02\16@191436 by Jinx

face picon face
> I just got a lecture form the guy at the gas station because I got
> back into my car while refuelling. He showed me photos of car
> fires he reckons have been caused by static. I would be
> interested in your opinion (and others on Piclist) - Paul G

http://www.pei.org/static/

(statistics here http://www.pei.org/static/fire_reports.htm)

http://www.snopes.com/autos/hazards/static.asp

Comments anyone ? Safety first and all that, but it does seem
a bit of a beat-up. 154 incidents in 12 years for the US

==============================================
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- Wernher von Braun

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2004\02\16@194133 by Alan Schnittman

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The "MythBusters" show on the Discovery Channel did a piece about
this.  The title of the show is about cell phones at gas stations, but IIRC
they explore the issue with static-electricity as well.  They also do a
nice piece on the issue of CD-ROMs shattering at high speed.

<http://dsc.discovery.com/schedule/episode.jsp?episode=2&cpi=24344&gid=11489&channel=DSC>.

Enjoy,

    Alan


At 06:16 PM 2/16/2004, Jinx <spam_OUTjoecolquittTakeThisOuTspamCLEAR.NET.NZ> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

====================================================
Alan Schnittman  | Brainchild Evolution, Inc | .....schnittKILLspamspam@spam@mindspring.com
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   embedded control | analog & digital circuits | software development
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2004\02\16@194133 by Alan Schnittman

picon face
The "MythBusters" show on the Discovery Channel did a piece about
this.  The title of the show is about cell phones at gas stations, but IIRC
they explore the issue with static-electricity as well.  They also do a
nice piece on the issue of CD-ROMs shattering at high speed.

<http://dsc.discovery.com/schedule/episode.jsp?episode=2&cpi=24344&gid=11489&channel=DSC>.

Enjoy,

    Alan


At 06:16 PM 2/16/2004, Jinx <joecolquittspamKILLspamCLEAR.NET.NZ> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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   embedded control | analog & digital circuits | software development
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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2004\02\16@195417 by Jinx

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> The "MythBusters" show on the Discovery Channel did a piece

"Cell Phone Destroys Gas Station"

I heard an Eggplant Ate Chicago too

What was the upshot of the program ?

Looking through the stats it seems that fires have been caused
simply by touching the refill cap. What on earth do you do about
that ? Get pre-filled tanks by mail order ?

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2004\02\16@195417 by Jinx

face picon face
> The "MythBusters" show on the Discovery Channel did a piece

"Cell Phone Destroys Gas Station"

I heard an Eggplant Ate Chicago too

What was the upshot of the program ?

Looking through the stats it seems that fires have been caused
simply by touching the refill cap. What on earth do you do about
that ? Get pre-filled tanks by mail order ?

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2004\02\16@210839 by Mike Hord

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>The "MythBusters" show on the Discovery Channel did a piece
>
>"Cell Phone Destroys Gas Station"
>
>I heard an Eggplant Ate Chicago too
>
>What was the upshot of the program ?
>
>Looking through the stats it seems that fires have been caused
>simply by touching the refill cap. What on earth do you do about
>that ? Get pre-filled tanks by mail order ?
>
Nope, just don't get back into the car.  I've seen some workups
about this that suggest women are several times more likely than
men to be involved in a static involved gasoline fire, simply because
they are several times more likely to get in and out of the car.

I've also seen the odd case where the poor shmuck whose car
just went up thinks that grabbing the hose and yanking the
nozzle out of the car would help matters somehow.  Of course,
then the petrol sprays out everywhere...

This actually happened about a mile from my house last winter.
It's so common here in the upper midwestern US that it didn't
even make the news.

Mike H.

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2004\02\16@210839 by Mike Hord

picon face
>The "MythBusters" show on the Discovery Channel did a piece
>
>"Cell Phone Destroys Gas Station"
>
>I heard an Eggplant Ate Chicago too
>
>What was the upshot of the program ?
>
>Looking through the stats it seems that fires have been caused
>simply by touching the refill cap. What on earth do you do about
>that ? Get pre-filled tanks by mail order ?
>
Nope, just don't get back into the car.  I've seen some workups
about this that suggest women are several times more likely than
men to be involved in a static involved gasoline fire, simply because
they are several times more likely to get in and out of the car.

I've also seen the odd case where the poor shmuck whose car
just went up thinks that grabbing the hose and yanking the
nozzle out of the car would help matters somehow.  Of course,
then the petrol sprays out everywhere...

This actually happened about a mile from my house last winter.
It's so common here in the upper midwestern US that it didn't
even make the news.

Mike H.

_________________________________________________________________
Keep up with high-tech trends here at "Hook'd on Technology."
http://special.msn.com/msnbc/hookedontech.armx

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2004\02\16@211500 by Jake Anderson

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dunno about america but here the sticker on the pump tells you to touch your
car with a bare hand before filling
(probbly might say something about touching the pump too but i cant rember)
and if you have to re-enter the car then again touch the car before messing
with the fueling.

on another note, if your car explodes in a ball of flame while filling... do
you still have to pay for the fuel?

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\16@211500 by Jake Anderson

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dunno about america but here the sticker on the pump tells you to touch your
car with a bare hand before filling
(probbly might say something about touching the pump too but i cant rember)
and if you have to re-enter the car then again touch the car before messing
with the fueling.

on another note, if your car explodes in a ball of flame while filling... do
you still have to pay for the fuel?

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\16@214204 by Jonathan Johnson

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face
I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out, I
touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)

This has never been to eliminate the risk of ignition, just habit whilst
getting out.

JJ

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\16@214204 by Jonathan Johnson

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face
I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out, I
touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)

This has never been to eliminate the risk of ignition, just habit whilst
getting out.

JJ

{Original Message removed}

2004\02\16@215446 by Jinx

face picon face
> on another note, if your car explodes in a ball of flame while
> filling... do you still have to pay for the fuel?

The unburnt portion possibly. It can go in your new car

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2004\02\16@215446 by Jinx

face picon face
> on another note, if your car explodes in a ball of flame while
> filling... do you still have to pay for the fuel?

The unburnt portion possibly. It can go in your new car

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2004\02\16@220316 by John Tserkezis

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Jonathan Johnson wrote:

> I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out, I
> touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)
>
> This has never been to eliminate the risk of ignition, just habit whilst
> getting out.

 I hold onto the door as I get out and step outside.  There is a static
transfer, but because it involves your whole hand, (already touching the car
body) there is no arc, and the distributed contact area brings the charge
transfer down to a level you can't feel anyway.

 Works every time.

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2004\02\16@220316 by John Tserkezis

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Jonathan Johnson wrote:

> I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out, I
> touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)
>
> This has never been to eliminate the risk of ignition, just habit whilst
> getting out.

 I hold onto the door as I get out and step outside.  There is a static
transfer, but because it involves your whole hand, (already touching the car
body) there is no arc, and the distributed contact area brings the charge
transfer down to a level you can't feel anyway.

 Works every time.

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2004\02\16@220524 by Richard.Prosser

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I find that if you can hold or touch something metal (attached to the car!)
as you get out you avoid the zap. Even resting a hand on paintwork can
help.

Until you get some humid weather & forget that is!

Richard P





I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out, I
touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)

This has never been to eliminate the risk of ignition, just habit whilst
getting out.

JJ

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2004\02\16@220524 by Richard.Prosser

flavicon
face
I find that if you can hold or touch something metal (attached to the car!)
as you get out you avoid the zap. Even resting a hand on paintwork can
help.

Until you get some humid weather & forget that is!

Richard P





I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out, I
touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)

This has never been to eliminate the risk of ignition, just habit whilst
getting out.

JJ

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2004\02\16@221351 by Jonathan Johnson

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face
Or possibly even use it to power your mobile life support unit until you
recover enough to drive.

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Jinx
Sent: Tuesday, 17 February 2004 1:54 PM
To: KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT:] Static and petrol vapours


> on another note, if your car explodes in a ball of flame while
> filling... do you still have to pay for the fuel?

The unburnt portion possibly. It can go in your new car

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2004\02\16@221351 by Jonathan Johnson

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Or possibly even use it to power your mobile life support unit until you
recover enough to drive.

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Jinx
Sent: Tuesday, 17 February 2004 1:54 PM
To: spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT:] Static and petrol vapours


> on another note, if your car explodes in a ball of flame while
> filling... do you still have to pay for the fuel?

The unburnt portion possibly. It can go in your new car

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2004\02\16@224749 by M. Adam Davis

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The mixture of oxygen and fuel vapor has to be within a certian ratio
where the discharge takes place before it'll ignite.  It's possible, and
I'm sure it's happened, but the percentage must be low.  Even with a low
probability, millions of people fuel their cars a day, so it does happen
with some regularity.

I imagine the pump handle is grounded through a resistor, so static is
discharged slowly when the nozzle enters the car.  The resistor doesn't
have to be very large to prevent an ignition spark while still grounding
the car by the time you pull the lever and the fuel actually flows.

Of course if you get in the car and leave it without discharging
yourself, then you may pick up enough of a charge that when you go to
get the nozzle out you can discharge when the fuel vapors are at their
thickest.  The car has enough mass that even with the grounding resistor
in the nozzle you would still have an ignition spark when you touched
the car.

Of course, this is a guess, but it would seem prudent to me.

-Adam

Jinx wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\02\16@224749 by M. Adam Davis

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The mixture of oxygen and fuel vapor has to be within a certian ratio
where the discharge takes place before it'll ignite.  It's possible, and
I'm sure it's happened, but the percentage must be low.  Even with a low
probability, millions of people fuel their cars a day, so it does happen
with some regularity.

I imagine the pump handle is grounded through a resistor, so static is
discharged slowly when the nozzle enters the car.  The resistor doesn't
have to be very large to prevent an ignition spark while still grounding
the car by the time you pull the lever and the fuel actually flows.

Of course if you get in the car and leave it without discharging
yourself, then you may pick up enough of a charge that when you go to
get the nozzle out you can discharge when the fuel vapors are at their
thickest.  The car has enough mass that even with the grounding resistor
in the nozzle you would still have an ignition spark when you touched
the car.

Of course, this is a guess, but it would seem prudent to me.

-Adam

Jinx wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\02\17@050404 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Not knowing much to comment on the static thing, you will however
>find a lot of info and debate out there on whether it's safe to
>use cellphones on the forecourt.

Only to find out through the papers that service stations are installing
cellphone repeaters in the tower out front where they display the prices in
those big plastic numbers :)))

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2004\02\17@050404 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Not knowing much to comment on the static thing, you will however
>find a lot of info and debate out there on whether it's safe to
>use cellphones on the forecourt.

Only to find out through the papers that service stations are installing
cellphone repeaters in the tower out front where they display the prices in
those big plastic numbers :)))

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2004\02\17@172433 by Peter L. Peres

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> Looking through the stats it seems that fires have been caused
> simply by touching the refill cap. What on earth do you do about
> that ? Get pre-filled tanks by mail order ?

You touch the car body first, while turning away from it, and then NOT
step (stay in the position you were in when you touched the body). If you
work with flammable liquids you should do this anyway. Gasoline is not
considered very flammable. Just try shortcuts wrt. static protection near
anything that contains ether or acetylene or hydrogen or ....

I knew someone who destroyed his car alarm and/or ecu by stepping into the
car on a dry day. The alarm had wires hanging out of it (it was being
worked on).

Peter

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2004\02\17@172434 by Peter L. Peres

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> The car has enough mass that even with the grounding resistor in the
> nozzle you would still have an ignition spark when you touched the car.

Cars are supposed to have static draining devices built in. This can be a
static grounding strap under the body or something else. They are not
supposed to work themselves up to high potentials. Tyre rubber has some
additives that make it slightly conductive afaik. It is far more likely
that a lady with long dry hair and a nice sparky pullover will step out
and start a fire imho. If the car gets charged up it's time to check the
grounding system. When people used to listen to AM radio in cars there
used to be early warning (crackle in the radio) when the ground was not
ok, but this is no longer true with FM.

Peter

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2004\02\17@193342 by David VanHorn

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At 12:01 AM 2/18/2004 +0200, Peter L. Peres wrote:

>> The car has enough mass that even with the grounding resistor in the
>> nozzle you would still have an ignition spark when you touched the car.
>
>Cars are supposed to have static draining devices built in. This can be a
>static grounding strap under the body or something else. They are not
>supposed to work themselves up to high potentials. Tyre rubber has some
>additives that make it slightly conductive afaik.

I've measured in excess of 6000V on a winter's day, between the car and the pump, before stepping out.

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2004\02\17@201958 by Howard Winter

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Jonathan,

On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 13:51:19 +1100, Jonathan Johnson wrote:

> I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out, I
> touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)

A tip, then: hold tight onto something metal - keys are good, since you should have them handy as you get out
- and use that to make the contact.  The Zap happens to the metal (so no high-temp localised burn) and because
your fingers are spread over the key, the current-density is small compared to the tiny area of the spark.
You may feel a slight tingle, but nothing like the painful shock you can get when you are the point of
contact!  Oh, and it's best to use a (all metal) door key rather than the modern car ones that have a plastic
fob, for obvious reasons.

> This has never been to eliminate the risk of ignition, just habit whilst getting out.

I've had this problem when on holiday in California, where on "Santa Anna" days the static is *really*
painful.  Here in England (93% humidity this evening) it's not so much of a problem :-)

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\02\18@034427 by Hulatt, Jon

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter L. Peres [TakeThisOuTplpEraseMEspamspam_OUTACTCOM.CO.IL]
>
> Tyre rubber has some additives that make
> it slightly conductive afaik.


It's carbon, and that's why they are black. It is added to the rubber in
order to help protect against UV (which is why rubber bands deteriorate),
and also to (slightly) improve wear characteristics. I don't believe the
intention is to make the tyre conductive, but it must therefore be a side
effect, that is quite useful. I've no idea just how conductive tyres are.

Interestingly, wax is also added to the rubber. This leeches out as the tyre
is used, and provides a very thin coating around the tyre, which helps
protect against ozone (which oxidises rubber). Old / high milage tires start
to go hard and grey due, in effect, to this wax "running out".

Jon

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2004\02\18@042617 by Nate Duehr

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On Feb 17, 2004, at 2:29 PM, Peter L. Peres wrote:

>> Looking through the stats it seems that fires have been caused
>> simply by touching the refill cap. What on earth do you do about
>> that ? Get pre-filled tanks by mail order ?
>
> You touch the car body first, while turning away from it, and then NOT
> step (stay in the position you were in when you touched the body). If
> you
> work with flammable liquids you should do this anyway. Gasoline is not
> considered very flammable. Just try shortcuts wrt. static protection
> near
> anything that contains ether or acetylene or hydrogen or ....

Watch the folks at the local airport sometime during refueling.  The
aircraft are ALWAYS connected to the fueling vehicle or ground via a
long bare cable/wire and a clip.

Most fuelers will clip the wire to the exhaust stack on small aircraft
which is unpainted and provides a "decent" place to safely clip on to
the aircraft in aircraft that don't have dedicated grounding clip
points.

Of course, aircraft traveling in precipitation can build up quite a
nasty charge, and this was probably the cause of the early need for
this practice, but now it's standard-operating-procedure for ANY
fueling operation.

Nate Duehr, RemoveMEnatespamTakeThisOuTnatetech.com

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2004\02\18@082413 by Alexander JJ Rice

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On Wed, 18 Feb 2004 01:18:39 +0000, Howard Winter <HDRWEraseMEspam.....H2ORG.DEMON.CO.UK>
wrote:

> Jonathan,
>
> On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 13:51:19 +1100, Jonathan Johnson wrote:
>
>> I don't know about everybody else but I usually get fried as I get out,
>> I
>> touch the top of the door and ZAP, Dissipated albeit painfully :-)

       Or even easier than holding keys just use your knuckes instad of your
fingertips - i have built a variety of electrostatic machines and i can
comfortably take discharges to my knuckles (sparks 6"+ long with several
pF of capacitance behind them) quite comfortbly, whereas if you get them
to the fingertips, or worse still under your fingernail it really hurts.
       If anyone is worried about the safety aspect of this, don't, the
dischrges only last a matter of a few uS whereas in order to affect your
heart you need a discharge of 10ms or more, and i never do discharges
'hand to hand' where the current has to flow across my chest. If you see
anyone experienced in high voltages debugging somehting where there is a
possibility of electric shock they will ususally keep one hand in their
pocket or by their side which avoids the possibilty of say, touching the
grounded case with one hand and contacting live with the other.

Regards

Alex Rice

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2004\02\18@091810 by Neil Cherry

picon face
Peter L. Peres wrote:
>>The car has enough mass that even with the grounding resistor in the
>>nozzle you would still have an ignition spark when you touched the car.
>
>
> Cars are supposed to have static draining devices built in. This can be a
> static grounding strap under the body or something else. They are not
> supposed to work themselves up to high potentials.

I think the problem is not the car but the human. I've seen TV footage of
a gas station fire caused by static electricity. Most of the time the
fire is 'caused' by women. What I mean is that the material used in
many of the women's cloths and the cars seats cause the problem. The
women get up out of their car, don't ground themselves and touch the
pump handle. Next thing you see are flames. I'm not pointing the
finger of blame just pointing out some of the observations.

As a side note, I recently destroyed a Cisco PA-4T. One night while
working in the lab I generated a static discharge that I would
compare to touching both prongs of a 120VAC cord while plugging it
in. It was loud and extremely painful. Weird thing was that the thing
I touched on the router was the console cable which is nowhere near
the PA-4T. I am now in the habit of touching ground every few minutes
sort of like that Monk character on TV. I've narrowed it down to
a particular jacket that I've had for years. When I wear the jacket
I can generate lighting bolts that are visible and loud. The people
I work with require I ground myself by touching ground before I work
with them (I think they like to torture me ;-).

BTW, this is in my lab at work where we have a climate controlled
environment. The lab is kept cold all the time (~65F) and we have
it checked for humidity and temperature periodically. I would also
venture a guess that it's the combination of the jacket, shoes
(Thom McCann) and other cloths (cotton and poly). I typically
wear the same type of clothes. No not the same one! ;-)

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2004\02\18@094542 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Neil Cherry [RemoveMEncherryEraseMEspamEraseMECOMCAST.NET]
>BTW, this is in my lab at work where we have a climate
>controlled environment. The lab is kept cold all the time
>(~65F) and we have it checked for humidity and temperature
>periodically.

Cold environments are nearly always worse as they usualy have lower
humidity.  Over here in the UK I find static shocks are never a problem in
the summer, but can get very bad in the winter.

Our production environments are't allowed to fall below 65% RH in an effort
to prevent static damage, and of course wrist straps and conductive
overcoats and shoes have to be worn at all times.

Mike




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2004\02\18@181027 by Neil Cherry

picon face
Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Neil Cherry [RemoveMEncherryTakeThisOuTspamspamCOMCAST.NET]
>>BTW, this is in my lab at work where we have a climate
>>controlled environment. The lab is kept cold all the time
>>(~65F) and we have it checked for humidity and temperature
>>periodically.
>
>
> Cold environments are nearly always worse as they usualy have lower
> humidity.  Over here in the UK I find static shocks are never a problem in
> the summer, but can get very bad in the winter.

Static is never a problem in summer here either, though our temperatures are
a bit high than you may like (NJ coast, 90F+ and high humidity in August).

> Our production environments are't allowed to fall below 65? RH in an effort
> to prevent static damage, and of course wrist straps and conductive
> overcoats and shoes have to be worn at all times.

I've been told our humidity is regulated also but I still can provide
quite a zap in our labs. I take it that I haven't discharged quite yet
or balanced with the environment. I seem to be the only one in our lab
with such destructive tendencies. :-) Thanks

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