Static electricity is a minor annoyance when you walk across a carpet and touch a doorknob. However, static electricity can be fatal when working with flammable or explosive materials. The slightest spark of static electricity can trigger a dangerous or even deadly explosion. That’s why industries working with flammable and explosive materials must take care to use static hazard controlling packaging when transporting or handling those materials. Although most people working in these industries know how important it is to use an static hazard controlling packaging, they may not understand the science behind them. Here’s a quick overview of what makes Type C FIBCs essential.
How Static Electricity Works
Everything is made of atoms, which are themselves made of protons, which have a positive electrical charge; electrons, which have a negative electrical charge; and neutrons, which are neutral. When two objects rub against each other, they may pass electrons back and forth — resulting in an imbalance of electrons that won’t be released until the electrons find something else to which they can jump. That’s why you feel a shock when touching a doorknob after shuffling your feet on a carpet — the extra electrons you picked up from the carpet are being passed onto the doorknob to balance your body’s electrical charge.
What Type C Bulk Bags Do
Because bulk bags are filled rapidly with large volumes of materials, there is a high risk of building a static charge that could trigger an explosion in volatile materials. That’s why Type C FIBCs are constructed of fabric that is woven with conductive threads. The threads are spaced no more than a certain distance apart — creating what is known as a Faraday cage that draws all static charges that may be generated into the conductive threads. These carbon, steel or silver core threads are connected to grounding cables through a grounding tab. This allows static electricity to be conducted safely through the cables into the earth — preventing static electricity from being discharged, which could create a potentially dangerous situation in areas where the environment may contain flammable or combustible materials.
The presence of flammable materials in many industrial locations makes static electricity a legitimate concern. Through the use of Type C FIBCs, however, these facilities are made much safer.