Uses & Dangers of Static Electricity

Uses & Dangers of Static Electricity

11/08/2022 Information 0


  • Photocopiers use static electricity to copy paper documents, usually in black and white.
  • The document’s image is projected onto a positively charged copying plate.
  • The plate loses its charge in the light and retains its positive charge in the dark (i.e the text)
  • A negatively charged black toner powder is applied to the plate and adheres to the areas with positive charges.
  • The toner is then transferred to a fresh sheet of black white paper.
  • The paper is heated to ensure that the powder adheres (hence why photocopied paper feels warm)
  • The document has now been photocopied.
  • Inkjet printers operate in a similar manner, except that instead of black toner powder, a small jet of coloured ink is negatively charged and attracted to the appropriate location on the page.

Dangers of Static Electricity

  • Sparking can be caused by static electricity.
  • Static electricity can be dangerous in a variety of situations, including:
    • The danger of electrocution (e.g from lightning)
    • The possibility of a fire or explosion caused by a spark near a flammable gas or liquid.
  • Sparking can be dangerous in everyday situations, such as when fueling vehicles such as cars and planes.
  • Earthing is used to prevent dangerous charge accumulation.
    • This is accomplished by connecting the vehicles to the ground via a conductor.

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