SITEMAP School-college Physics Notes: Electricity 8.5 Uses of static electricity
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Section 8 Static electricity: Part 8.5 Some uses of static electricity effects e.g. paint spraying, particle anti-pollution and photocopiers
Doc Brown's Physics exam study revision notes:
8.5 Some uses of static electricity effects
(a) Electrostatic sprayers are used in industry to give a thin even coating of whatever is needed to coat the surface e.g. using an electrostatic spray gun to paint the body of a car or any other object that can be given a static charge.
An electrostatic paint sprayer (spray gun) gives the tiny droplets of paint a negative static charge. The object to be painted/coated is given a positive static charge.
(b) Trapping pollution particles in smoke
Removal of harmful particulates
Static electricity in the form of charged plates across which a large negative potential difference (50,000 V) is applied can be used to minimise the dust and smoke particles in discharges from factory chimneys.
These consist of fine solid particles - some potentially harmful
The waste gases pass through a negatively charged metal mesh. This large static charge induces a negative charge on the smoke particles or dust. Further up the chimney the negative dust/smoke particle are attracted to the oppositely charged positive plates (again a very high, but positive voltage) and removed from the air before the smoke leaves the chimney. The statically attracted particles collect in the L shaped trays below the positive plates.
Every so often the collection plates have to be shaken to remove the collected particles of dust and soot and the trays emptied. This process is called electrostatic precipitation and the apparatus is called the electrostatic precipitator (electrostatic smoke precipitator, to be precise).
Static electric field removing fine particles from smoke
(c) Photocopiers and printers use static electricity to copy images onto a statically charged plate before printing them.
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