Static electricity is an electric charge which results from an imbalance between negative and positive charges of an object. It occurs on surfaces when they come in contact with each other and then separated. This contact leads to the transfer of negatively charged electrons to a positively charged surface.
The static charge’s strength will depend on the materials, physical properties, electrical properties, temperature, humidity, and separation speed. We usually notice it as sparks or feel it when pulling clothes from a drier. It can cause electric shock in individuals as well as attract dust. The spark produced by static electricity can ignite a fire.
Why is this important?
All things consist of molecules, whether alive or dead, including you, your office furniture, and chair mat. Molecules contain atoms, which can be positively charged (protons), negatively charged (electrons), or without charge (neutrons). Most objects, however, have a neutral charge because the number of protons and electrons are balanced.
Static electricity happens when two materials with opposing charges rub together. The electrons jump from the negatively charged material creating a shock or spark.
Some materials lose their electrons easier than others. Metal does not lose electrons easily, while plastic, which is an insulating material, loses and gains electrons faster if friction occurs.
When a person removes a woolen hat and their hair stands and sticks up, the wool causes friction on the hair and transfers electrons from the hair to the hat. The hair stands up because of repulsion from the other hair that has a positive charge.
Static electricity in plastic chair mats
Plastic material easily discharged electrons, as discussed earlier. Keep in mind that your office chair rolls on the plastic mat several times a day. The more the friction between two objects, the stronger the electric charge. Therefore, continuous rolling of your chair on the mat can generate static electricity.
The static electricity generated between your chair and a plastic mat might not be strong enough to cause harm. The tiny shocks can be very annoying and bothersome.
However, if the static electricity in your office is an issue, occurs very frequently, and is alarming, increase the humidity. Electrons join together more easily in dry conditions; therefore, increasing moisture will reduce the static shocks.
A more reliable solution is switching your office chair mat from plastic to glass. Glass office chair mats are worse conductors of electricity than plastic. Therefore they will allow you to roll around freely without getting shocks.
The Glassupply.com Glass Chair Mat will protect you from static shocks and protect your floors for a long time.
At Glassuply.com, we provide Glass Office Mats of various sizes and shapes and work with you to custom-make designs that fit your unique workspace. We guarantee you products of the highest quality, style, and durability and provide the best comfort in your home or commercial office.