Static Electrification of Plastics under Friction: The Position of Engineering-Grade Polyethylene Terephthalate in the Triboelectric Series

Jinyang Zhang, Nadim Darwish, Michelle L. Coote, Simone Ciampi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is an emerging trend to replace moving metallic parts, such as bearings or bushes, with plastic components. The electrostatic hazard associated with plastic components subject to mechanical friction is well documented, but the magnitude as well as physical–chemical origin of this phenomenon remains debated. Using atomic force microscopy and Faraday pail measurements, the triboelectrification of Ertalyte®, a commonly used bearing-grade formulation of polyethylene terephthalate, when rubbed against other polymers and metals, is studied. The sign and magnitude of the net charge that Ertalyte® gains in relation to the chemical nature—electron affinity and ionization energy—of the contacting material are analyzed, concluding that this material should be located toward the negative end of the triboelectric series. It is also shown that large charge densities and fast charge decays result from contact of Ertalyte® with polymers of a small Derjaguin–Muller–Toporov (DMT) modulus and unstable ions, suggesting that ion transfer leads to the electrification of a dynamic insulator/insulator contact. These findings have immediate implications in the choice of the material used to manufacture plastic parts subject to friction and wear and to help address ongoing fundamental questions over the nature of the charge carriers that leads to static electricity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1901201
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • charge transfer
  • Ertalyte®
  • friction and wear of polymers
  • static electrification
  • surface hardness

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Static Electrification of Plastics under Friction: The Position of Engineering-Grade Polyethylene Terephthalate in the Triboelectric Series'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this