When girlfriend rub two materials together, part combinations have the right to cause or create more revolution electricity than others. Since static electrical power is the repertoire of electrically charged particles ~ above the surface ar of a material, various materials have actually a tendency of either giving up electrons and becoming positive (+) in charge or attracting electrons and becoming an unfavorable (−) in charge.

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The Triboelectric collection is a list of materials, reflecting which have actually a greater propensity to come to be positive (+) and also which have actually a greater propensity to become an adverse (−). The perform is a handy tool to identify which combine of materials develop the most static electricity.

Questions girlfriend may have include:

What are materials in the Triboelectric Series? What room the finest combinations of materials? What room acceptable combinations?

This lesson will answer those questions. Beneficial tool: units Conversion

Triboelectric Series

Common materials are listed according exactly how well they produce static electrical energy when rubbed with an additional material, and also what fee the product will possess.

Become confident in charge

The complying with materials often tend to provide up electrons when lugged in call with other materials. That method they will have an increase of confident (+) charges.

The products are provided with those that have the greatest tendency to offer up electrons at the height to those the barely give up electrons.

Materials that obtain a positive (+) electrical charges (Tend to provide up electrons)
Most (+) chargesAir Greatest tendency for offering up electrons and becoming very positive (+) in charge
Dry human being skin Greatest propensity of a solid to offer up electrons and becoming extremely positive (+) in charge


Rabbit fur

Fur is frequently used to create static power


The glass on your TV display screen gets charged and also collects dust
Moderate (+) charges

Human hair

"Flyaway hair" is a good example of having a moderate confident (+) charge




A surprised that lead would collect as lot static electrical energy as cat fur

Cat fur



Gives up part electrons
Least (+) charges



There space very couple of materials that carry out not have tendency to readily lure or give up electrons when lugged in contact or rubbed with various other materials.

Materials the are reasonably neutral


Best because that non-static garments


Not valuable for revolution electricity

Become an unfavorable in charge

The adhering to materials often tend to lure electrons when brought in call with other materials. They are listed from those v the least propensity to lure electrons come those the readily tempt electrons.

Materials that obtain a an unfavorable (−) electric charges (Tend to attract electrons)
Least (−) charges


Attracts part electrons, but is practically neutral


Hard rubber

Some combs are made of hard rubber

Nickel, Copper

Copper brushes supplied in Wimshurst electrostatic generator

Brass, Silver

Gold, Platinum

It is surprising that these metals tempt electrons practically as much as polyester


Clothes have static cling

Styrene (Styrofoam)

Packing product seems to stick to whatever
Moderate (−) charges

Saran Wrap

You deserve to see exactly how Saran Wrap will stick to things on (+) list


Polyethylene (like Scotch Tape)

Pull Scotch Tape off (+) surface and also it will come to be charged


Vinyl (PVC)

Many electrons will certainly collect on PVC surface


Most (−) charges


Greatest tendency of gathering electron on the surface and becoming highly negative (−) in charge

Best combine to develop static electricity

The ideal combinations of products to create static electrical power would it is in to have actually one product from the confident charge list and also one from the an adverse charge list. Examples encompass combining person skin v polyester clothes, combing your hair through a plastic comb, and rubbing fur on a Plexiglas rod.

Skin and also polyester clothes

A common complaint civilization have in the winter is the they shooting sparks once touching objects. This is typically caused due to the fact that they have dry skin, i m sorry can end up being highly optimistic (+) in charge, specifically when the apparel they wear space made of polyester material, which have the right to become an adverse (−) in charge.

People that build up revolution charges because of dry skin room advised to wear all-cotton clothes, i beg your pardon is neutral. Also, moist skin reduces the arsenal of charges.

Combing your hair

Human hair becomes optimistic (+) in charge when combed. A hard rubber or plastic comb will certainly collect an unfavorable (−) charges on its surface. Since comparable charges repel, the hair strands will press away from every other, especially if the hair is an extremely dry. This is dubbed "flyaway" hair. Due to the fact that the comb is negative charged, the will tempt object with a optimistic charge—like hair. That will likewise even attract material with no charge—like little pieces the paper.

Fur and Plexiglas rod

Rubbing a Plexiglas rod with rabbit hair or structure will provide the pole a an adverse charge. Back the rod can be supplied to pick up scraps of paper, the fur and also wool easily lose your charge.

Moderate combinations

When two products that often tend to give up electrons space rubbed together, the one through the greatest tendency will moderately end up being positive (+) in charge. Likewise, once two materials that tend to lure electrons room rubbed together, the one with the greatest tendency will middle become negative (−) in charge.

Silk and also glass

Rubbing a glass rod through a silk cloth will fee the glass with positive charges. The silk does no retain any charges for long.

Saran Wrap

Unrolling a piece of Saran pave or similar plastic wrap creates negative charges top top the sheet. The will tend to stick come neutral items.


Various materials have actually a tendency of either giving up electrons and also becoming positive (+) in charge or attracting electrons and also becoming negative (−) in charge. The Triboelectric series is a list of materials, mirroring the relative tendency to come to be charged. This list deserve to be supplied to determine which combine of materials produce the most static electricity.

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Resources and references

Ron Kurtus" Credentials


Triboelectric Series - Listing of materials from SiliconFarEast.com

Triboelectric Series - EESemi.com

Triboelectric effect - Wikipedia

Triboelectric Charging of typical Objects - Applications native the university of Rochester

Background that Triboelectric Effect - Harvard University

Electrostatic voltmeter - Wikipedia

Static electrical power Resources


Top-rated books on Electrostatics


Questions and comments

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