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Question Can steam at 150 psig being discharged from a carbon steel pipe to atmosphere at 60% RH create a static charge? Something is creating a 600 V differential in a local gas plant and in an explosive atmosphere, this is very undesirable. Blaine Barnes, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Answer ESD's expertise in ESD control is in electronics manufacturing and we cannot offer advice in explosive atmospheres. Here's some information that we hope will be helpful. Per ESD-ADV1.0 Glossary Triboelectric Charging, "The generation of electrostatic charges when two materials make contact or are rubbed together, then separated. "Per ESD Handbook TR20.20 section 2.4 Sources of Static Electricity "Theoretically, any two items or materials brought into contact and then separated can liberate static electricity." And per section 5.5.5 Tribocharging "Tribocharging from equipment can be caused by conveyor belts, hardware sliding on surfaces, and moving fluids (sprays) or solids (sandblasters). Moving gases that are free of particulates, e.g. from air guns, fans, or heat guns do not tribocharge an insulator or conductor. If rapid air movement causes parts or dust particles to rub together, tribocharging might occur."
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