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Question I am working on a product that uses mild electrostatics to attract and trap dirt. Basically it is a cloth that resembles paper towels that you wipe over furniture, countertops and electronics in your house to remove dust from them. I was wondering if there are standards and specs stating the average amount of electrostatic charge an average TV, VCR, car radio, telephone, etc. can take before getting shorted? –Nirav Shah, Cincinnati, Ohio
Answer I believe your question is how much charge can the housing or chassis of electronic device hold before an ESD will result, possibly having an adverse affect it? There are no standards that I know of that addresses this issue. In general, if the chassis is not conductive and tied to the power ground, then the possibility exist for the item to become charged, resulting in a possible discharge that may have undesirable results, such as an electronic upset, reboot or data error. EMI from an ESD event have been observed and are real concerns that should be considered in the design of electronic devices. For a product to be considered “Antistatic” or more correctly, low Tribocharging, the minimum charging voltage acceptable is about 200 volts (depending on the referring standard - this case EIA-625). For a device to become shorted from an ESD event, there has to be a very large current that will break-down the dielectric insulator of any of the conducting power lines. Most standard power cords can withstand from 250 V to 500 V and in some cases a few kilovolts before starting to break-down. Check with the manufacturer of the power cables for this information.
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