Synthetic fibers are known to be a major source of electrostatic potential occurring on clothing. The electrical properties of fibers are determined by their chemical composition and polymer structure. Environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, and friction intensity can influence these properties. Due to the insulative characteristics of most fabrics, fibers are able to keep their charge for relatively long periods. This can result in clothing to cling to each other, attract dust, and create discharge shocks. To reduce these issues, suggestions have been proposed to mix garment layers made of natural fibers with garment layers made of synthetic fibers. The purpose of this study was to identify combinations of commercially available natural and synthetic fabrics that may result in reduced electrostatic build-up. Sixteen combinations of four fabric types were evaluated under controlled laboratory conditions. The fabric samples included 100% Polyester, 100% Nylon, 100% wool and 100% cotton. All combinations were evaluated using the same friction test protocol. The results showed that wool and cotton both exhibited the lowest electrostatic charge build-up while the polyester sample created the highest electrostatic charge build-up, even when paired with fabric samples of cotton and wool. The results suggest that layering synthetic fabrics with fabrics made of natural fibers will not significantly reduce the electrostatic potential created by the friction with synthetic fibers.
This document was originally published in Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium Proceedings 2021: 14th Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium, TBIS 2021 by the Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Reischl, Uwe and Mijovic, Budimir. (2021). "Assessment of Electrostatic Potential Resulting from Friction Between Fabric Samples Made of Natural and Synthetic Fibers". In Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium Proceedings 2021: 14th Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium, TBIS 2021 (pp. 340-344). Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society.