Everyone has been exposed to static cling in some form or another. It’s the way your clothes stick together when they come out of the dryer, or the way a balloon will cling to your hand after being rubbed on the carpet. Static cling technology takes this natural phenomenon and harnesses it for practical applications in everyday life, such as plastic wrap and static cling window film!
Explaining static cling requires a bit of science talk, but it’s fairly straightforward.
• All substances are made up of atoms.
• Atoms are made up of electrons.
• The number of electrons can make an atom be stable or unstable.
• When two substances with atoms that have an unstable numbers of electrons come into contact, the atoms will try to share electrons with each-other or steal from each-other to become more stable.
• When electrons are gained, the process creates a positive charge. When electrons are lost, the process creates a negative charge.
• The positive and negative charges attract each-other, so the two substances “cling” together.
• The process of transferring electrons creates static electricity.
Rubbing two substances together increases the amount of touching surface area, excites the atoms and electrons, and increases the amount of static electricity and static cling being produced. Static electricity can often be discharged by touching something else – such as a doorknob or another person, creating a “zap”.
This zap can disrupt items like sensitive electronic equipment, which is why factories that make electronic components install special non-conductive materials on walls, floors, and workspaces. This anti-static technology dampens down the area, making the build-up and discharge of static electricity less likely.
In contrast, static cling can last much longer and has been proven to be extremely useful. Static cling technology is put to use in many fields, including:
• Food preparation and storage. Plastic wrap or cling film (often known but the popular brand name “Saran Wrap”) is popular in kitchens around the world for its ability to stick to itself as well as other surfaces. Food can be wrapped up, bowls can be covered and stored, and surfaces can be protected with a layer of film that uses static cling technology.
• Decals, signs, stickers, labels, and banners. Static cling technology is becoming more and more popular for temporary labeling or promotional use, since unlike adhesive, it comes off easily and leaves no residue. Static cling items are inexpensive, can be used almost anywhere on almost any surface, and are reusable as well.
• Teaching and work materials. Static cling transparent printed materials can be layered over each-other to show grids and coordinates, and are valuable inside the classroom and out.
• Static cling window film. Window film that uses static cling technology is remarkably durable; can provide privacy, insulation, and sun protection; and is simple to install, remove, and reinstall as needed.
Static cling technology is constantly expanding to find new applications. There are countless possibilities in the home improvement and home decoration verticals alone. Since it is a natural byproduct of how the world works, it is inexpensive, environmentally helpful, and sustainable, making this technology one of the greenest and cleanest around!