Measuring the Electrostatic Charge of Plastics

The purpose of our experimentation was to determine whether Acrylic, Duron, Nylon, or Polystyrene held the greatest electrostatic charge. We ran our trials using an electrometer and rods 1.5 feet long and 0.25 inch diameter of the aforementioned plastics. We collected data by measuring the distance the needle on the electrometer moved when the plastic came in contact with the charging plate on the electrometer. We used rabbit fur to charge the plastics so we could measure their respective charges. Once we collected our data, we analyzed it by taking the average of all the trials of the different plastics and then comparing them. We hypothesized that Nylon would hold the greatest amount of electrostatic charge because it is used to keep clothing static free. We discovered that our hypothesis was not correct because Nylon does not hold the greatest amount of electrostatic charge. Based on our research, Acrylic holds the most electrostatic charge. We do not know why, but we think it is because of the atomic makeup of Acrylic.

Research Done By:

Luke Abbott

Ryan Holden