Mechanisms of electriciation in solid-solid contact

  • Leonard B. Loeb


It is precisely in this area that the greatest confusion exists. Aside from the complications produced by the action of films of moisture, electrolytic effects and/or the formation of electrolytic Helmholtz double layers, or by films of impurity, phenomena are complicated by other factors. These include the manner in which measurements are made, the failure to avoid external electrical fields, the character of the contacts, e.g., sliding, rubbing, or rolling contact or just normal contact with no lateral motion. In some cases, there was a disregard of the electrostatic circuit arrangements and failure properly to analyze the circuit as a whole including, especially, the electrometer capacity. The effect of heating either at local contact points or asymmetrical heating of the same substances has been ignored. Heating may involve local fusion, etc. Again, the nature and state of surfaces, possibly exposure of crystal planes and the removal of oriented layers of ions as a result of mechanical or heat stresses. Finally, assuming that the measurements are conducted under controlled conditions designed to avoid all unnecessary complicating factors when one regards the electrification on contact of the whole gamut of inorganic, organic, insulating and conducting solids known and used in study, the various possible interchanges of charged carriers leads to such an extensive range of interactions that it is virtually impossible to derive any basic understanding of the mechanisms at work. This is especially true when one turns to such complex substances as vulcanite, (hard rubber), the various plastics, sealing wax, amber, cat’s fur, silk, glass and wool commonly associated with the phenomena of static electrification.


Work Function Borosilicate Glass Rolling Speed Fuse Quartz Average Charge 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag OHG. Berlin · Göttingen · Heidelberg 1958

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard B. Loeb
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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