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Should I fear a discharge from Static?

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #1
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Default Should I fear a discharge from Static?

so, the other day I was at the local "kids science center" where they do all kinds of cool science stuff aimed at kids. It's a great day trip to get the kids into something fun, educational, and a wholesome family activity.

Anyway...i was carrying concealed.

And I saw them using the static electricity generator thingy. (the guys name it's named after escapes me currently)

but you've seen them. a human chain touches it, they turn it on, a static charge is built up, then the last person in the line gets quite a jolt of static as it discharges.

It got me thinking....I know that munitions in our military are often electrically fired and static can set them off.

How "statically safe" is our ammunition, which is impact fired? I played it safe and didn't go anywhere near the static generator, but it still got me wondering.

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:07 PM   #2
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Slim i'd think-
Now reloading said ammo-Whole nuther ballgame-

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Old 01-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #3
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I think they call those things, "static electricity balls."

Or you might also hear them called, "plasma balls."
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Van De Graaff Generator I believe is the proper name.

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Old 01-05-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
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Good question. Static electricity is very high voltage, but VERY low amperage. I seriously doubt a round could go off from static, even from a Van De Graff generator.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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The risk is extremely low to non-existent. Static electricity is still "electricity" in that it is current flow, and it will take the path of least resistance.

In this case, the static charge would follow the metal of the shell casing, which forms a "faraday cage" around the powder and primer compound.

As mentioned, exposed power (or maybe primers, if you could get the spark to jump into the center of the cup, through the primer compound) could maybe be ignited by a heavy enough spark at the right time in the right place.

High explosives (except C4 and similar), Det cord, explosive primers and similar initiators are a different animal and some can be static sensitive.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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Seen serious tests tryingto ignite powders with static. Answer is: they couldn't do it and they were TRYING! Now, sparks are different...
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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I would believe electrically fired munitions would be exposing the electricity directly to the powder or explosive they are igniting with the charge, sort of like removing the primer from a shell and replacing it with something which would create a electrical charge to do the job the primer normally does in our shells, in a smokeless powder cartridge the powder is sealed inside the casing by the bullet and primer, I don't see how any spark could get inside there and ignite anything unless it were somehow done intentionally.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:20 PM   #9
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Electrically set off munitions is a different story. They have more sensitive loads and it's basically set off with a filament that burns when electricity is applied to it. You'll be fine.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:40 PM   #10
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I did some work in an Olin factory that made all kinds of ammo. I can tell you this. Every damn thing in that factory is grounded. If there was a metal tool box.....grounded, bucket of bolts.....grounded. They take static a serious as a heart attack.

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