A Lesson in Plastic Packaging Bags and Static Electricity

Did you know that static electricity is like little bolts of lightning? Well, I sure do. This is because once time, when I was traveling, the mattress in the dorm I was staying in was covered in plastic. I was trying to watch a movie on my laptop, using my headphones, sitting on this bed.

Every time I moved, my body would create static electricity by rubbing against the plastic, and those little lightning bolts would go travelling up the wire to my headphones and ground out in one of my ears. This means that the lightning bolt would essentially land in my ear. Can I just say that it felt exactly like a little lightning bolt, too? I wasn’t the only one this was happening to. Everyone in the dorm was experiencing the same thing, and every now and then the air would be punctuated with a curse or a shout. This a true story. Cross my heart.

Ironically, at the same I was experiencing such conductive situations while trying to watch a movie, my job was working on the electronics in aircraft. Static electricity is something we took very seriously when it came to the different pieces and parts we were dealing with. For example, if we removed a circuit board from a component we wouldn’t just throw it on our pockets. It went right into one kind or another of static shielding plastic packaging bags.

Imagine those little bolts of lighting jumping around on some computer hardware. This doesn’t happen thanks to the plastic packaging bags. You can start out knowing what the problem is, but unless you are using the right type of packaging material you can send something off that incurs more and more damage as it travels. Not good. Originally, the manufacturer would have known how to fix it right away. Without the proper plastic packaging bags, they have to start from square one with the trouble-shooting.

Static electricity is incredibly interesting, and that goes for anyone. You don’t have to work on aircraft or experience something weird while travelling to think so. We’ve all rubbed a balloon on the carpet and then stuck it to our little sister’s hair. We’ve all gotten out of the car and zapped our fingers when closing the door. Those are little bolts of lightning, people. Technically, I guess you could even say, that when you use those static shielding plastic packaging bags you are kind of like a super hero, keeping nature at bay.

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