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Electricity > Triboelectric Series

The table below shows the triboelectric series which is a list that ranks various materials according to their tendency to gain or lose electrons. It lists materials in order of decreasing tendency to charge positively (lose electrons), and increasing tendency to charge negatively (gain electrons). Somewhere in the middle of the list are materials that do not show strong tendency to behave either way. Note that the tendency of a material to become positive or negative after triboelectric charging has nothing to do with the level of conductivity (or ability to discharge) of the material.

Due to complexities involved in experiments that involve controlled charging of materials, different researchers may get different results in determining the rank of a material in the triboelectric series. One of the reasons for this is the multitude of factors and conditions that affect a material's tendency to charge. The triboelectric series shown in the table below is a product of the collation of several widely-used triboelectric series published on the web.

Most Positive (+)

 

Air

+

Human Hands, Skin

+

Asbestos

+

Rabbit Fur

+

Glass

+

Human Hair

+

Mica

+

Nylon

+

Wool

+

Lead

+

Cat Fur

+

Silk

+

Aluminum

+

Paper

+

Cotton

 

Steel

-

Wood

-

Lucite

-

Sealing Wax

-

Amber

-

Rubber Balloon

-

Hard Rubber

-

Mylar

-

Nickel

-

Copper

-

Silver

-

uv Resist

-

Brass

-

Synthetic Rubber

-

Gold, Platinum

-

Sulfur

-

Acetate, Rayon

-

Polyester

-

Celluloid

-

Polystyrene

-

Orlon, Acrylic

-

Cellophane Tape

-

Polyvinylidene chloride (Saran)

-

Polyurethane

-

Polyethylene

-

Polypropylene

-

Polyvinylchloride (Vinyl)

-

Kel-F (PCTFE)

-

Silicon

-

Teflon

-

Silicone Rubber

-

Most Negative (-)