Health and Safety Benefits of Anti-Static Acrylic and Polycarbonate

What is anti-static plastic?

Plastic is an effective insulator, meaning that it is a poor conductor of electricity. Thus, electrical charges are able to accumulate on its surface, resulting in static build up. This often occurs where there is a sliding, rubbing or separating of material, which discharges when it comes into contact with a person or a microcircuit.

This is a term known as electrostatic discharge (ESD). ESD can cause numerous problems when it occurs through a human, including pain or loss of life. When becoming discharged via a microcircuit, it can generate damage to machinery, or even result in an electrical spark, which is dangerous in sensitive environments containing flammable liquids.

Anti-static plastics therefore minimise the risk to life and reduce machinery breakdowns, providing multiple benefits to various sectors.

These materials – Acrylic AC300 and Polycarbonate PC350 – are created by adding additives to lower the resistivity of a material, so that charges are mobile and will therefore not cause static issues.

What are the benefits of anti-static plastic compared to anti-static spray?

An alternative to anti-static plastic is anti-static spray, which is a coating applied to the surface of materials to protect them from electrostatic discharge.
The longevity of an anti-static coating is dependent on the substrate’s operating conditions.

Once the coating becomes matted, heavily oxidized, overly exposed to harmful solvents, dust, and other particulates, its effectiveness decreases or ceases. And thus, will need to be reapplied. This often leaves the effectiveness of the spray down to human application, which potentially leaves it open to human error.

The effectiveness of anti-static sheet, on the other hand, is not determined by the skill level of the person applying it in the same was as a spray. This leaves much less room for error, making anti-static sheet a more reliable option.

Where are anti-static plastics used?

At Ai Plastics, we supply SciCron antistatic sheets to the UK market, spanning multiple applications such as food production and manufacturing.

Covers, windows, instruments, partitions, keypads and shields are just some of the various types of media that make up the large family of anti-static plastics.

These bespoke materials can be designed with chemical resistance, light-weight, surface hardness and static dissipation in mind, giving customers their exact material requirements, across a wide arena of applications. Each solution is engineered to meet the needs of both every day and niche challenges.

The regulations imposed by the FDA in the food and beverage industry, represent just one example where antistatic plastic must meet specific criteria. Its benefits ensure that dust, pollutants and mites will not be found on products for human consumption.

Such material is also used in other controlled environments, such as within hospital operating rooms.

They are also implemented within production and manufacturing facilities. Because synthetic plastic is an insulator which does not promote the flow of electricity through its structure, some manufacturing processes – such as cutting processes and exposure to UV – can create a build-up of inherently hazardous static charge where there are combustible liquids or powders present.

As such, anti-static properties must therefore be designed, to mitigate the risk of ignition, protecting both life and machinery. For example, ESD workbenches are suitable for static-controlled areas within manufacturing, which are grounded for the safe discharge of static electricity.

In the steel industry, antistatic coatings are used to help deaden sound, provide wear and abrasion resistance, as well as partial protection from scratching in products and finishes.

Ai Plastics anti-static products

Acrylic AC-300™

We supply AC-300™, a premium quality acrylic sheet, coated with SciCron Technologies’ clear C-300™ static dissipative coating. This coating prevents charge generation on the sheet surfaces and thereby controls particulate attraction and prevents electrostatic discharge (ESD).

It is suitable for use in the semiconductor, electronic, micro-manufacturing, and mining industries.

Polycarbonate PC-350™

PC-350™ is a premium quality polycarbonate sheet, coated with SciCron Technologies’ clear C-350™ static dissipative coating. Like C-300™, this coating prevents charge generation on the sheet surfaces and thereby controls particulate attraction and prevents electrostatic discharge (ESD).

If you operate within an environment conducive to ESD, a health and safety assessment would be beneficial, whereby you note all areas which pose a potential ESD threat. Consequently, you can work out what anti-static equipment you require.

Shop our range of anti-static plastic and polycarbonate sheet or film roll here. Or for more information, contact Ai Plastics on 0161 727 0255 or email


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