We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Electrostatic Voltmeter?

By N. Kalu
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An electrostatic voltmeter measures the voltage of any particular material's surface without transferring excess current charge. In other words, this instrument more precisely measures the static charge generated by a material's surface without contributing excess charge to the results in the process. When measuring the voltage of a material, the current generated between the instrument and the material's surface creates a natural charge that can skew the results of the actual voltage of the material. Thus, an electrostatic voltmeter is vital to preventing inaccurate measurements and results.

Although an electrostatic voltmeter might be required to touch the surface in order to measure, the most desired electrostatic voltmeters require no contact between its probe and a material's surface ensuring clean results. In fact, the probe is placed about 0.04-0.20 inches (1-5 mm) away from the surface — close but not at all touching the material. In addition, many of these types of voltmeters are equipped with an ability to null the electric field between the probe and the surface. This is possible because the voltmeter will increase the voltage of the instrument probe until it matches the voltage of the surface in question. When both voltages are equal, the voltmeter is more accurately able to measure the surface's voltage, often achieving an accuracy within 0.05-0.1 percent of full scale.

There are a number of significant benefits to using an electrostatic voltmeter besides its high rate of measurement accuracy. Such voltmeters facilitate the voltage measurement of a moving surface. Nulling the electrostatic field between the probe and the surface allows for more leeway in spacing changes between the probe and the area of the surface being measured at any one time.

Collecting data through the use of an electrostatic voltmeter also minimizes the chance of arc-over between the probe and the surface area. Arc-over refers to the resulting charge created from the interaction between a high-voltage surface and an instrument probe. Thanks to electrostatic nullification, arc-over is eliminated, allowing for more stable direct current (DC) electricity. More stable DC electricity, in turn, leads to the notable accuracy of the electrostatic voltmeter over its more common counterpart, the electrostatic fieldmeter. Fieldmeters measure the total voltage of a material and not simply the surface voltage of the material, important when determining the electrostatic potential between a material's surface and an industrial machine.

Electrostatic voltmeters are typically used in the industrial sector. They are used for a wide variety of applications specific to businesses in that industry. The uses might include measuring the surface voltage of industrial materials such as rubbers, plastics and polymers; evaluating the effects of radiation; and analyzing the properties of photoreceptors.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.