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What Everyday Tasks Produce Static?

When carrying out simple tasks such as walking across carpets, using common plastic bags or even using stationary, we often don’t realise how much static is generating from these since these charges are not harmful to us. However, when working in a static-controlled environment, it is vital to understand the sources of static charge and eliminate them as this can pose a high risk to static-sensitive components.

Voltages that can damage components can be as little as 10 volts depending on the size, sensitivity and type of component. To comply with the British standard, 100V is the maximum threshold that can be produced within an EPA. In addition, humidity can often have an impact on ESD; the recommended humidity should be between 40 – 60% to have the least effect on ESD.

Typical Electrostatic Voltages

  • Walking across a carpet: 1,500 – 35,000 volts.
  • Operator at a workbench: 700 – 6,000 volts.
  • Walking over untreated vinyl flooring: 250 – 12,000 volts.
  • Unwinding regular tape: 9,000 – 15,000 volts.
  • Picking up a common plastic bag from a bench: 1,200 – 20,000 volts.
  • Walking between rooms or workstations: 1,500 to 35,000 volts.

Another way ESD can occur is when there is a potential difference in charge between two objects. This could be work surfaces, articles of clothing, people, flooring or shelving / conveyers.

Some items can be overlooked when it comes to static discharge. These items can be plastic bags, clipboards, pens and tapes that are generally made from insulative materials that can generate static charge.

In an EPA, to identify whether an item is ESD compliant there should be an ESD logo marking on the product. Although if you are unsure whether the product is antistatic, we recommend using a calibrated surface resistance meter to check the object’s compliance and provide an accurate reading.

Preventing ESD In The Workplace

Within today’s electronics industry, it is widely accepted that Electro-static Discharge (ESD) events are a significant cause of device failure and that implementing static control measures is not only desirable but essential. Without taking measures to prevent device failure from ESD, you could be costing yourself a lot more long-term than if you purchased high-quality anti-static equipment.

With the combination of expert ESD training and high-quality grounding products, you will be able to successfully prevent static damage to expensive electronic equipment / components. Individuals who are engineers, managers, support staff or production personnel who work with high-risk ESD devices should consider learning about the basic principles of static control and understand the measures to take to prevent ESD.

At Bondline, we can offer you a comprehensive training facility, effective through personal involvement, to train you about ESD. As well as ESD training, we can also Audit your premises. We can offer our expertise in what products are needed for which area to ensure all areas are ESD safe and working towards specific ESD guidelines and standards.

To find out more about our ESD Training and Audits, click here.

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