Electronic products must be packaged securely to prevent electrostatic discharge during transportation and storage. When you use ESD packaging, you can limit static electricity and prevent product damage. This article will cover what ESD packaging is, why it is important and what the various types of ESD packaging are.
Static sensitive devices such as integrated circuits are constructed using silicon and other semiconductor materials. These static sensitive devices can break down if exposed to high voltages. Companies handling these static sensitive devices in their day-to-day operations should take preventative measures to avoid this issue. This highlights the need for them to select packaging materials that are suitable for the devices. This is where ESD packaging comes in.
ESD packaging is an optimal solution in industries like aerospace, healthcare, automotive and electronics. ESD protective packing materials safeguard electrical products against ESD damage. As the product or component travels from one point to another until it reaches its destination, it is then protected against potential electrostatic discharge events.
Aside from shielding the device from electrostatic discharge, ESD packaging also offers protection against physical damage to the device. This way, it offers a double layer of protection. ESD packaging prevents the build-up of charges within it. At the same time, ESD protective packaging should dissipate any charges that may be present on the surface.
Every company strives to minimise the risk of ESD-related product damage. That’s why ESD protected areas (EPAs) are essential to minimise ESD events.
But what happens after your products leave your facility? They are then transferred to subcontractors, shipping companies and product sellers. Throughout this process, there’s no telling whether your products will be exposed to electrostatic hazards that can cause ESD damage. Your products can malfunction and degrade in terms of quality and performance as a result. Other defects include reduced lifespan and total product failure.
Hence, specialised ESD packaging is critical for ensuring the safety and shelf-life of your products. It functions as a grounding system by safely discharging the build-up of static charges.
ESD packaging can be used to hold and transport products that are of any size. It can hold various products, including everything from large motherboards to tiny microchips.
Various materials are used to create ESD packaging. These materials have a common characteristic: high surface resistance. ESD packaging is usually made from materials with a surface resistance that is higher than 1.0 x 10^(3) ohms.
ESD packaging can be classified depending on the properties that the material has.
ESD packaging with shielding properties essentially creates a barrier that reduces electrostatic discharge. It prevents not only the accumulation of static electricity but also the occurrence of ESD. In other words, ESD packaging with this type of material does not accumulate static charges. Moreover, it can’t receive a charge from another object or transfer a charge to said object. Take for example static shielding bags. Shielding materials provides static charge protection on both the inside and outside of the container. This makes shielding bags effective for transferring products outside of an EPA.
ESD packaging made from conductive materials has the capability of conducting electric charges away from the static sensitive device inside the packaging. In this way, static charges will not accumulate. This type of ESD packaging keeps the flow of electricity under control as well. With it, electricity is routed in a way that keeps it from damaging the components inside. Essentially, it allows electricity to flow safely and securely. Conductive materials commonly have a surface resistance between 10^(2) ohms and 10^(5) ohms.
ESD packaging constructed from dissipative materials works by slowing down the flow of electricity instead of directing it. It is effective in reducing the power of an electrical charge. It essentially helps in preventing the components contained inside the packaging from being damaged by ESD. Dissipative materials usually have a surface resistance between 10^(5) ohms and 10^(11) ohms.
ESD packaging made from anti-static materials is capable of preventing tribocharging. Tribocharging is a phenomenon that occurs when two materials come in contact with each other and build up static electricity. In some cases, sparks and ignition may result from this process. ESD packaging with anti-static properties can significantly reduce the amount of damage caused by ESD events.
ESD packaging can also be categorised based on if it comes into contact with electrostatic discharge sensitive (ESDS) components. The three classifications are the following:
Protect your electronic products both inside and outside the EPA. At Bondline, we offer a wide variety of ESD packaging solutions that can satisfy any of your packaging needs.
Our storage and handling solutions include stacking containers, picking bins, PCB racks, ESD trolleys, shelving and filing cabinets. Meanwhile, our ESD packaging supplies include conductive hook and loop strap, anti-static bubble wrap, anti-static foam and more. We also have ESD bags available. View our catalogue now.
Not sure which ESD packaging to use for your business? Get in touch with us today to consult with our experts. Our team can help you find the right products based on your specific requirements.
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