When it comes to preventing ESD, there is more than one side to this story. There are a number of layers of protection critical to eliminating the risk of ESD. With that being said, it’s also important to know how to choose and utilise these types of gloves as well.
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) typically occurs when two objects with varying voltage potentials come into contact and are subsequently separated. This results in an electrical current passing between the two objects, as static electricity is discharged. Although this flow of electrical current only occurs momentarily, it can cause significant damage to either or both of the objects.
In addition to this, ESD can occur due to electrostatic induction, when the electric charges on the surface of an item are affected by an electrostatic field.
As the human body is capable of conducting electricity, people can be a source of static electricity too. This means that ESD can occur when an individual comes into contact with an object that also contains static electricity or has voltage potential. So, if you’ve ever felt a ‘shock’ after touching something metal, like a door handle, or made your hair stand on end with a balloon, then you’re familiar with ESD!
Although you may feel an uncomfortable zap or ‘shock’ when static discharges, ESD is rarely dangerous to humans because the electrical current that is discharged is relatively low. However, some people are more sensitive to static electricity and may experience its effects more frequently than others.
In contrast, ESD can cause considerable damage to electrical items. Components, particularly microchips and integrated circuits, can be significantly damaged and rendered non-functional if exposed to ESD. Due to this, protective measures must be implemented during manufacturing, assembly, and transportation processes to prevent exposure to electrostatic discharge.
People routinely wear protective gloves, such as blue disposable gloves, to prevent them from coming into contact with potentially harmful objects or chemicals. Similarly, healthcare workers may wear nitrile disposable gloves when interacting with patients to avoid cross-contamination and the spread of illness.
While regular nitrile gloves and blue gloves have many uses, they don’t protect against ESD. Instead, you need to wear specialist ESD gloves to prevent electrostatic discharge.
ESD gloves are designed to stop electrostatic discharge from occurring. These gloves have anti-static properties, which help to dissipate static electricity and prevent both the wearer and the objects they touch from being exposed to ESD.
There are many different types of ESD gloves, including fabric, latex, and vinyl ESD gloves. Although they can all offer protection against ESD, full consideration should be given before choosing the disposable option.
If you regularly work with electrical components, for example, reusable gloves may be the best option. Often made from synthetic filament fibre, these gloves should be worn in Electrostatic Protected Areas (EPA). Alternatively, if you only need to use ESD gloves occasionally, a disposable ESD glove could be the easiest option.
Selecting the right ESD gloves can enhance the level of protection on offer, but it can also increase comfort and optimise productivity. In addition to choosing a suitable size glove, for example, you may prefer fabric to disposable or blue gloves because of the increased comfort they offer.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the type of work you’ll be doing when you choose what type of ESD gloves to wear. Gloves that offer a high level of sweat absorbency and heat resistance can be beneficial if ESD gloves need to be worn for long periods of time, for example. Similarly, coated palm gloves or coated fingertip gloves can provide enhanced grip and anti-slip properties, which is useful if you’re undertaking delicate work.
When selecting anti static gloves, you’ll want to consider the cost and environmental implications too. Reusable gloves can be a more cost-effective and sustainable option if you’re going to be using them regularly, for example. With the option to wash and re-wear ESD gloves, you can ensure that you always have ESD-safe equipment available, as and when it’s required.
No matter what type of ESD gloves you choose, it is vital to use them properly to ensure maximum efficacy. For example, gloves should be worn before entering an EPA or before handling items that are sensitive or vulnerable to electrostatic discharge. While many people use ESD gloves in a professional environment, they are equally beneficial for home use if you’re going to be repairing a smartphone or computer.
However, ESD gloves do not provide sufficient protection from electrostatic discharge when they’re used in isolation, regardless of whether you use ESD top fit gloves, ESD fabric gloves, ESD latex gloves or ESD vinyl gloves. Instead, you should view ESD gloves as a critical component of your ESD safety protection and use them in conjunction with additional ESD prevention.
An anti-static wrist strap could be worn with ESD gloves to safely ground the wearer. Similarly, people may wear protective gloves and wrist straps while also using an ESD-safe mat as a workspace.
By using ESD gloves in conjunction with other ESD-safe devices, you can successfully avoid electrostatic discharge and prevent damage from occurring to the items you’re working with.
If you are ever in doubt about whether ESD gloves are important for your electrostatic safety requirements, Bondline is more than happy to help with any queries or concerns. Contact us for all your ESD requirements.
Now you’ve got an insight into what ESD gloves are, how they work, and how to use them, you simply need to decide which type of gloves are right for you and your business! With plenty of options to choose from, our range of anti static gloves offers comfort, effectiveness, and durability. From cleanrooms and assembly lines to repair centres and factories, we supply high-quality ESD gloves to a wide range of customers.
To learn more, explore our range of ESD gloves now, get in touch with our team on 01793 511000, or email us at email@example.com.
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