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An insulator is a material with high electrical resistance. It will not conduct a charge to ground. Examples of insulators are plastic, rubber, vinyl, glass and wood. A practical example of an insulator is the rubber or vinyl casings around common electrical wires.

Insulative material

The term “insulative material” refers to a material having a surface or volume resistivity ≥ 1 x 10E11 ohms.



The property of “insulation” refers to a material’s ability to store as opposed to conduct electrical current.

An insulator is the opposite of a conductor. It does not allow the free flow of electrons, therefore it will more than likely cause problems to prevent a path to Earth, hold a ‘static’ field etc. Examples of insulative materials include: plastic, glass, wood and rubber.

Isolated conductor

An isolated conductor is a non-grounded conductor. Examples of isolated conductors include: Conductive traces or printed circuit board components not in contact with ESD work-surface.


An ioniser is a specialised device which is designed to generate positive and/or negative air ions. Ionisers help to remove static charge on objects and surfaces by passing an electrical charge to molecules in the air. The primary function of an ioniser is to neutralise electrostatic charges on “process-essential” insulators and isolated (non-grounded) conductors. For more information, see our guide on ionisers in ESD control.


Ionisation is the process by which a neutral atom or molecule acquires a positive or negative charge.

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