Do Your ESD Work Surface Measurements Measure Up?

by Kathy S. on August 26, 2015

Do Your ESD Work Surface Measurements Measure UpSo, you designed your ESD workstation. Now what? Now you need to evaluate your ESD work surface. Your company probably has a laundry list of items that must be tested along with a testing schedule that meets industry standards. When it comes to the work surface, there are three primary measures that should be taken: Resistance to Ground (RTG), Resistance to Groundable Point (RTGP) and Resistance Point to Point or Resistance Top to Top (RTT). How often you take these measurements will vary based on internal requirements and testing history.

Resistance to Ground

This is the main measurement for general auditing purposes. Place a 5-pound electrode, connected to the positive terminal of the resistance meter, onto the most heavily used area of the work surface. The negative lead is connected to electrical ground. This measurement ensures the mat is connected to AC equipment ground. Test at 10 volts, and if the measurement exceeds 1.0 x 106 ohms, switch to 100 volts.

Resistance to Groundable Point

This measurement is taken much like the RTG measurement except the negative lead is attached to the grounding point of the work surface. Perform the test using 100 volts when the expected resistance is greater than 1.0 x 106 ohms. If the measurement exceeds your limits, there may be a problem with the work surface.

Resistance Point to Point

Take this measurement by placing two 5-pound electrodes 10 inches apart on the work surface. The testing is performed using 100 volts when the expected resistance is greater than 1.0 x 106 ohms. If the reading exceeds your limits, the work surface probably needs to be replaced.

As you evaluate your ESD work surface, consider incorporating these tests into your audit for good measure.

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