ESD News

ESD Socks: To Wear, or Not to Wear?

by Michelle R. on February 2, 2016

Simply put, yes. ESD shoes are made with a conductive material, but they require perspiration in the sock to provide a path-to-ground. With so many variables between people— especially in the winter, when people perspire less— additional footwear is necessary to provide consistent conditions that are more conducive to ESD protection.

blogSocks

What makes ESD socks special? A special conductive yarn that provides an electrical path— and relies less on the wearer’s skin resistance to give ESD protection regardless of the environment— is the main reason these specialized socks should be incorporated into any static-sensitive environment.

For a complete line of ESD garments, slip on All-Spec. Call us or visit us online  today!

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From the Ground Up--3 Steps to Stopping Static for GoodGuarding your sensitive equipment from the ravages of static electricity can be daunting, especially if you have to outfit an entire team of engineers with static-safe materials. Knowing the requirements of your particular environment is the first step.

The second step? Know your dissipative mat. Whether you need it for the floor, table or workstation, make sure you understand its specifications—like RTG versus RTT. Do you know the difference?

Resistance to Ground (RTG) is the resistance from the mat to the ground point. It is the primary measurement for general auditing purposes. This measurement ensures your mat conducts a charge from a point on the surface to the ground point. The guideline in ESD STM-7.1 for RTG is 1×106 to 1×109 ohms. ANSI/ESD S-20.20 has an upper limit of <1×109 ohms.

Resistance to Top (RTT), also called Resistance to Point, is the resistance from one point on the mat’s surface to another, which is measured to help ensure consistent resistance. The ESD STM-7.1 guideline for RTT is >1×106 ohms.

When it comes to equipping your entire facility, staying on budget is also critical. Your third step is to shop All-Spec. All-Spec’s selection of ESD-safe benchtop and floor mats runs the gamut. And, at All-Spec prices, you can easily equip your team—and maybe a few others—with all the tools it needs to run smoothly.

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Is Your ESD-Safe Range Safe Enough?

by Kathy S. on November 17, 2015

Is Your ESD-Safe Range Safe EnoughAre you playing it safe? What about safe enough? When it comes to your sensitive electronic components and printed circuit boards (PCBs), are you doing enough to mitigate potentially expensive problems?

Before you buy the most expensive ESD-safe materials, make sure you understand your facility’s protocols. Operating within your specific safe range doesn’t mean you need to spend money unnecessarily. And, understanding the difference between static dissipative and static conductive will help.

A common “safe range” for a production floor is between 25 x 104 ohms to 35 x 106 ohms (or 25,000 to 35,000,000 ohms); however, this may vary depending on your production environment. Materials ranging from zero ohms to 106 ohms (or one million) are static conductive, and materials ranging from 106 ohms to 109 ohms (or one billion) are static dissipative. Electrons flow easily across the surface or through the bulk of conductive materials. For dissipative materials, charges flow to ground more slowly than with conductive materials.

Need help finding or evaluating the proper range for your environment? Protecting sensitive electronics doesn’t have to be risky business. Play it safe, and turn to All-Spec for operational efficiency across the board and across the production floor—for less.

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The Changing Face of ESD Control--Have You Done Your Due DiligenceEnsuring compliance to ESD requirements and standards presents challenges, especially in light of recent ESD Association changes. Depending on your workplace or environment, improper ESD control can cause fires or explosions resulting in costly damage and injuries. For these reasons, maintaining compliance, and ensuring your program’s efficacy, requires due diligence, including the careful selection of all appropriate instrumentation and other equipment.

Selecting the right equipment for the job at hand is paramount. Desco’s ESD control products are designed to help you maintain compliance with your organization’s ESD program, the basic tenets of which likely include the following:

  1. All conductors of electricity should be grounded to ensure an equipotential balance of electrical charge at all times in protected areas.
  2. Ionized-air sources should be provided to neutralize electrostatic charge on the necessary nonconductors in protected areas.
  3. Appropriate static control packaging or containment for protection of sensitive items should be used when the items are removed from protected areas.

ESD control products from SCS, on the other hand, are primarily comprised of testing and measurement equipment, so you can verify your program is working properly. When used in conjunction, Desco and SCS brand products help to create fail-safe methodologies for an efficient and safe ESD program in any environment.

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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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