ESD News Archives

Latex Gloves – Are You Allergic?

Many industrial manufacturing environments require workers to wear protective gloves, including during electronics and medical device production and assembly. Latex gloves not only protect workers from harmful chemicals but also protect products from worker contact and contamination during manufacturing Read more

ST 925 SMT Rework System–Three favorites combined into one nice savings

Save a few steps--and some money--with the Pace 925 SMT Rework System Pace has introduced a new low-cost “combination” system ideal for surface mount technology (SMT) rework. It’s worth adding up the savings by comparing the a la carte prices Read more

Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything

You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful Read more

What ESD Bags Should I Buy?

Posted on by Andy in ESD News, Product Reviews, Technical Articles Leave a comment

Anti-Static BagsThe options are almost endless when it comes to ESD bags on the market. Some of the more popular bags are anti-static bags, static shielding bags and moisture barrier bags. Many of the bags come in different variations and size; which bag you choose depends on your need.

Anti-Static bags are almost exactly like

poly bags.These bags are made with an additive in the material so the anti-static properties of the bag will never wear off. While anti-static bags will not protect what is inside the bag from an electronic charge, they will not build up a charge either.Because of this, an anti-static bag is generally used in a situation where the part being placed in the bag is not particularly ESD sensitive but some of the items it may come in contact with are ESD sensitive.

Static shielding bags are another common type of bags. These bags are made to hold items that are ESD sensitive. They are made up of a multi-layered material which includes a specialized layer to reduce static build-up. Part of the layer is made with aluminum which keeps the charges out of the bag and creates a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage is an enclosure made of a conductive material that blocks out electrical fields. An example of a common Faraday cage is an elevator. Depending on the material used to construct the elevator, cell phones may not work because the elevator is blocking out the signal needed to send or receive phone calls.

Both anti-static and static shielding bags have options for both open top and zip-top.The open top bags are sealed with a heat sealer or folded and secured with either tape or an ESD label.The zip-top bags cost more but have a closure of their own which is similar to a freezer or sandwich bag.

Moisture barrier bags, also known as Dri-Shield bags, are designed to keep items safe from not only ESD but also moisture, radio frequency interference (RFI) and electro magnetic interference (EMI).These bags are very similar to the static shielding bags with the exception of a thick single layer of  metalized material or multiple layers of the metalized material.This addition makes it more difficult for the bag material to “breathe,” which means moisture doesn’t transfer through the bag as easily. The added thickness is what shields magnetic and radio interference.

The Weller WES51 vs. the Hakko 936-12

Posted on by Andy in ESD News, Product Reviews Leave a comment

The Weller WES51 soldering station and the Hakko 936-12 soldering station are often compared when it comes down to buying a new soldering station. Below are some basic facts about each model.

Weller WES51 Soldering Iron

Weller WES51:

-Temperature: adjustable 350°F – 850°F within ±9°F

-50W, 120 V input (line voltage) and 24 V output

-Automatic shutoff after 99 minutes to prolong station and tip life

-Works with Weller ET series tips

-Cordless temperature lockout prevents temperature from getting higher than specified for board or component

-Non-burnable silicon rubber cord attached to iron

-Iron design reduces fatigue

-Comes with power unit, soldering iron, iron holder with sponge and ETA tip

Hakko 936-12 Soldering StationHakko 936-12:

-Temperature: adjustable 392°-896°F within ±1.8°F

-60W, 24V

-Lock screw prevents accidental temperature changes

-Compact unit

-Compatible with lead-free solder

Comes with station, ESD safe iron (Hakko 907), tip (Hakko 900M-T-1.6D) and iron holder with sponge

– accommodates large, medium or small irons

Both the WES51 and the 936-12 are ESD safe, have slim handled irons for comfortable use and both stations have a heater/sensor combination for rapid heat-up and recovery.

ESD vs Anti-Static vs Dissipative vs Conductive vs Insulative

Posted on by Andy in ESD News, Technical Articles Leave a comment


ESD-Safe Symbol In order to distinguish the differences between these five terms, you need to know what each one means.

ESD (as defined in the previous post) is an acronym for electrostatic discharge. Many times it is used incorrectly as a term for something that is “electrostatic discharge safe.”

The terms anti-static, conductive, and dissipative are all terms that subdivide ESD into more detail. Something insulative is not considered ESD safe.

Materials are divided into these terms based on their individual surface resistance. Surface resistance is a measurement of how easily an electric charge can travel across a medium. Conductive materials are materials that have a surface resistance of less than 1 x 10 5 ohms/square. Dissipative items have a surface resistance of more than 1 x 10 5 ohms/square but less than 1 x10 11 ohms/square.

Anti-static materials are generally referred to as any material which inhibits triboelectric charging. This kind of charging is the buildup of an electric charge by the rubbing or contact with another material. An insulative material is one that has a surface resistance of greater than 1 x 10 12 ohms/square.

For more ESD products and ESD information, visit the All-Spec website or the Electrostatic Discharge Association website.

Interested in the learning more about the basics of ESD?

What is ESD?

Posted on by Andy in ESD News, Technical Articles Leave a comment

ESD-Safe Symbol Before you can understand ESD (electrostatic discharge), you first need to understand what static electricity is. Static electricity is the buildup of an electrical charge through an imbalance of electrons. This is most obvious when your hair stands up or when your clothes stick together right after pulling them out of the dryer. This happens because one item has a positive charge and the other item has a negative charge.

Technically speaking, an ESD event is defined as an event where there is a transfer of a charge between two bodies with different electrical potentials. The most notable ESD event is the occurrence of lightning (300,000,000 volts). However, the most common one you will physically experience is the shock you receive when you touch a metal doorknob after walking across a carpet on a cold dry day. Lightning is obviously an ESD event on a grand scale with huge transfers of electrons compared to the small discharge present when touching the doorknob.

If we don’t get injured when we are shocked by touching the doorknob, then why do we have precautions against ESD? ESD does do damage when it happens. Just like a lightning bolt can potentially kill a person, a small ESD event can potentially destroy an electric component. Small electronic components such as Service Mount Devices (SMDs) are very susceptible to ESD events. Whereas a person can only begin to feel an ESD event between 2,000 and 3,000 volts, a small component can be damaged or even be destroyed by just a few volts of discharge. By wearing grounding equipment and following ESD precautionary procedures, we reduce the risk of damaging these components.

For our selection of ESD products visit the All-Spec website or the Electrostatic Discharge Association website for more information.

Looking for more information about the basics of ESD?

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