Static Control Tips and Tricks 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

How to Choose an ESD Mat: Material and Composition and Size, Oh My

Posted on by Kathy S. in Static Control Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

How to Choose an ESD MatPaper or plastic? Vinyl or rubber? Some decisions are fraught with consequences. Choose the wrong type of ESD mat and you can cause catastrophic damage, latent failures and customer complaints. Take a look at the basics of mat selection, so you can circumvent any consequences and find the best mat for your application.

For starters, all mats should meet or exceed the requirements of ANSI ESD-S20.20. Once that’s squared away, you’ll need to consider material, composition and size.


ESD mats are generally available in vinyl or rubber. Vinyl is more widely used for table top or work surface applications. It is easy to cut and is very good at dissipating static. Rubber is used when a high resistance to heat and chemicals is required. If you’re using a constant monitor, make sure it’s compatible with your material.


Thickness (one, two or three layers), texture and cushioning of the mat will vary depending on your application and the electrical performance needed. Floor mats, for example, are generally thicker than table mats because they need to absorb more wear. A three-layer mat may include a middle, metallized layer that is conductive, improving its electrical properties. ESD mats should be in either the dissipative or conductive range.


ESD matting comes in rolls, or you can buy ready-to-use, pre-cut mats with grounding hardware installed. If you have a large area, multiple areas or plan to expand, you may opt for the rolls. They have a long shelf life, so you can cut pieces as needed.

When choosing an ESD mat, just stick to the basics to dissipate static—and any lurking fears.

All Fired Up: Ready for the ESD Blame Game?

Posted on by Kathy S. in Static Control Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

All Fired Up--Ready for the ESD Blame GameDo you get charged up easily? Take a deep breath, and consider what that really means for your sensitive components.

Electrostatic discharge, or ESD, is one of the leading causes of device failure. Shocking, we know. But, what does it mean exactly? And, do you know you can blame it on the electrons? Yep. It’s all their fault.

ESD is a single-event, rapid transfer of electrostatic charge between two objects. It usually happens when two objects at different potentials come into direct contact, but it can also happen when a high electrostatic field develops between two objects that are near each other.

When do you get to blame the electrons? Right now. Here’s why: It’s their imbalance on the surface of a material that causes the charge to build up in the first place. The process of electron transfer as a result of two objects coming into contact with each other and then separating is known as “triboelectric charging.” You can build up a triboelectric charge on your body just by walking across the room.

Are you all fired up about the electrons yet? No need to cast blame! Just shop All-Spec for a large selection of the ESD products your workplace needs, so you can properly combat electrostatic discharge and all of its potentially damaging effects.

5 Steps to Combat Cleanroom Static

Posted on by Kathy S. in Static Control Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

5 Steps to Combat Cleanroom StaticIt’s no secret your low humidity cleanroom is ideal for keeping it clean, but did you know it’s ideal for creating static charge? Wiping down objects before they enter proves staticy, too.

Why should you control ESD in your cleanroom? Static charge causes microcontamination, physical damage and interference with automation systems, all of which can interfere with your bottom line.

Consider budgeting for “unforeseen” issues and follow these five steps to corral your cleanroom static:

  1. Ground electrical conductors wherever possible.
  2. Avoid the use of insulators whenever possible.
  3. Opt for dissipative materials, and remember to ground them.
  4. Use an air ionizer to neutralize static on nonconductors.
  5. Establish a comprehensive ESD control program that includes all of the above.

All-Spec stocks a large selection of personal grounding and ionization equipment for your unique cleanroom environment, so you can quickly and easily implement a program that dissipates static and not your profit.

How to Select a Shock-Proof Ionizer

Posted on by Kathy S. in Static Control Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

Ionization and ESDIt’s shocking how many ionizers are on the market today. Benchtop, overhead, point-of-use, the list goes on and on. Does your protected area need a system that blankets the entire room? What about a palm-sized unit? Choosing the right equipment to combat ESD damage may not be a simple selection process.

So, how do you know which one is best? Before you blow your mind, the best equipment for you depends on your application, the space available, the performance desired and which features matter to you.

The primary purpose of an ionizer is to neutralize electrostatic charges on insulators and isolated (non-grounded) conductors. Ionization is one of the best methods of removing charges, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for standard ESD control devices, such as wrist straps, heel grounders and work surface mats. Remember, air ionization should be one component of a complete static control program.

As you select your ionizer, consider Desco. Most Desco ionizers use steady-state DC ionization because this type is effective with a modest air flow for sensitive items, soldering operations as well as operator comfort. You’ll also want to make sure your ionizer has a serial number on it, so you can include it in the company’s maintenance and calibration schedules.

All it takes for an ESD-safe environment is a little planning and research on your part, and before you know it you’ll find that initial shock has simply fizzled out.

6 Reasons to Try: ALPHA® Telecore HF-850

Posted on by Michelle R. in All-Spec News, Green Initiative, Industry News, Static Control Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

Rethink your everyday soldering requirements with a safe, environmental solution from Alpha. Both halogen- and halide-free, Telecore HF-850 is Alpha’s fastest wetting and lowest spattering cored wire. With its clear, no clean residue, Telecore HF-850 is the perfect solution for common soldering tasks and more. Read on for our top reasons to give this earth-friendly option a try.

  1. Fast wetting ensures low cycle times for assembly and touch-ups.
  2. Low spatter leaves less residue and is safer and easier to use.
  3. Halogen-and halide-free properties offer an environmentally sound solution.
  4. Excellent spread characteristics ensure first pass solder joints.
  5. Low fume levels reduce extraction maintenance.
  6. Clear, non-tacky residue ensures cosmetics and allows for easy inspection.

Engineered for use with virtually any industrial or electronics no-clean soldering task, Alpha Telecore HF-850 is in stock now at All-Spec. Shop our wide selection for great savings every day.