When an ESD catastrophe strikes your workplace, the ensuing damage can be—well, catastrophic. But, it can also be latent. Do you know the difference? And, what can you do to help prevent damage of any kind?
Static is generated when two materials come into contact and are separated, causing electrical particles to be transferred from one object to the other. ESD or an electrostatic discharge takes place when the charged object comes into contact with a conductor, and the static escapes.
What does that mean for your sensitive devices? If they aren’t protected, they could experience either catastrophic damage or latent damage. It’s catastrophic if your components are immediately destroyed and latent if the damage is delayed. Either way can be catastrophic to your bottom line.
So, how do you combat ESD? While you can’t eliminate static generation or discharge, you can neutralize any charges as they occur with a properly grounded anti-static mat that allows the charges to move across its surface slowly.
Anti-static mats come in a variety of styles for the benchtop and the floor—from the laboratory to the cleanroom. Don’t know which kind is best for your environment? All-Spec’s mat selection guides take the guesswork out of the process, so you can escape any and all of ESD’s catastrophes.
The ubiquitous threaded fastener. It’s arguably the most important detachable hardware ever. You rely upon multiple fasteners frequently, if not daily, to hold together your most critical parts. So, making sure you prevent threaded fastener failure is paramount to the success of your business.
Fasteners fail for two reasons: tension relaxation and self-loosening. Tension relaxation is caused by temperature changes, which make your bolts and substrate materials expand and contract. Self-loosening, caused by the lateral sliding between fastener contact surfaces, continues to be a problem even with mechanical locking methods.
Chemical threadlocking adhesives, however, are inexpensive and permanently prevent fastener failure. Loctite® threadlockers come in four grades for a broad array of applications and are color-coded for easy identification: red, blue, green and purple.
Red is the highest strength. It is so powerful it requires heat to be disassembled. The blue threadlocker is medium strength and can be removed with hand tools. It is available as a liquid and a semisolid. Loctite also makes the QuickTape®249™ Threadlocker, which is the only one of its kind in the world. The green threadlocker is recommended for locking preassembled fasteners such as electrical connectors and set screws. Green is categorized medium-to-high strength for wicking and is also available in liquid form. You can remove it with heat or hand tools. Loctite’s purple threadlocker is ideally suited for low-strength metals such as aluminum and brass.
Regardless of your application, chemical threadlocking adhesives for metal-to-metal applications cure to a hard thermoset plastic for the cure of a lifetime.
Did you know dust particles can conduct electricity? Left untreated, they can lead to bad circuit connections and a variety of heat-related issues in your electronic devices. Clearing out dust and debris helps to mitigate these risks and enables technicians to work in a clean environment.
Typically, your first line of defense is a compressed air duster. They are inexpensive and range in pressures to combat varying soil levels. For routine maintenance, an economical choice is Chemtronics’ ES1217, a regular-strength duster that is safe on plastics, nonflammable and also ozone safe. If your system is very dirty, a heavier compressed air spray like Chemtronics’ ES1020 Ultrajet® Duster will do nicely as it’s extra-strong and leaves no residue.
Dust can cake over chips and work its way under components and boards as well. In extreme situations, dust “infestations” will leave a layer of fuzz on your circuit board that must be peeled off before you use a high-pressure duster. Since avoiding dust and debris entirely is unavoidable, it’s best to blast dust particles away before they get carried away.
Are 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.
With all the hoopla surrounding LEDs and their longevity, is it any wonder why LED manufacturers are scrambling to extend the lives of painted or anodized aluminum components, ornamental brackets and lamp poles? While it’s common knowledge that adhesives and sealants help with these challenges, a lesser known solution lies in your surface treatment—the preparation of metal surfaces to extend the life of paint and to seal and protect the surfaces from corrosion.
Employing the right surface treatment technology has been known to double the long-term weather resistance of painted lamp bases and aluminum, street lamp poles. In fact, a large producer of public lighting structures recently reported a total savings of more than $100,000 a year in production and cleaning costs, treatment chemicals, energy and water usage as well as disposal costs.
Henkel’s BONDERITE EC² electro-ceramic coating process offers five to 10 times improved corrosion protection over older treatment methods and conventional paints. It also eliminates the need for surface pretreatment and one to two layers of paint. The environmentally-friendly process is responsible for substantial energy savings and waste reduction. Introducing this type of process into your operations is the next logical step, following the addition of integrated adhesives and sealants, to help today’s LED manufacturers achieve that sweet spot of peak efficiency.