ESD vs Anti-Static vs Dissipative vs Conductive vs Insulative

by Andy on July 9, 2007


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?

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