ESD Control

  • The Power of Static Electricity and Minimizing an Electrostatic Discharge

    The Power of Static Electricity

    We’ve all experienced that little static shock between ourselves and another surface or person.  While annoying, it is a relatively harmless event. That is unless it happens in certain work environments and around sensitive electronic equipment. In these cases it can be very expensive.

    That seemingly tiny charge can cause a short or even a fusing of metals together on a circuit board. It can cause damage that the naked eye can’t see. Today’s electronics are so powerful and sensitive that in the blink of an eye, they are altered by a static charge.

    What is the Cause of Electrostatic Charges?

    An electrostatic discharge is the transfer of electrons between two objects. One surface is positively charged while the other is negatively charged.  The human skin tends to accumulate positive charges, while synthetic materials gather negative charges.

    Electrostatic charges occur three primary ways:

    • Air movement around electronic equipment. This can include spray compressed air or fans near the equipment.
    • Synthetic materials placed near electronic equipment. This can be as simple as a Styrofoam coffee cup.
    • Human contact with electronic equipment. The human body can store a surprising amount of electrostatic charge. Simply handling a circuit board can discharge it.

    Minimizing and Preventing Electrostatic Charges

    There are multiple steps you can take to prevent electrostatic charges. Making sure your facility has a single common ground is a good place to start. You can also use ESD-safe compressed air. Make an effort to keep synthetic materials away from electronic equipment. But there is a simpler way to solve issues with electrostatic charges: ESD matting.

    The Purpose of ESD Matting

    ESD Matting keeps a balance between positive and negatively charged surfaces. It is a convenient and affordable way to solve a potentially expensive problem. ESD mats come in tabletop versions and in floor mats. They come in an array of colors and sizes. If you want to assure a static free environment consider the use of ESD matting.

  • 3M Static Control is now SCS

    3M Static Control has been acquired by Desco Industries Inc. The 3M Static Control brand will now be known as SCS. Former 3M Static Control products will feature the new SCS logo, but will still retain the same 3M part numbers.

    Rest assured that the same quality and affordable pricing you have come to expect from 3M Static Control products will be maintained during and after this transition to the SCS brand. We at GoKimco.com are proud to continue to offer you these high quality static control products.

    If you have any questions, please contact us.

  • Proper Tecniques for Printed Circuit Board Cleaning

    Proper Tecniques for Printed Circuit Board Cleaning

    Printed Circuit Boards are delicate pieces of electronics and it is important that they be cleaned and maintained properly. Though many may feel that dusting a PCB is sufficient for removing potentially harmful build up, there are a few different methods for removing sediment that can help extend the life and improve performance of a PCB.

    canned-airThe first and most common item used for cleaning PCBs is canned air. This highly compressed air is great for pinpointing dust and particulates without damaging or disturbing the rest of the circuit board in the process. Using a dust rag or other, harsher cleaning agent can dislodge connections and can cause major issues down the road. Rough or abrasive cleaning can break connections and damage the circuit board to the point of replacement.

    ACL StaticideThe next cleaning agents to consider are solvents. Sometimes dusting is simply not enough to remove particulates and other dust that is on a PCB. Solvents can help to remove large deposits like corrosion, rust, solids that have formed on the surface, and other issues that can damage and even stall the function of a PCB. When choosing a solvent it is always important to choose a product that has vapor rinse. This will help to remove all residue that is left after soldering.

    There are a few different ways that residues can be removed, the first is submersion of the PCB in the proper solvent. For soldering residue, water based submersions work best. It may also be sufficient to use air based cleaning to remove these harmful build up. For tougher residues using a solvent can help.

    Branson Ultrasonic CleanerUltrasonic cleaning can help to dislodge residue without much contact. The less users have to touch the PCB to remove residue the better. Extensive handling can cause damage without truly cleaning the PCB. Because these circuit boards are so small and delicate, it is important that precision is used to remove any dirt or other sediment. Taking the time to find the proper solvent for the issue at hand can save time and money in the long run and can insure a clean and well functioning PCB.

  • Desco Static Shielding and Moisture Control Bags

    Desco bags

    Desco ESD static shielding and moisture barrier bags are designed to protect sensitive electronic components like motherboards, and printed circuit boards from charge-back and/or moisture while in storage and during transit.

    Desco static shielding ESD bags are constructed with anti static properties and several layers of metal for added protection. Companies in the electronic industry rely on Desco products to protect their equipment from damage. These bags provide:

    - maximum static protection
    - low overhead
    - durability- variety of sizes
    - zip-top and heat seal-able options

    Desco anti-staic moisture barrier bags act as barriers to prevent moisture, debris, and dust particles from damaging their contents. A protective coating is applied over a transparency anti static film. Multi-layered insulation material is added during the construction process. The insulation is effective in preventing ESD hazards from coming in direct contact with circuit boards and other electronic devices.

    Types of Desco Anti Static Bags Available:

    13871 Desco bags
    Anti-static Bags

    These particular bags are treated with a topical anti-static agent. The agent is place on the surface of the bags to help minimize static during contact. Some anti-static bags are constructed with the added film protection built in. These bags tend to be cleaner, and more reliable than treated bags.


    Desco bags

    Metallic Shield Bags

    These bags offer static protection in two ways; pretreated or embedded. The metal film guards the devices, by preventing discharges from outside the bag, depending on the thickness of the film. This effect is referred to as the “Faraday Cage Effect” and is often used in the construction of metal shield bags, and conducive bags.


    13805 Desco bags

    Moisture Barrier Bags

    Desco bags that are rated as moisture barriers provide additional anti-moisture protection for sensitive electronic parts. For added moisture protection, consider also using Desco desiccants and humidity indicator cards.


    12800 Desco bags

    Bubble Bags

    Desco bubble bags offer a combination of the features mentioned above, with added padding suitable for shipping protection.

    Desco offers a wide array of bags and packaging, suitable for any electronic production or shipping need. Feel free to contact us if you require assistance in choosing the right Desco bags for your needs.

  • Desco Wrist Straps

    Desco wrist straps are perfect for making your ESD-safe program even better. Desco wrist straps are made in the United States, so you can be sure you have the best possible product. Desco makes a variety of wrist straps in differing sizes so you can select the best option for your work space or ESD-safe program.  You can choose from a wide range of materials to insure that you find the strap that is right for your program's needs, each and every time.

    The Desco 09041 Adjustable Premium Metal Expansion Wrist Band is a fantastic option as it offers maximum protection and wear-ability. This strap features metal expanders that allow for size adjustment, and provide utmost durability.

    For programs on a tighter budget, or for those who prefer fabric bands, the Desco 09039 Adjustable Elastic Economy Wrist Strap with 6' Coil Cord is an excellent choice. This strap is lightweight, durable, reasonably priced, and simple. Desco elastic wrist bands are impregnated with silver and polypropylene to improve conductivity. This is also a great option for those that may not know just what type of strap is right for them and just need something basic and functional.Desco 09039

    These straps come with a soft elastic band, making them very comfortable. They are made with pure silver that is irreversibly bound to the elastic fibers that are both anti-microbial as well as anti-odor. The locking clasp keeps the strap securely fastened so that they will not slip or move. Desco 09184

     

    Also consider the popular Desco Jewel series, which feature durability, comfort, and a large selection of cool colors and looks. Desco wrist straps are made with a one meg ohm resistor and are date coded for lot trace-ability.

  • 7 Essential Desco Products for Your ESD-safe Workspace

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    Desco offers a huge array of products to outfit any ESD-safe workspace. With so many types of products to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are seven product types, offered by Desco, that are essential to any ESD-safe work space.

     

    1. Jewel Wrist straps

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    Wrist straps are used to maintain a ground while a worker is performing an ESD sensitive task. Desco "Jewel" wrist straps and ground cords are high quality and also are available in a variety of styles and colors. Some employers even use Desco Jewel wrist straps as an employee incentive, since they look really cool.

     

     

    2. Heel Grounds

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    Some work places prefer heel grounds to wrist straps for maintaining grounds while working with sensitive equipment. Desco offers a full range of heel grounds for different shoe types. Some work places prefer the high-visibility models to cut down on workers accidentally walking out of facilities wearing them.

     

     

    3. Testers

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    It is important to monitor the continued effectiveness of heel grounds and wrist straps. Desco testers and calibration units will help ensure your ESD-safe program is staying safe!

     

     

    4. Matting

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    Desco's ESD-safe work top matting is useful for protecting work surfaces and components being assembled or serviced. Choose from vinyl, foam, and rubber styles depending on durability concerns and budget.

     

     

    5. Ionizers

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    Ionizers neutralize static charges in the air, providing a workspace with extra ESD protection.

     

     

    6. Apparel

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    ESD-safe apparel is a huge component of any work space with static concerns. Desco's ESD-safe garments are durable and comfortable. Consider color coding for size or application.

     

     

    7.  Bags

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    ESD-safe bags can be used for component storage and shipping. We stock Desco bags that provide anti-static and/or moisture protection, as well as padded bubble bags for shipping.

     

  • ESD and Static Control Guide

    ESD_StaticWhen working with a printed circuit board, it is important to be aware of electrostatic discharge (ESD). ESD is a common problem that occurs more often than most people realize. When it becomes a serious issue, it can cause major damage to any project. The amount of damage that ESD causes can be catastrophic and force you to replace expensive equipment or scrap the job completely. It is crucial to understand, monitor, and control ESD especially when dealing with electrical devices such as circuit boards and sensors.

     

     

    What is ESD?

    ESD occurs when there is a sudden change of electrical pulses between carriers of static electricity. These exchanges can occur between objects, people, and electrical devices. Some common ways people become statically charged is by walking across a carpeted area, sitting in a chair made of urethane foam, or picking up a poly bag from a bench.


     

    Types of ESD Symbols

    1) ESD Safe – Hand, triangle, and circle.

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    2) ESD Sensitive – Hand and triangle

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    What Causes an Increase in ESD?

    Whenever there is an assembly of several people working in a particular area around sensitive electronics, there is a possibility for high voltages accumulating on workers’ bodies. In addition, conditions where there is low humidity can cause an increase in ESD. The type of floor used can also contribute to a high exchange of electrostatic discharge.


     

    Ways to Prevent ESD

    It is important to create a work area that is free from ESD. One of the first things you should consider when setting up any workstation is to ensure that it is not set up in a carpeted area. Since carpet is a conductor for generating electrical flow, it is important to only use concrete or tile floors to get the best protection.

    Choosing the right equipment is also essential for ESD prevention. There are a variety of products on the market you can choose from including protective wrist straps and other gear to ensure a static free workplace.


     

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    Ways to Monitor ESD in an electronic assembly process

    Once you have a system in place that eliminates potential for ESD, then monitoring your work environment is also important. ESD monitoring can be done through outsourcing or on-site testing using an in-house static testing device such as the Desco 19325 Full Time Continous Single Station Monitor. This type of equipment comes with advanced, innovative features that provide full-time ESD monitoring to prevent accidental occurrences and maintain a safer work environment.  In addition you can monitor ESD events with the 3M CTM082 ESD Pro Event Detector.  The CTM082 detects and counts the discharges as well as shows the relative strength of each ESD event.

    To prevent catastrophic loss and create a safer work environment, it is important to understand, monitor, and control ESD. Ensuring that all employees take part in helping to control ESD is also essential for a prevention plan. By using the right tools and providing education, ESD can be controlled safely.

  • Big savings on Dualmat Anti-Static Matting from ACL Staticide

    ACL Staticide DualmatWe are pleased to offer high quality anti-static matting from ACL Staticide. You already know that worktop matting is a crucial part of any ESD-safe work environment (see our recent matting articles), however, the Dualmat from ACL Staticide goes above and beyond other matting products.

    We are currently offering 10% off select sizes of these durable mats, and, for a limited time, these Dualtmats will include installed snaps and ground cord.

    Here are key features of this quality matting:

    - Dual layers that are chemically cross linked, and will not delaminate
    (a leading cause of loss of ESD-safe properties)

    - Substantial, two ply .080" (2mm) thickness ensures that corners will lie flat

    - Textured surface will withstand solvents and soldering iron deformation

    - Surface resistivity measures 106 – 108 ohms per square

    - Electricals are warrantied for the lifetime of the mat

    - Compliant to ANSI / ESDA S20.20

    - Static decay of .05 seconds

    - Low outgassing; low VOC

    - UV additives provide color stability

    - Available in four colors: light blue, dark gray, royal blue, and green

    - Rolls available in lengths of 40' and widths of 24", 30", 36" and 48"

    - Pre-cut mats include two 10mm female snaps

    Now is the time to pick up this quality matting at a great price. Upgrade your ESD-safe work spaces today and save!

  • Guide to Construction and Use of ESD Matting

    ThACLDUALMAT_6_6_1e invisible enemy known as ESD can cause catastrophic damage and product malfunctions for companies that assemble electronic components.

    It is important to design an effective ESD control program and an integral part of this program should include ESD matting. It is important to understand the construction of ESD matting and the different types of uses that can be applied to protect your equipment and create an ideal solution to ground your work areas, aisles, and corridors.

    ESD Matting Construction

    ESD matting is designed to drain static charges from items placed on its surface as well as protect the surface of ESD sensitive items. Mats are divided into two categories: ESD work surface mats or floor mats and ESD table top mats. Floor mats are dark colored to hide dirt, have an anti-fatigue style, and are heavily embossed or grooved to help improve traction.

    Table top or work surface mats have a light embossed or smooth surface and come in a variety of light colors.

    These mats are available in the following types:

    Homogeneous (Vinyl and Rubber)

    Three Layer (Vinyl)

    Two Layer (Vinyl)

    Two Layer (Rubber)

    Offering differing electrical performance, static mats can be made from solid sheets, suspended particles, or multiple layers.

    Types of Uses

    In order to select the right mats, it is important to know what applications these mats will be used for. Table mats use light colors to make it easier to find small parts. They are usually thinner than floor mats and have smoother surfaces as well. Floor mats are darker, thicker, and have more traction since people walk on them constantly. When choosing the right type of mat, you should consider their individual features as well:

    Homogeneous – Used for tables or floors and made of more durable material.

    Three Layer – Used for tables and have excellent electrical properties.

    Two Layer Vinyl – Used for tables and provide a low cost solution.

    Two Layer Rubber – Chemical resistant, heat/solder tolerant, and have excellent       electrical properties.

    An Effective ESD Program Needs Matting

    In order for an ESD control program to be effective, you must plan accordingly. ESD matting provides a low cost solution to allow companies to focus on other aspects of their businesses. Following this guide will help you choose the right ESD matting for your specific needs.

  • ESD Anti-Static Mats: How Do They Work?

    esd_symbol_star_lStatic electricity is formed by an imbalance of electrons caused by separation and contact of materials. Dependent on the area and speed of separation and contact, relative humidity and some other factors, the amount of the static charge will vary. For instance, when someone walks across a floor, static electricity can be generated from their shoes contacting and separating from the surface of the floor. The transfer of the charge generates a shock which is referred to as "electrostatic discharge" (ESD).

    To some extent, most materials are subject to the creation of static electricity and ESD. What varies is the amount of the charge and discharge.

    Types of ESD

    Three types of ESD exist:

    Direct ESD to an object – The most common occurrence, this type is caused by directly touching an object after generating a static charge.

    ESD from an object – Moving parts within a device can automatically create the charge and then discharge upon contact

    Field-induced ESD – Grounding an object within an electrostatic field will cause ESD.

    Categories of ESD Damage

    Catastrophic – complete breakdown of an object

    Latent Defect – partial degrading of an object that will downgrade productivity and longevity

    Combating ESD

    We can't eliminate generation or discharge of static in a working environment, therefore the best solution is to neutralize the charges when they occur. Proper grounding and use of anti-static mats neutralizes the ESD.

    Anti-Static Mats

    Anti-static mats have a high electrical resistance. They allow ESD to flow across the surface at a slow rate which neutralizes the ESD. By neutralizing the ESD, damage to delicate electronic devices such as circuit boards is prevented by moving the charge to the grounded mat. Mats can be used both on the table or work station and on the floor. Depending on the sensitivity of the items being handled, more anti-static protection may be needed.

    The mats often offer more than just ESD protection. Many anti-static floor mats are cushions for preventing fatigue from standing. Mats are manufactured from rubber or vinyl, materials that resist electrical charges. When placed on the floor of the work station, the mat stays in place thereby alleviating accidents due to slippery floors. The worker wears a band, most commonly around the wrist, that has a wire connected to ground in order to safely handle electronic components. When choosing anti-static mats for a manufacturing or shipping floor, consider the product being handled and the level of ESD that can damage it.

    Note: An ungrounded anti-static mat will retain the ESD and transfer the charge to the next object that comes in contact with it.

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