Can static built up on the surface of a reel be removed?

Customer question, in case if static charge was built up on the surface of the component reel, it is possible remove static charge?

First, it would depend on the makeup of the material of the reel. Is it a conductive, dissipative, or insulating material?
If it is conductive or dissipative, then by grounding the reel, charge will drain off of it. If it is an insulating material, then charge will not drain off due to the high resistance of insulating materials.

If it is an insulating material, then two methods (in this case) of charge mitigation can take place.
• A topical anti-stat can be used to “create” a like surface on the reel which will be low charging. Reapplication and measuring should take place since the chemical will wear off over time. That time will be dependent on the amount of use the reel has and/or what it rubs against.
• The second method is by using an ionizer. There are many different kinds of ionizers out there so picking one will be dependent on the space and environment that the reel is used in. Some ionizers do require regular maintenance on them so cleaning of electrodes along with checking the balance and operation of the ionizer is necessary to prevent the ionizer from charging the reel material. The time for maintenance will be dependent on the use and environment that the ionizer is used in.

Information received from Digi-Key’s ESD Certified Professional Program Manager


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**As a note, although static may be able to be removed from the component packaging, and the parts “appear” to work fine, this may not prevent damage already inflicted onto the components inside the trays, tape, or bulk pieces since they do not have their static shielding faraday bags for protection. In most cases, components outside of their shielding bags that are known to be subject to a static environment should be scrapped for quality and safety reasons for most applications.