Many electronic components are susceptible to ESD. ESD can transfer to the component through surfaces and especially through human touch. A person can generate thousands of volts and as little as hundreds of volts can destroy the part instantly. Companies take many precautions and steps to prevent ESD from harming your components. This post will establish how you can prevent unwanted ESD from damaging your electronic components and create an ESD safe workspace.
Digi-Key defines static sensitive as any component that is sensitive to voltages of greater than 100 volts HBM but less than 8,000 volts HBM or greater than 200 volts CDM but less than 2,000 volts CDM. Digi-Key defines highly static-sensitive as any component that is sensitive to voltages of greater than 10 volts HBM, but less than 100 volts HBM or less than 200 volts CDM. If you need more information on HBM and CDM visit the post What are the ESD Models?
The following are things you can wear to help prevent ESD from exiting your body into the components.
Heel Straps – These straps are what connect you to ground when you are standing and handling components.
Wrist straps – Wrist straps are what connect you to ground when you’re sitting and handling components
ESD jacket – These give you a barrier between your clothes and components in front of you. Works with conductive thread and shoe straps to transfer energy down. Should for sure use an ESD jacket around highly sensitive components.
For a more in-depth explanation of wearable ESD protection visit this post: ESD Clothing and Straps
These next products are things you can place in your work area to protect against ESD.
Table mats – Puts a barrier between the table and components
Floor mats – Floor mats create a path-to-ground for heel straps.
ESD monitors and testers – These are the heel strap testers, workstation monitor, wrist strap monitors, and some other random monitor/tester items that will help keep your area ESD safe.
Ionizer – Ionizers are used to neutralize static in a workspace.
ESD Safe containers – These containers allow you to store your components in an ESD safe container while maintaining organization.
For a more in-depth explanation of workstation, ESD protection visit this post: ESD Workstation
Clean Room Treatments
These are special ESD safe cleaning products along with swabs and brushes. You will also find ESD hand sanitizer and lotion.
It’s also good practice to keep unnecessary things off your work area such as plastic bottles or aluminum cans which can produce a lot of ESD. Something as simple as paper or pens can also be hazardous.