Electrostatic discharge (ESD) refers to the flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects. When static electricity builds up, it can damage sensitive electronic devices.
ESD can make electronic components fail, erase or alter magnetic media, destroy sensitive electronics, even cause fires and explosions. Handling electronic components requires ESD-compliant protective gear, such as ESD table mats, wrist straps, ionization products and much more. Shipping ESD sensitive devices can even be more complex.
Why Does ESD Damage Occur?
ESD releases electric currents through an object, traveling through every available path to reach ground. The flow of electric current through a component can burn holes in an integrated circuit (IC) and cause devastating heat damage, similar to a tiny bolt of lightning. ESD damage to electronics is usually permanent and can even cause human injury via sparks or explosions.
One of the most common reasons ESD occurs is through human contact with sensitive electronic devices. Without utilizing the proper ESD grounding equipment, the human body stores electrostatic currents and can release it into circuit boards and other components. Human contact with sensitive ICs can damage them beyond repair.
ESD can occur without you even noticing. Not all ESD creates a spark or noticeable damage, nor does it always shock the person. The best method of preventing ESD is to wear wrist straps and heel grounders, and work on a grounded ESD table mat or a grounded workbench. Using the proper equipment while handling electronics is the only way to ensure harmful static charges won’t damage your ESD sensitive devices.
What Does ESD Packaging Do?
To ship electronic devices and components from facility to facility, ESD protective packaging is absolutely necessary. ESD packaging controls electrostatic discharge using special chemical coatings and antistatic materials. It eliminates or drastically reduces charge generation and accumulation, protecting sensitive electronics from damage. Without using ESD packaging, your electronics are exposed to the elements and will most likely become seriously damaged.
ESD packaging provides the same level of physical protection as regular packing materials when it comes to keeping an item safe from physical damage and shock during transport. Standard commercial packaging items such as bubble wrap, poly bags, foam and corrugated boxes are all available in ESD safe versions.
How Do You Decide on the Proper ESD Packaging?
ESD packaging has developed steadily over the last 25 years, offering new ways to protect sensitive electronics during shipment. Today, there is a wide variety of ESD safe cushioning materials, specialty ESD plastics, static shielding films, ESD safe barrier films, conductive corrugated mailers and anti-static amine free shipping products.
Need Help With ESD Packaging? If you need a one-stop-shop for all your ESD packaging needs, visit Correct Products. We offer a huge variety of circuit board shippers, small parts packaging, ESD bags, ESD tubing, antistatic foam, ESD cushioning, dry packaging, and more. We have been providing ESD packaging solutions since 1983. You can browse our online inventory or contact us today for more information. To discuss a custom application, call (800) 870-1199 and one of our friendly representatives will take care of you.