ESD stands for electrostatic discharge, the static spark that can damage sensitive electronic components.
Where does static electricity come from?
As objects and surfaces interact, the atoms that make up those materials often exchange electrons. When an atom has fewer electrons than protons, it is positively charged. When it has extra electrons, it is negatively charged. Atoms are always working to achieve equilibrium, so electrons are often exchanged to reach a neutral charge.
Electrostatic discharge happens all the time, especially in dry climates and in the winter season, when there isn’t moisture in the air to help bleed the excess electrons (water is conductive, so allows the electrons to flow more easily). Normally it is nothing more than an irritation, but with sensitive electronics, it can lead to PCB failures.
Without the appropriate equipment and supplies, a worker can generate thousands of volts. SMOS logic devices can be damaged with 250-3000 volts, EPROM devices down to 100 volts, and microprocessor chips as low as 10 volts. Damage can shut down functions or create intermittent problems, and it can either be catastrophic (immediate) or latent (later as in “field failure”). (source: Phil Storrs PC Hardware Book)
The type of material makes a big difference in how readily those electrons are exchanged. Conductive materials like gold, copper and other metals, allow electrons to flow quickly and easily. On the other extreme, insulative materials, like rubber, imped the flow or exchange of electrons. Insulative surfaces can have areas where excess atoms with electrons are clumped together, creating hot spots, or negatively charged areas.
Electrostatically dissipative, or ESD-safe, materials allow the electrons to flow in a controlled fashion. A work area designed to ESD S.20.20 standards is commonly made up of ESD-safe materials. The different objects, for example the bench, mat, chair, and even the operator, are linked together in a circuit and connected to the earth, or in other words, “grounded”. Excess electrons are bled off in a controlled way, avoiding the sudden electrostatic discharge.
Techspray ESD-Safe (static dissipative) & Antistatic Products
Techspray offers treatments that keep this circuit working properly, and prevents static from damaging your sensitive components. Techspray's ESD-safe products can help maintain work areas within the ANSI/ESDS20.20 standards set by the ESD Association.
Zero Charge Hand Lotion: A person is often connected to the ESD-safe circuit using a wrist strap. Dry skin can impede good continuity between the skin and the connective surface of the strap. Techspray ESD hand lotion improves contact between personnel and grounding devices such as wrist straps and heel straps. Does not contain silicone, lanolin, mineral oil and other materials found in conventional hand lotions that can interfere with PCB manufacturing. Blend of moisturizers, aloe vera, and vitamins A and E penetrate rapidly leaving skin soft without a greasy film.
Zero Charge Mat & Tabletop Cleaner: Mats and other working surfaces can collect insulative fluxes, dirt and dust. Techspray offers Mat and Tabletop Cleaner, which removes caked-on flux and other contamination off your ESD-safe mats and adds a little treatment that rejuvenates the dissipative surface. It will not dry out surfaces like harsh solvents (i.e. IPA) or leave insulative waxes (i.e. household cleaners).
Zero Charge Screen & Keyboard Cleaner: Techspray Screen & Keyboard Cleaner removes hand oils, ink marks, dust, and other contaminants from computer equipment. With regular use, cleaner will eliminate static charge from sensitive surfaces and provide long-term static protection. It will not streak, smear, scratch, or abrade, and leaves surfaces thoroughly clean for improved optical clarity and distortion-free reading.
Licron Crystal ESD-Safe Coating: For insulative tools, bins and surfaces that are unavoidable or costly to replace, Techspray offers Licron Crystal permanent ESD-safe coating. Licron Crystal is a versatile, crystal clear urethane coating that adheres to metal, plastic, and most other surfaces. Ideal for converting standard bumpers, bins, tools, and surfaces to ESD safe, saving expensive replacement cost. The end result is compliant with ANSI/ESDS20.20, which prevents static damage to sensitive electronic components.
Zero Charge Anti-Stat Coating: Techspray Anti-Stat coating is a fast drying, anti-static coating eliminates static charge and reduces triboelectric generation from flexible surfaces. Ideal for plastics, fabrics, and carpet.
Zero Charge Floor Coating: Techspray Floor Coating is a high gloss floor finish designed for use in electronic production areas, computer rooms and other static sensitive areas. Contains a non-migratory, static dissipative polymer, which will maintain a constant surface resistivity of 106-108 ohms throughout the humidity spectrum.
So if you are working with static sensitive electronics, Techspray has the products to keep your ESD S20.20 environment in tip-top shape. Contact your Techspray application specialist at 800-858-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for help choosing and qualifying the right products for your facility.