Static electricity is an electrical charge that is at rest. Created by an imbalance of electrons that stay on a specific surface, or in the environmental air. This imbalance of electrons in all cases, is caused by absence or surplus of electrons which generates an electrical field that is capable of influencing other objects at a distance.
Level of charge is affected by material type, speed of contact, separation, humidity, and several other factors.
The electronics industry is grossly affected by ESD or electrostatic discharge.
In mobile cell phone manufacturing and repairing industry, ESD-Safety is a must because electronic components used in mobile phones are very sensitive to static charge and can get easily damaged if they come in contact with static electricity.
Types of Static Electricity
Triboelectric charging occurs when two materials are separated after coming into contact with each other or any rubbing activities. The charging thus takes place during the transfer of electrons from one material to another. Triboelectric charging can happen between any materials such as solids, liquids and air particles.
Whenever an object is electrostatic-ally charged, an electrical field associated with that charge is created around it. Once an un-grounded sensitive device enters the electrical field, a charge is induced on the device, causing a surging transfer of charges between the two bodies. This transfer of charges thus resulted in catastrophic failures, which leaves the device destroyed permanently.
Precautions to prevent Static Electricity
Anti-Static – Protection against Static Electricity
Many instances, employees are one of the key generators of static electricity. The simple act of walking or repairing a Printed Circuit Board Assembly is sufficient to generate thousands volts on the body. It is obvious that personal grounding is the first step to effective static control.
Anti-Static Packaging Material for ESD Protection
Packaging materials such as Static Shielding bags, Conductive bags, ESD containers and boxes provide direct protection of devices from electrostatic discharge.
The primary ESD function of these packaging materials is to eliminate or minimize the possible impact of electrostatic discharge created from triboelectric charging, direct discharge, and electrostatic induction fields.
ESD Safe Wrist Straps for Protection against Static Electricity
When properly worn and grounded, a functioning wrist strap keeps the human body near ground potential, thus preventing hazardous discharge between bodies and objects. Wrist straps allow safe dissipation of charges from the body to ground.
ESD Safe Flooring Material
ESD floor materials provides a grounding path for dissipating electrostatic charges generated during walking.
The use of ESD floor materials is particularly appropriate in those areas where increased personnel mobility is essential.
Clothing is an important consideration in most ESD protective areas, particularly in dry environments.
Grounded static control garments are recommended to minimize the effects of electrostatic fields or charges that may exist on a person’s clothing.
Proper grounding of workstations plays an important role in protecting devices from electrostatic discharged. ESD table mats, grounding cords and awareness signs are key elements in an electrostatic protective workstation.
Air ionization can neutralize the static charges on insulated and isolated objects by charging the molecules of the gases in the surrounding air. Static charges that exist on any surface can be neutralized by attracting opposite polarity charges from the air.
Humid air helps to dissipate electrostatic charges by keeping surfaces moist, therefore increasing surface conductivity. Substantial electrostatic voltage levels can accumulate with a decrease in relative humidity.
Electrostatic discharge can change, degrade or destroy the electrical characteristics of electronic devices such as integrated circuits and electronic components. Therefore effective static control is crucial, in order to protect products from undesirable damages. Gadgik has implemented all forms of ESD control listed in this document in order to combat the buildup of Static Electricity, keeping your devices safe as they are repaired.