You know that feeling when you touch someone or a metal railing and get a little jolt? That’s called ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) and it’s caused by the static on our bodies. It might seem funny in everyday situations, but it can actually be a big problem when it comes to working with electronics.
Do you want to know what causes static and how it happens? Static occurs when two different materials rub together, resulting in a fixed electric charge. During the friction, one material becomes positively charged, while the other remains negatively charged. For instance, when you wear a sweater that creates friction with your skin, your body becomes positively charged. When you touch certain materials like a metal railing or another person, the charge transfers between you and the material, causing a shock.
Why Does ESD Matter in Manufacturing?
It is crucial to keep in mind the potential harm that ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) can cause to electronic components and PCBs/Motherboards. This stems from the fact that our bodies can generate an ESD of approximately 2,000 volts, which can surpass the limit for specific components and result in their failure. In a business environment, such occurrences can result in product loss and financial harm.
To prevent ESD damage, our company has implemented special measures. We always use ESD straps, which are wristbands connected to the ground of a power socket. This ensures that any static charge our staff may have is transferred into the socket and safely away from our components and boards. We use these straps for everything, including board prototyping, manufacturing, repairs, and even photography. To ensure compliance, we have placed bright yellow stickers on our lab doors to remind staff to wear these straps.
To ensure the maximum protection of your motherboard, proper packaging and storage techniques are crucial. Using standard plastic bags or bubble wrap can lead to static build-up, potentially causing irreparable damage to your motherboard. For optimal safety, it’s recommended to use Anti-Static bags, specifically designed to store PCBs and motherboards and prevent ESD damage from plastic or handling.