Shipping electronics can be tricky. In order to make sure that all of your electronics arrive to their destination functioning properly, you should protect them by using packing that protects them from electrostatic discharge.
What is ESD?
Electrostatic discharge is the same thing that gives you a jolt when you shake someone’s hand on a dry winter day. Electrons, and thus a voltage potential, builds up on the surface of an object. When that object touches another one the charge jumps from one object to the other creating a spark. Electrical shocks and arcs like this can cause damage to sensitive electronics or even ignite some chemicals.
How Does ESD Protective Packaging Work?
When wrapping up a flammable material or electronics to ship them somewhere, instead of using regular packing material you need to use ESD packing. ESD packing materials are materials that are treated with a chemical that resists charge build up. What that does is create what is commonly known as a faraday cage around whatever it is you are shipping. Instead of the electric charge jumping to your items, the charge flows around them never causing a spark.
It is worth noting that some ESD resistant packing can attract excess moisture, so be aware of this and if necessary consult with your packing experts to see if desiccants or other moisture controls are necessary.
What Types of ESD Packing Materials Are Available?
There are several different kinds of ESD packing materials. A few of them are highlighted below. You should be able to find one that suits your needs. Again, if you cannot find something that fits your specific application consider using professionals like Cratex Group to assist in your packing needs.
- Anti-Static Stretch Film – This is a form of shrink wrap that is treated with ESD chemicals. They are typically available in rolls that can be used by hand or used on industrial packing machines. This material is usually used as a secondary layer of protection to hold a pallet of items together, but it could be used to wrap individual items if needed.
- Anti-Static Bags and Tubing – These are clear plastic bags that are treated with ESD chemicals. These are great for wrapping up individual electronic components big or small. They can also be vacuum sealed if you wish to keep out air particulates. They can be purchased in a wide variety of thickness to suit your needs.
- Conductive Bags and Tubing – These bags are quite similar to their anti-static cousins. Instead of being clear, these ones are opaque and will obscure the contents from view. Instead of being made of plastic, they are made from layers of carbon enhanced polymers. These bags are a bit stiffer than strictly poly bags.
- Static Shielding Bags – These bags work by layering ESD plastic and aluminum in order to create the faraday cage effect for protections. They are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and thickness.
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