Measuring ESD

HOW TO: Measure ESD Control 14.5.2020 | Carissa Harris

Carissa Harris Treston Blog

Carissa Harris

Carissa Harris is the Marketing Communications Director for Treston Inc.

In ordinary movement a person creates static electricity. In these circumstances hand contact with a conductive material will discharge static from the body very rapidly. This is ESD = Electrostatic discharge. Static electricity has become a major problem in the electronics industry. Usually this passes unnoticed because our bodies do not feel discharges below 3000 volts. We may see ESD above 5000 volts as a spark. The most sensitive components may be damaged by a charge of just 30 volts, and many standard components are sensitive to charges of 100...200 volts.

When manufacturing electronic equipment, it is important to regularly and correctly measure your ESD control. Below are a few essential tips for measuring all components of your ESD workstation.

 

 

Tabletops and working surfaces

Measuring ESD Table Top and Working Surfaces

 

When measuring your ESD control on your work surface, place your probes on the tabletop, spaced a minimum of 25 cm apart, and at least 5 cm from the edge of the top.

Your point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω

 

Measuring ESD Shelves and Table

Shelves and table:

Place one probe on the work surface, and one probe on the shelf.

Your point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring ESD Floor and Table

ESD Floor and Table:

Place one probe on the work surface, and one probe on the ESD floor.

Your point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring ESD Common Point Ground

Common Point Ground:

Place probe on the tabletop and measure the system’s total resistance between the tabletop and the common point ground using a measuring lead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring ESD Carts

Carts:

Place one probe on the cart’s shelf, and one probe on a metal plate under the cart’s ESD caster.

Your point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring ESD Carts 2

 

You can also measure between two shelves on the cart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring ESD Carts 3

You can also measure between the cart shelf and CPG by placing a probe on a shelf and measuring via a lead to the CPG.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning ESD casters

For best results, ensure cart casters have been cleaned with ESD detergent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring ESD Chairs

Chairs:

Place one probe on the seat of the chair, and one probe on a metal plate under one of the chair’s wheels.

Your point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω (with upcoming standard < 1x1010 Ω)

For best results, ensure chair wheels have been cleaned with ESD detergent.

Cleaning ESD Chair Casters

 

 

Additional notes when testing:

  • Relative air humidity will affect resistance levels.
  • Dirt in between measured surfaces (incl. probes) will affect resistance levels.
  • Commonly used detergents contain a wax component. Wax will create an insulative layer on surfaces like tabletop and floor. Use ESD -compatible detergent.
  • Insulators must be measured by a field meter. IEC 61340-5-1 defines allowed values/distances. As a rule of thumb -> 5000 V / m.

 

For more information on properly cleaning ESD work spaces, read our cleaning instructions.

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