Static Shielding Bags: What They Are and How They Protect Your Electronics
If you deal with electronic components or devices, you may have encountered static shielding bags. These are a type of anti-static packaging that protects your products from electrostatic discharge (ESD), which is the sudden release of electricity between two objects that have different electric potentials. ESD can cause serious damage to sensitive electronic components or devices, such as microchips, circuit boards, or hard drives, by creating sparks, overheating, or short-circuiting them. ESD can also affect the performance and quality of the products, leading to product failure, customer dissatisfaction, and increased costs.
In this article, we will explain what static shielding bags are, how they work, and why they are important for anyone who works with static sensitive items, whether as a manufacturer, a seller, or a buyer.
What are static shielding bags?
Static shielding bags are a type of anti-static bag that prevents the build-up and discharge of static electricity. They are usually made of multiple layers of materials, including aluminium, which acts as a conductor and a shield. They simulate a Faraday cage effect, which blocks external electric fields and discharges. Static shielding bags are usually silver or grey in colour, and feature an ESD symbol on the surface to indicate their function.
Static shielding bags are different from other types of anti-static bags, such as dissipative anti-static bags or pink poly bags. Dissipative anti-static bags are made of polyethylene plastic, which does not create or hold any charge. They prevent the tribocharging effect, which is the generation of static electricity by the movement of the bag or the item inside it. Dissipative anti-static bags are usually pink or black in colour, and are used for items that are not very sensitive to static electricity, but could affect other more sensitive items in the same environment. Pink poly bags are similar to dissipative anti-static bags, but they are made of low-density polyethylene, which has a lower resistance and a higher charge retention. Pink poly bags are usually pink or red in colour, and are used for items that are not sensitive to static electricity at all, but need to be identified as anti-static.
How do static shielding bags work?
Static shielding bags work by either preventing the generation of static electricity, or diverting it away from the item inside. Static shielding bags work by creating a conductive layer around the item, which safely grounds any electric charge that comes in contact with the bag. The aluminium layer acts as a shield that blocks any external electric fields or discharges from reaching the item. The inner layer of the bag is usually made of polyethylene or polyester, which provides a static dissipative surface that does not create or hold any charge. The outer layer of the bag is usually made of polyester or nylon, which provides a durable and abrasion-resistant surface that protects the bag from physical damage.
To use static shielding bags effectively, you need to seal the bag properly after placing the item inside. This can be done by using a heat sealer, a ziplock, or a tape. You also need to connect the bag to the ground, either directly or through a wrist strap or a heel strap. This creates a closed circuit that allows the electric charge to flow from the bag to the ground, without affecting the item or yourself.
Why are static shielding bags important?
Static shielding bags are important for several reasons, such as:
- Protecting electronic components or devices: Static shielding bags prevent ESD from damaging electronic components or devices by reducing the flow of electric charges and diverting them away from the sensitive items. This ensures the optimal performance and quality of the products, and avoids product repair or replacement costs.
- Protecting yourself and others: Static shielding bags also protect yourself and others from the harmful effects of ESD, such as electric shocks, burns, or fires. ESD can also interfere with the functioning of medical devices, such as pacemakers, or cause explosions in flammable environments, such as gas stations. Static shielding bags can prevent these hazards by providing a safe and comfortable working environment.
- Complying with ESD standards and regulations: Static shielding bags also help you comply with the ESD standards and regulations that are set by various organisations, such as the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC), the British Standards Institution (BSI), or the Electrostatic Discharge Association (ESDA). These standards and regulations specify the requirements and guidelines for ESD control and prevention in different industries and applications. Static shielding bags conform to the EN 61340-5-1 standardAd1, which is the most widely recognised and accepted standard for ESD protection.
Static shielding bags are a vital part of ESD protection and prevention. They prevent the build-up and discharge of static electricity, which can cause serious damage to electronic components or devices, as well as yourself and others. They also reduce costs, increase efficiency, and increase longevity of the products. Therefore, static shielding bags are essential for anyone who works with static sensitive items, whether as a manufacturer, a seller, or a buyer.