By simply moving, a person makes static electricity. In these circumstances, touching a conductive material will discharge static from you very rapidly. This is what’s known as ESD = Electrostatic discharge. Static electricity has become a big problem in the electronics industry. Usually, this goes unnoticed because we don’t feel electrostatic discharges under 3000 volts. Over 5000 volts, we may see ESD as a spark. A lot of standard electronic components are sensitive to charges of 100 – 200 volts and extremely sensitive electronic components may be damaged by a charge of just 30 volts. It’s important [[to regularly and correctly measure your ESD control when manufacturing electronic equipment|when manufacturing electronic equipment to regularly and correctly measure your ESD control.
Below are some essential tips for measuring all elements of your ESD workstation.
- · 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 top edge.
- · With shelves and tables, put one probe on the work surface and one probe on the table or shelf. The point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω
- · With flooring, put one probe on the work surface and one probe on the ESD floor. Point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω
- · To test the common point ground, place the probe on the tabletop and measure the system’s total resistance between the tabletop and the common point ground using a measuring lead.
- · For chair ESD, place one probe on the seat of the chair and the other 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, make sure chair wheels are cleaned with ESD detergent.