Anti-Static and Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD) curtains are a great way to separate workspaces while also attending to the static-sensitive nature of certain products.
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The Differences Between Anti-Static and ESD
It is important to understand that “anti-static” and “dissipative” are terms that are used to subdivide electro static discharge into further detail. Anti-static materials are generally referred to as any material which inhibits triboelectric charging. This kind of charging is the buildup of an electric charge by frictional contact with another material. Anti-static material will not generate a charge, but also will not dissipate a charge.
Dissipative materials will work to actively dissipate a static charge. They also allow the static charges to flow to ground more slowly, and in a more controlled manner, than with conductive materials.
Materials are divided into anti-static or dissipative classifications based on their individual surface resistance. Surface resistance is a measurement by how easily an electric charge can travel across a medium. Dissipative items have a surface resistance of more than 1 x 10 5 ohms/square but less than 1 x 10 11 ohms/square.
Dissipative and anti-static materials both reduce the risk of producing a charge, but only dissipative protects against existing charges as well.
How Do Anti-Static Curtains Work?
Static occurs when two objects with different types of charges are brought within range of each other, causing a dielectric breakdown. This can be visually described as the “spark” that you see, and audibly described as the light “pop” that you hear when the reaction occurs. A large-scale example of this is thunder and lightning.
The result of static on electronics can be irreparable damage to the devices. Even when no permanent damage to the equipment occurs, an environment with ESD can cause the equipment to become less efficient and less productive. The need for a static-free environment is vital for optimum equipment performance, which is what anti-static and ESD curtain walls provide.
AmCraft’s industrial anti-static and/or ESD vinyl curtains build in the capacity to shield against static, protecting equipment and product. Facility managers must not only do their best to maintain a static-free environment, but also to maintain an acceptable humidity level for the static-free area. This area is called the electrostatic protective area, or EPA. The following are required for an official EPA area to meet international standards (according to IEC and ANSI):
- No highly-charged materials are in or around the electronics
- Properly grounded conductive materials and equipment
- Properly grounded workers/employees in the area
- Prevention of charge build-up on electronics, fixtures, and personnel.
ESD Curtain Materials
The materials used in AmCraft’s anti-static curtains are either a 20 mil. clear vinyl or a 40 mil. clear vinyl, engineered specifically for dissipating excess charge that can build up and cause static. AmCraft also offers anti-static strip doors, which utilize 80 mil. clear vinyl in 8” wide strips which are overlapped to create the strip door opening that is also designed to create a static-free environment.
AmCraft’s ESD curtains are made with a 13 oz. ESD vinyl, which is black on one side and white on the other. Grounding chains are also an option for ESD curtains.
Anti-static and ESD curtains can form an enclosure to seal off any potentially harmful static from the EPA workspaces, or they can create barriers from one area to the next. Our technical specialists are available to discuss your project details and present solutions that will fit your anti-static curtain needs. Contact us today!