Circuit & System Protection

Clearing the Static: The importance of ESD wrist straps

28 March 2024 Circuit & System Protection

Greg Barron, Actum Group director.

The human body is the primary source of electrostatic charge generation. To control and reduce static charge build-up and prevent electrostatic discharges (ESD) at an electronic equipment facility, grounding systems are used to ensure that all components are at the same electrical potential. Anti-static wrist bands are crucial components within an electrostatic discharge (ESD) protected area. ESD wrist straps help to disperse static electricity generated from a person safely to ground.

In an environment where ESD poses a significant threat to electronic components, these wrist bands serve as a reliable grounding mechanism for personnel. By securely connecting the wearer to a designated grounding point, these bands ensure that any accumulated electrostatic charge is dissipated harmlessly, preventing the discharge from reaching and potentially damaging sensitive electronic devices. As human movement and friction generate static electricity, the consistent use of anti-static wrist bands establishes a continuous path for the safe dissipation of electrostatic charges, contributing to the overall integrity and reliability of electronic components in the ESD protected area.

Types of ESD wrist straps

Operators can opt for single-wire, dual-wire or disposable wrist straps, based on the application and requirement. Quality straps are manufactured from anti-allergenic materials and designed with safety in mind. Specific types include:

¥ ESD stretch fabric wrist bands.

¥ Stainless steel wrist bands.

To ensure a wrist strap is functioning optimally, daily testing should be conducted, and the results logged. As standard, wrist straps need to maintain less than 100 V on the human body.


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