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Question Are cable ties (tie wraps) ESD safe? Anonymous, Canoga Park, California
Answer No, they are typically nylon and can be very static generating. You can treat them with a topical antistat treatment such as ReZtore™ Topical Antistat if need be. If the cable ties are used near ESD susceptible devices then they can be treated as process essential insulators. According to the standard ANSI/ESD S20.20: Protected Areas Guidance - A Protected Area may be a single workstation (fixed or portable), laboratory, room, building or any other area with pre-designated boundaries that contains materials and equipment designed to limit electrostatic potentials. Humidity control may be a key element in an ESD control program. Propensity for charge generation and accumulation increases with a reduction in humidity. All process essential insulators that have electrostatic fields that exceed 2,000 volts should be kept at a minimum distance of 12 inches from ESDS items. 2,000 volts is a measure of the electrostatic field at the point of measurement and is not necessarily directly related to the electrical potential of the item. The accurate measurement of electrostatic fields requires that the person making the measurement is familiar with the operation of the measuring equipment. Most hand held meters require that the reading be taken at a fixed distance from the object. Equipment manufacturers typically specify that the object being measured needs to have certain minimum dimensions. Objects smaller than the minimum dimensions may not provide an accurate reading. Additional guidance related to Protected Areas may be obtained in ESD ADV 2.0. You can obtain a free copy of this standard by visiting their website.
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