Storage of electronic components and assemblies in ESD protected containers is a key element of any ESD protected ara and ESD strategy. Using the correct storage is crucial - there is no point in working on electronic assemblies in an ESD protected area only to then store them withoyt any ESD precautions.
Most storage items like bins, bags and the like are made of plastic and these can generate and retain very high levels of static. Dissipative storage media prevent the build up of static and even if levels do appear they can dissipate it safely without harming the components being stored.
There are several different forms of storage media that can be used:
- Antistatic foam: It is often conveniennt to place leaded ICs into foam as a temporary form of storage. The foam can also be used in ESD boxes for the transportation of samples and small quantities of ICs.
- Antistatic tubes: Dual in line forms of integrated circuits are often stored in tubes specially manufactured to contain them in an orderly fashion. These are typically made of a translucent material that is able to dissipate static and provide ESD protection.
- Antistatic bags: When completed boards need to be transferred from one aea to another it is often convenient to trafer them into ESD bags, i.e. antistatic bags. These bags are virtually transparent and provide ESD protection for the board inside. Often plug in cards for computers, etc come inside these antistatic bags.
There is a host of different types of antistatic storage that can be obtained. They dissipate any static that may be around and enable the items inside to be protected from ESD.