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Electrostatic Dissipation (ESD)

Last updated: November 9, 2020

What Does Electrostatic Dissipation (ESD) Mean?

Electrostatic dissipation (ESD) or electrostatic discharge is the sudden flow of static electricity between two polymeric surfaces when they are rubbed together. The static electrical changes are produced on the surfaces of these two objects caused by an electrical short or dielectric breakdown.

Safeopedia Explains Electrostatic Dissipation (ESD)

ESD occurs when differently-charged objects are brought in contact with each other or when the dielectric between them breaks down and creates a spark. ESD occurs in many forms, one of the most common one being human contact with sensitive devices. Human touch is sensitive on ESD levels above 4,000 V.

The human body and our clothing are capable of storing between 500 V to 2,500 V of electrostatic energy during a normal workday. Companies that manufacture electronics therefore need to create electrostatic protective areas free of static and use measures to prevent such charging, like avoiding highly charging materials and other methods to remove static by grounding humans, providing antistatic devices, and controlling humidity.

According to OSHA, there is one electrical workplace injury every 36 hours, and about 700 people die each year due to accidents related to electricity.


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