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Handling static electricity safely

Sensitive electronics can be destroyed by 100 volts. It is not possible to completely prevent the build up of static electricity, but it can be reduced with ESD protective gloves.

WHAT IS STATIC ELECTRICITY?

Static electricity is created when two surfaces are in contact, rubbed against each other or when separated. Electrons are transferred from one to the other and an imbalance in charges are created and static electricity builds up between them.
Insulating materials, such as plastic have the capacity to store charges and if coming in contact with a conductor, such as a metal, the excess charges can be neutralized. When this happens a spark/shock is created, an electrostatic discharge.

IN WHAT SITUATIONS DOES CHARGING OCCUR?

Practically all activities can create electrostatic charge.

SENSITIVE ELECTRONICS CAN BE DESTROYED BY 100 VOLTS

An electrostatic discharge can be as much as several 1,000 volts. This is not dangerous for humans, due to the low current. When we feel a discharge it is between 3,000 and 4,000 volts.
Electronics are very sensitive to discharges and can be severely damaged if voltages exceeds 100 volts or even less.

1,500 VOLTS CAN IGNITE EXPLOSIVES

The amount of charge needed to ignite solvent gases is incredibly small. It is so low, in fact, that discharges causing sparks are undetectable to humans.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DISSIPATIVE PROPERTIES

In industries where static electricity is a problem, gloves with dissipative properties are important. Gloves that are dissipative, means that they allow electric charges to flow in a controlled way.
It is not possible to completely prevent the build up of static electricity, but it can be reduced with the correct products.

ESD FOR PROTECTING EQUIPMENT

Electrostatic discharge (ESD)

ESD approved gloves are essential in many industries and working situations for preventing damage to sensitive electronic components. It is also important to wear ESD-approved socks, shoes and other workwear.

Electronics can be damaged by very low voltage discharges (low as 100 Volt).

ATEX FOR PROTECTING PEOPLE

Atmospheric Explosion (ATEX)

ATEX approved gloves are required in work environments classified as explosive to prevent electrostatic charges that risk igniting explosive materials – which in turn can be dangerous for humans.

An explosion can be ignited by low voltages (low as 1500 Volt).

TESTING AND CERTIFICATION OF ESD AND ATEX GLOVES

In ESD and ATEX environments, work gloves must be designed not to build-up or store static electricity.

ESD GLOVES

To ensure that sensitive electronics aren’t destroyed by an electrostatic discharge, ESD approved gloves shall be tested according to IEC 61340-5-1. The resistance of the gloves must be lower than 1 x 109 Ω (1 GΩ).

An important part of this test is to ensure that the gloves do not accumulate electrostatic over 100V.

Picture11.jpgATEX GLOVES

To ensure personal safety in areas where there is a risk of handling explosive and flammable materials, ATEX approved gloves shall be tested according to EN16350. The resistance of the gloves must be lower than 1 x 108 Ω (0,1 GΩ).

Low voltage accumulation is not relevant in ATEX environments and is therefore not tested.