Take a look at three ways that can generate ESD:
• Friction – it is the contact that happens between two objects or surfaces. After you create contact and separate them again, you might notice electrostatic appearing. The simplest example of this is your clothes. You’ve surely felt static electricity when you touched your clothes at least once in your life. The problem with electrostatic in SMT assembly is that it can compromise the device’s performance and its components.
• Conduction – if the parts of your device have pins and lead made of metal, they have the potential to conduct ESD. That means if they find themselves between a component and an object (body, surface). It will transfer electrostatic.
• Induction – some surfaces and objects have huge energy that might touch the electronic parts of your device. That will cause your parts to produce electrostatic themselves.
We presented three ways, but it all comes down to movement being what leads to static electricity and the potential damage.
What are the features of ESD damage?
Do you know the most dangerous feature of static electricity during SMT assembly, and what can lead to the biggest damage? It is that humans might not recognize ESD at all. The electrostatic discharge needs to be of a certain volume for humans to identify it. Unfortunately, even levels lower than the ones we can notice can endanger an electronic device’s components.
ESD of low power is more than enough to cause huge damage to the product you are assembling. That low power cannot harm people, and it is so low that they don’t even notice the damage to the components. As for other features, it is vital to note that the ESD starts and ends quickly. It doesn’t take more than a millisecond for the electrostatic discharge to damage the components. It is also important to note that humidity may contribute to ESD, which is why you should consider putting it under control.
How to prevent ESD damage of PCB assembly?
ESD is a sneaky thing, and it can cause damage under the radar, and without you even noticing it. So, what else can you do? The best idea is to focus all your efforts on preventing ESD damage.
That won’t be easy because there are steps to take throughout the entire SMT assembly process. The key lies in identifying the most sensitive areas and keeping electrostatic from forming there. In other words, you go to the source of static electricity and prevent it.
Keep in mind that you might not be able to stop all ESDs out there. However, as long as you keep things under control, there won’t be any noticeable damage. Start with equipping the entire area where you assemble the product with anti-static features. It doesn’t matter if it is a small private workshop or a big factory. The idea is the same – eliminate as much static as possible, and minimize pleasant conditions for creating static.