Discover the most basic and basic method of applying an anti-static wrist strap here. Be careful! Learn the fundamentals immediately by reading our tutorial.
To make the most of an anti-static wrist strap, it helps to have some familiarity with how static electricity operates.
To put it another way, everything and everyone has a certain amount of electrons, or electric potential. Electrical current flows from the person or computer with the higher electric potential (the greater number of pinging electrons) to the one with the lower electric potential when they come into contact.
The result is the zapping sensation that occurs when one touches a metal object, such as a door handle, radiator, or even another person. This charge is harmless to humans, but it can destroy the delicate components on motherboards, graphics processing units (GPUs), and other electronic boards.
It is for this reason that an anti-static strap is used; it serves to equalize the electric potential between the two objects, preventing any surges from damaging sensitive electronics.
An anti-static wrist strap isn’t required, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and wear one anyway. A few dollars is a small price to pay for the added peace of mind, especially when we consider the cost of components and the damage an imperceptible static discharge can cause.
It’s important to understand what electrostatic discharge (ESD) is and why it can cause issues before delving into the specifics of what an anti-static wristband is and how it functions.
To put it simply, “electrostatic discharge (ESD) is an uncontrolled surge of’static’ between objects with different voltage potentials.”
Static electricity has been an issue in manufacturing for hundreds of years. Static control procedures and devices were used in European forts as early as the 1400s to prevent gun powders and other explosives from being set off by electrostatic discharge.
Electro-Static Discharge (ESD) events are recognized as a major contributor to device failure in today’s electronics industry, and it is generally agreed that static control measures should be put in place.
The annual cost of the damage to this sector is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. While the upfront investment in static control measures may be substantial, the resulting savings more than pay for themselves.
In the past three decades, ESD issues have worsened for two main reasons:
1) The widespread adoption of insulating synthetic fibers and plastics in the production of textiles, home furnishings, and flooring.
Second, as circuit components and conductors get smaller, integrated circuits become more sensitive to outside influences.
Electronic devices are susceptible to electrostatic damage at every stage of the production and maintenance processes. Devices are damaged when they are handled in uncontrolled environments or with inadequate ESD control procedures. Damage can be either a catastrophic failure or a latent defect.
Static damage is often overlooked for weeks or months before it is finally discovered to be the cause of an issue. The inefficiency, swift destruction, or impending failure brought on by static damage is frustrating and potentially dangerous. This is why taking precautions against static charges at the outset is crucial for avoiding costly repairs down the road and protecting valuable equipment.
In order to prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD), the most widely used personnel grounding device is wrist straps, which must be worn by the operator at all times while seated. Static electricity discharged from a person can be safely discharged to ground with the aid of wrist straps. You can check out Bondline’s selection of straps for your wrists here.
In order to make the straps more visible to those around you, wrist straps tend to be a bright color. You wear them next to your skin to create a grounding path. Static electricity built up on the body is immediately discharged to ground. Even if anti-static shoes are worn, wristbands must be worn at all times while seated. Each wristband is made from a soft, breathable material that incorporates silver conductive woven fibers for superior conductivity and reduced skin irritation.
In order to be effective, straps must be sanitary, properly fitted, and pleasant to wear. Intermittent contact to ground is possible if your strap is loose and/or dirty. For the sake of the operator’s safety, the outer surface of the wrist-strap should be insulative.
How Do ESD Wristbands Work?
Different types of ESD wrist straps use different materials, but the same basic idea exists for all of them: to provide a path for electrostatic ground.
An ESD wrist strap will only function when attached to earth bonding points built into workstations, usually via 10 mm press studs, or when used in conjunction with a detachable coiled cord and crocodile clip for use in the field.
With the help of an adjustable band, you can secure the strap around your wrist. The wristband’s coil cord should be connected to ground, preferably equipment ground, and worn close to the skin. The alligator clip is usually fastened to the computer or other sensitive electronic device.
A grounding source, such as a bonding plug and ground lead, is required for an anti-static strap to function properly.
You can safely perform your work without worrying about electrostatic discharge (ESD) if you wear an ESD wrist strap and connect it to an earth bonding point or other sensitive piece of equipment. You and your staff will now be free to go about your day without worrying about the buildup of static electricity.
Before You Begin
- If you feel the need to discharge any excess static energy, you can do so by touching a radiator, pipe, or other metallic part of the building’s plumbing. Alternatively, you can touch an unplugged power cord that is still connected to a power source (a grounded power supply).
- It’s best to avoid working on an open PC during the day and instead save that task for the wee hours of the morning or the wee hours of the night, when humidity levels are higher. Static electricity tends to gather in dry places.
- The static-dissipative shipping bags that electronic parts like GPUs come in are highly effective. They create a conductive coating around the component, discharging any stray static electricity and making the component safe to handle. A common mistake is to remove the new component and set it atop the bag, rather than inside. Never do this, as the outer layer’s conductive properties could cause a discharge that would destroy your new toy’s circuits. Put it on the anti-static mat or the cardboard box.
- Don’t grab components by their circuit boards, capacitors, or other small parts; instead, hold on to heatsinks and edges with a light touch. Static electricity is less likely to permanently damage these.
- If you want to prevent a static charge from forming, you should avoid walking on carpeted surfaces and rubbing your clothing (especially if it’s made of synthetic fibers; opt for cotton if you can).
- Get a mat and strap set that works together; ideally, the strap would plug into the mat. Combining the two is the most effective method I’ve found for preventing static electricity from building up.
Method 1 – Bonding
The purpose of this technique is to prevent static electricity from damaging your computer by balancing the electric potential between you and the machine.
- The computer should be turned off, the power cord should be unplugged, and the power switch on the power supply should be set to the “off” position. If the computer has been turned off for an extended period of time without being turned on to drain retaining current, press the “on” button.
- With the metal disc resting against your wrist, wrap the static band around your wrist and fasten it in place (different models may require different methods of fastening). The metal should make continuous, comfortable contact with the skin. Although the strap’s anti-static properties allow it to be worn on any part of the body, the wrist is where they are most effectively utilized.
- Find the alligator clip (a spring-loaded metal caliper with teeth) at the end of the strap’s cord and attach it to any unpainted metal on the computer case. Since paint is not electrically conductive, it creates a physical barrier between you and the case that limits the flow of electricity. The strap is unnecessary if the alligator clip is attached to a painted component, but static discharge risk persists.
- The bonding process is complete once the voltage of the computer, its internal components, and your body are all at the same level.
Method 2 – Grounding
The grounded conductor ensures that any stray static charges are discharged into the ground circuit. This technique requires well-maintained, up-to-code electrical systems in the building, specifically, adequate grounding for all plugs.
- Shut down the computer and then turn off the power to the unit by flipping the switch. Make sure the plug is in the wall at all times. The circuitry can be drained by pressing the computer’s power button. A better option is to unplug the computer from its power source and instead use a standalone power supply unit that is plugged into the wall but turned off.
- Simply repeat the steps above to secure the static band around your wrist. Check to see that the metal part is in contact with your skin.
- Fasten the anti-static strap’s alligator clip to the PSU’s unpainted metal casing.
In order to avoid damaging sensitive components, the PSU will discharge any static electricity to the grounded circuitry in your home. If you have to move around a lot and are concerned about accumulating a static charge due to accidental friction, this approach is ideal for you.
Why Use An Anti Static Wristband?
To prevent electrostatic damage, ESD wrist straps are worn so that static electricity can safely dissipate. Having fewer ESD events is preferable. A safer, more secure, and more productive workplace is possible thanks to electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection. While ESD wrist straps are an important part of any safety program, it is also important to have ESD mats and other necessities on hand. Purchasing high-quality ESD equipment now will yield benefits down the road.
In order to prevent dangerous buildups of static electricity, operators should wear anti-static wristbands. If you’re working on a device or component that’s sensitive to static electricity, you should definitely wear a wristband. In some cases, this can take a lot of time and money to replace.
By taking precautions against ESD by using a wrist strap, you are not only showing leadership and setting an example for your coworkers and superiors, but you are also protecting yourself from potential injury.
There is no correlation between the color of the wristband and its efficacy. An easily visible indicator that someone is wearing their anti-static/ESD gear is a brightly colored wrist strap. You can easily spot them on a table or workbench, which makes donning them a breeze. Different colored wristbands are available so that everyone can find one they like. The available color palette gives you the freedom to pick the shade that best suits your taste and the aesthetic of your office or business. Bondline’s ESD wrist straps can be personalized to your specifications; to see the options, visit this page.
Tones that can be used are:
- An assortment of blue wristbands.
- Bands of Black Fabric Worn on the Wrists.
- Bandanas in Yellow.
- Bands for the Navy.
Types of ESD Wrist Straps
Fabric-adjustable ESD wrist straps, metal-adjustable ESD wrist straps, and hypoallergenic ESD wrist straps should all be available in workplaces where employees are exposed to ESD risk on a regular basis. When working on a temporary project or out in the field, it’s best to use disposable wrist straps when handling electronics.
Premium High Comfort Wrist-Strap
This antistatic wrist strap has a “fabric” construction that allows for a wide range of adjustability. This woven wrist strap features a rounded buckle for your convenience. In contrast to standard wrist straps, this one is made from two layers of material, creating an insulating layer on the outside to guarantee the operator’s safety. We can do custom colors if you’d like.
Maximum skin contact and comfort are prioritized in the design of this crocheted, lightweight wrist strap. The fabric strap around your wrist can be tightened or loosened using the 10mm stud that comes with your purchase. In general, people use a shade of blue that is very dark.
If you have an allergy to regular anti-static wrist straps, you’ll want the Anti Allergy version. The plastic backing on the hypoallergenic fabric prevents any metal from touching the skin.
For users who only need an ESD wrist strap for a short period of time and have no need for it to be durable or reused, disposable ESD wrist straps are an affordable option.
Economy Wrist Strap
Crochet Wrist Strap with 10mm Stud and 1.8 m Coil Cord – Lightweight, Fully Adjustable! Adapter cords are available for purchase independently. When working in an EPA, it is important to use grounding equipment like our inexpensive wrist-straps and cords to prevent damage from static electricity.
If you work in an electrostatic discharge (ESD) safe environment, you should wear this high-quality, adjustable stainless steel wrist strap. It comes in either black or blue. Included 10mm grounding stud and cord connection.
Assembling or handling components in an EPA can be very tiring, so it’s important to have a wrist strap made of materials that are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Anti-static links can be added or taken out to make a size change.
Metal bands made of stainless steel are used in the construction of this item; they are insulated with plastic. Surfaces on the inside are conductive while the outside act as an insulator. The EPA and clean rooms can both make use of this band.
How Often Should An Anti Static Wrist Strap Be Replaced?
How long a wristband should last is not governed by any hard and fast rule. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate the use, possible wear, and cleanliness of your individual wrist strap and then follow any company policies on replacements.
Companies typically set a policy of replacing them annually, semiannually, or quarterly.
Those who use a wrist strap on the regular, or who work in a shared space and use the same strap, may appreciate this simple adjustment.
Updating the tools and equipment on a regular basis can be a cheap way to boost morale. Removing and replacing a worn-out wrist strap is a low-cost but highly visible way for management to demonstrate their commitment to ESD safety.
Which Arm Should Wristbands Be Worn On?
When using an anti-static wrist strap, it is common practice to switch between the two wrists.
Since the wrist strap cord’s grounding point is typically located on the left, some people find that wearing the strap on the left side of their body is the most convenient option. This will prevent the cord from interfering with your work.
Nonetheless, you might discover that switching the grounding point to your right and wearing the strap around your right wrist is more comfortable for you.
When handling materials that are susceptible to static electricity, wristbands are an absolute must. They can be worn for long periods of time without discomfort, are inexpensive, and most importantly prevent ESD damage by dissipating the operator’s static charge.
Use this form to get in touch with us regarding our wrist straps.