Most people tend to believe that if a person is wearing a wrist strap, an ESD Lab Coat or smock is redundant. This is due to the belief that any charge on the person or their clothes would find its way to ground via the wrist strap. This is a very common misconception.
What is the Purpose of ESD Lab Coats?
Put simply, it is to shield or replace standard high charging insulative clothing.
Clothing, particularly when made from synthetic fibres, is a significant charge generator. Worse still, the fabrics are insulative so the charge cannot be taken away to ground. As we have learned previously, all process essential insulators should be kept at a minimum distance of 30 cm from ESD Sensitive (ESDS) items. Is this feasible for operator’s clothing?
By wearing groundable static control garments such as an ESD Smock or Lab Coat you can shield the insulative clothing and minimise the electric fields generated from their clothing.
Some believe that Static Control Garments represent the single most important step to demonstrate commitment to an ESD Control Programme.
Most lab coats are constructed of a dissipative material that incorporates texturised polyester and carbon nylon fibres. The conductive nylon fibres are woven in a chain-link design throughout the material, providing continuous and consistent charge dissipation.
ESD Lab Coats are an ESD protective product that should possess the following ESD control characteristics:
- Antistatic low-charging so they minimise the generation of electrostatic charges.
- Dissipative so when grounded they will remove charges to ground.
- Shielding creating a “Faraday Cage” effect so they will restrict charges generated on the user’s clothing to the inside of the ESD lab coat and.
- Groundable so the user can easily and reliably connect them to ground.