ESD means "electrostatic discharge". These are voltage discharges caused by high potential differences. This results in a short, high current flow.
Such a discharge is undesirable with electrical components, since these are damaged thereby. The charging of such components is often caused by frictional electricity. Due to their low strength, many electrostatic discharges cannot be perceived by humans at all. Nevertheless, these are sufficient to damage electronic components. In the worst case, these are destroyed or the service life of the parts is considerably shortened.
During the production and processing of electrostatically sensitive components, as well as during their transport, it must therefore be ensured that no undesirable discharge occurs. Special antistatic packaging has been designed to protect against this. These are produced from electrically conductive materials in order to dissipate charges from the packaging surface. In most cases, these are conductive plastic packaging materials. Conductivity of films, filling materials and foams can be achieved, for example, by fillers or metallization.
The specific provisions on ESD-compliant packaging can be found in DIN EN 61340-5-3. The standardisation contains the properties and requirements for the classification of packaging used for ESD-sensitive components. The purpose is to avoid charging and discharging too quickly. ESD packaging is therefore divided into "conductive" (C), "deductive" (D) and "shielding" (S). In addition, the protection factor of ESD packaging is classified as low, medium and high.
Category C ESD packaging is conductive. This means that the resulting frictional electricity is derived from the contents of the package.
ESD packaging of category D has a dissipative effect. The frictional electricity is already derived from the surface of the packaging.
ESD packaging of category S has a shielding function and thus offers the highest protection against electrostatic discharges. A special coating creates a barrier which slows down the passage of current and thus strongly dampens the electrostatic discharge. When the packaging is completely closed, it acts like a Faraday cage.
Basically, all electrical, electronic and optoelectronic components are electrostatically sensitive components that must be protected from electrostatic discharge in order to guarantee their functionality permanently and minimize failure rates. But electromechanical components are also sensitive. Despite the seemingly small amount of charge, high electrical powers and high power densities occur in small components in particular, which destroy the components. With semiconductors, discharges cause material changes. and functional disturbances, the load capacity of the components is exceeded - they "burn out".
Although conventional ESD packaging made of plastic is practicable, it damages the environment and thus does not contribute to nature conservation. ESD packaging made from recyclable materials such as cardboard or corrugated board offers an environmentally friendly alternative. Cardboard boxes can also have an antistatic effect thanks to special coatings and thus also provide effective protection against electrostatic discharges, like plastic packaging. Due to their stability, ESD cartons can also be reused as reusable packaging for ESD protection.
The company Froeb-Verpackungen has been focusing for years on the development of alternative packaging and storage materials made of paper and cardboard, which can also be produced at lower prices and offer other advantages in addition to environmental protection.
They are lighter and sometimes even more stable.
Electrical, electronic and optoelectronic components can have a wide variety of shapes and are produced in a wide variety of designs. When using a variable or universal ESD packaging (consisting of a dissipative protective film and foam inserts), the following components are available Eliminating the need to order different types of ESD packaging, e.g. when it comes to packing or storing bulky PCBs quickly, safely and space-savingly. It is a plug-in system which can be adapted to any PCB size with the aid of a holding device. Thus, a variety of components can be packed antistatically and dimensionally stable with one type of packaging.
What are meander packages?
The term "meander" describes a shape of loops next to each other, similar to the natural course of rivers or streams in flatter areas.
This form is also used for ESD meander packaging. However, it does not run horizontally, but pink loops of film strips are glued vertically to a cardboard substrate. This are compartments for slim printed circuit boards or electrical assemblies. This means that the loops width circuit boards or LED-strips stand on a cardboard.
The advantage is that many components can be quickly and space-savingly accommodated in an ESD carton between the film loops. No longer every single component needs its own box. Also compartments of cardboarda are possible with meander packaging, if the circuit boards are very small.
Meander allows very fast packaging of electrical assemblies.
Packaging with compartments, which are produced from solid board, are convincing in the areas of environmental protection and production costs. They are produced from recycled material with the addition of virgin fibers and are therefore environmentally friendly and conserve resources. They can be returned to the recycling loop at 100% and a major advantage is that they take up very little space when folded, which is particularly noticeable when larger quantities are purchased. In addition, in contrast to compartments made of corrugated board, they are less dusty and therefore more suitable for electronic areas. They are preferably suitable for smaller compartments, as stability decreases with increasing size. No tooling is required for the production of solid board compartments, which means that no additional tooling costs are incurred even in the case of subsequent adaptations, and production costs can thus be kept low. The raw material is also cheaper than corrugated board or plastic.
In addition to solid board, corrugated board is also used in the production of ESD packaging. These are also made from recycled material with the addition of virgin fibers and are thus also environmentally friendly and resource-saving. They can be 100% recycled. Corrugated board is also well suited for use in larger packaging, as it is more stable than solid board. However, one disadvantage is that corrugated cardboard leads to greater dust pollution. Corrugated board trays can also be produced without tools. However, productivity can be increased for larger purchase quantities by using a die-cutting tool.
The advantages of plastic ESD packaging are clearly in the areas of stability and weather resistance. Even large packaging can be produced without compromising stability. Due to the weather resistance, the packaging can also be used several times without any problems and can even be described as resource-saving under the aspect of reusability. Unlike cardboard, ESD packaging made of plastic does not generate dust and is therefore very suitable for the electronic sector. However, the starting material is more expensive than solid or corrugated board and the productivity for die-cutting is lower, so a die is usually always required for production. ESD packaging made of plastic is difficult to recycle and therefore not very environmentally friendly.