Electrocstatic discharge (ESD)… what in the world is it and why should I care about it?
If you’re an engineer, an architect, or in the electronics manufacturing industry, you’re most likely aware of what ESD is and the havoc it can wreak.
But, if you’re not in any of those industries, should you even bother caring about what it is?
- install and maintain computer networks
- repair electronic devices
- are a serious gamer who likes to tinker with your computers
- are a workbench enthusiast who likes to take stuff apart, or
- manage a team of people who work with sensitive or valuable data (your data is valuable, right?)
No matter what the case… you need to be aware of electrostatic discharge and its effects on your electronics.
First of all… What is ESD?
Electrostatic discharge, or ESD, is a natural phenomenon. It’s present in everyday life and happens all the time, often without anyone realizing it. It is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown (electrical breakdown).
This sudden flow of electricity is what causes problems for computer networks and everyday electronic devices.
An obvious form of electrostatic discharge would be lightning (also known as large-scale ESD event), but a less obvious form would be the shock you feel after walking across carpet and then touching the doorknob. Perhaps the most insidious forms are the ones too small for you to detect, but powerful enough to damage the circuits on your devices.
Why Should I Care?
Two significant reasons for being aware of ESD and its effects are…
- Loss of Peak Performance. If you would like your networks or equipment to perform optimally, you should take steps to avoid ESD damage. Over time, ESD reduces the performance of your system and can significantly reduce the life of your equipment. Save yourself the time, money, and hassle and protect your equipment.
- It’s Expensive! Over 50% of hardware failures are due to electrostatic discharge. Eliminate ESD and save money!
How Do I Protect My Networks and Devices?
So whether you’re the “IT guy” or the “gamer gal,” creating an Electrostatic Discharge Protected Area is a great starting point, including:
- ESD flooring
- Grounding devices like wrist straps
- Grounded static dissipative work surfaces
- ESD clothing and shoes
- ESD packaging
If you need more information regarding electrostatic discharge, we’re here to provide the expertise you need, as well as the equipment. As experts in the prevention and elimination of ESD for more than 15 years, we have the knowledge and proven catalog of products to help you solve any of your ESD challenges. Feel free to check out the rest of our blog or get in touch anytime.