2 steps to choosing the right ESD bag

In the past we spoke about some types of ESD bags (antistatic bags vs. dissipative bags, moisture barrier bags). Today we want to focus on the whole selection process for ESD bags: from choosing the correct type of material all the way through to determining the right size for your application. Sounds complicated you say? Honestly – it’s not and once you have the right tools (you’re welcome!), you’ll be an expert in no time. So let’s go!

Choose the correct material for your ESD bag

Before you get started, you need to be clear about the purpose of your ESD bag and the environment it’s being used in. Make sure you have the answers to the following questions:

  1. What do you intend to put inside the ESD bag? ESD sensitive items? Non-ESD sensitive items?
  2. Is moisture an issue you need to consider?
  3. Do you need your ESD bags be self-sealable? Or will you be using ESD tape/labels to close your bags?
  4. Are the items inside your ESD bag sensitive to physical damage?
  5. Will the ESD bags (and obviously the items inside) be stored on a grounded shelf inside an EPA or are they being transported outside of an EPA, as well?

Once you have answers to ALL of the above questions, you can move on to the below selection chart and choose the right material for your application.

ESD sensitive items Moisture protection Self-sealable Physical protection Inside/Outside EPA
Metal-In x x Both
Metal-Out x x Both
MBB x x Both
Bubble Shielding x x Both
Pink Antistatic x Inside only
Pink Antistatic Bubble x x Inside only
Conductive Black Only if used on a grounded surface Inside only if used with ESD sensitive items

A few more details on the different types of materials listed in the above chart:

  1. Metal-In Shielding Bags
    ESD bags which protect ESD sensitive items. The ESD shielding limits energy penetration from electrostatic charges and discharge. They offer good see-through clarity. Available with and without dissipative zipper.
    metalinzipper

    Metal-In Shielding Bags
  2. Metal-Out Shielding Bags
    Integral antistatic and low tribocharging bags which will not electrostatically charge contents during movement. Bags have an aluminum metal outer layer of laminated film. Available with and without dissipative zipper.
    202100

    Metal-Out Shielding Bags
  3. Moisture Barrier Bags (MBB)
    Offer ESD and moisture protection and can be used to pack SMD reels or trays.
    90700

    Moisture Barrier Bags (MBB)
  4. Bubble Shielding Bags
    These bags combine the “Faraday Cage” and mechanical protection. They shield about twice as well as normal shielding bags of equivalent size.
    12800

    Bubble Shielding Bags
  5. Pink Antistatic Bags
    Economical bags which are made of polyethylene. They are for use with non-ESD sensitive items destined for use in an EPA. Available with and without zipper.
    203065

    Pink Antistatic Bags
  6. Pink Antistatic Bubble Bags
    ESD bags which are made of pink-tinted, amine-free, antistatic polyethylene. They provide good mechanical protection and are for use with non-ESD sensitive items. The 25mm flap has a self-adhesive strip to close the bags.
    202530

    Pink Antistatic Bubble Bags
  7. Conductive Black Bags
    Black conductive film is made of virgin low density materials with black conductive compound to achieve high toughness and strength.
    203600

    Conductive Black Bag

Calculating the correct size for your ESD bag

Once you have selected the correct type of material, it’s time to choose the right size for your ESD bag. There are different ways to determine this based on the type of material you use:

  1. Shielding, Black Conductive and Pink Antistatic Bags
    A. Bag Width = Item’s Thickness + Item’s Width + 25mm
    B. Bag Length = Item’s Thickness + Item’s Length + 50mm
  2. Moisture Barrier Bags (MBB)
    A. Bag Width = Item’s Thickness + Item’s Width + 25mm
    B. Bag Length = Item’s Thickness + Item’s Length + 76mm
  3. Pink Bubble and Bubble Shielding Bags
    A. Bag Width = Item’s Thickness + Item’s Width + 76mm
    B. Bag Length = Item’s Thickness + Item’s Length + 76mm

Bonus Tip: Measuring a bag

It might seem obvious to some of you but given that we do get these types of queries on quite a regular basis, we thought this would be a good opportunity to include. Imagine you already have ESD bags that you use in your company. Someone has just taken the last one of the shelf and you need to order some more. How do you know what size ESD bag you have in front of you so you can place a new purchase order? No worries – we have the answer:

A. The width is measured from inside seem to inside seem. This is also your opening.
B. The length is measured from the top of the opening to the bottom of the bag.

Bonus Tip 2: Remember your ESDs items

Outside an ESD protected area, the objective of ESD protective packaging is to prevent a direct electrostatic discharge to the ESD sensitive item contained within and allow for dissipation of charge from the exterior surface. In addition, the packaging should minimize charging of the ESD sensitive item in response to an external electrostatic field and triboelectrification. If the user does not know the sensitivity of the items being used, static shielding packaging should be used.

 

Do you have any more questions or require a quote for ESD bags? Vermason can help so make sure you get in touch!

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About Vermason

Vermason is a manufacturer of ESD protection products and was founded in Letchworth in 1979. Our mission is to maintain our position as the primary ESD solutions provider for the electronics industry in Europe. Vermason strive to manufacture quality ESD Control products with innovation, leadership and partnerships which deliver long term commercial benefits. We understand the many challenges our customers face regarding quality and reliability. We support these requirements with products and services of exceptional value which help them gain competitive advantages in their markets. We also appreciate that the control of ESD is one of many necessary links in a long chain required to bring a customer’s project to a successful completion. We endeavour to make that happen. We sustain our vision and mission by constantly seeking renewal via continuous education, application of new technologies and good business practices. Employees are expected to serve the customer with the highest level of technical knowledge in the industry.

Posted on 2016-03-17, in Articles, Bags and Labels, ESD Information, How-To, Question & Answers, Resources. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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