Are you handling ESD sensitive devices? 3 symbols you need to know!
If you’ve been handling ESD sensitive devices for a while, you’ve probably come across the different ESD symbols already. But do you know the difference(s) and when to use them? No? Read on!
Are you new to ESD protection or have just taken over responsibility for an existing ESD programme? Congratulations – you’ve come to the right place! Keep on reading!
1. ESD Susceptibility Symbol
The ESD Susceptibility Symbol is the most commonly known symbol which consists of a yellow hand in the act of reaching, deleted by a bar; all within a black triangle. It is intended to identify devices and assemblies that are susceptible to ESD.
The ESD Susceptibility Symbol
When to use the ESD Susceptibility Symbol
The ESD Susceptibility Symbol is correctly used as follows:
- on individual components and related documents to state: ‘this device is static sensitive; do not touch without appropriate precautions’
- on assemblies and related documents to state: ‘includes static sensitive components; take appropriate precautions’
- as part of a sign identifying an area where sensitive devices are handled; to warn all who approach it that precautions are required
Colour of the ESD Susceptibility Symbol
The colour is optional except “the color red shall not be used because it suggests a hazard to personnel.” The preferred colour is a yellow hand and slash on a black triangle.
2. ESD Protective Symbol
Just like the ESD Susceptibility Symbol, the ESD Protective Symbol has a reaching hand in a triangle. However, note the arc and missing slash through the triangle! Because of these differences it has a very different meaning.
This symbol should be on ESD protective products identifying a specialty product that has at least one ESD control property.
The ESD Protective Symbol is also called the ESD Packaging Symbol.
The ESD Protective Symbol
If a letter is under the triangle, it should identify the most important ESD control property:
- L = Low Charging
- D = Static Dissipative
- C = Conductive EPA (for use in the ESD Protected Area)
When to use the ESD Protective Symbol
The ESD Protective Symbol may be used to identify items that possess at least one ESD control property:
- Low Charging (formerly referred to as astatic or antistatic)
- Resistance (Conductive or Static Dissipative) able to remove electrostatic charges when grounded
- Discharge Shielding
Colour of the ESD Protective Symbol
The colour is optional except “the color red shall not be used because it suggests a hazard to personnel.” The preferred colour is a yellow hand and slash on a black triangle; the arc should be black.
3. ESD Common Ground Point and Earth Bonding Point Symbol
These two symbols identify where all ESD elements at an ESD workstation should be connected. There is a newer and older symbol; they are very different but basically have the same meaning:
- The Earth Bonding Point Symbol has the earth ground symbol and concentric circles around the ground snap, plug or jack.
- The ESD Common Ground Point Symbol has concentric circles with thick circle around the ground snap, plug or jack.
Both symbols should include text identification.
ESD Common Ground Point and Earth Bonding Point Symbol
Symbol artwork for all of the above symbols can be downloaded at no charge from the ESD Association.
Use the comments section below for any questions you may have.
Reference: EN 61340-5-1, CLC/TR 61340-5-2 ESD User guide, and Symbol standard ANSI/ESD S8.1.