Because electronic components are becoming smaller and more sensitive, it’s vital to be sure they are protected against ESD events including static discharge. According to ANSI/ESD S20.20, “Protective packaging is required to store, transport, and protect ESDS electronic items during all phases of production.” Per the updated 2018 requirements for ANSI/ESD S541, the shielding requirement was updated that remaining discharge for the bags should be less than 20 nanojoules. The Pink Poly bag is one of the more commonly used low charging bags. Pink Poly bags are made of a tinted polyethylene material with an antistatic coating that may wear away. Over time, this makes the bag an insulator, thus it’s no longer compliant to ANSI/ESD S541 recommendations. The bags also lack discharge shielding protection which makes components within the bag subject to ESD event damage. Metallized Shielding bags are made from a metalized polyester film and a low charging polyethylene laminate. This provides the bags with a shielding layer which creates a Faraday cage which protects the ESD-sensitive components inside the bag from possible ESD event damage. The low charging layers of the bag prevent tribocharging from occurring, which minimizes the buildup of ESD charges when handling components.
Have you been questioned about the shelf life of ESD bags by your quality manager? Perhaps it’s an internal quality procedure that is being written and you want to know the manufacturer’s thoughts on the shelf life of ESD packaging. Well today we’ll address the topic of ESD Static Control bag storage and how it relates to expected shelf life. There are thousands of variations to consider when we discuss shelf life. Heat, conditions of the storage rack, travel method, and local climate to name a few. So the key points are:
- Avoid extremes: Hot, cold, sunlight, moisture, add controls when possible
- In a controlled environment, our ESD bags have seen a proven shelf life of 5 years.
- Follow the FIFO process as a best practice for inventory.
- ESD static bag manufacturers that we represent offers a 1 year warranty from the date of purchase. Make sure to audit yearly or prior to use as a best practice and ensure that your devices are getting the best possible protection.
- If the bags are questionable, recycle the bags at your local recycler and order a new lot from Restronics Southeast.