A Precise Guide to ESD Protective Packaging Industry
Electrostatic protective packaging is designed to protect electro-sensitive devices during shipping and storing processes. ESD packaging industry is experiencing a boom post the reduction during the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. This is because of the strategies implemented by the key players of the market.
Electrostatic discharge protective packaging is made of all the materials and items that protect electro-sensitive products or devices during all the phases of shipping, storage, and handling.
This protective packaging reduces the risk of an electrical charge in the device. Therefore, ESD packaging is considered as the best way to protect the sensitive electrical equipment, which include flammable liquids and gases, from any kind of ESD event. In recent years, the demand for ESD packaging has increased for its beneficial aspects. Industries such as automotive, defense & military, manufacturing, healthcare, and aerospace use ESD protective packaging in various operational uses which has enhanced the growth of the global ESD protective packaging industry in a significant way. During the Covid-19 pandemic, as the supply chain came to a halt and the end-use industries were closed for a certain amount of time, the industry had experienced a drastic downfall. However, it has been expected by various market researches that the market will recover from the downfall once the pandemic is over.
Types of ESD Packaging
The three main types of ESD packaging include conductive material, dissipative material, and anti-static material.
1.Conductive material: Conductive material helps to keep any electric charges away from the electric equipment. This material reduces the chances of a charge buildup keeping the flow of electricity to a convenient level. To put it in a more precise way, conductive material packaging directs the electricity current in a safe and secure way so that the materials don’t get damaged.
2.Dissipative material: Dissipative materials are designed to slow the stream of electricity instead of directing the flow of electricity. These materials help reducing the power of an electrical charge. This material helps in keeping the sensitive goods enclosed inside the packaging.
3.Anti-static material: This material is especially designed to hinder tribocharging. Anti-static materials are used to escalate the buildup of static electricity. There are any reasons these materials are considered as a great option for packaging. If implemented in conjunction with an ESD program, these packaging materials are quite effective in reducing ESD events in companies.
Best Practices for Choosing the Perfect Protective Packaging
I. A good understanding of product sensitivity
Data and info about the ESD sensitivity of an electric device can be accumulated by either calculating it in-house--contacting the product manufacturer, or by evaluating the published data about ESD sensitivity.
II. Knowledge of the distribution atmosphere
Another crucial aspect is the knowledge of the shipping environment of the product. How the product will be handled is another important fact before choosing the packaging material. Temperature and humidity of the shipping environment can be considered as the major factors while selecting the right type of packaging for the ESD sensitive products. For instance, in case of materials that are vulnerable to moisture, obstruction material should be preferred to reduce excessive exposure to humidity.
III. Decide the best suited kind of packaging system
First, one requires to choose static dissipative or low charging materials depending upon the types of ESD sensitive equipment. Other requirements include the protection of the ESD devices from a straight exposure to electric fields. Apart from these requirements, there are some other questions that need to be taken care of:
- Is the packaging returnable or reusable?
- Is the packaging disposable or can be used only one-time?
- What are the aesthetic requirements of the packaging?
IV. Test the Selected Materials
One must follow the test methods while choosing the packaging material. The test methods help in classifying the packaging materials in conductive, static dissipative or insulative, making the selection process easier.
V. Plan a packaging system
The design of the packaging system begins after the ESD sensitivity and circulation environment are assessed and obtainable materials are selected. The general rules for the designing system include:
- A static dissipative package is enough if the package is mainly used to ship the merchandise in an ESD protected environment.
- A slow charging discharge shielding package may be required in case the product is traveling between ESD protected areas or an uncontrolled environment.
VI. Trial the finalized packaging design for efficiency
A testing or trial run is highly recommended before the finalization of the design for good result. Expose the packages to the possible types of incidents during the shipment process. Such tests may comprise the following hazardous aspects:
- Environmental exposure
- Drop tests
- High voltage discharges to the outside of the packaging
- Simulated over the road pulsation
Future Prospects of the Market
The global market of ESD protective packaging market is going to witness a remarkable growth in years to come because of its undeniable importance across industries. In addition, the increasing investment in the biodegradable electrostatic discharge package by the major companies will create ample opportunities for the market in near future.
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