Category Archives: Products

Understanding Anti-Static, Dissipative, Conductive, and Insulative

Static Electricity

As the name implies, static electricity is electricity at rest. The electrical charge is the transference of electrons that occurs when there is sliding, rubbing, or separating of a material, which is a generator of electrostatic voltages. For example: plastics, fiber glass, rubber, textiles, ect. Under the right conditions, this induced charge can reach 30,000 to 40,000 volts.

When this happens to an insulating material, like plastic, the charge tends to remain in the localized area of contact. This electrostatic voltage may then discharge via an arc or spark when the plastic material comes in contact with a body at a sufficiently different potential, such as a person or microcircuit.

If Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) occurs to a person, the results may range anywhere from a mild to a painful shock. Extreme cases of ESD, or Arc Flash, can even result in loss of life. These types of sparks are especially dangerous in environments that may contain flammable liquids, solids or gasses, such as a hospital operating room or explosive device assembly.

Some micro-electronic parts can be destroyed or damaged by ESD as low as 20 volts. Since people are prime causes of ESD, they often cause damage to sensitive electronic parts, especially during manufacturing and assembly. The consequences of discharge through an electrical component sensitive to ESD can range from erroneous readings to permanent damage resulting in excessive equipment downtime and costly repair or total part replacement. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)The sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. A buildup of static electricity can be caused by tribocharging or by electrostatic induction. Anti-Static Preventing the buildup of static electricity. Reducing static electric charges, as on textiles, waxes, polishes, etc., by retaining enough moisture to provide electrical conduction. Dissipative The charges flow to ground more slowly and in a somewhat more controlled manner than with conductive materials. Dissipative materials have a surface resistivity equal to or greater than 1 x 105 Ω/sq but less than 1 x 1012 Ω/sq or a volume resistivity equal to or greater than 1 x 104 Ω-cm but less than 1 x 1011 Ω-cm. 2 Conductive With a low electrical resistance, electrons flow easily across the surface or through the bulk of these materials. Charges go to ground or to another conductive object that the material contacts or comes close to. Conductive materials have a surface resistivity less than 1 x 105 Ω/sq or a volume resistivity less than 1 x 104 Ω-cm. Insulative Insulative materials prevent or limit the flow of electrons across their surface or through their volume. Insulative materials have a high electrical resistance and are difficult to ground. Static charges remain in place on these materials for a very long time. Insulative materials are defined as those having a surface resistivity of at least 1 x 1012 Ω/sq or a volume resistivity of at least 1 x 1011 Ω-cm.

ESD Materials Categories

Materials for protection and prevention of ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) can be categorized into three distinct groups – separated by their ranges of conductivity to electrical charges.Anti-StaticResistivity generally between 109 and 1012 ohms per square. Initial electrostatic charges are suppressed. May be surface resistive, surface-coated or filled throughout. Static Dissipative Resistivity generally between 106 and 109 ohms per square. Low or no initial charges — prevents discharge to from human contact. May be either surface-coated or filled throughout. Conductive Resistivity generally between 103 and 106 ohms per square. No initial charges, provides path for charge to bleed off. Usually carbon-particle or carbon-fiber filled throughout.

Resistivity Test Methods

Surface Resistivity

Surface Resistivity Measurements

For thermoplastic materials intended to dissipate electrostatic charges, surface resistivity is the most common measurement of a material’s ability to do so.

A widely accepted surface resistivity test method is ASTM D257. It consists of measuring the resistance (via an ohm meter) between two electrodes applied under load to the surface being tested. Electrodes are used rather than point probes because of the heterogeneous makeup of compounded thermoplastics. Simply touching the surface with a point contact may not give readings consistent with the overall part (readings of this type are often insulative even when the part is actually conductive).

It is also important to maintain good contact between the sample and electrodes, which can require considerable pressure. The resistance reading is then converted to resistivity to account for the dimensions of the electrodes which can vary depending on the size and shape of the test samples. Surface resistivity is equal to resistance times the perimeter of the electrodes divided by the gap distance, yielding ohms/square.

Volume Resistivity Measurements

Volume Resistivity

Volume resistivity is useful for evaluating the relative dispersion of a conductive additive throughout the polymer matrix. It can roughly be related to EMI/RFI shielding effectiveness in certain conductive fillers.

Volume resistivity is tested in a similar fashion to surface resistivity, however electrodes are placed on opposite faces of a test sample. ASTM D257 also refers to volume resistivity, and a conversion factor again based on electrode dimensions and part thickness is used to obtain the resistivity value from a resistance reading. [Volume resistivity is equal to resistance times the surface area (cm2) divided by the thickness of the part (cm) yielding ohm-cm.]

ESD Awareness Symbols

ESD Susceptibility Symbol

The ESD susceptibility symbol incorporates a reaching hand in a triangle with a slash through it and is used to indicate that an electrical or electronic device or assembly is susceptible to damage from an ESD event. Used to identify ESDS [ESD sensitive items] and that personnel should be grounding when unpackaging or handling that item. It is also referred to as the ESD sensitivity symbol or ESD warning symbol.

The symbol is a reaching hand with defined fingers and fingernail, in a contrasting triangle with a slash in front of the hand.

ESD Protective Symbol

The ESD protective symbol differs from the ESD susceptibility symbol, by the addition of an arc around the outside of the triangle and the omission of the slash across the hand and the triangle.

The ESD protective symbol should be used to identify items that are specifically designed to provide ESD protection for ESDS items. Examples of these are packaging, ESD protective clothing and personnel grounding equipment. The ESD protective symbol should also be used on items designed to replace static generative materials. Examples of these items are ESD protective work station equipment, trash can liners, and chairs. The item is to be ESD protective or non-static generative by design.

ESD Common Point Ground Symbol

This symbol is established to indicate an ESD common point ground, which is defined by ANSI/ESD-S6.1 as “a grounded device where two or more conductors are bonded.”

This symbol consists of a bold outer circle inside of which are the words, ESD COMMON POINT GROUND, in bold type. Inside that are two thick contrasting circles and one thick circle that may fill the center or extend to the center where a snap, plug or other fastener may be connected.

View our range of Anti Static products here.

Box Branding Opportunity

At A&A Packaging we offer a box branding opportunity, which is so important in today’s competitive ‘stand out’ market.

Box Branding Opportunity

Brand consistency, recognition, and perception can be exceptionally important.

A crucial part of this for many companies is their packaging. From transit packaging with simple one colour logos to retail packaging with photographic imagery, your packaging can become an extension of your brand identity.

Using printed boxes is a great way to impress your customers and give them extra confidence in the quality of your product. A printed packaging box can create an exciting, positive image, which helps build up brand awareness. And as they provide further potential for brand recognition, customised boxes are a low cost but highly effective form of advertising.

At A&A Packaging we believe our team can offer the best box branding opportunity from the product design to after-sale service!

Call or Email our friendly sales team to discuss branding your packaging, in a powerful and cost-effective way.

Waitrose launches home compostable ready meal packaging

Waitrose has launched what it says is the world’s first home compostable ready meal packaging as it aims to move nine million products out of black plastic.

Waitrose launches home compostable ready meal packaging

Working with Huhtamaki, the new containers, which are fibre based and similar in texture to cardboard, are now certified home compostable for the first time.

Its suppliers Huhtamaki and Saladworks produced the packaging which can be heated in the oven and microwave and is cool to touch after cooking. The fiber-based packaging is Forest Stewardship Council certified, creates a 50% saving in Co2 emissions, and can also be recycled.

The packaging innovation will initially replace many of the retailer’s Italian ready meal trays, saving 158 tonnes of black plastic.

Karen Graley, manager, packaging & reprographics, Waitrose & Partners, said: “Pioneering the first home compostable ready meal packaging that ensures customers can continue to cook their food quickly, safely, and now more sustainably, is a major breakthrough in packaging innovation. This step – combined with moving millions of ready meals out of black plastic – is a significant milestone in how we package food and eliminate hard to recycle material for good.”

The new Italian ready meal packaging will be available in Waitrose & Partners shops at the end of this month and will include Chilli Prawn Spaghetti, Broccoli Orecchiette, and Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Bake.

Highland Spring to roll out recycled plastic eco bottles

Highland Spring set to launch its eco bottle, made from 100% recycled plastic.

Following a successful 2018 trial, the Highland Spring eco bottle will launch this month will join the existing Highland Spring natural source water range, where all bottles are 100% recyclable.

The bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic, although the label and cap are not made from recycled plastic; bottle, label and cap are 100% recyclable.

The mineral water giant said its consumers had expressed a ‘significant’ desire for more eco bottles at trial stage, and this launch will be followed by more 100% recycled and recyclable plastic eco bottles later in the year.

Highland Spring Group Chief Executive, Les Montgomery, said: “We are grateful to shoppers who gave us their thoughts and feedback, throughout the trial. They asked us to make the eco bottle a permanent addition to the Highland Spring family and we are proud to say that is exactly what we have done.

“Increasing our use of recycled plastic is an absolute priority for Highland Spring and this is a hugely exciting step in our mission to provide healthy hydration choices in environmentally sustainable ways. We hope that having innovative products such as the eco bottle in supermarkets alongside 100% recyclable bottles will help shoppers understand more about plastic as a valuable resource that should not be treated as waste.”

Plastics companies rely heavily on EU workers

Plastics companies rely heavily on EU workers, says BPF survey. The plastics industry is highly reliant on EU workers and Brexit has pushed firms to automate some roles, according to a survey by the British Plastics Federation.

Plastics companies rely heavily on EU workers

The UK plastics industry is the third largest manufacturing sector in terms of employment, employing 166,000 people, of which, roughly 18,000 are non-UK EU citizens and 4,000 come from the rest of the world. EU workers account for roughly 11% of the entire workforce in the industry and one in five of all factory floor workers.

The survey showed that more than half of UK plastics companies rely on employing temporary workers during busy periods — and here EU citizens play a very prominent role, making up 48% of temporary workers. A quarter of the companies surveyed stated that they would like any new immigration policy to help them meet short-term, temporary needs.

Before the referendum, roughly half of UK plastics companies were having trouble recruiting. January’s BPF Business Conditions Survey showed that this has increased, with just under two-thirds of plastics companies now reporting difficulty filling key roles. The more recent survey, specifically about EU workers, shows that 10% of companies feel they are having trouble filling vacancies as a direct result of the EU referendum whereas 58% do not feel the result has affected their overall workforce.

The survey shows that factory floor staff and engineers are the toughest roles to fill and in order to plug the potential gap left by EU workers, 61% of companies say they may employ UK workers, 39% may train existing staff, while almost a third (29%) are also looking into the possibility of automating the roles.

Commenting on the findings, chairman of the BPF Brexit Taskforce, Mike Boswell, said: “Our industry has for some time experienced difficulty in finding the right staff for key roles and unfortunately Brexit appears to have made this situation worse. This survey has underlined the importance of EU workers in our industry.

“If companies that rely on temporary workers to fulfil their orders lose access to almost half of the temporary workforce, this will pose an enormous challenge. It is important that at this point companies are exploring all feasible alternatives, including investment in upskilling the existing workforce as well as the development and implementation of technology to automate roles, for which we will require further assistance from the UK government.”

The role of EU workers in the plastics industry survey was carried out in 2017 and was completed by almost 90 companies. To access the full survey, as well as a summary of the findings, visit: http://www.bpf.co.uk/eu/home.aspx