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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.

Pringles and Lucozade Recycling Villains

Pringles tubes and Lucozade Sports bottles are the “villains” of the recycling world, according to The Recycling Association.

Pringles and Lucozade Recycling Villains

The Recycling Association named them in a list of products that pose the biggest challenges for recycling and reuse.

The popular Pringles carton has been replicated by own-brand retailers in what’s become known as the “Pringleisation” of packaging.

With its metal base, plastic cap, metal tear-off lid, and foil-lined cardboard sleeve – Pringles’ combination of materials make the packaging harder to separate and were described in the report as a “nightmare”.

The Lucozade’s bottle is recyclable but, again, its combination of materials featuring a sleeve made from a different kind of plastic makes recycling hard.

Simon Ellin, chief executive of the UK Recycling Association, said: “Improvements are desperately needed in product design.”

UIN what appeared to be in part a personal vision, he outlined what he deemed as the worst recycling offenders:

–           Pringles (and products with similar packaging): “Number One recycling villain. These things are a… nightmare. Impossible to separate the parts.”

–           Lucozade Sport (and drinks with similar packaging): “Number Two villain. This bottle is so confusing to computer scanners that it has to be picked by hand off the recycling conveyor. Then it often just gets chucked away.”

–           Cleaning spray bottles: “Labels often say the product is recyclable, but that’s only the body. The spray has two or three other polymers and a metal spring. It’s almost impossible.”

–           Black plastic food trays: “Supermarkets think black trays make meat look redder so they colour the tray black but that makes it worthless for recycling. Also, if someone leaves the torn film on the tray, with a bloody card below it, we just have to chuck it anyway.”

–           Whisky packaging: “It grieves me to say this as one who likes his whisky but whisky causes us problems. The metal bottom and top to the sleeve, the glass bottle, the metal cap… very hard for us.”

A £1.5m prize for inventors to design products that are practical and easily recycled will soon be launched by Prince Charles.

The Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, promoted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, features innovations in general product design and materials so items are easier to recycle.

Chris Grantham from the London branch of the global design consultancy Ideo, agreed with the findings, saying that Pringles and Lucozade Sport (and brands with similar packaging) were singled out by the industry as almost impossible to recycle.

He also applauded other easily recyclable products such as milk bottles, where suppliers worked together to produce all plastic milk bottles and caps using the same plastic.

Owners of both Pringles and Lucozade responded with the packs’ food waste saving and carbons emissions credentials.

Kelloggs, the owner of Pringles, said there was an environmental advantage to its design.

“All parts of a Pringles can act as a barrier to keep [the crisps] fresh. That means a longer shelf life, which minimises food waste,” a spokesman said.

Lucozade said it was reducing carbon emissions, adding: “We recognise our responsibility to limit our impact on the environment and welcome any technological breakthroughs that support this ambition.”

Why Use A&A Packaging?

Why Use A&A Packaging?Why use A&A Packaging? A&A Packaging strives to aid the busy buyer with an efficient and personal service, providing product advice, specialist product sourcing, and problem-solving to make your life easier.

A&A are also the cost effective solution to all packaging needs with consistent quality products and performance, whilst still maintaining the competitive edge.

At A&A Packaging, our aim is to maintain and build upon great customer relations to provide a mutually enjoyable purchasing experience, and this is why we have worked with many of our customers for decades!

Sealed Air Corporation sells New Diversey

Sealed Air Corporation is selling its Diversey Care division and the food hygiene and cleaning business within its Food Care division.

Sealed Air Corporation

Under the collective banner New Diversey, the division has been acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity for approximately $3.2bn (£2.57bn).

The sale will allow Sealed Air to focus more sharply on its provision of food, product and medical packaging solutions. Upon closing of the transaction, Sealed Air expects to use the proceeds to repay debt and maintain its net leverage ratio in the range of 3.5 to 4.0 times, repurchase shares to minimise earnings dilution, and fund core growth initiatives, including potential complementary acquisitions to its Food Care and Product Care divisions.

New Diversey integrates chemicals, floor care machines, tools and equipment, with a wide range of technology-based value-added services, food safety services and water and energy management. It will continue to employ approximately 8,600 people globally. Diversey Care and the related food hygiene businesses combined generated net sales of approximately $2.6bn (£2.09bn) in 2016.

The deal includes a formal offer to acquire certain of Diversey’s business in France and the Netherlands, which may be accepted following Works Council consultation. The results of operations of New Diversey will be reported as discontinued operations beginning in the first quarter of 2017. Sealed Air is tentatively scheduled to report its first quarter 2017 results on 9 May, 2017.

Speaking about the likely strategy behind the acquisition, Nicholas Mockett, head of packaging M&A, Moorgate Capital, said:“Sealed Air is a global market leader in food and healthcare flexible packaging markets. It is one of the few packaging companies with brands which are recognised by consumers, particularly Cryovac and Jiffy. There was a rationale behind the $4.3bn acquisition of Diversey in June 2011 but the markets did not like the deal and pushed Sealed Air’s share price down as a consequence. Selling the business on to Bain Capital for $3.2bn is drawing a line under that chapter.”

Sonoco launches recyclable containers

Sonoco Consumer Products Europe has teamed up with Vegeplast to launch the Vegetop container with a special shaker top made of organic, compostable plastic.


Sonoco, the rigid paper, plastics and closures firm is using a specialist for injection-moulded and biodegradable plastic from Vegeplast, boosting its sustainability credentials.

The container is made of recycled paper with a robust paperboard base featuring a product-specific inner coating.

“We can now offer our customers a rigid paperboard container that sets new standards in environmental friendliness,” said Sébastien Fabre, sales manager at Sonoco. “The Vegetop® cap and our containers offer a perfect combination. The body of the container is recyclable and the plastic lid is 100% compostable.”

Rolf Regelmann, director of sales and marketing at Sonoco Consumer Products Europe, added: “Today’s consumers place increasing importance on environmentally-friendly packaging. The rigid paperboard containers with Vegetop meet these expectations without compromising on visual appeal. Our Vegetop containers stand out at the point of sale and are extremely convenient for consumers thanks to the practical shaker top.”