ESD and Standards
Electro static discharge, also known as ESD, means the equalization of different electrostatic potentials between two or more objects. It can damage devices by a rapid localized heating of the semiconductor material or by rapidly creating strong electrical fields. Critically, even very small discharges or over-stress can be fatal or cause latent failures, so electro static discharge control is severe important for manufacturers, engineers, designers, hobbyists, etc. Actually, there are about 60 of the more commonly used standards for ESD control. These standards and specifications originate from many different organizations and serve different purposes, as are outlined below. Organizations include FTM, MIL and OSHA which are required for military and government products, and AATCC, ANSI, ASTM, AT&T, CECC, IEC, IPO and ISO which are required for commercial organizations. If your company supplies various electronic components or is a board house, your customers may require you to follow certain prescribed standards to which they adhere.