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Question Is there an effective wireless wrist straps available in the market today? If so, is there any way to verify it's effectiveness? KFRANK, Boca Raton, FL
Answer

NO. Wireless wrist straps are not effective. The performance of the Wireless Wrist Strap is unacceptable. Very poor compared to Wrist Strap with Coil Cord, and about the same performance as wearing no Wrist Strap at all.

We have tested here and the results were:

Using a Charged Plate Analyzer, measured Discharge Time to remove 1,000 volts from a person;

Wrist Strap with Coil Cord: approximately 0.1 seconds to reduce charge to 5 volts.

Wireless Wrist Strap: after 5 minutes 650 to 700 remained on person

With no wrist strap: after 5 minutes 700 to 750 remained on person

Others get similar results. Per ESD Journal Lab, testing charge decay down to 1,000 volts, "There was no difference in the time to decay to 1,000 with or without the [wireless] wrist strap in place." See http://www.esdjournal.com/techpapr/sfowler/wireless.htm

Here’s information from a company selling wireless wrist straps:

"In effect, the wireless wrist strap slowly neutralizes static electricity on a human body and maintains the potential of a human body below 500V, which is a great improvement from 3 to 5 kV measured without the wrist strap.

The wireless wrist strap is not intended to replace conventional wrist straps. However, a wireless wrist strap, supplied with an additional coil cord for direct grounding, not only replaces conventional wrist straps, but provides additional protection when a person using it has to move away from the hard wired grounding point, (which is often a case in the electronics assembly, kiting, stock room, inspection, service or development working environments)."

For mobile workers or where tethered wrist straps cause a safety concern, ESD Foot Grounders are recommended. Per ANSI / ESD S20.20 paragraph 6.2.2.2 Personnel Grounding Guidance "The personnel grounding system in all cases includes the person, the control item(s) and connection to ground. ESD protective flooring, used with approved footwear, may be used as an alternative to the wrist strap system for standing operations."

 
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