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Question When wearing foot straps how important is it that the strap make contact with the skin. Or can it be between the shoe and sock? Andrew - San Antonio, TX
Answer When wearing foot straps (foot grounders) for static control in handling electronics, it is not necessary to make contact directly with the skin. The conductive tab of the foot grounder indirectly electrically joins the conductive floor (ground) to the human body (skin). Typically, the conductive tab is stepped on (heel & ball of foot) between the innersole of the shoe and the outer layer of the sock. The skin electrically couples to the tab through the sock via the sweat layer. Socks can have varying thickness and material composition. What equalizes them is the sweat layer from the foot that makes the sock conduct and provides a conductive layer between the foot (skin) and tab. When first donning your shoes, it can take from 10 to 60 minutes to develop a sufficient enough sweat layer to make the sock conductive enough to effectively couple the skin to the tab.
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