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Question Why would more dissipative table mats be better than more conductive mats? Wouldn’t it be better to have the charge go to ground faster? It appears that most companies go the route of having their table mats be more dissipative than conductive. Any comments? –Anonymous, Datel, Mansfield, MA
Answer Yes, there is a very good reason to use dissipative surfaces for balancing charge imbalances. The rate of charge balance (sometimes referred to as removal) is dictated by the resistance of the material. The faster the energy transfers to ground, the more likely you are to experience an ESD Event or a large current pulse with sufficient energy to damage silicon/GaAs semiconductor devices. ESD Control has evolved to minimize the risk of ESD Events. By slowing down the rate of charge (current) you can minimize the energy density at any given point in time. A good dissipative mat will discharge a charge imbalance to ground in plenty of time (typically way under 100 ms) relative to the motion of a line worker at the bench.
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