Fundamentals of Electrostatic Discharge Part 1: An Introduction to ESD

This article is based on an original publication by ESDA.

Electrostatic discharge, or ESD, is often described as the shock experienced when one comes into contact with metal after walking across a carpeted floor during the winter. Although an accurate description, static electricity and ESD have been creating serious industrial issues for hundreds of years.

Dating back to as long ago as the 1400s, militaries in European and Caribbean countries were employing static control procedures in an effort to prevent accidental electrostatic discharge ignition of stored gunpowder. In the 1860s, US paper mills utilized techniques such as flame ionization, basic grounding and steam drums to control static electricity, dissipating it from the paper web as it completed the drying procedure.



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