As the PLI scheme takes traction in electronic industry, more and more companies are aiming for India. While the need for using ESD garments (also Footwear and ESD flooring) is widely understood, what is not understood clearly, is the way to maintain these garments so the ESD properties are not lost over a period.

Presently the method followed by most Indian Electronic manufacturers is to give one set of ESD garments (ESD Apron & ESD Cap) to the employee and getting the same washed by employee at his home. Washing the ESD garment at home creates a lot of challenges notable being loss of ESD Property (Measured as Resistivity or Conductivity under certain voltages, Test Standard EN/IEC 61340-5-1) quickly, in many cases as early as within 5 washes. The same is experienced even when using local laundry companies. Principle reasons for this is use of domestic detergents which contains Chlorine bleach and/or ionic softeners.

Built in a grid pattern, the black carbon threading woven into ESD safe clothing shields nearby electronics from static on your clothes and skin underneath. This threading is what gives ESD safe clothes their conductivity and what makes your ESD garment “static shielding”.
Chlorine bleach attacks carbon bonds which in turn destroys this black carbon threading.
Detergents also contain enzymes, bleaches, surfactants, and builders.
The surfactants found in many detergents include anionic (negatively charged) alkalis that interact with water to remove oily dirt and stains.

However, these can strip ESD Garments of their positive ions leaving them predisposed to carrying negative charges. Therefore, it is recommended to not use detergents when washing ESD Garments. But thanks to dusty Indian environment a lot of dirt and grime accumulates on the garment, especially on cuffs and collars.

This is where specialized workwear management companies come into picture. They are specialists in managing this workwear and thereby ensuring that we can get about 100 washes from the ESD garments without it losing the ESD properties. Apart from this they have programable dryers which ensures that the garments are dried in low heat in a tumble dryer. This ensures that carbon in the garments are not altered during drying. Using high heat will alter the garment in a single wash itself and thereby making them lose their properties.

To know more about ESD garment management click here…

Related articles