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Question What are the hazards to component lead surfaces and other exposed solder coated surfaces if subjected to storage / work environment having 65% RH and above, as recommended for ESD preventing measure? We would like to know the allowable contamination level recommended for ESD safe areas and control methods. How to prevent arcing when ionizers are to be used in work stations, send details if available. - Anonymous, Bangalore, India
Answer When components are stored in environments at 65% RH or above there is always a concern for corrosion, depending on the metals involved. The recommended RH range for ESD is closer to 35% - 55% RH. Contamination levels, are you referring to clean rooms? If you are referring to the levels of electric fields and voltages, then they are determined by the most sensitive device you are handling. There are 3 models to characterize ESD sensitive devices and there maximum thresholds. You can also check with the manufacturer about these levels too. Preventing arcing is a concern from high voltage emissions for safety, reduced EMI, energy conservation, or electrically initiated explosive devices. Depending on why you want to control arcing would change the nature of my response. In general, don’t use corona based ionizers where explosives or munitions are stored or handled. Most manufactures of corona based ionization control the emissions from the emitter pins so there is no concern of arcing. If you have a unit that is arcing, turn it off and seek the manufactures help in fixing it. All of our ionizers are ‘arc free’.
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