A Popular Choice in Highly ESD Sensitive Critical
Steve Fowler, Fowler Associates,
May 13, 2004
choosing gloves for use in ESD and Cleanroom work, many parameters
must be considered. The most important of which are:
1. Resistance of the
glove from the object being held to the operator's hand
2. Triboelectric generation Propensity Against Materials of Concern
4. Personnel Sensitivity to Glove Materials
The ESD Association is presently
writing a test method to assist in determining the ESD properties
of gloves. The test methods now being considered are for resistance
testing of all gloves including Nitrile. Old test methods, which
only measured the resistance of gloves not being worn, did not give
the true capabilities of gloves such as Nitrile to be effective
after they hydrated on an operator's hand. The ESD Journal has a
full test method available for wide spread use now. It also tests
the triboelectric propensity of gloves being used against any material
being handled. Go to http://www.esdjournal.com/test/glove.htm for
a review of the ESD Journal's test method.
Cleanroom Nitrile gloves possess superior intrinsic ESD property.
They outperform many other gloves for both critical ESD properties.
The use of nitrile gloves provide an effective tool to:
1. Reduce the generation of static
charges when worn by a production operator in a properly grounded
ESD worker at a properly grounded ESD workstation.
2. Drain away static charges
when placed in contact with any charged dissipative or conductive
Example: At one aerospace supplier visited on a particularly difficult
to find ESD problem, I found the operator at the tinning station
was using latex gloves to hold an epoxy integrated circuit as it
was being positioned to be tinned in a grounded solder pot. As the
operator spun the IC around in her hand and then dipped one side
of its leads into the molten solder, she tribocharged the epoxy
and caused a Charged Device Model discharge into the solder. This
caused 5 failures in a one year. By just changing the glove material
to Nitrile, the problem was eliminated. The Nitrile charged less
against the epoxy than the Latex thus reducing the CDM for
the tinning process.
The moderate static dissipation of Nitrile gloves not only effectively
protect today's highly ESD Sensitive Devices from ESD damage, they
also offer a contamination-free solution in a cleanroom with its
ultra low ionic contamination property. Also, the sensitivity of
some personnel to Latex gloves is not a problem with Nitrile.
There is no doubt that the demand of Cleanroom Nitrile Gloves will
continue to expand into the future due to:
1.The miniaturization trend
of electronic devices and equipment will guarantee greater need
of ESD protection (Refer to White Paper "ESD Phenomena &
the Reliability for Microelectronics" published by ESD Association,
USA, go here for a free download: http://www.esda.org/documents/WHITEPAPER_000.pdf
2.The rapid growth of IT
& electronic industries that guarantee the greater use of increasingly
3.The growing need of more stringent
cleanrooms that are free from static charge & micro particles
especially in ultra clean manufacturing environment.
Therefore, nitrile gloves promise an interesting growth and bright
future in the ESD Sensitive and Cleanroom Critical Environment Manufacturing
for many years to come. For a good look at the requirements of cleanrooms
and comparison of glove materials, go to: http://www.esdjournal.com/techpapr/esdclean/esdcln.pdf
of the manufacturers of Cleanroom Nitrile Gloves are: Ansell Healthcare,
Cardinal (formerly Allegiance).
the time has come!