What are ESD safe pallets and when are they important?
Pallets have an important role in the transport and storage of various goods and raw materials. Because the load of a pallet can differ strongly, there are different types of pallets. For instance, plastic pallets for the transport or storage of fresh products are very different from those intended for liquids, powders, or gases. Particularly for the latter types of load, there are special ESD pallets. What are ESD pallets and when are they important?
What does ESD mean?
ESD is an abbreviation that stands for Electro Static Discharge. Many people are regularly exposed to electrostatic discharges. If you pull a sweater over your head, the friction between the sweater and your head - or other clothing fabrics - generate a static charge. This is discharged between parts of the sweater itself, resulting in a crackling effect. Or you get up from a chair, touch a steel doorframe, and receive a slight shock. That shock is what ‘discharges’ you. It may startle you, but there is no harm in it. Discharges can also occur due to friction between different types of plastic, such as that of the plastic pallet and the packaging of the load. If the content of the load consists of liquids, powders, or gases, this creates an explosion hazard.
Plastic pallets and ESD
Plastic pallets can cause friction and build up a static charge. That is why it is important to get rid of this static charge in a controlled way. Because if the load - which is on the pallets - consists of substances with an explosion hazard, this can have annoying and even very dangerous consequences. The small sparks that are released from an uncontrolled static discharge can cause dangerous gases, powders, or liquids to explode. It may also cause damage to circuit boards that are present in all kinds of electronics.
ESD safe pallets
Without ESD protection, the products on the pallets may become damaged or there can be an explosion hazard. For certain types of loads - that are sensitive to ESD - it is important to carefully check what type of pallet is suitable. The ESD safe pallet is made of conductive plastics that get rid of static electricity in a controlled way. These pallets are used for protection against early faults or damage due to electrical discharge in various applications. Q-Pall can produce and deliver pallets based on HDPE or PP polymer resin with special carbon black products. These pallets ensure a controlled discharge. The achievable resistance levels are <103 (Ω cm) for PP and 104 (Ω cm) for HDPE.
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