A large number of the anti-static packaging products that we stock and sup; ply at Cases UK are available with the option of anti-static, static dissipative or conductive foams (depending on the item). As well as enhancing the levels of protection from ESD (electro static discharge) it also offers a number of other benefits.
Firstly, the foam inserts can offer enhanced cushioning protection from mishandling of the packaging. The foam will absorb shocks, impact and vibration, helping to keep delicate items safe. As well as this however, certain types of foam insert can also be used to help store and organise multiple smaller items within the same outer packaging, stopping them from moving around in transit and damaging each other.
Finally, individual components can often hold their own static charge – therefore, by using specialist conductive foams within the packaging can also prevent individual components from damaging each other as well.
There are a wide range of foams available, each with differing uses and benefits. Most of the products at Cases UK that offer foam as an option have been carefully developed by a team of experts to ensure their characteristics are most suited to the intended / expected application. However, if you feel that a particular foam would be better for your specific requirement then please contact us – we will be able to supply the products with the specific foam you are looking for.
Please see below for the various types of conductive and anti-static foams that we offer at Cases UK.
Conductive foams are effectively the same as most standard packaging foams with one key difference – the addition of carbon during the manufacturing process. This allows for a high level of conductivity, which in turn allows any static chares (and electrical current) to pass through the foam. This can therefore be used to channel charges away from the items stored with the foam.
These foams tend to have a permanent conductive performance which won’t be affected by atmospheric conditions or reduce over time, making it ideal for transit packaging and longer term storage applications. Conductive foam will typically have a surface resistivity of less than 104 ohms/sq. and volume resistivity of less than 104 ohms/cms.
Pink anti-static foam is one of the most common foams used in the anti-static products that Cases UK stock, as it allows any static charges to slowly dissipate. This makes it exceptionally useful for when multiple items are stored within the same outer container, as the adjacent components can potentially damage each other with their own static charges.
Created using various additives during the manufacturing process (Glycerol Mononstearate is most commonly used), the additive migrates to edges of the foam and forms lines on the surface. One end of the microscopic antistatic molecule protrudes from the material edge and draws in moisture from the ambient air to allow a conductive path for current to pass through. This type of foam typically has a volume resistively in the range of 1010 – 1012 ohms.cms and often has a surface resistivity that is higher still.
Static dissipative foams are similar to conductive foams in that they use impregnated carbon to allow any static charges to dissipate through the foam. Again, as with conductive foam, this means it has a long lifespan and remains unaffected by atmospheric conditions.
Static Dissipative foam will generally have a volume resistivity between 104 – 1011 ohms/cms or a surface resistivity in the ranges of 104 – 1011 ohms/sq. Whilst this results in a slower transfer of the charge, it is more controlled.
Thanks to our in house, expert design and fabrication equipment, Cases UK are able to offer completely bespoke foam inserts and options that are tailored perfectly to your application.
By utilising the latest CAD systems and software, our design team can digitise individual components and products and, using a range of manufacturing techniques, create profiles within the foam that fit the items exactly.
Combining this with the use of revolutionary software that calculates the thickness of foam required for the optimum level of protection, and the choice of anti-static foams detailed above, it ensures that any particularly sensitive or delicate items will have the highest levels of protection from shock, impact, mishandling and, of course, electro static discharge.
Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team today should you wish to discuss an upcoming project or get a quote for custom conductive foam packaging.