Antistatic Bags

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Ever wondered what antistatic bags are, how it's made, what it is used used for and where to buy antistatic bags at cheap low prices. Find answers to all your question on antistatic bags or static sheilding bags here.

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What are Antistatic bags?

Transparent pink bag that protects sensitive electronics from damage caused by the harmful effects of static electricity. Static travels around the bag and dissipates before it has a chance to damage contents when shipping or storing. These bags are usually plastic and have a distinctive color (silvery for metalized Mylar and other similar plastics, pink or black for polyethylene). The polyethylene variant may also take the form of foam or bubble wrap, either as sheets or bags.

polythene anti static bags

How to measure Flat, Side Gussetted, Bottom Gusetted & Reclosable/Zipper Anti-Static Bags?

how to measure antistatic zipper bags
  • The first dimension stated when describing a poly bag is width.
  • Flat Bags are described as: Width - Length - Gauge
  • Side gusset Bags are described as: Width - Gusset - Length - Gauge
  • Bottom Gusset Bags are described as: Width - Length - Gusset - Gauge

Types of Antistatic bags

Flat Anti-Static Poly Bags

Protect electronic components from static build-up. Constructed from pink anti-static polyethylene film. Keeps products clean and moisture free.

flat anti static polythene bags

Gripseal/Zipper Antistatic bags

The same properties as the Open Top(Flat) Pink Poly Bag plus the security and convenience of a zipper top. The zipper top closes securely to protect against damage from dust and moisture.

gripseal anti static bags

Anti-Static Poly Tubing

Make your own anti-static poly bags. Excellent resistance to static discharge. Static dissipative, non-corrosive pink polyethylene is heat sealable. Seal with Poly Tubing Sealers.

anti static polythene tubing

Anti-Static Bubble Bags or Bubble pouches

Provides maximum protection against static discharge for circuit boards, relays, switches, resistors, controls and other static sensitive electronic components - Apply your own labels. 3/16" Industrial bubble coated with a nylon barrier provides outstanding cushioning. 1" pressure sensitive lip covered with release paper allows for easy closing.
anti static bubble bags

Features & Benefits of Anti Static Bags

  • Low cost
  • Simple design and construction
  • Antistatic agent or material on/in film
  • Eliminates the hazard of static damage - prevents the generation of static electricity
  • Perfect for packging, storing and shipping non-sensitive and sensitive electronic components
  • Surface resistance is less than 1012 ohms/sq.

Question & Answer on Anti Static Bags

Question. I have two questions about one material. Anti-stat bags.
1. How effective are anti-stat bags with a relative humidity of less than 20 % and temperatures as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. How do you put a spec on an anti-stat (ohms/sq. etc.) bag to ensure maximum protection and re-use?

Answer.The clear static dissipative polyethylene (PE) that high quality vendors use in their bags is far superior than the "topically treated washed" pink poly products.

Dissipative and metallized shielding bags are made with volume loaded polyethylene which cannot be washed off and is inherent in the film. The PE resin that we use and all the additives are developed to minimize contamination.
The antistatic dissipative clear bags are pre-conditioned and tested at both 50% and 12.5% RH levels to have a surface resistivity of less than 1x10^11 ohms. (old nomenclature = ohms/square)
You can perform two test to ensure the proper operation of the bags:

1. perform a resistance test on the bag film to < 1x10^11 ohms @100 volts [using two five pound electrodes and megohmeter per esd s11.31-1994 and esd ds20.20-1998]
2. perform a tribocharge test, yielding static decay of less than or equal to 140 milliseconds, per FTMS 101C, Method 4046

Question. What is the recommendation or guidelines in determining when Anti Static shielded bags are no longer any good, i.e. crinkled or have small puncture holes, and put out of service?

Answer.All your answers are in the MIL-B-81705C Standard document. Specifically, an anti-static shielding bag (type III) can be considered no good if it meets any of the following conditions:

  • the bag delaminates as defined in section in MIL-B-81705C
  • has a static decay rate exceeding 2.0 seconds
  • does not attenuate EMI at least 10 dB
  • punctures over 6.0 lbs
  • doesn't shield an ESD event under 30 kilovolts
  • and has a surface resistivity greater than 1x10^12 ohms/sq both inside and out and less than 1x10^5 ohms/sq on the inside.

In general, a metallized shielding bag may still shield if it has crinkled or acquired small holes because of the Faraday affect, but it is safer to discard these bags and err on the conservative side. It would probably cost more to test and qualify the bag then to replace it.

Question. In my company many rolls of bubble wrap, plastic bags, and PCB boxes (plastic cases) are listed as "Anti-static". While we all understand that these items will not produce serious static, many think that they will also protect the components inside from a static charge. My contention is that a significant amount of charge would pass through the bag/box and damage any ESDS item inside. Only a shielded bag would guarantee complete protection from ESD. The question really arises because a well-known and respected PCB manufacturer sends their PCBs� to us in anti-static plastic cases. The clear plastic case only lists "Anti-Static and we can not see any conductor strands within the plastic. What are your thoughts?

Answer. There are two ways to protect ESDS PCBs. One way is by shielding. The use of metallized shielding bags is a good way to protect the contents from external ESD. Another way to protect ESDS PCBs is to isolate them from external ESD with an air gap. There are "clam shell" packaging and other anti-static plastic packages that will give a spacing of about an inch of air between the outside plastic shell and the ESDS part inside. This "air gap" spacing can be an effective way to protect ESDS parts from external ESD as a 1" air gap acts as a dielectric to prevent discharges up to 30 kilovolts.

History of ESD-Control Bags

The evolution of the ESD-control bag and packaging-material design has been a compromise between various features. Ideally, you look for ESD bag materials that combine low cost with properties such as high ESD shielding effectiveness, permanent antistatic properties, humidity-independent performance, elimination of contamination and corrosion, MVB properties, heat-sealability, and transparency.

Traditionally, static-shielding bags are manufactured by depositing a thin metal coating such as aluminum over an antistatic polyester film substrate. The metallized layer protects the devices in the bag from electrostatic fields; the insulative layers prevent direct contact with potential ESD hazards. At the low end are amine-free, polyethylene film bags that are transparent or pink in color, referred to as antistatic or pink poly.

Over the past years, manufacturers have developed a number of static- dissipative materials that minimize tribocharging and improve puncture resistance and durability. Durability is a particularly attractive property in most ESD bags where sharp-edged PCBs are loaded into the bags.

Manufacturers also are developing more environmentally friendly materials than they had in the past. Historically, ESD protective packaging has environmental problems similar to any plastic material: disposal and material decomposition can present an environmental hazard. Recently, manufacturers have conquered some of the disposal problems, and we now see more recyclable ESD bags on the market, such as those made from polypropylene.

Types of ESD Bags

Let�s review the current technology for ESD bags. There are essentially three types or categories: antistatic bags, dissipative bags and metallized bags. The latter two categories are typically the high-end of ESD bag product offerings and tend to have three combined properties of protection, (1) antistatic, (2) dissipative and (3) shielding.

  1. Antistatic Bags
    Antistatic bags are typically coated with a topical antistat agent that helps minimize the generation of a static imbalance from triboelectric generation or contact and separation (i.e., definition of antistatic). Some antistatic bags are made with an antistat built into the films layers and tend to be more reliable and cleaner then the topically treated ones. A good bag has antistatic properties on both the inside and outside of the bag�s film construction.
  2. Dissipative Bags
    Bags with the films surface resistance in the dissipative range are preferred because charge dissipates across the surface at a controlled rate. Most dissipative bags also have the property of being antistatic. These are good general bags to be used in non-critical environments.
  3. Metallized Shielding Bags
    Metallized shielding bags have either a metal film embedded into the bag film construction or coated onto an existing layer. This metal film acts as an electrical shield against electrical discharges from the outside of the bag. Depending on the energy and duration of the discharge and the thickness of the metal film, an ESD event is typically spread out over the outer surface of the metal film and if fully enclosed, i.e. the bag is sealed, then the charges current from the ESD event is contained to the outside (outer surface) of the metal film, i.e., providing a region of no electrostatic fields within the bag, thereby protecting the contents within. This effect is known as the Faraday Cage Effect and is commonly used in controlling ESD via metallized shielding bags, conductive bags and the conductive tote box with a cover.

Other Sites

Because we mentioned antistatic grip seal bags and antistatic bubble bags and conductive bags we thought these websites to be useful for more information about each of the bags.

Please visit for conductive bags.

Please visit for grip seal bags.

Please visit for bubble bags.