Posted on Thursday 10th August, 2023
The Importance of ESD Heel Grounders
Static control footwear is an essential part of every static control program. ESD straps, footwear, and heel grounders are used extensively in static-sensitive environments for preventing an individual from damaging electronic components during manufacturing, assembly, and handling processes.
Sensitive device manufacturing and other facilities that handle electronic components and assemblies have designated areas, sometimes referred to as Electrostatic or ESD Protected Areas (EPA), where measures are in place to mitigate and control static electricity. A critical element in EPAs is a grounding system where all generated electrical charges within the environment flow through various grounding paths.
For the operator to become part of the grounding system, the heel strap must be worn correctly so that electrical charges generated through movement can be removed safely from the body and through the floor.
Since the heel grounder is constructed of conductive material, electrical charges can move through it. It starts by inserting the conductive grounding tape from the heel strap into the shoe, so the worker’s foot can make contact with the strap. Once the conductive cup of the heel strap is secure on the heel of the wearer’s shoe, charges will flow to the dissipative or conductive floor.
There are many styles of ESD footwear, but none of them are effective unless worn in combination with a dissipative or conductive floor. Heel grounders are an economical solution for providing a continuous path to ground between the operator and the grounded ESD flooring and for safeguarding against electrostatic discharge (ESD).