ESD gloves – in what environments are required and what are their features?

In 2014, the EN 16350 standard for protective gloves replaced the current EN 1149 standard on static electricity for the whole protective clothing.

In what environments are gloves that meet this standard required and what are the characteristics of the ESD (Electro-Static Discharge) gloves? Why should they be used? That’s what we will learn from the film.

The key feature of ESD gloves is their cross-resistivity, i.e. the ability of the material to discharge electrical charges in an orderly manner. For clarity – ESD gloves do not protect a person from electric shock, this is the effect of the dielectric gloves. ESD gloves allow the discharge of naturally arising small electrical charges, preventing, e.g., the possibility of a spark. Do you know the phenomenon of a spark between two people?

ESD gloves according to the EN 16350 standard must have resistance values below 108 Ω (10 to the power of 8 Oma).

How are ESD gloves constructed?

The main ally is carbon fibre, which structure and properties mean that static electricity does not accumulate or flow quickly through the glove. You can also use copper fibres – this is a more expensive option. To reduce the cost, attempts are also made to rinse polyurethane gloves in adhesive fluids, but such products are unstable and their use is questionable.

Where will ESD gloves be useful?

They have two functions:

1) product protection – Everywhere where even a small load can damage a product (microprocessors, relays) or a machine  (delicate screen, sensitive elements) – factories working with electronic parts and components, automotive industry, production of household appliances. There are a lot of such plants in Poland. The observed trend is increasing the popularity of ESD protections. We should remember that on the assembly line all electronics is exposed and unprotected, and at the same time very sensitive to the dangers of static electricity.

2) human protection – In areas at risk of explosion, i.e. where a spark can cause a sudden ignition of gas, coal dust or gasoline vapours. ESD gloves meet the requirements of work in mines, as well as at gas stations, in refineries and paint shops.