ESD Control

The technique of micro abrasive blasting offers a fast, cost effective, easy-to-control method of removing conformal coatings that is also non-solvent based and environmentally friendly. In the micro abrasive blasting process, a precise mixture of dry air or an inert gas and an abrasive media is propelled through a tiny nozzle attached to a stylus which is either handheld or mounted on an automated system.

The micro abrasive systems generate static electricity as the high velocity particles impinge on the surfaces. The voltage generated at the area of impact can cause electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage to the parts and electrical circuits. Our experiments show that the ESD charges can be as high as 3000 volts, so controlling ESD is imperative for protection of the circuits.

There are many applications that are sensitive to ESD such as conformal coating removal, component demarking, and component deflashing. At Crystal Mark, Inc. we have extensive experience in controlling ESD effectively. We have continually improved this cutting edge technology through our research and engagement with our customers. See Nasa Evaluation of ESD Effects.

How do you control ESD?

1. Ionization of the Work Chamber – Once particles are ejected from the nozzle they bounce around creating static charges. Grounded surfaces and placing ionization in the chamber prevents ESD from building up. See our different Ionized Work Chambers. NASA tests have shown the combined overall average ESD surface voltage to be under 30 volts when used in conjunction with a point ionizer and an ionized work chamber.

2. The Point Ionizer™ is very effective in reducing ESD. The ionization point is located adjacent to the nozzle. The abrasive flows through a plume of ionization and the static charges are removed.

3. Static Dissipative Hoses on Micro Sandblaster – Friction of the abrasive inside the hose generates static electricity. A static dissipative hose prevents a static charge from building inside or outside of the hose.

4. Carbo Blast ™  is a unique abrasive developed by Crystal Mark. It is a wheat starch based material that is water soluble, biodegradable and considered environmentally friendly. An additional benefit to using the wheat starch material is that most types of coatings can be removed selectively and relatively quickly without any visible damage or penetration of the printed circuit board surface. It does not remove gold plating.




“Conformal coating removal using ESD safe micro sandblasting”



UV 40 Removal 2013



“Conformal coating removal using ESD safe micro sandblasting”