Static electricity and discharge, while extremely annoying in daily life, can be downright threatening in certain environments. ESD has to be taken into consideration at manufacturing centres in particular.
As workers operate on their stations and work with different kinds of equipment, the friction causes an accumulation of static charges on their hands and body.
So the next time they go to touch an object on their work station, the electricity discharges and produces a shock. Not only that, but it can permanently damage sensitive electronics and transistors which can be catastrophic for electricians.
Additionally, if someone is working with inflammable material, the spark produced by an ESD can be an actual fire threat! Therefore, most of these settings will employ the use of certain techniques and tools that mitigate the risk posed by unceremonious static discharge.
Here is a related article that might interest you on Best Anti Static Cloth and Clothes Sprays | Do I Need Them?
For example, you can use anti static lab coats or even anti static gloves. In this article, we will learn what anti static gloves are, how they work, and which are the best.
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What Are The Best Anti Static Gloves?
A simple search will show you hundreds of manufacturers of anti static gloves. To help you make the decision, here are a few of the best options based on my experience as well as my friends’ recommendations:
These are some of the most popular anti static gloves on Amazon and for good reason. Made from dense carbon fibre material that conducts charges and keeps your hands static free, these are definitely some of the more comfortable ESD gloves I have used.
The grip is pretty decent, especially thanks to the polyurethane finger tips and they feel very breathable which is good if you need to work for long periods of time.
I have used the MaxiFlex nitrile gloves for a lot of handiwork, and found them to be very good at providing an anti static shield.
These are among the best if you want really good grip and the fit is very clean and comfortable which is always a plus when performing delicate fixes.
If you would rather opt for a softer material to ensure maximum comfort without compromising the anti static effect, then I recommend these gloves. Made from a mix of polyester and cotton, these gloves have conductive yarn woven into the back to ensure safe ESD.
Additionally, you can keep on washing and reusing these gloves as needed. The cotton and polyester material makes them more elastic than most other gloves on the list which is good for a better fit.
If you require a large number of replaceable gloves, then these are pretty suitable. You can get a box of 100 disposable latex free nitrile gloves for a relatively cheap price.
They are still extremely comfortable and lightweight and the elasticity makes the fit very comfortable. Only the fingers of the gloves are textured to give you better grip on objects.
Here is another option if you are looking for relatively cheap, anti static gloves in bulk. Made from a mixture of nylon and polyester, these gloves are designed to be soft and clean, resistant to lint and dust.
Just the addition of something as simple as a pair of gloves can prove to be the difference in making your work station as safe as possible. If you work with electronics often, I highly recommend investing in some handy anti static gloves as it is much better to be on the safe side.
What are Anti Static Gloves?
Anti static gloves, also known as ESD gloves, are gloves designed from specific materials in order to shield the equipment you are working with from the effects of electrostatic discharge.
They are generally made using conductive material which floats the safe transfer of charges as opposed to an unexpected electric shock.
What are Anti Static Gloves Made Of?
There are a variety of materials that can be used to make anti static gloves. They are typically a mix of synthetic and conductive materials to provide anti static safety and comfort at the same time.
Based on your personal preference, comfort, and the presence or absence of allergies to materials like latex, you can choose whichever kind of glove you like the best.
You will find ESD protective gloves made from latex, vinyl, nitrile, as well as fabric like polyester and cotton. The latter are arguably the most comfortable to wear and are typically washable.
Nitrile gloves are great because they tend to be extremely durable and strong. They also provide a really good grip and abrasion resistance.
How do Anti Static Gloves Work?
Anti static gloves are made with a blend of synthetic and conductive material, as mentioned in the previous section.
The conductive properties of these fibres allows the accumulated charges to be safely transferred and then grounded as opposed to accumulating on your hands and body. As a result, you will not experience any sudden, unexpected ESD when wearing anti static gloves.
Where are Anti Static Gloves Used?
In a lot of settings and places, the use of anti static gloves is actually mandatory to ensure worker safety as well as the integrity of the equipment that is being worked with. They are often required in areas which are known to have low humidity and are particle sensitive.
For example, most electronics manufacturers use such tools. Anti static gloves are also used in warehousing, product assembly, product handling, product testing and inspection, as well as maintenance work.
Anti static gloves may even be used in laboratories and industries working with dangerous chemicals. If your work has an electrostatic protected area, you will most likely be required to wear anti static clothing with anti static gloves.
What Should I Use Anti Static Gloves For?
But what if you are not a professional industry worker required to use anti static gloves? Are there any other uses or applications? Absolutely! One of the most common reasons anti static gloves are used are for PC building.
Whether you are building a new PC or fixing your existing one, using anti static gloves will save your PC components from getting irreversibly damaged.
Additionally, you can use anti static gloves if you are doing any phone repairs, or working with any kind of electronic components in general.
How to Use Anti Static Gloves?
Anti static gloves can be used like any other type of gloves- you simply ensure your hands are clean, put the gloves on, and make sure that they fit nice and snugly.
Check to see if the gloves are torn or damaged before you put them on and move to your electrostatic free work station.
You are advised to use anti static gloves in conjunction with an anti static wrist strap which can effectively ground you.
Make sure that the wrist strap is touching your skin so that it is able to transfer all the charges from your body. The strap should not be placed on top of the gloves.
Do I Need to Use Anti Static Gloves with Anti Static Wrist Straps?
Yes! I do not recommend simply using anti static gloves alone when performing sensitive work as you cannot be a hundred percent sure that all ESD has been eliminated.
Using ESD protective gloves along with a wrist strap almost takes your risk down to zero which is recommended.