Q&A Electrostatic Discharge Simulators

 Ar and contact discharges

 

Q1

What test methods are contact and air discharges?

 

Q2

How should I use the trigger switch of the discharge gun for contact and air discharges?

 

Q3

For conducting air discharge testing, which way of using the trigger of the gun is the correct? 

  1. Pull the trigger once and release it soon and then approach the tip to the EUT
  2. Pull and hold the trigger and then approach the tip to the EUT     

 

Q4

For an additional question to Question 6, how are they applied distinctively?

 

 

Q1

What test methods are contact and air discharges?

 

   

The contact discharge is the method of testing in which the electrode of the test generator is kept in contact with the EUT or coupling plane and the discharge is actuated by the discharge switch within the generator.  

  

The air discharge is the method of testing in which the charged electrode of the test generator is moved towards the EUT until it touches the EUT. During this a discharge is activated by a spark.  The IEC 61000-4-2 standard says "Contact discharge is the preferred test method.  Air discharges shall be used where contact discharge cannot be applied."  


The preference of contact discharges over air discharges comes from its better reproducibility.  Air discharges are inherently more variable than contact discharges due to factors such as ambient temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure.

   
Q2

How should I use the trigger switch of the discharge gun for contact and air discharges?

 

   

For contact discharge, first touch the discharge tip (sharp tip) to the EUT surface and then pull the trigger once. The trigger can be released soon. Discharges are automatically repeated in line with settings on the counter and interval. 

 

For the correct air discharge test, the discharge gun shall be positioned at least 50 cm away from the EUT discharge point first and then pull and hold the trigger (this action is required for  the internal high voltage switch in the gun to remain "on" position) and then approach the discharge tip to the EUT until a discharge occurs. Also refer to Q&A No.1.

   
Q3

For conducting air discharge testing, which way of using the trigger of the gun is the correct? 

  1. Pull the trigger once and release it soon and then approach the tip to the EUT
  2. Pull and hold the trigger and then approach the tip to the EUT 
       
    The latter is the correct method.  Also refer to Q&A 2.
   
Q4

For an additional question to Question 6, how are they applied distinctively?

 

   

Contact discharge shall be applied to the conductive surfaces of the EUT and to coupling planes and air discharges shall be applied at insulating surfaces.

 

In case of metallic enclosure, contact discharges shall be the preferred method due to its better reproducibility. In case of plastic enclosure, air discharges shall be applied to points such as switches, knobs, buttons, indicators, LEDs, slots, grilles, since a clearance may be a discharge path into the equipment internal conductor.

 

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Electrostatic Discharge Simulator
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Component level ESD