Frequently Asked Questions - Electrostatic Discharge Sensitive (ESDS)

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Listed below are compiled packaging FAQs for the "Electrostatic Discharge Sensitive (ESDS)" topic. Our ESDS web page identifies why items are ESD sensitive, the type of preservation method required to protect the item, acceptable packaging materials, and workstation requirements. If your question is not listed, please use either our feedback form to add a Packaging FAQ to this listing or contact us directly by E-mailing your Questions or Comments to: DSCC.packaging@dla.mil

NAVIGATIONAL BAR:   Overview | Preservation Method | Acceptable Materials | Handling Procedures | ESD Workstation | ESD Field Service Kit | Documents | Markings | Training | Other Resources

OVERVIEW

  • What is Electrostatic Discharge?
    • A transfer of electrostatic charges between bodies at different electrostatic potentials caused by direct contact or induced by an electrostatic field.
    • Examples of electrostatic charges are walking across a nylon carpet on a dry day, that generates a static electrical charge of 35,000
    •    volts and opening a plastic bag generates a charge of 20,000 volts.
    • Fire control and navigation systems on equipment such as the M-1 tank and F-18 aircraft are controlled by electronic microchips so sensitive that a static charge of 30 - 50 volts of static electricity may cause the equipment to malfunction during deployment or combat missions. Many of these defects are traced to careless handling and packaging of items sensitive to electrostatic discharge.
  • What is Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)?
  • EMI sources include sparks, lightening, radar, radio and TV transmission. EMI may cause induce damaging voltage surges to electronic components.
  • Why are items sensitive to electrostatic discharges?
  • While microchips have grown smaller with greater functional capabilities, the components have become increasingly more complex requiring minute amounts of electrical current in terms of microvolts (one-millionth of a volt). These items are sensitive/susceptible to damage caused by static electricity and or electromagnetic forces. Thus, requiring electrostatic/electromagnetic protective packaging materials, special marking, special workstations, clothing, equipment, and handling procedures.
  • Are there different types of ESD damage?
  • Yes. Electrostatic discharge damage can take the form of upset failures or catastrophic failures.
    • UPSET FAILURES result in gate leakage.
    • CATASTROPHIC FAILURES occur in two forms: Direct and Latent failures.
    UPSET FAILURES occur when an electrostatic discharge (ESD) has caused a current flow that is not significant to cause total failure. However, in use it may intermittently result in gate leakage causing loss of software or incorrect storage of information. Upset or latent failures may pass your company's quality control testing program. DIRECT CATASTROPHIC FAILURES occur when a component is damaged to the the point where it is dead now and will never again function. This is the easiest type of ESD damage to find, since it usually can be detected during testing. LATENT FAILURES occur when ESD weakens or wounds the component to the point where it will still function properly during testing. However, over time the wounded component will cause poor system performance and eventually complete system failure. Because latent failures occur after final inspection or in the hands of our customers, the cost for repair is very high. Not only is this type of damage hard to find, it severely affects the performance of weapons systems and adversely affects the reputation of the supplying contractor's product. Therefore, it is imperative that ESD packaging and handling procedures be followed completely. REMEMBER: ESD is an invisible enemy and prevention is the only way you can combat those forces. Our Military Forces are counting on your company to properly handle and package items to ensure they have reliable systems. Let's work together to provide our Military personnel the excellent support they deserve.
  • Why do I have to apply MIL-PRF-81705 barrier materials?
  • ESD protective materials limit static electricity generation by rapidly dissipating electrostatic charges over its surface or volume or provides shielding against electromagnetic interference forces. These barrier materials are used to fabricate enclosures for electrostatic sensitive equipment and components. They are especially formulated to prevent the build-up or retention of electrostatic potential, the objective being to maximize explosive safety, to protect miniature electronic parts, and to preclude ignition of stray flammable materials. Guidance in the application of these materials may be found in DOD-STD-1686 and DOD-HDBK-263.
    • Type I barrier material - is intended for use for the watervaporproof electrostatic and electromagnetic protection of microcircuits, certain semi-conductor devices (such as microwave diodes and field effect transistors, sensitive resistors and other miniature electronic parts requiring this protection). It is also used where contact with oil or grease is contemplated.
    • Type III barrier material - is intended for use for the waterproof electrostatic protective, electrostatic shielding transparent barrier is required and contact with oil or grease is not contemplated.
  • How can I identify if an item is electrostatic discharge (ESD) sensitive?
  • Drawings, specifications, technical sheets, and packaging/marking requirements usually identify items which are ESD sensitive. All DOD customers do not have access to drawings, so web FLIS developed specific codes to help identify ESD items. Identification Data has the Electrostatic/Electromagnetic (ESD/EMI) code and the Freight Data has the Type of Cargo Code (TCC) codes. DOD 4100.39-M, Volume 10, Table 193 identifies specific FSCs requiring electrostatic discharge codes: 5905, 5961, 5962, 5963, 5998, and 5999. Other FSCs may have ESD items and should have the ESD/EMI code updated. DOD 4100.39-M, Volume 10, Table 189 ESD/EMI code identifies if the part is ESD, EMI, or both.             B- Represents items with ESD sensitivity.             C- Represents items with EMI sensitivity.             D- Represents items with both ESD and EMI sensitivity. NOTE: ESD/EMI code of A- indicates No known Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) or Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) sensitivity. Type of Cargo Code (TCC) 3 also identifies if item is sensitive to electrostatic discharges. (See DOD 4100.39-M, Volume 10, Table 82) NOTE: The ESD/EMI, TCC, and method of preservation (MOP) codes should all be in agreement (e.g. ESD/EMI-B; TCC-3; and MOP-GX). If these data sets are not in agreement, please contact the managing activity on the web FLIS Total Item Record (SOS) and request an ESD Challenge. The managing activity will conduct technical research to verify the coded data to ensure it aligns with the manufacturer or specification data.
  • Are there any specific criteria for identifying items as ESD?
  • Due to the tremendous volume of electronic parts presently used by the military and the methods needed to accomplish this task, identifying ESD parts is essential. Per School of Military Packaging Technology SMPT-6 ESD training course stated, ESD items are categorized as follows:
    • All printed circuit cards and wiring boards with mounted ESD components.
    • All parts with Federal Supply Classification (FSC) 5962.
    • The U.S. Army Missile Command has identified FSC 5955 (Oscillators and Piezoelectric Crystals), 5963 (Electronic Modules), and 7042 (Mini and Microcomputer Control Devices) as ESD items.
    • DLA Land and Maritime identified specific resistors and semiconductors listed below as ESD items:
                
    FSC 5905 resistors:  
      Film resistors conforming to MIL-PRF-55182.
      Resistor Chips conforming to MIL-PRF-55342
      Resistor networks conforming to MIL-PRF-83401.

    FSC 5961 semiconductor devices:

     
      Microwave diodes
      Insulated gate field effect transistors (metaloxide semiconductor field effect transistors(MOSFETS).
      Junction field effect transistors
      Silicon-controlled rectifiers.
      Hybrid semiconductors.
      Small signal Schottky diodes.
      Semiconductor devices, not otherwise named,which operate at a frequency above one gigahertz.
    MIL-PRF-19500 and Qualification Part Search respectively documents ESD Classes and identifies part numbers as ESD or non-sensitive. Visit http://www.landandmaritime.dla.mil/programs/psearch/default.aspx to search for a part number.
  • What is a Ground?A mass such as earth, a vehicle hull, or building frame capable of accepting a large electrical charge.

PRESERVATION METHOD

  • Where can I find the requirements of a "GX" preservation method code?
  • The "GX" preservation method code can be found in MIL-STD-2073, within Table J.Ia (Specialized Preservation Codes).
  • What are the requirements of a "GX" preservation method code?
  • The most correct description of Code "GX" is located within MIL-STD-2073-1, Table J.Ia*: "Preserve by Method 41 as follows: Items subject to damage by electromagnetic and electrostatic field forces shall be initially wrapped in material conforming to MIL-PRF-81705, Type III, or bags conforming to MIL-DTL-117, Type II, Class H, Style 2, or cushioned in material conforming to A-A-3129, Type I, Grade B or PPP-C-795, Class 2 or PPP-C-1797, Type II, to prevent bag puncture, and unit packed in a heat-sealed bag conforming to MIL-DTL-117, Type I, Class F, Style 1. Re-closable cushioned pouches conforming to MIL-DTL-81997, Type I or II, may be used in lieu of initial wrap or cushioning. Lead or terminal configurations for all items shall be maintained as manufactured without causing loads or stresses capable of causing damage to the item. Materials used to maintain item position and lead or terminal configuration shall permit item removal without damage to the item. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) sensitive caution labels shall be applied in accordance with MIL-STD-129."

    NOTE: MIL-PRF-81705, Type II is obsolete due to no approved sources available.

  • ESD and PHYSICAL protection are required for contacts, leads, terminals, and other protrusions by means of wrapping/ cushioning, container design, and other ESD protective devices. Components with pins or leads shall have adequate cushioning to PREVENT DAMAGE, BREAKAGE and/or BENDING OF LEADS when not specified in packaging codes.

  • This item requires DOD QUALIFIED Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) and/or Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) protective packaging materials in accordance with MIL-PRF-81705.

  •  For ESD protection MIL-PRF-81705, Type I (MIL-DTL-117, Type I, Class F, Style 1) converted bag barrier material shall be used along with MIL-PRF-81705, Type III (MIL-DTL-117 Type II, Class H, Style 2) barrier material wrap if the contract doesn't specifically require ESD approved cushioning. For EMI protection MIL-PRF-81705, Type I (MIL-DTL-117, Type I, Class F, Style 1) converted bag barrier material shall be used.

  •  The supplier shall be responsible for verifying that all MIL-PRF-81705 barrier materials (or converted bags) were supplied from a qualified manufacturer currently listed on QPL-81705.

  • Special Requirements:

    ZZ - ADDITIONAL SPECIAL MARKING:  39 - ESD sensitive electronic device requirements of MIL-STD-129 apply
    ZZ - ADDITIONAL SPECIAL MARKING: 01- FRAGILE MARKING requirement of MIL-STD-129 apply
    ZZ - ADDITIONAL SPECIAL MARKING:
    Technical and Quality Requirements, Dated September 2016, IP027, Unit Package and Marking Requirements for Component Lead Finish, Applies.
    In addition to all other marking requirements in this contract, the Contractor shall apply one of the assigned markings in accordance with paragraphs 5.3.1 and 5.3.2 of IPC/JEDEC J-STD-609, Marking and Labeling of Components to Identify Lead (Pb), Pb-Free and Other Attributes to each individual unit pack of the item being acquired. Placement of the markings shall be in accordance with paragraph 6.1 of the standard.



    Qualification

    Only 1a, 1b, 1f, and 2a have qualification requirements tied to them directly or indirectly.

    Specifically:

    1a: Direct qualification requirement:

    MIL-PRF-81705 has the qualification requirement directly in the specification

    1b: Indirect qualification requirement:

    The MIL-DTL-117 Type II, Class H, Style 2 bags have First Article requirements. However, to construct the Type II, Class H, Style 2 bag, it uses qualified MIL-PRF-81705, Type III material.

    1f: Indirect qualification requirement:

    The MIL-DTL-81997 Type I pouches have First Article requirements. However to construct the Type I pouch, it uses qualified MIL-PRF-81705, Type III material (and a choice of either A-A-3129, Type I, Grade B or PPP-C-795, Class 2 cushioning material with a reclosable top).

    2a: Indirect qualification requirement:

    The MIL-DTL-117 Type I, Class F, Style 1 bags have First Article requirements. However, to construct the Type I, Class F, Style 1 bag, it uses qualified MIL-PRF-81705, Type I material.

    • What do I do if an item is ESD, but the packaging requirements do not cite method of preservation "GX" or a special packaging instruction referencing MIL-PRF-81705 barrier material?
    • MIL-STD-2073-1, paragraph 5.2.3 requires all ESD items to have packaging materials to counteract electrostatic and electromagnetic field forces.

      MIL-STD-2073-1, paragraph 5.2.4.1 states "ESDS items shall be preserved in accordance with Table J.Ia, Code "GX."

      MIL-STD-2073-1, paragraph 4.2 requires contractors to report missing contractual packaging data to the contracting officer. Your company must immediately contact the administering activity and request either an amendment or modification to the solicitation or contract for the inclusion of the packaging requirements.

    ACCEPTABLE MATERIALS

    NOTE: Authorized manufacturers of MIL-PRF-81705 can be found within QPL-81705. ASSIST has this document on their web site. For more information please see the MIL-PRF-81705 Information Sheet. Click on the "View QPD Data" link to find approved sources. Usage of other sources than the approved sources are prohibited.
    • When I have a preservation method code "GX" listed in a solicitation or contract, what are the acceptable materials I can used?
    1. Wrap or Cushion:
  • MIL-PRF-81705 Type III
  • MIL-DTL-117 Type II, Class H, Style 2 (i.e., bag made from MIL-PRF-81705 Type III material)
  • A-A-3129, Type I, Grade B (open cell cushioning)
  • PPP-C-795, Class 2 (closed cell cushioning...bubble wrap)
  • PPP-C-1797, Type II (polypropylene cushioning)
  • MIL-DTL-81997, Type I pouch (static shielding/cushioned)
  • MIL-DTL-81997, Type II pouch (cushioned)
  • 2. Unit Pack: IN A HEAT-SEALED BAG CONFORMING ONLY TO:
  • MIL-DTL-117, Type I, Class F, Style 1 (i.e., bag made from MIL-PRF-81705 Type I material)
  • 3. Apply ESD Labels and mark in accordance with MIL-STD-129.
  • See Special marking code 39 - "ESD sensitive electronic device requirements of MIL-STD-129 apply"
  • 4. Supplemental Unit Containers:
  • Refer to the requirements cited in the solicitation or contract, if applicable.
  • 5. Intermediate Containers:
  • Refer to the requirements cited in the solicitation or contract
  • Qualification

    Only 1a, 1b, 1f, and 2a have qualification requirements tied to them directly or indirectly.

    Specifically:

    1a: Direct qualification requirement:
  • MIL-PRF-81705 has the qualification requirement directly in the specification.
  • 1b: Indirect qualification requirement:
  • The MIL-DTL-117 Type II, Class H, Style 2 bags have First Article requirements. However, to construct the Type II, Class H, Style 2 bag, it uses qualified MIL-PRF-81705, Type III material.
  • 1f: Indirect qualification requirement:
  • The MIL-DTL-81997 Type I pouches have First Article requirements. However to construct the Type I pouch, it uses qualified MIL-PRF-81705, Type III material (and a choice of either A-A-3129, Type I, Grade B or PPP-C-795, Class 2 cushioning material with a re-closable top)
  • How can I determine if I bought the correct barrier material?
  • MIL-PRF-81705 requires material to be identified per paragraph 3.6 to ensure material was produced by a qualified source. Specific markings are outlined. These markings are required for material to be considered compliant and for inspectors and customers to properly identify material as a qualified barrier material. These markings must be present, no exceptions or deviations permitted. Military barrier materials are identified by their markings. For determining if you actually received MIL-PRF-81705, check for the following information. Two groups of markings are used to identify the material.
    • The first group include:
      • Specification number
      • Type
      • Manufacturer's name
      • Manufacturer's designation
      • Month and year of manufacture
      • Lot number
    • The second group identifies the protective qualities:
      • Type I - EMI/STATIC SHIELD
      • Type III - STATIC SHIELD
    The two groups appear sequentially, running the length of the barrier, with 1 inch space between the groups. A complete group of markings will appear every 6 inches of the roll width or flat cut sheets. When the material is used to make bags, both groups of markings must be visible.within the DOD supply chain. NOTE: Authorized manufacturers of MIL-PRF-81705 can be found within QPL-81705. ASSIST has this document on their web site. For more information please see the MIL-PRF-81705 Information Sheet. Click on the "View QPD Data" link to find approved sources. Usage of other sources than the approved sources are prohibited.
  • How does a company get the electrostatic/electromagnetic barrier material qualified? To become approved as a MIL-PRF-81705 qualified source, your material must be submitted, complete and pass all the required testing. Please note this is not an easy or inexpensive process. The Qualifying Activity for all MIL-PRF-81705 barrier material is the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. The point of contact is Frank Magnifico, frank.magnifico@navy.mil. All MIL-PRF-81705 barrier material is tested and approved by the preparing activity. Sources pass strict requirements and continue to maintain their qualified QPL status with continuous inspection and testing.
  • Should I cushion a circuit card assembly (or an item with sharp protrusions) with approved cushioning materials before placing it into MIL-PRF-81705? Yes. We highly recommend items be first cushioned with the approved ESD materials, then placed within a MIL-PRF-81705 barrier bag and heat sealed. This process will ensure the packaged item will not puncture the barrier bag and not compromise the ESD protective barrier during transportation and handling. The DoD distribution system is very diverse the degrees of severity during its handling and transportation modes. Should an item's ESD protective barrier be compromised for this reason, our customers and/or depots will file a complaint reporting your company as being non-compliant. We, in turn, will contact your company requesting replacements of the material which are properly packaged in accordance with the contract packaging requirements. In addition, to either potentially or delaying a mission, decreasing stock readiness levels, and reducing customer satisfaction, the complaint will also affect your company's rating.
  • No packaging waivers are permitted as the Navy and supporting research verify that no commercial packaging material equivalents to meet customers' requirements.
  • Counterfeit awareness is important throughout the flow of the supply chain.

    Counterfeit can attack a supply chain on two fronts: packaging materials and parts. Therefore, it is important that contractors have quality assurance measures in place as well as remain current and vigilant with both parts and packaging materials.

    Federal Supply Classification (FSC) that utilizes barrier bags which comply with MIL-PRF-81705E are also FSCs which are items that are susceptible to counterfeit products. According to our recent counterfeit training and awareness, the first line of defense for counterfeit material is military packaging materials. Most counterfeit materials are discovered as a result of improper packaging materials. Therefore, MIL-PRF-81705 serves a dual purpose to protect the product environmentally and the threat of counterfeit products from entering the DOD supply chain.

    Due to problems with compliance with preservation method "GX" (MIL-PRF-81705) and the threat of counterfeit barrier bags, a GIDEP Problem Advisory (Y7-P-12-01, "Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Protective Packaging Materials," of May 12) was released. DLA is inspecting these assets packaging materials for compliance to ensure the reliability of the parts we provide to our troops. To join Government Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) and remain current on supply chain issues and share knowledge, visit http://www.gidep.org/ and complete the application.

    HANDLING PROCEDURES

    • Are special procedures required when handling ESDS items?
    • Yes, guidelines for handling ESDS items are provided in MIL-STD-1686 and MIL-HDBK-263.

    ESD WORKSTATION

    • Do I need a special workstation?
    • Yes. All handling and packaging of ESDS items shall be performed at a protective workstation. If this is not possible, the ESD protective field service kit MUST be used.
    • What does a ESD protective workstation consist of?
    • There are different types of ESD protective workstations. The following are some of the available ESD protective workstations:
      1. 4240-01-087-3458: Static Control Work Station Components (contains 4 ft. x 6 ft. foot floor mat with 15-foot ground, cord, table mat, wrist strap, and 5-foot bonding cord).
      2. 4940-01-250-4236: Work Station, Electrostatic Control (contains a static dissipative soft table mat, common point ground system, and wrist strap with current limiting resistor; to be used in all areas other than clean rooms or laminar flow booths where ESDS items are handled; includes a small/medium and a large/extra large wrist strap cuff).
      3. 4940-01-250-4237: Work Station Kit, Electrostatic Control (contains a static dissipative portable work surface, common point ground system, and wrist strap with current limiting resistor;for situations where other static control used in workstations are not available; includes a small/medium and a large/extra large wrist strap cuff).
      4. 4940-01-250-4238: Work Station Kit, Electrostatic Control (permanent technical workbench or table with static dissipative work surface; may be used in any area where ESDS items are handled. This is a specification for work surface only. Wrist straps and a common point grounding system must be added).
      5. If your ESD workstation does not include a wrist strap - you need to order: 4240-01-063-4880 (wrist strap 36 inches in length with 250K resistor)

    FIELD SERVICE KIT

    • What does a ESD field service kit consist of?
    • An ESD protective field service kit (5920-01-253-5368) consists of the following:
      1. 3 each - pouch, MIL-DTL-81997, Type II;
      2. 3 each - barrier bag, MIL-PRF-81705, Type I;
      3. 2 each - wrist strap;
      4. 1 each - ground cord; and
      5. 1 each - mat, static dissipating.

    DOCUMENTS

    • Are there any specifications, standards, and handbooks covering ESDS requirements?
    • Yes. There is a basic standard MIL-STD-1686 and a basic handbook MIL-HDBK-263 which can be downloaded for free at ASSIST Quick Search at: http://quicksearch.dla.mil/ .

    MARKING

    • Are there any special markings for ESD items?
    • Yes.

    TRAINING

    • Where can I get further training on the Packaging and Handling of Electrostatic Discharge Sensitive items?
    • The Defense Ammunition Center, McAlester, Oklahoma offers on-site, resident, and correspondence courses covering 'Packaging and Handling of Electrostatic Discharge Sensitive Items' (SMPT-6).

    OTHER RESOURCES

    Content Inquiries: DSCC.Packaging@dla.mil 
  • Last Updated:  23 May 2018