What Is the Purpose of Grounding Strips?


Quick Answer

Grounding strips, sometimes called grounding straps or electrostatic discharge straps, are devices designed to safely discharge any static electricity built up by a user when working with delicate electronics. A powerful enough electric charge may damage computers and other electronic equipment if the charge travels through the hardware. A grounding device safely routes any excess charge away, preventing damage.

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Full Answer

One common form of grounding strip is an ESD bracelet. This bracelet consists of a conductive material wrapped around the wrist and connected via a cable and resistor to a ground point. This allows any built-up static charge to bleed away safely and prevents possible shock from handling charged equipment. Wrist straps are very effective at eliminating static charges, but they limit movement and can get in the way of delicate work.

In environments where mobility is required, heel strips can provide electrostatic discharge without the restrictions of bracelets. These strips are applied to the back of the shoe, connecting the body via a conductive material to the sole of the shoe. When a user wearing a heel strip walks across a grounded tile, the connection removes any built-up static charge safely and efficiently. The use of heel strips is common in the medical industry, allowing technicians to eliminate static charges when dealing with potentially flammable gases and other materials.

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