Definition - What does Anti-Static Wrist Strap mean?
An anti-static wrist strap is a key piece of safety gear that helps to prevent the buildup of static electricity near sensitive electronics or other projects where static charge could damage electronics or cause safety issues. The wrist strap is often used with an anti-static mat or other type of work space covering. Special, highly conductive threads on the wrist strap lead to a ground conductor in order to discharge static electricity safely.
An anti-static wrist strap may also be called an electrostatic discharge (ESD) wrist strap.
While users often take advantage of an anti-static wrist strap to protect items like circuit boards during construction, testing or other activities, some of these devices also qualify as personal protective equipment (PPE), where grounded anti-static devices can help protect wearers in higher voltage situations. Other common situations for using anti-static tools may be based on specific protocols. For example, when an ESD wrist strap is used to protect a PC, the ground is often attached to the computer chassis.
Manufacturers will usually provide items like a wrist strap devices in accordance with specific industry standards. Many of these items have been evaluated by Underwriter Laboratories, a prime tester of electronics handling equipment. Most products will also be marked according to maximum voltage.