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Sensors and Anti-Static Bags

While working with a customer who was having a problem with a sensor, we learned that the customer had set the sensor on top of the anti-static bag it was delivered in. He confirmed this by successfully testing a second sensor without the bag underneath it.

Sensors should never be powered on or even laid on top of an anti-static bag. To create the anti-static effect, the black bags or silver bags are slightly conductive, forming what is known as a Faraday Cage around the item to be protected avoiding any discharges from being deposited onto the protected devices as the bags are handled. Because the surface of the bag is conductive, it could possibly cause a short between leads underneath the sensor when it is powered on.

Anti-static bags are designed to only provide protection when the sensor is fully inside a closed bag. While the sensor inside a bag can be handled normally, it is best to only open the bag in an anti-static environment or by grounding yourself beforehand. It is possible that if the sensor is is even handled by someone with a static charge, the sensor can be damaged.

As a result of powering the sensor on while laying on top of the bag, it no longer worked properly. We told the customer he would either need to send the sensor back to us for testing, or he could purchase an SDK cable to connect the sensor to our free GasLab® software to test the sensor himself.

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