Protection Devices & Protective Materials

Protection devices and special materials are used to prevent or reduce damage to electrical and electronic systems and components from power fluctuations and transient spikes, which sometimes occur in electrical distribution systems - or from electrostatic discharge (ESD), to which certain types of integrated circuits and electronic components are susceptible.

Protective devices and circuitry can be designed into electrical and electronic systems, whereas protective materials are required in certain production and handling areas in the workplace - typically receiving, inspection and packaging zones, as well as assembly and test areas for devices that are susceptible to ESD. Operators should be electrically grounded prior to handling, usually with wrist straps; field service technicians also need to be aware of electrostatic discharge hazards and employ safety precautions. For suppliers of these specific safety devices, ensures the correct items and their distributors can be found.

Although standard fuses and circuit breakers in mains panels provide elementary safety for equipment and personnel, enhanced protection is advisable for expensive or business-critical office, technical and industrial equipment. Protection devices limit the voltage supply by removing any unwanted excess voltages above a certain threshold - either to ground or through more intricate semiconductor circuitry.

Clean room manufacturing usually requires special protective measures because many materials used in semiconductor manufacturing (including ceramics, glass and quartz) are insulators and generate static electricity, which cannot be dissipated by grounding. If wrist straps are inconvenient due to special clean room garments, protective materials or methods including special flooring and ionization are employed. For a listing of protective materials suppliers, is ideal place for modern businesses to make a start or find new wholesale contacts.

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