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Due to electrostatic discharge damaging electronic devices, the industry experiences immense losses running into billions of dollars yearly. Croatia-based EcoCortec has announced its world-first biodegradable, compostable, and static-dissipative film and bags.
Breakthrough Biodegradable Packaging for Electronics
The Eco-Corr Film® ESD provides an eco-friendly packaging solution. This has innumerable industrial uses directed towards various industries such as static sensitive electronics, packaging, telecommunications, and electric cars.
At a time when the world is seeking environmentally safe options and promoting the use of biodegradable products, EcoCortec’s creation is an apt alternative to conventional polyethylene electrostatic dissipating (ESD) films.
In the light of new European Union regulations that intend to penalize sales of non-recyclable plastic packaging materials, EcoCortec® has offered an excellent alternative to the commercially available non-biodegradable electrostatic dissipating films.
What is Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)?
The triboelectric effect produces electrostatic charges and involves electrons' transfer from one surface to another at varying electrostatic potential. It is a high-current event (1–15 A) with a short duration (1–100 nanoseconds).
Static electricity damages electronic devices in the following cases:
- Static discharge to an electrical device
- Static discharge from an electrical device
- Static discharge stimulated on an electrical device by a static field.
To minimize such occurrences that would subsequently damage the electronic circuits, industries follow several preventive steps while developing electronic products.
Companies utilize ESD-insensitive products and follow measures such as using ESD controlling footwear and workstations to reduce or dissipate electrostatic charge generation.
Using ESD protective packaging such as shielding bags to handle and transport electronic devices is also beneficial.
Characteristic Features of Eco-Corr Film® ESD
Eco-Corr Film ESD or Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors (VpCI) films possess permanent anti-static and anti-corrosive properties.
The use of this film or bags ensures an immediate decrease or elimination of static buildup, irrespective of the presence or absence of humidity.
This material is also sensitive to multi-metal items such as electronics and forms a molecular layer that prevents corrosion on metal substrates. This is made possible because the molecular anti-corrosion protective layer prevents any interference with electronic components' physical or chemical properties. This film can be used without cleaning or degreasing the metal surface.
EcoCortec has also reported that the film meets several international standards, namely, NACE TM0208-2008 and German TL-8135-002 standard for corrosion protection, MIL-PRF-81705D for static decay rate conformance, and IPC-JSTD-003C, Am1 for Edge Dip Solderability Tests.
The most attractive feature of the film is its biodegradable nature. EcoCortec announced that the film degrades into carbon dioxide and water within a few months in a commercial composting system. The company announced that the specific time frame for the film's degradation depends on the conditions such as the temperature, pH, soil quality, and activity of microorganisms. The company claims that Eco-Corr Film® ESD is exceptionally stable and would not undergo premature degradation until it is disposed of in a specific composting environment.
For packaging, Eco-Corr Film® ESD bags or films are available in custom-size bags and are heat-sealable. Thicknesses of the film range from 50-120 microns.
The film can be stored indoors and outdoors, without exposure to direct sunlight at a temperature range of 4-38 °C. The material’s shelf life is around two years.
Other important features of Eco-Corr Film® ESD include:
- It does not affect optical properties
- It does not affect plastics used in the electronics industry
- It does not contain any free amines or harmful Prop 65 ingredients
Scope for Commercial Application of Eco-Corr Film® ESD
A Czech subsidiary of one of the largest car manufacturers has selected Eco-Corr Film® as part of its new “green” logistic project.
The company envisioned that biodegradable Eco-Corr Film® ESD bags or films would decrease the amount of plastic packaging used by them.
Eco-Corr Film® ESD was also analyzed, as part of the pilot project, for its use as a packaging material of car parts for shipment to its plant in Pune, India. The products were subjected to conditions similar to sea containers used in the ships during transportation and several other tests to determine their efficiency.
Subsequently, quality control did not show any trace of damage or corrosion on the components packed with Eco-Corr Film® on their arrival in India. Furthering their tests to analyze the compostable nature of used Eco-Corr Film®, it was subjected to the compost bin, and maximum degradation was obtained after six months of disposal.
Considering all these results, it is safe to assume that the use of Eco-Corr Film® as an alternative anti-corrosive packaging material would help reduce plastic waste significantly. The composted packaging material would be used to improve the soil at the plant’s logistic park. In the tests that have been conducted, Eco-Corr Film® enabled the manufacturer to reduce the use of conventional plastic packaging material by 50%, reducing plastic waste by almost 500 kg per month.
References and Further Readings
Gambrill, K. (2021) First Compostable Electrostatic Dissipating Anti-Corrosion Film in the World. [Online] Sustainable Packaging News. Available at: https://spnews.com/first-compostable-electrostatic-dissipating-anti-corrosion-film-in-the-world/B
Eco-Corr Film® ESD – Biodegradable VpCI® Permanent Films & Bags. [Online] Available at: https://www.cortecvci.com/Publications/PDS/Eco-Corr%20ESD-EcoCortec.pdf
Eco-Corr ESD Film® First Compostable Electrostatic Dissipating Anti-Corrosion Film in the World! Press Releease. [Online] Available at: https://www.cortecvci.com/whats_new/announcements/EcoCorr_Film_ESD.pdf
A Simple Take on Electrostatic Discharge & ESD Films. (2016). [Online] Laddawn. Available at: https://blog.laddawn.com/simple-take-electrostatic-discharge-esd-films/