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Heat Sealing ESD Bags?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by shrtrnd, Jul 18, 2013.

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  1. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,688
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    Jan 15, 2010
    I got a bunch of the ESD bags that look like aluminum foil. Suppposed to be for ESD and
    humidity protection. I've also got a heat-sealer that is described in the catalog as an
    'impulse' sealer. It appears to work by sending a high current to a heating element in the
    sealer, that melts the bag material to seal the bag.
    Does anybody know if an impulse sealer should not be used on ESD bags, because it
    might provide a spike that might damage the IC's in the bag?
    I get heat-sealed ESD bags from manufacturers all the time that look like they're sealed
    with the same type of seal my 'impulse' sealer uses. But I've also seen some roller wheels
    on a hand-held sealer that probably just supplies heat to the wheel to seal the ESD bag.
    All I'm finding Googleing the question is opinions. I was wondering if anybody has any
    info on any tests that were done concerning this question, and KNOWS whether or not it's
    ok to use an 'impulse' sealer on an ESD bag, or not.
     
  2. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    830
    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    I would say its not a great idea, not because it will cause damage when sealing, but because you really dont need to (also every time you seal it the bag gets a little bit smaller), just fold over and tape the open end of the bag, this will also allow it to "breathe" if not any moisture in there will be sealed in and with changes in heat it could cause issues, also if a cap or something decides to vent in the sealed container those gases will be trapped and may cause all sorts of problems.

    Just my opinion, but I would say its not worth it.
     
  3. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Jan 15, 2010
    Yeah, I usually just use the see-through silver ESD bags. A surplus place was selling
    these ESD/humidity bags at a super-cheap price, so I thought I'd get them and try them,
    THEN started wondering about HOW I should use them.
    Checking prices on-line, these ESD/humidity bags cost a lot more than regular ESD ones.
    Having never used them before, I began wondering if they'd be unsuitable for an impulse
    sealer.
     
  4. gorgon

    gorgon

    603
    24
    Jun 6, 2011
    If you need to seal them due to humidity, you should also use a vacuum pump to suck out the air. If its only to keep components EMC protected at a hobby basis, a piece of tape over the folded edge should do the trick.
     
  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,270
    2,718
    Jan 21, 2010
    I have a heat sealer, and I have often contemplated getting it out to use it for this purpose.

    However, I typically just fold the bag over and tape it (it's easier).

    If the bag is in danger of spilling the contents I place it inside another zip-lock bag. This stops the inner bag from flopping open.
     
  6. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,688
    457
    Jan 15, 2010
    No votes for using an 'impulse' sealer, so fold-over and tape, it is.
    I have received a few parts in these aluminum foil looking bags, and they were sealed
    (I'm sure for humidity issues). I was just wondering how they sealed the bags.
    Maybe that heat-wheel hand-held tool I've seen is how they do it. You'd just get the
    heat from the wheel to seal the bag, without the jolt from the impulse sealer.
     
  7. eKretz

    eKretz

    251
    25
    Apr 8, 2013
    Well I have a vac sealer with the heating element also and I don't use it to seal ESD bags, I also just tape them, but if I did want to seal one I wouldn't be afraid to use the "impulse" sealer, because the bags are designed to stop the travel of electricity and dissipate it. I don't think anything outside the direct path of the current/EM would possibly be damaged. Try it with some scrap parts.
     
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