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Currently, my integrated circuits are free to bump around in one of the compartments in my parts organizer. I used to have a bunch of anti-static foam rectangles to keep them plugged into, but I threw them (the foam) out because I was annoyed that I didn't have enough to hold all my ICs (strange logic, right?).

I found this deal on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Techni-Stat-Foam-Anti-Static-Pink-12/dp/B000PDJ5CQ/ref=pd_cp_hi_4

It's about $5, including shipping, and I get a square foot of material. Is this a viable solution to keeping my ICs safe? I haven't researched Techi-Tools too deeply but they seem like a legitimate brand.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like the stuff my Analog Devices samples come wrapped in. Not really foam like the black stuff - it's more plasticky than that. Probably not got the pin gripping power of proper foam. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jan 10 '12 at 0:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you are right. If I remember correctly, then this is the stuff that if you try pushing pins into it, the foam just "dents". \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Laplante Jan 10 '12 at 0:08
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Summarised_Solution:

  • Pink foam is OK but not really intended for this purpose.

  • Possibly the best deal of all is from DESCO !!!
    Their cheapest per area suitable material is this = Desco 12150 - 24" x 36" x 1/8" high density at $US7.14. That's a magical ~$1.20/ft^2 and you can use 2 layers to get 1/4" etc. Multilayers is never quite the same but is good enough. Shipping cost unknown. May make or break order.


The pink foam material is usually used for shipping as a wrapper or outer layer . It may not be measurably surcace conductive. It may well do the job "well enough" but you can probably do better.

Idea is high density conductive foam that is thick enough that IC pins do not push right through. Thinner works as well but the IC's stand off the surface and you don't get the same seating feel when pressing them in.

RS are not known for their low prices.
Heree they have 305 mm x 305mm x 6mm (1 square foot x 1/4 inch) of conductive foam for $NZ2.78
RS550-066. Lower in $US hopefully. NB: This is low desnisty foam. Others below probably hi density. Low density works OK, dies sooner, need to be sure it always contacts all pins as it gets older but should be a good starting material.

Many related products. Good site. Dearer than RS but high density. eg $22.32/6 square feet x 1/4 " or 3.72 / ft^2. here Texas HQ.


Hmmm. RS USA may not have the NZ foam. RS India does.
RS US have this
DESCO 12250 24" x 36" x 1/4" $US23.66.
Thy also have 3/8" thick version for $41.46 here.

8 sellers here with RS being cheapest :-(.

Digikey list it and other versions but no stock and dearer here

Desco sell it theselves for around $25 here

BUT they do a range of closely related products here


DESCO !!!

And probably best of all for you is this
Desco 12150 - 24" x 36" x 1/8" high density at $US7.14.
The 1/8" is annoying, but at ~ $1.20/ft^2 it's excellent.
You can use 2 layers to get 1/4" for $2.40/ft^2 and 3 layers to ... :-).
Multilayers is never quite the same but is good enough.

Shipping cost unknown. May make or break order.


Dow on conductive foams. Reference only but very ionteresting here

Foam. Jameco. Too dear. Reference only at $US8/ft^2 here

Some excellent idea starters for conductive materials here

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