I am trying to plan a set-up to store/organize DIP ICs as my am starting to build up a small collection. I would prefer to keep them inserted in a sheet of appropriate foam in a case. I found these conductive shipping cases from IBM: https://www.ebay.com/itm/322272828083 Can these types of cases be used with the black type foam, or is pink required? I know the black type foams are usually more conductive, so is there danger to using them in a conductive fype case? If the case functions as a Faraday cage, would black foam negate that and require ponk foam? It appears the cases come with pink foam but as they were used for shipping cards/boards and not component pin insertion, it might not be the best choice? Thanks in advance!

  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to watch EEVblog: Anti Static Bag Myth Revisted. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrew Morton Oct 23 '16 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ plastic is an excellent triboelectric generator and most of the pink plastic on the market, does not provide adequate leakage of 1-10 MOhms between pins spaced 1cm apart. I discovered this during my ESD policy implementation in an Electronics production facility as TE Mgr in the mid 80's. YOu don't have spend lots of money but carbon coated cardboard containers I have purchased tested out well. Trust but , get a sample and verify. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Oct 23 '16 at 18:51

1) The black foam is conductive and safe to store ICs.

2) The pink foam is not conductive but prevents charge buildup. I would not use this for storing ICs.

3) You do not need a Faraday cage to store ICs. OK, unless you store them in an environment where there are strong magnetic and or electric fields present. That almost never happens. You should not store ICs in such environments anyway.

4) As a hobbyist don't be too fussed about storing your ICs, most ICs which hobbyists use aren't even that sensitive anyway. I am very aware of how ESD works (I design ICs for a living) yet I have been storing the ICs I use for hobbying in a simple plastic drawer which is very much non-ESD safe. And I never had a problem with those ICs.

5) In a pinch you can use any foam you like and wrap some aluminium foil around it and stick your ICs in that !

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Based on that I assume the conductive storage cases with black foam would be safe. Much appreciated! \$\endgroup\$ – Efram Goldberg Oct 23 '16 at 17:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ This ESD-safe storage approach comes from making thousands of devices from hundreds of parts each. It's easy to understand one broken batch of parts will get your business into serious trouble, as it affects all the devices you have built. This doesn't apply to hobbyists. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka Oct 23 '16 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, for business use, take ESD safe storage seriously. In general that will happen by itself as you will receive the ICs in ESD safe packaging from the vendor. For hobbyists use this is not so much an issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Oct 23 '16 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the aluminium foil. I have also used wire wool in a pinch! \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Oct 23 '16 at 22:12

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