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Silicone heat resistant mats vs ESD safety


I've just spent some time reading through lots of similar threads on ESD mats. I now know (or at least I think I know) about the theory behind the construction of properly designed 2 or 3 layer ESD mats.

However my question is on the typical Asian silicone heat resistant mats which are not ESD safe. They are found in different colors (but mostly blue) and sizes on various Internet market places.

Isn't that some sort of contradiction to the ESD safety to use such a mat for soldering the ESD sensitive boards risking to damage them with the static charge?
Is there a way to prevent these silicone mats from building up the static charge in them?

One thing I'm not sure about is the terminology used for the ESD safe mats. The top layer is dissipating. Does 'dissipating' equal 'insulating' in this case? Something tells me that it is not and those are different physical qualities when they are applied to a material in question.
Is the silicone heat resistant mat able to dissipate static charge? I know those pads are insulators. So perhaps the properly formulated question would be this: 'Can the insulator such as silicone mat dissipate static charge?'

Suppose you charge the silicone mat with the static electricity by rubbing it with your acrylic sweater sleeves.
Next you place an assembled board on the pad to solder/unsolder some components and... what? - Goodby the board? (Or in other words: 'Let's replace some more stuff on the board'?).

Since many people buy those cheap silicone pads for repair job and general electronics projects, isn't that stupid taking into consideration the well known ability of those pads to damage the boards so easily with the static charge?

Sadly there have be no replies so far on this "sensitive ESD" concern. :-)
So I went ahead and decided to see if anyone has ever addressed this subject on YT with the emphasis on protecting the boards from the static discharge.
Luckily I quickly found the Noel's video exactly on the subject (see his video at the bottom). You probably know Noel from the Retro Lab if you watch YT.

Note: I wasn't in doubt regarding the ESD safety when posting this thread. I simply was surprised on the amount of YT videos advocating the ESD_NOT-safe silicone mats for electronic repairs and the lack of common sense (or maybe specific knowledge?) for avoiding them for that purpose.
You can see for yourself how the ESD UN-safety is propagated on YT...

Noel's video:


--- Quote from: VSV_electron on March 26, 2023, 06:02:30 pm ---You knew what material I meant, didn't you? From the Internet:
"Silicon is a natural chemical element, silicone is a man-made product. The words are often used interchangeably but there are important differences. Whilst silicon is natural, silicone is a man-made polymer derived from silicon."

Silicone is derived from silicon. I don't think I'm too much off here.

--- End quote ---
You will have to accept that to many of us native English speakers, mixing up those two is a huge pet peeve. Even more so in electronics where a) silicon semiconductors are such a transformative technology, and b) we use both of those things in the discipline, since we use silicon chips and silicone rubbers, lubricants, and adhesives.

The “internet” claim that they’re often used interchangeability is true, but only in the sense that there are millions of examples of people using them in incontrovertibly incorrect ways. Frequent incorrect usage doesn’t mean it’s considered accepted or acceptable! (And this refers to both spelling and pronunciation, both of which get confused by the uneducated.)

Anyway, I have a silicone baking mat, and I barely use it because of how much dust it attracts — I have to scrub it down with soap and water every time I want to use it for food, because it WILL attract all the dust from seemingly the entire apartment even just sitting in a drawer. So I have been quite skeptical of those silicone soldering mats. Maybe the manufacturers are smart and included a conductive additive (the way that ESD mats use carbon added to the rubber), but I don’t know whether they do or not. As such, I would be reluctant to use one for soldering. I just use a regular rubber ESD mat, with a large piece of blank FR4 as a soldering “placemat” to protect the mat from heat damage.

"dissipating":  that layer must be conductive/resistive to dissipate charge.
"FR4" is the ubiquitous glass-epoxy laminate with a fire-resistant rating.
From one of many quick results on Google: 
"FR4 is a class of printed circuit board base material made from a flame retardant epoxy resin and glass fabric composite. FR stands for flame retardant and meets the requirements of UL94V-0. FR4 has good adhesion to copper foil and has minimal water absorption, making it very suitable for standard applications."
We native-speakers of English have hated the confusion of "silicone" and "silicon" since the time when "silicone" breast implants resulted in vulgar references to "silicone" semiconductors.
Similarly, there is a clear distinction between "oxygen" and "oxide" in English and technical usage.


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