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A network card inside an antistatic bag.

An antistatic bag is a bag used for shipping (usually electronic) components, which are prone to damage caused by electrostatic discharge.

These bags are usually plastic (PET) and have a distinctive color (silvery for Metallised film , pink or black for polyethylene). The polyethylene variant may also take the form of foam or Bubble Wrap, either as sheets or bags. Because of the need for protection against mechanical damage as well as electrostatic damage, layers of protection are often used; because of this, you might find:

  • The protected device packaged inside a metalized PET film bag
  • Packed inside a pink polyethylene bubble-wrap bag
  • Packed inside a rigid black polyethylene box lined with pink poly foam

To create the anti-static effect, the black or silver bags are slightly conductive, forming a Faraday cage around the item to be protected and preventing any localized charges from being deposited onto the protected devices as the bags are handled. If a Faraday cage bag is not sealed or closed, it offers no protection. The pink or green bags are made of low-charging material, i.e. the bag itself will not create harmful charges, but will not protect the item from electric fields. It is important that the bags only be opened at static-free workstations. A device should not be powered while in an antistatic bag, because the conductivity of the bag could cause damaging short-circuits between parts of the device.[1]

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