How to Comply with DA PAM 385-64 Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards with Anti-Static Products
Ammunition departments of the US military required to use specific materials and equipment called Anti-Static Products to comply with DA PAM 385-64 and ensure the safety and performance of your operations. One of the areas that you need to pay attention to is the prevention of electrostatic discharge (ESD). ESD or commonly known as a spark, is the sudden flow of electricity between two objects that have different electric potentials. A common example of ESD, is the shock people feel after touching a metal doorknob after walking on a carpet. But most ESD events can’t be seen or felt by people. ESD can cause serious damage or destruction to sensitive electronic devices such as sensors, and detonators, as well as to ammunition and explosives (AE), such as bullets, rockets, grenades, and mines.
To avoid ESD hazards, you need to comply with the Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards according to DA PAM 385-64, which is the Army’s policy on ammunition and explosives safety standards. This standard prescribes the safety requirements for operations involving AE, such as storage, transportation, handling, testing, and disposal. It also provides guidance on how to create an ESD-protected area (EPA), where all the materials and equipment can safely discharge static electricity to the ground. An EPA should also have proper grounding, humidity control, and signage to warn people of the potential hazards.
One of the ways to create an EPA is to use anti-static products, which are specially designed to prevent static buildup and discharge. These products are made of anti-static materials, such as metal or conductive rubber and plastic that have low resistance and can dissipate static charges to the ground. They also have ESD symbols and labels to indicate their compliance with the industry standards.
Some of the examples of anti-static products that you can use to comply with DA PAM 385-64 are:
- Conductive floor mats: These are mats that are placed on the floor of an EPA to provide a path for static electricity to flow to the ground. They are usually made of rubber or vinyl with a conductive layer and must be connected to ground.
- Anti-static trash cans and liners: These are trash cans and liners that are used to dispose of waste materials that may generate or retain static charges, such as paper, plastic, or foam. They are made of conductive or dissipative materials that can prevent static buildup and discharge.
- Wrist straps and heel grounders: These are personal grounding devices that are worn by personnel who work with AE or electronic devices in an EPA. Wrist straps are bands that are worn around the wrist and connected to a grounding system, such as a metal clip or a cord. Heel grounders are straps that are attached to the heel of the shoe and are used with ESD floor mats.
In addition to these products, you can also use some other accessories that can enhance your ESD protection and compliance, such as:
- Earthing table mats: These are mats that are placed on the table or the workbench of an EPA to provide a surface for working with AE or electronic devices.
- General Office Accessories: ESD-safe keyboards and mouse, Ship Travelers, Tape, Pens, Badge Holds are all overlooked sources of ESD damage.
- ESD Combo Testers and Wrist Strap Tester: Regular testing of ESD Grounding Products is required for safety.
If you are interested in purchasing anti-static products to comply with DA PAM 385-64, contact Transforming Technologies which offers a wide range of quality control products for the technology and manufacturing industries. You can set up a 15 min meeting any time with one of their ESD experts to discuss your application.
Remember, anti-static products are not only a good idea, but a necessity for the ammunitions department of the US military. By using them, you can protect your AE and electronic devices from ESD and comply with the Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards.