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Is it a good idea to pack computer components in aluminium foil?

Last response: in Components
January 21, 2009 2:37:29 AM

Is it a good idea to pack computer components like RAM, processors, graphic cards, etc, in aluminium foil if I don't have anti-static bag? I ask this because I occasionally sells such things on Ebay. I have read somewhere that packing components using aluminium foil was a good idea to protect them against static electricity. Is this a good idea?
January 21, 2009 4:37:23 AM

No, do not use aluminium foil, you should use electrostatic bags designed for this purpose. The metal bag may cause something to go faulty.
January 21, 2009 5:25:37 AM

Sounds like a bad idea to me, but I've never heard of it, so I have no actual evidence to back my opinion.... just sounds bad, though.
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January 21, 2009 7:27:10 AM

In theory it should be a good idea, faraday cage, charge dissapating to the peripheries of the conductive surface etc, but in practice i suspect it will be very bad....

Antistatic bages work on the same principle except they are externally insulated, wrapping stuff in foil opens up the possibility of arcing across moving surfaces....
January 21, 2009 7:43:17 AM

Back in the days when I was soldering transistors and what we used to call " integrated circuits" to circuit boards we had etched the tracks on using hydrochloric acid we
stored the the IC's by pushing the pins in to polystyrene foam covered in aluminium foil .
The pins didnt get bent and static didnt kill the chips .

I have often stored motherboards on or in aluminium foil . They all still worked .

One time a RAM stick died but since the mb was sitting exposed on a bed for a couple of days on a sheet of aluminium foil and the cat jumped on the bed to get out the window ...... well its hard to blame the foil

Its totally safe to use foil IMO
January 21, 2009 7:55:11 AM

Be sure you don't wrap something with a battery on it.

Why don't you order some, be professional. Or maybe try the local computer shop. Most have more bags then they need and throw them away.
January 21, 2009 8:32:00 AM

It would only take a tiny piece of foil to break off and stick between two pins on the m/b to stop it from working.

For an IC with 0.1inch pin spacing, that would be easy to see. If it got into the CPU socket, well, you can imagine how much fun that would be to find.

January 21, 2009 9:00:24 AM

I agree with Zorg, just get some proper bags, your feedback will be lots better than with tin foil - even if it's (foil wrapping) fine customers might give you hassle over it if they get something doa.