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How to Measure Volume Resistance or Volume Resistivity

We’ve already gone over how to make a surface resistance measurement but how do you make a measurement for volume resistance?  A volume resistance measurement is pretty similar to a surface resistance measurement with the exception of a couple of steps.  Much like a surface resistance you can measure some of the following things:

•Conductive Black film
•Static shielding film
•Pink or Blue poly film
•Tote boxes
•Plastic samples

These are just some examples of what can be measured.

The following instruments will be needed to make this measurement:

• A wide range resistance instrument such as a Prostat PRS-801, PRS-812, or PAS-853
• PRF-911 Concentric Ring Set (includes PTB-920 dual test bed, and dual banana jack adapter)
• PRS-801-W 5 lb. Conductive Rubber Electrode
• Black lead, or a high resistance wiring set that includes a shielded lead with green banana connector
• Red lead

Let’s get started!

First you are going to want to place the PTB-920 Dual Test Bed metal side up on a flat surface.  This is one of the steps that differ from surface resistance.


The sample size you want to measure should be 3.5” x 5.5”.  Once you have the sample you desire to test place it on top the test bed.


Now that you have your sample size, remove the red cap from the PRF-911 Concentric Ring and insert the BNC adapter onto the concentric ring.


Place the concentric ring on top of the sample.  For volume you will want to put the red (+) lead into the side outer jack on the metal test bed.  Do not confuse this with surface resistance where the red (+) lead goes into the concentric ring.


After the red (+) lead has been connected, you will now want to connect the black (-) lead into the red banana jack of the BNC adapter.


Next you will want to connect the shielded lead with a green banana connecter into the black banana jack of the BNC adapter.


Once you have all of the leads correctly in place, take the PRS-801 W 5 lb. Conductive Rubber Electrode and place it on top of the concentric ring.


This test is being made with a Prostat PRS-801 Resistance System Set.  You can use one of the three following instruments to conduct this test PRS-801, PRS-812, or PAS-853.  Take the PRS-801 and plug the leads into the unit.  Connect the red (+) test lead into the positive (+) terminal and connect the black (-) test lead into the negative terminal on the unit.  Plug the shielded lead with the green banana connector into the instrument’s ground reference located below the red and black leads.  Slide the main power ON/OFF switch to the ON position.  Then press the red ON/OFF power button on the unit.


Then press the green TEST button.  When “HOLD” is displayed on the screen your measurement has been completed.  Depending on what you are testing for here is the range of measurements:

1.0 x 106 – 1.0 x 1010 Static Dissipative
1.0 x 1011 – 1.0 x 1012 Insulative
1.0 x 103 – 1.0 x 105 Conductive


This volume resistance measurement was conducted as described in ANSI/ESD STM11.11 Standard Test Method for Volume Resistance Measurement of Static Dissipative Planar Materials, available from the ESD Association, Rome, NY (www.esda.org).

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