ISO 10605 is an international standard which specifies the electrostatic discharge (ESD) test methods for automotive. It specifies test methods necessary to evaluate electronic modules intended for vehicle use. It applies to discharges in the following cases:

  • ESD in assembly
  • ESD caused by service staff
  • ESD caused by occupants

ISO 10605 describes test procedures for evaluating both electronic modules on the bench and complete vehicles. This International Standard applies to all types of road vehicles regardless of the propulsion system (e.g. spark-ignition engine, diesel engine, electric motor).

Versions of ISO 10605

Current version of ISO 10605 is ISO 10605:2008. Previous one an upcoming one is also given below on below table:

Version Status

ISO 10605:2001 (Edition 1)


ISO 10605:2008 (Edition 2)

ISO 10605:2008/AMD 1:2014
ISO 10605:2008/COR 1:2010
Current version (Published)
ISO/DIS 10605 (Edition 3) Under Development

ESD Test Setup Requirements

1. Test Location

The standard does not mandate a special test location. Special locations, such as shielded enclosures or even absorber-lined shielded enclosures, are allowed but not required.

2. ESD Generator

ESD Generator is defined as ‘instrument that simulates the human ESD model.’ The ESD generator should be able to generate a repetition rate of at least 10 discharges per second down to manual control without any degradation of the discharge current waveform. Standard lists the characteristics of ESD generator. These characteristics are given below:

Output voltage range contact discharge mode: 2 kV to 15 kV, or as required in the test plan

Output voltage range air discharge mode: 2 kV to 25 kV, or as required in the test plan

Output voltage accuracy: 5 % or less

Output polarity: Positive and negative

Rise time of short circuit current in contact discharge mode (10 % to 90 %): 0,7 ns to 1,0 ns

Holding time:  5 s or more

Storage capacitances: 150 pF, 330 pF

Discharge resistances: 330 Ω, 2 000 Ω

3. Discharge Tips

Contact discharge tip and Air discharge tip are required. Dimensions and angles of each tip is defined under the standard.

4. Coupling and Ground Reference Planes (HCP and GRP)

Horizontal Coupling Plane (HCP) and Ground Reference Plane (GRP) are required. 

HCP is defined as metal plane oriented in horizontal direction, to which discharges are applied to simulate electrostatic discharge to objects adjacent to the DUT’

GRP is defined as flat conductive surface whose potential is used as a common reference’

HCP and GRP shall be metallic sheets (e.g. copper, brass or aluminium) and a minimum thickness of 0,25 mm.

The HCP shall extend the projected geometry of the DUT (the projected geometry of the DUT comprises the cables connected to the DUT) by at least 0,1 m on all sides. The size should be at least 1,6 m × 0,8 m. The height of the HCP above the GRP shall be between 0,7 m and 1,0 m.

The GRP is placed under the non-conductive table. The GRP on the floor should have at least the dimensions of the HCP.

5. Insulation Block

Insulation blocks, if used, shall be made of clean non-hygroscopic material. The relative permittivity should range between 1 and 5. The blocks shall be (50 ± 5) mm in height and extend beyond the test set-up by at least 20 mm on all sides.

6. Insulation Support

Insulation support, if used, shall be constructed of clean non-hygroscopic material with a relative permittivity between 1 and 5. The support shall be between 2 mm and 3 mm in height and project beyond the test set-up by at least 20 mm on all sides.

7. Non-conductive Table

ISO 10605 requires a test table which shall be non-conductive. Its dimensions shall be properly chosen to fulfill both HCP and GRP dimensions. 

Discharge current specifications

Discharge current specifications are also given on the standard. The contact discharge mode currents shall be verified according to Annex A. The contact discharge mode waveform parameters for each discharge network shall be within the value ranges specified. ESD generator verification is only required in contact mode.

Test Methods

Three methods are defined under ISO 10605:2008:

1) Component immunity test method (powered-up test): These tests consist of direct and indirect types of application of discharges to the DUT. 

2) Component packaging and handling test method (unpowered test): Testing shall consist of direct application of discharges to the DUT.

3) Vehicle test method: Conductive surfaces shall be tested using contact mode discharges. Air discharge may also be applied to conductive surfaces, if required in the test plan. Non-conductive surfaces shall be tested using air mode discharges. For air discharge, use the air discharge tip.

Figure 7 of ISO 10605:2008 shows an example of vehicle ESD test set-up:

What we offer as Testups?

We are distributing ISO 10605 compliant ESD generators and all items to fulfill the test setup requirements of ISO 10605. Manufacturers we collaborate are located in Germany and Japan. If you need complete solution for ISO 10605, contact us and get your quotation. 

Do you need any items for your ESD test setup?

We are offering

* ESD guns / generators / simulators

* Reference planes for ESD test setups (HCP, GRP)

* Non-conductive test tables for ESD and EMC test setups

* Insulation blocks, supports, static dissipative mats

* Complete ESD test setup (on-site installation and commissioning is optional)