What is Antistatic Flooring?
Antistatic flooring reduces, disperses/removes or prevents the generation of static electricity. Therefore, ESD flooring systems fit this definition, but the terms are not interchangeable. While some materials provide less static charge build-up when used for flooring, special static control flooring systems must be connected to the ground line to safely distribute and remove loads.
Definition of Conductive Flooring
Triboelectric charges are produced when walking, moving, and coming into contact with objects. In static sensitive areas, a grounded floor covering surface is required that is slightly conductive, but not overly conductive (which we will discuss in future articles). Many international standards organizations define the conductive ground resistance as less than 1 Million (10E6) Ohms. Conductive flooring systems provide the lowest charge generation and fastest discharge dissipation for an ESD production environment. The floor covering is connected to the grounding line of the building through a copper strip in the floor covering system and the system is grounded.
What is ESD Flooring and Is It the Same Thing as Anti-Static Flooring?
Description of ESD flooring: “An ESD Flooring system acts as a conduit for electrical static charge to discharge to a desired controlled grounding point.
The movement of people and objects in an environment creates risks of continuous generation and discharge of electrostatic energy. ESD flooring system, also called static controlled flooring , is a term that covers flooring materials and systems designed for use in ESD sensitive environments.
Requirements of an ESD Flooring System
- A) The floor covering system does not create triboelectric charges
- B) The ESD flooring system has the feature that allows the building to be connected to the grounding line for the distribution and removal of statically generated loads.
Some surfaces, such as concrete or vinyl floors, can, under the right conditions, provide antistatic properties and can therefore potentially be considered antistatic flooring. However, untreated floors, or even floors coated with non-static products, do not provide controlled distribution, removal or grounding of triboelectric charges. Therefore, the difference between anti-static flooring and ESD flooring is obvious. In addition, insulating materials are not considered antistatic.
Differences Between Conductive and Insulating Floor Coverings that dissipate/absorb static energy (ESD)
Dissipating/absorbing static energy (ESD ),
International Standard Organizations define “Static Dissipative” as all floor coverings with a resistance between 1 Million (10E6) Ohms and 1 Billion (10E9) Ohms.
Commonly used places:
Electronic, Flat Panel and medical device manufacturing
clean room manufacturing
Computer and electronics processing, assembly or repair
PCB soldering or rework
Areas such as telecommunication installation areas are the areas where this type of coating is used most.
International Standard Organizations define “conductive ground” resistance as LESS than 1 Million (10E6) Ohms. Conductive flooring systems provide the lowest charge generation and fastest charge distribution for an ESD production environment. The Floor Covering is connected to the grounding line of the building via a copper strip connected to the floor covering, grounding the system. It is necessary to apply a copper grounding strip for ESD flooring every 100 m2.
Generally used places
Hospital operating rooms (Using flammable anesthetics)
In manufacturing, assembly and testing areas with highly sensitive electronic and computer equipment
In some cleanrooms with highly sensitive equipment
In highly sensitive telecommunications installation areas
In the fields of medical diagnostic instrumentation with highly sensitive instruments
Electrically conductive flooring is also sometimes referred to as “anti-static conductive flooring”, which is defined by an electrical resistance between 10E4 and 10E15 ohms.
Hazards of ESD Discharge and Discharge Voltage for Static Shock
When a doorknob is touched after walking with socks on a carpeted floor, the shock force is about 25 times stronger than the shock required to spark an explosive gas. For humans to feel the effects of static electricity, the discharge must reach at least 3500 volts. On the other hand, static shock as small as 20V can damage sensitive electronics, while charges above 1400V can cause an explosion. For this reason, the loads that occur when passing through areas where there are components that can be damaged by ESD, that is, static electricity, should be distributed and removed as soon as possible.
For this reason, conductive floor coverings are used in places such as ammunition factories and warehouses, chemical processing areas and fireworks production. However, as always, the right product should be used in the right places. Where static control is required, highly conductive floors increase the risk of electric shock to the operator when used with high voltage equipment. Therefore, insulating products should be used in such areas.
Non-Conductive Rubber Flooring / Insulated Mats
Non-conductive or insulating mats, also known as electrical panel mats, are made of insulating materials that block the flow of electricity and prevent fatal shocks. Generally, these mats are used in certain parts of the floor where the work will be done. The dialectical strength of such mats provides an insulating base for workers exposed to high voltage equipment up to 50,000V.