Weighing different options for your building’s flooring that can properly resist or direct electrostatic discharge? Here are some factors to consider.
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) flooring — also known as static dissipative floors or conductive floors, depending on the speed the charge is dissipated — is an important part of static control in many industries, not just electronics. It is also common in pharmaceutical, aerospace, manufacturing, and industrial auto manufacturing facilities. Static control flooring options can be considered in almost all locations where electrostatic discharge has the potential to cause damage or harm.
The Importance of Static Control Solutions
An ESD flooring solution serves as a protective element within a larger system of safety measures to control the buildup and discharge of static electricity in a room, facility, or warehouse. While electrostatic discharge can build up with normal activity and poses a risk to work areas, failure to control static energy in a space can lead to the increased potential for:
Shock-related workplace injuries – Working with tools and machinery allows static energy to build up in the operator. When the person operating the machines then connects with an earthed item, the built-up negative energy causes a static shock that can lead to workplace injury.
Damage to expensive, critical equipment – Equipment can be extremely sensitive to electrical charges. Levels of static shock that produce little to no harm to humans can be enough to damage certain devices or expensive pieces of equipment. Without static control, these devices are essentially left unprotected.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Static Control Resin Floor
The ideal ESD flooring system depends on the specific space and the level of protection needed. For instance, an electronics manufacturing facility may not need the same type of static control as a food and beverage warehouse. Occupational safety regulations, fire prevention requirements, and industry standards may dictate what features you will need as a baseline, but the best option depends on the activity occurring in the space and who will be active within it.
Static-dissipative and Conductive Flooring Properties
Static-dissipative and conductive flooring each have characteristics that make them ideal for dealing with electric charges in certain scenarios. However, each has a different method for controlling energy that will affect your ideal options for flooring.
Static Dissipative Flooring – 1.0 x 106 to 1.0 x109 ohms
If the floor of an industrial or commercial building has properties that reduce the potential for static build-up, then it can be considered anti-static or dissipative flooring. Static dissipative flooring provides electrical resistance to ground between one million and one billion ohms. An ESD coating like polyurethane or epoxy can have anti-static properties mixed in to provide a level of protection compliant with different regulations.
While some materials are inherently less prone to static build-up, an anti-static flooring solution is a system that is designed to promote safety and lessen the potential for equipment damage.
Conductive Flooring – 1.0 x 106 ohms and below
Conductive flooring is an ESD flooring solution that has a lower level of resistance to electricity (less than one million ohms) and, as its name suggests, has more conductivity. This usually involves using a conductive metal like copper to connect a grounded element to the building’s floor. A conductive flooring system controls static by directing electrostatic energy away from people, away from equipment, and into the ground instead.
Epoxy Resin as an ESD Flooring Solution
Epoxy and resin flooring have the potential to serve as conductive and anti-static flooring solutions. Resinous flooring systems can be installed with different properties to create safer, more protected facilities and warehouses. Epoxy and resinous flooring solutions can have additional benefits outside of being an ESD coating that can improve your flooring’s lifetime performance, durability, and visual appearance.
Surface Technology’s nonporous, anti-static, custom ESD flooring systems can help:
- Dissipate damaging electrostatic charges
- Resist chemicals and abrasions – great for cleanrooms and processing plants
- Reduce the presence of solvent fumes
- Increase light reflectivity up to 300% for added energy and cost efficiency
Surface Technology’s electrostatic dissipative (ESD) and conductive floors are part of a larger system that controls and channels static charges to reduce the risks to personnel, equipment, materials, and manufactured goods. All of our ESD flooring products meet or exceed the ANSI/ESD S20.20 standard. See an example of an STI ESD flooring installation.
Why Work with Surface Technology?
Figuring out what type of ESD flooring solution is not one-size-fits-all. Working with industry professionals who understand the importance of safety, quality, and who have the expertise to navigate project challenges will ensure that you get desirable results at your location. To find out if an ESD resin flooring system is the ideal solution for your industrial facility, give us a call at 1-800-PROJECT. Experience for yourself what four decades of experience looks like!
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