When electrostatic buildup is a threat to your commercial or industrial operations, you need to engineer special flooring to prevent unwanted discharge. Fortunately, there are numerous flooring systems that allow you to have durable, long-lasting resinous coatings, without creating ESD threats.
What is ESD flooring?
Electrostatic dissipative (ESD) flooring is a type of floor covering that has been designed to protect against the buildup of static electricity. This can be caused by walking across carpet or other types of floor coverings. These materials have an affinity for holding onto static charges, so they can attract dust particles and dirt particles from the air around you.
Electrostatic discharge occurs when two dissimilar materials come into contact with each other. The charge from one object transfers to another, causing sparks. These sparks can cause serious damage to sensitive electronics such as equipment, computers, TVs, phones, tablets, etc.
What is anti static flooring?
Anti Static Flooring is a type of flooring that protects your equipment from static electricity.
It works by creating a physical barrier between the ground and your devices.
This prevents the transfer of static electricity from the ground to the equipment.
What is static dissipative flooring?
Static dissipative flooring is a type floor covering that helps reduce electrostatic discharges. It works by absorbing the energy created by static electricity before it reaches sensitive electronic equipment.
Why do you need anti static flooring?
Anti Static Floors protect against the buildup of static electrical charges. These charges are created when you touch a metal object like a door handle or a computer mouse. They can then transfer to your phone, tablet, laptop, or other electronic device and damage sensitive electronic components.
There are several ways that electrostatic discharge can disrupt operations:
1 – Damage to electrical components
Many electronics are highly vulnerable to electric shocks. Sensitive components can be disrupted or harmed by as little as 100V, which isn’t even detectable by most people. So even tiny sparks, which most people won’t notice, can potentially do damage. As more operations upgrade to Industry 4.0 technologies, with small electronics attached to every piece of equipment, the need to protect them from ESD becomes even greater.
2 – Fire hazards
Numerous substances can be in the atmosphere of an industrial setting, or even commercial operations such as warehouses, that are potentially flammable if exposed to a spark. Beyond flammable gases, there are numerous types of particulate matter which can be easily ignited in the atmosphere, such as flour in a bakery. The sort of spark created from an ESD discharge can easily be a source of ignition, in these situations. Reducing the chances of fire is vital!
3 – Employee safety
Beyond the obvious risks of fire, even a more minor spark can be dangerous. If someone gets zapped by a static charge, their immediate reaction is going to be jerking their hand or body back. This reaction is basically instinctive, and not something most people are capable of suppressing. In tight quarters, or on complicated assembly lines, a fast uncontrolled movement like that can be dangerous, or hit/distract a neighboring worker.
How does anti-static flooring work?
Anti-Static Flooring works by creating a conductive path between the ground and your feet. By doing this, any static electricity that may accumulate on your body will not be able to travel back to the ground where it can build up. It also helps to reduce the amount of dust in the air that could otherwise collect on your shoes and clothing.
How does ESD flooring work?
ESD flooring is made from special materials that help to protect against electrical surges. These materials include rubber, polyurethane, epoxy, and other non-conductive substances.
It can withstand high voltages without being damaged. In fact, it can even withstand higher voltages than traditional flooring.
ESD flooring uses typical resinous coatings and embeds conductive elements – usually metal particles – in the resin blend. These conductive elements capture static electricity as people walk around, rather than allowing it to build up within their bodies. These floors also usually include copper rods or wires, which specifically transport captured electricity to the ground or another safe area.
The result is a resinous floor which is indistinguishable from typical coated concrete but prevents dangerous static buildup. You get all the benefits of resin-coated concrete, without risking your people, products, or materials.
What is the difference between anti-static and electrostatic flooring?
Anti-static flooring and electrostatic flooring both serve the same purpose: to prevent the accumulation of static electricity.
However, they differ in their construction. Electrostatic flooring uses a grid pattern while anti-static flooring uses a solid surface.
Where is ESD flooring typically used?
Conductive vs Dissipative ESD Flooring
There are two categories of ESD flooring: Conductive and Dissipative.
Static Dissipative flooring has a resistance of 1.0×106 to 1.0×109 ohms, which is a set standard. This is the more resistant of the two types, which means it may allow users to have more static buildup than with conductive flooring. However, this is still the standard for most public-facing areas, as well as operations such as telecom facilities, because it’s good enough for many common applications.
Static Conductive flooring, on the other hand, has a resistance of no more than 1.0×106 ohms. This allows the flooring to capture far more static electricity and is standard in industrial applications such as electronics assembly. However, because this floor holds so much of a charge, workers often must use specific ESD-safe footwear that prevents discharge as they walk around. This is not practical in areas that the public, or random visitors, may enter.
There are other differences between the two types as well, ranging from costs to installation method. Black Bear can work with you to engineer the type of ESD protection is best for your operation.
Is epoxy flooring antistatic?
Resinous concrete coatings such as epoxy are one of the most popular and ubiquitous flooring solutions for commercial operations of all types. However, epoxy and similar materials are insulative, it encourages buildup of electrostatic energy in people walking on the floor. This can be a serious threat to electronics, which are vulnerable to electrostatic discharge (ESD) as well as being a potential fire hazard if flammable materials are nearby.
Is epoxy ESD safe? Is epoxy static dissipative?
Epoxy floors are not considered ESD safe. Epoxy is an insulator so it does not conduct electricity. Therefore, it cannot dissipate any charge built up by people walking across the floor unless it is specially formulated to do so.
What is ESD epoxy flooring?
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) epoxy flooring is a type of floor covering that provides protection from electrical surges. It consists a thin layer of material, usually resin, that acts as a barrier against the flow of electricity.
What is static dissipative VCT?
Static dissipative VCT is a type of flooring that helps reduce static buildup. It works by providing a path for the flow of electrons. Static dissipative tiles are made using a special process that involves applying a coating of resin to the top surface of the tile. The resin helps to dissipate any charge that may form on the surface of the tile.
Are urethane floor coatings anti-static?
Urethane floor coating products can be made using either an electrostatic or non-electrostatic process. The type of process used for making the product has no effect on its ability to reduce static charge buildup. However, some manufacturers may choose to make their products using one method over another because it offers certain advantages. For example, if you want your floor to have a smooth finish, then you might prefer to use an electrostatic process. If you want to create a textured appearance, however, then you would probably need to use a non-electrostatic method.
Is rubber flooring anti static?
No. Rubber flooring is not anti-static. It attracts dust and dirt just like any other floor covering.
What type of ESD flooring is best for my environment?
The type of ESD floor coating you choose depends on many factors. One factor is whether you live in a cold climate or a warm climate. Another factor is how much traffic your space receives. Other factors include the amount of moisture present in your area and the frequency with which people walk through your space. Your installer should be able to give you more information about the type of ESD floor you need.
Black Bear High Performance Flooring Solutions
Black Bear Coatings & Concrete partners with industries including manufacturing, food and beverage, and biotech to provide the right floor system for each space within a facility. We’ve earned a reputation as one of the leaded concrete coatings experts in a highly niche sector. Our teams have extensive experience engineering custom-craft floors that meet the needs of your industry and your individual business. Black Bear ESD-safe flooring solutions bring you all the benefits of standard resinous flooring, including the high strength and durability, while also protecting your products and workers against static discharge. We’ll work closely with you to understand your operation, then create a dissipative floor that meets your unique needs.
The right flooring can eliminate any threats from electrostatic discharge. Contact us for a free on-site assessment or to learn more about our commercial and industrial concrete coatings.
Talk to Black Bear about designing and installing a cost-effective, durable surface for your space. Fill out the online form and a client representative will be in touch. Or, please call 978-405-0017.
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