Need Help With Your ESD Flooring Program? | Kaloutas

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Do You Need Help With Your ESD Flooring Program? Start Here!

Who you entrust with the devel­op­ment and instal­la­tion of your ESD floor­ing pro­gram is one of the most impor­tant deci­sions you can make for your facility.

Why?

Elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charge (ESD) has the poten­tial to cause both seri­ous phys­i­cal harm as well as exten­sive prop­er­ty dam­age. This is espe­cial­ly true if you work with sen­si­tive elec­tron­ics, where even a mild dis­charge can destroy equip­ment or cause latent prod­uct failures.

An effec­tive ESD floor­ing strat­e­gy can elim­i­nate this threat, but it needs to be a com­pre­hen­sive, cut­ting-edge pro­gram that takes your spe­cif­ic needs into consideration.

What Caus­es Elec­tro­sta­t­ic Discharge?

Before we dis­cuss the solu­tion, let’s face the problem.

Even some­thing as sim­ple as walk­ing across a car­pet, or putting a jack­et on, caus­es a buildup of elec­tric­i­ty with­in our body (the devel­op­ment of this buildup is called tri­bocharg­ing). The pent-up charge then waits for a way to escape. The oppor­tu­ni­ty gen­er­al­ly comes when we touch some­thing that com­pletes the cir­cuit, allow­ing the elec­tric­i­ty to pass from us to the object.

We may not real­ize it, but this ESD event actu­al­ly cre­ates a tiny but incred­i­bly hot flash of heat. This surge of elec­tric­i­ty can cause cat­a­stroph­ic dam­age. To add to the threat, not all dam­age is imme­di­ate­ly appar­ent. If your work involves the man­u­fac­tur­ing of elec­tri­cal com­po­nents, for exam­ple, latent prod­uct fail­ure can be a great source of stress both for you and your client base.

A Shock­ing Fact About ESD:

While walk­ing around a car­pet­ed room you can build a charge of 2025,000 volts! Your aver­age elec­tri­cal out­let only offers 100, and it only takes 10 volts to dam­age sen­si­tive electronics.

What Is ESD Floor­ing, and How Does It Work?

The ben­e­fit and beau­ty of ESD floor­ing is that it offers a path of least resis­tance for your pent up elec­tric­i­ty, effec­tive­ly ground­ing you and your team as you work. The poten­tial ESD that you per­pet­u­al­ly accu­mu­late is offered a con­ve­nient (and harm­less) path through con­duc­tive mate­r­i­al includ­ed in the sub­strate, even­tu­al­ly end­ing in an earth ground.

Do You Need an ESD Floor­ing Sys­tem, or Are There Oth­er Solutions?

There are a num­ber of pop­u­lar prod­ucts that reduce ESD, including:

  • Met­al wristbands
  • Sta­t­ic-con­trol clothing
  • Floor mats
  • Spe­cial­ized footwear
  • Car­pets
  • Tile
  • Cast­ers
  • Top­i­cal antistatics
  • …and more

If You’re Using a Top­i­cal Anti­sta­t­ic, Should You Be Concerned?

Before we dis­cuss your best floor­ing option, we want to camp on an impor­tant top­ic for a moment. Top­i­cal anti­sta­t­ic floor fin­ish­es (includ­ing wax and wax deriv­a­tives) are fre­quent­ly used, but they actu­al­ly neg­a­tive­ly impact your ESD program.

How? These fin­ish­es may be pack­aged as a prod­uct that assists with ESD con­trol, but in real­i­ty they cre­ate an insu­lat­ing bar­ri­er, affect­ing decay and volt­age gen­er­a­tion rates.

Pros and Cons of Resinous ESD Con­trol Flooring

The ulti­mate pro­tec­tion comes in the form of a com­plete, ESD-inhibit­ing, resinous floor coat­ing. As we weigh the pros and cons, let’s start with the only down­sides to this option:

  • The ini­tial invest­ment is high­er than that of the short­er-term solu­tions (floor mats, footwear, met­al bands, etc.)
  • The instal­la­tion process is more involved
  • Your oper­a­tions can be impact­ed temporarily

Here are the pos­i­tive aspects to consider:

  • Much more com­pre­hen­sive pro­tec­tion is pos­si­ble than more local­ized options can offer
  • Durable
  • Long-last­ing
  • The sur­face is seam­less and eas­i­ly cleaned
  • Offers both con­duc­tive and dis­si­pa­tive qualities
  • Resists chem­i­cals
  • A wide range of thick­ness­es are available
  • Col­or can be cho­sen to be meet your aes­thet­ic needs
  • Low-odor

How Much Does Resinous ESD Floor­ing Cost, and What Does the Instal­la­tion Process Include?

Offer­ing a spe­cif­ic price is dif­fi­cult, but for a very pos­i­tive rea­son. This is a high­ly-cus­tomiz­able floor­ing solu­tion, and can be tai­lored to meet your unique requirements.

As a gen­er­al rule, how­ev­er, the cost of instal­la­tion ranges from $5.00 — $8.00 per sq/​ft. This is typ­i­cal­ly a low­er price-point than you will find quot­ed for ESD tiles and car­pet, adding to the prac­ti­cal­i­ty of a resinous floor system.

The instal­la­tion process most often requires 3 – 7 days, with the aver­age being 3 – 4 days unless your facil­i­ty is par­tic­u­lar­ly large. This leads us to a ques­tion that is impor­tant to ask as you look for a floor­ing pro­fes­sion­al (we’ll add more sug­gest­ed ques­tions in a list below).

What kind of sur­face prepa­ra­tion is going to be included?

Here at Kaloutas’s indus­tri­al floor­ing divi­sion, we con­sid­er sur­face prepa­ra­tion to be an absolute­ly cru­cial part of the instal­la­tion process. After all, regard­less of how pre­mi­um the resinous sys­tem is, if the the floor is weak, dam­aged, or cov­ered in an old coat­ing beneath it, the entire sys­tem is going to be com­pro­mised. Maybe not right away, but cer­tain­ly soon.

Our prepa­ra­tion often includes the following:

  • Patch cracks and fill voids with thick­ened epoxy
  • We shot blast/​diamond grind the entire sur­face to remove any old, fail­ing coating

The steps above not only elim­i­nate con­t­a­m­i­nants, but allow the sur­face to open up” and be recep­tive. Tak­ing these ini­tial steps will help your ESD floor coat­ing to last longer and be more effective.

Our Favorite ESD Floor­ing System

Because there is such a huge vari­ety of prod­ucts on the mar­ket, we would like to share a few details about one of our favorite ESD coatings.

Pro­tect 200 ESD is a ure­thane coat­ing offered by Pro­tec­tive Indus­tri­al Poly­mers that can be applied over an epoxy primer or build coat. If you would like to see an exam­ple of a project we recent­ly fin­ished using this prod­uct, just take a look at this blog post.

Here are a few of the gen­er­al ben­e­fits offered by Pro­tect 200:

  • Low-VOC (extreme­ly low-odor)
  • Wide range of col­ors are available
  • Resists stain­ing and chem­i­cal spills
  • Abrasion/​impact resistant
  • Dries in 16 – 24 hours, and com­plete­ly cures with­in 7 – 14 days

Tak­ing it a lit­tle deep­er into its tech­ni­cal attrib­ut­es, these are a few more rea­sons why this is such an effec­tive ESD con­trol coating:

  • Body Volt­age Gen­er­a­tion (BVG) is kept below 15 volts with con­duc­tive footwear
  • Meets ANSI/ESD S20.20 ESD Asso­ci­a­tion Stan­dard for the Devel­op­ment of an Elec­tro­sta­t­ic Dis­charge Con­trol Pro­gram for pro­tec­tion of elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic parts, assem­blies and equip­ment (exclud­ing elec­tri­cal­ly ini­ti­at­ed explo­sive devices)
  • Reduces a 5000 volt charge to 0 volts in less than 0.1 seconds
  • Unlike car­bon fiber sys­tems, ESD 200 main­tains ESD prop­er­ties through­out the thick­ness of the coat­ing and is not depen­dent on humid­i­ty for prop­er conductivity
  • Meets ANSI/ESD S20.20 ESD Asso­ci­a­tion Standard

As this prod­uct requires con­nec­tion with an earth ground every 1000 feet, we use cop­per ground­ing tape. This offers an excep­tion­al lev­el of conductivity.

Will Your Floor Pass an ESD Audit?

As you deter­mine exact­ly what you need from your ESD floor pro­gram, whether or not your fin­ished sys­tem will pass an ESD audit is anoth­er impor­tant consideration.

Cir­cling back to our ure­thane coat­ing of choice from Pro­tec­tive Indus­tri­al Poly­mers, we know that their floor­ing will pass an ESD audit to stan­dards such as ANSI 20.20 or NFPA 99. If you are required to achieve a unique stan­dard dic­tat­ed by your par­tic­u­lar indus­try, we can design a sys­tem to meet your spec­i­fi­ca­tions. At the end of the day, the impor­tant thing is that your floor per­forms exact­ly as you need it to.

5 Ques­tions to Ask Your Indus­tri­al Floor­ing Company

Ask­ing the ques­tions below can help you gauge just how knowl­edge­able, expe­ri­enced, and invest­ed your floor­ing provider real­ly is. And remem­ber, they need to be more than will­ing to explain their process and pro­ce­dures in-depth. Their pri­ma­ry goal, after all, should be to ensure that you receive the sys­tem you need.

  • How much expe­ri­ence do they have installing ESD flooring?
  • Do they use car­bon fiber in the sys­tem to achieve the conductivity?
  • Can they offer dec­o­ra­tive options, such as flake or col­or quartz systems?
  • Do they test and cer­ti­fy the floor after installation?
  • Do they offer a war­ran­ty on the instal­la­tion and on the readings?

Invest­ing in a resinous ESD floor coat­ing is a big deci­sion, but one that offers peace of mind that you and your team will enjoy and appre­ci­ate every day. If you have any oth­er indus­tri­al floor­ing ques­tions, please don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact us today. It would be our plea­sure to talk more with you.

Kaloutas is New Eng­land’s pre­mier con­trac­tor for com­mer­cial & indus­tri­al paint­ing, floor­ing, and relat­ed ser­vices. Estab­lished in 1987, Kaloutas has become a trust­ed resource for gen­er­al con­trac­tors, facil­i­ties man­agers, and build­ing own­ers from Con­necti­cut to Maine. Our team prides itself on high qual­i­ty work­man­ship, jobs done on time & bud­get, and tack­ling com­plex projects that oth­er con­trac­tors don’t have the expe­ri­ence or resources to han­dle. Con­tact us today for a paint­ing or floor­ing esti­mate, or give us a call at 9785321414 to learn more.

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