Don't Be Shocked by These Anti-Static Flooring Facts | Kaloutas

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Don't Be Shocked by These Anti-Static Flooring Facts

Employee working on anti-static flooring in an industrial building. Don't Be Shocked by These Anti-Static Flooring Facts

Don’t Be Shocked by These Anti-Sta­t­ic Floor­ing Facts

If you’re like many clients, you might be curi­ous about anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing and its char­ac­ter­is­tics. When search­ing for the right floor­ing for a space in your facil­i­ty, you want some­thing safe and durable that also keeps the room com­fort­able. This can be dif­fi­cult, espe­cial­ly when you get into some of the tech­ni­cal fea­tures floor­ing mate­ri­als can have.

What to Know About Anti-Sta­t­ic Flooring

What is Anti-Sta­t­ic Flooring?

An anti-sta­t­ic floor can be used in a range of busi­ness spaces. If you have equip­ment that is sen­si­tive to sta­t­ic charges, or man­u­fac­tur­er com­put­er chips or have sol­vents or flam­ma­bles in your facil­i­ty you will ben­e­fit from ESD floor­ing.

But what is anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing, exact­ly? Anti-sta­t­ic or ESD (elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charge) floor­ing inhibits elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charge from occur­ring. Most peo­ple refer to elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charge as a shock.” Think of all the times you’ve touched a sur­face and felt a small shock – the shock is more intense if you’ve been tread­ing upon car­pet for a while. Anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing is designed to pre­vent this phe­nom­e­non from happening.

An anti-sta­t­ic floor impedes elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charges from get­ting start­ed. The rapid surge of elec­tric­i­ty (called ESD or elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charge) hap­pens when cer­tain objects come into direct con­tact with anoth­er object. These do not usu­al­ly cause harm but can be star­tling, annoy­ing, and, in some instances, slight­ly dan­ger­ous (more on that later).

ESD floors are made from a com­bi­na­tion of mate­ri­als, such as car­bon fibers. These can help move the elec­tro­sta­t­ic charge from the per­son through the floor to an earth ground, reduc­ing the instances of sta­t­ic dis­charge made from con­tact. This type of floor­ing can come in a range of dif­fer­ent styles to suit everyone’s per­son­al tastes.

Anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing sys­tems are based on the same indus­tri­al sys­tems that make up non ESD floors, mak­ing it very durable. These floors are com­mon­ly used in man­u­fac­tur­ing spaces, where floors get a lot of traf­fic and can dete­ri­o­rate faster than in oth­er spaces.

How Do Anti-Sta­t­ic Floors Work?

It’s com­mon to won­der how ESD or anti-sta­t­ic floors work. Put sim­ply, they are pos­i­tive­ly charged to draw the neg­a­tive charges that build up on a per­son and dis­si­pate the built-up sta­t­ic elec­tric­i­ty to the ground, pass­ing it through the floor. In oth­er words, they ground the elec­tri­cal charge. This ground­ing pre­vents the elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charge from build­ing up and poten­tial­ly discharging.

To go into more detail, anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing includes con­duc­tive mate­ri­als to imme­di­ate­ly move built-up charges, includ­ing those pro­duced from walk­ing on the sur­face. If you wear con­duc­tive footwear when someone’s foot touch­es the anti-sta­t­ic coat­ing, a chain reac­tion occurs that moves the charge down through the floor and away. One of the most com­mon designs involves the charge going to a con­duc­tive primer filled with car­bon. This design has a shal­low resis­tance lev­el. From there, the charge trav­els to cop­per tape buried under the coat­ing. This cop­per tape then con­nects with a safe earth­ing point.

Impor­tant­ly, all anti-sta­t­ic raised floor tiles will need an earthing/​grounding point. This is usu­al­ly a high­ly con­duc­tive met­al rod that is deep in the slab of the build­ing, but it can also be a plug sock­et, steel beam, or some­thing else. ANSI stan­dards state that you need a cop­per tape or sim­i­lar tied to an earth ground for every 1,000 Sq. Ft. of floor. Your floor­ing com­pa­ny can help you fig­ure out what you need and deter­mine anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing prices.

Why Types of Actions Pro­duce Static?

Near­ly every type of move­ment will lead to some buildup of sta­t­ic elec­tric­i­ty, how­ev­er small. As men­tioned ear­li­er, a few steps on the car­pet in an office can build up sta­t­ic elec­tric­i­ty. So can larg­er move­ments, such as heavy machin­ery or equip­ment mov­ing on ware­house floors. Even the mov­ing parts of a machine in a fac­to­ry can cause elec­tro­sta­t­ic buildup.

It’s true that most elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charges aren’t dan­ger­ous – most peo­ple can’t even detect them, as they are usu­al­ly under 3,500 volts. How­ev­er, some elec­tron­ics and chem­i­cals can be sen­si­tive to dis­charges that humans can’t detect. And there is always the poten­tial for larg­er dis­charges. For ref­er­ence, some sen­si­tive elec­tron­ics can be dam­aged with just 100 volts, which can be gen­er­at­ed by a sin­gle per­son walk­ing across the floor. More­over, a small charge can make a big impact if it sparks a fire. Anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing sys­tems pre­vent even those small­er dis­charges or shocks from occurring.

Where Should Anti-Sta­t­ic Floors Be Used?

For a selec­tion of rea­sons, many indus­tries need anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing to help main­tain a lev­el of safe­ty. Busi­ness­es with flam­ma­ble mate­ri­als and chem­i­cals being used require sta­t­ic-free rooms so that flam­ma­ble pieces do not ignite, caus­ing a dan­ger­ous fire. If you use any flam­ma­ble mate­ri­als or flam­ma­ble chem­i­cals, you need anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing. Pro­cess­ing or man­u­fac­tur­ing chem­i­cals typ­i­cal­ly requires this type of floor­ing. And facil­i­ties that fea­ture explo­sive fog, dust, and vapors can be at risk from elec­tro­sta­t­ic discharge.

Elec­tron­ic com­po­nents are also sen­si­tive to elec­tro­sta­t­ic dis­charge. Should a shock” hap­pen, these elec­tron­ics may be ren­dered use­less. As such, busi­ness­es that pro­duce elec­tron­ic goods should install anti-sta­t­ic flooring.

In addi­tion to these busi­ness­es, sen­si­tive work envi­ron­ments such as air-traf­fic con­trol rooms or hos­pi­tals must take added pre­cau­tions to keep sta­t­ic at bay. Those sen­si­tive work envi­ron­ments need indus­tri­al floor­ing that resists sta­t­ic because of the spe­cial­ized elec­tron­ics they use.

Oth­er indus­tries that may need anti-sta­t­ic floors include mil­i­tary oper­a­tions, pho­to­graph­ic oper­a­tions, opti­cal lens­es, micro­me­chan­ics, pyrotech­nics, muni­tions, lasers, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, biotech, med­ical and sur­gi­cal envi­ron­ments, and some food and bev­er­age environments.

What Are the Ben­e­fits of Esd Flooring?

The biggest advan­tage of anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing is its abil­i­ty to pre­vent the buildup of elec­tro­sta­t­ic charges – but this is far from the only ben­e­fit. Addi­tion­al ben­e­fits of anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing include:

Reduc­ing or Elim­i­nat­ing Sta­t­ic Charges

It’s worth repeat­ing that sta­t­ic charges can be quite dan­ger­ous. In the right con­di­tions, they can cause injury, start a fire, or trig­ger explo­sions. So, anti-sta­t­ic epoxy floor paint can elim­i­nate these risks.

Improves Safe­ty and Reduces Poten­tial Costs

By pre­vent­ing sta­t­ic dis­charges, anti-sta­t­ic floors keep every­one in your facil­i­ty safe. They won’t be shocked by a large dis­charge and are less like­ly to be injured in a fire or explo­sion caused by an elec­tron­ic dis­charge. Even if no one gets injured in a fire or explo­sion, the dam­age it caus­es to your assets could be exten­sive. As such, the ini­tial anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing prices poten­tial­ly save your com­pa­ny a sig­nif­i­cant amount that would be spent on repairs or replac­ing equipment.

Easy Instal­la­tion

Many types of anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing are incred­i­bly easy to install, espe­cial­ly when han­dled by pro­fes­sion­als. And in many cas­es, you can add anti-sta­t­ic epoxy floor coat­ings instead of replac­ing the floor entire­ly, keep­ing costs down.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

No mat­ter the type of floor­ing you choose, you want some­thing that is easy to clean – that’s espe­cial­ly true with anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing, as dirt can reduce its anti-sta­t­ic properties.

In addi­tion to being easy to clean, most ESD floor­ing is also very sim­ple to main­tain. It won’t require spe­cial upkeep oth­er than good house­keep­ing prat­ices. Part of the rea­son anti-sta­t­ic floors are low-main­te­nance is that they don’t flake, peel, warp, cor­rode, or chip like some oth­er types of floors. Their impact resis­tance also helps with maintenance.

Resis­tant and Durable

As with any indus­tri­al floor­ing, anti-sta­t­ic mate­ri­als are high­ly durable. They can han­dle fre­quent use, both by peo­ple and machin­ery, as well as resist major impacts.

Mul­ti­ple Styles Available

Anoth­er great thing about anti-sta­t­ic floors is that you can choose from var­i­ous styles and mate­ri­als. This means that you can get FDA-approved floor­ing that works well in any space, regard­less of phys­i­cal needs and aes­thet­ic preferences.

How to Choose Your Anti-Sta­t­ic Floor

Anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing has many uses, so you will have a vari­ety of choic­es when select­ing yours. The first part of the process is under­stand­ing the require­ments and risks for your spe­cif­ic need – this includes know­ing how elec­tro­sta­t­ic ener­gy is cre­at­ed in your work area. You need to esti­mate your aver­age ESD strength and the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of a shock” in the environment. 

Next, you will want to under­stand the dif­fer­ent ter­mi­nol­o­gy used when dis­cussing sta­t­ic con­trol so that you under­stand the floor­ing you are comparing. 

Ohms are the unit of mea­sure­ment giv­en for the imped­ance or resis­tance of anti-sta­t­ic floors. This term is from the Ger­man physi­cist, Georg Ohm, who found Ohm’s Law. This is the law gov­ern­ing elec­tri­cal flow through con­duc­tors. You will be able to choose from dis­si­pa­tive and con­duc­tive sys­tems. Con­duc­tive floor­ing can resist up to 1 mega Ohm, while sta­t­ic dis­si­pa­tive floor­ing resists 1 mega Ohm to 100 mega Ohms. Air traf­fic con­trol tow­ers, emer­gency call cen­ters, and oth­er mis­sion-crit­i­cal facil­i­ties tend to opt for sta­t­ic dis­si­pa­tive flooring.

Keep Your Facil­i­ty and Team Safe with Anti-Sta­t­ic Floor­ing from Kaloutas

To take advan­tage of all the ben­e­fits that anti-sta­t­ic floor­ing can pro­vide for your facil­i­ty, have Kaloutas install and main­tain ESD floor­ing for you. We can help you eval­u­ate your needs and then install the appro­pri­ate ESD floor­ing for your space. Our floors meet high stan­dards, and their elec­tri­cal prop­er­ties are guar­an­teed for five years.

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