ESD Flooring: Choosing the Right Static Control ESD Flooring
An ESD Flooring Checklist
- Only conductive and static dissipative floors can be grounded. Standard flooring installed with ground strips or conductive adhesive will not offer any static protection.
- Any effective conductive or static dissipative floor can be verified with an ohm meter to determine the electrical resistance of the material. If the material does not pass the ohm meter test than it cannot be grounded.
- Conductive and static dissipative flooring should never require any antistatic sprays or waxes to enhance or maintain performance. The conductivity should be achieved by the actual permanent physical composition of the material.
- The floor should reduce static electricity regardless of relative humidity. Ask the supplier specifically about performance in very dry conditions.
- Never assume that a shock-free environment means a static-free environment. A shock-free environment only means that static charges are below 3500 Volts.
- Match the properties of your floor with the environment where it will be used. There are two main environments: End user/Mission Critical and Electronics Manufacturing and Handling EPAs.
- End User – Mission Critical Environments: The floor must inhibit static buildup in real world conditions on ordinary footwear - without special conductive shoes or shoe straps. When in doubt, ask for independent test data verifying this property. It should be available. The data should come from an installed floor and not from a lab test of new flooring.
- ESD Protected Areas (EPAs) in Electronics Manufacturing: Everyone inside an EPA must be grounded at all times. The floor needs to be properly matched and qualified with the special footwear that will be used in the EPA. Per ANSI/ESD S20.20: The total resistance of the floor plus the person plus the static control footwear must measure below 35 megohms (35,000,000 ohms)
- Do the homework up front. It is much more costly to remove an ineffective floor and replace it than it is to do it right the first time. Any mission-critical space is only as secure as its Achilles’ heel.
- Even if your present electronics are immune to static, if at some point in the future they will be upgraded or replaced with state-of-the-art equipment, then static will be a problem. As with any potential security breach, it is always best to plan ahead.
Rating Different ESD Flooring applications
are you grounded?
|Application/Usage Area||ESD Carpet Tile with Conductive PVC-Free Backing||ShadowFX Modular Carpet Tile||ESD Vinyl Tile (Conductive)||Dissipative SDT Vinyl Tile||ESD Epoxy (Conductive)**||Eclipse EC Rubber Tile and Sheet|
|Mission-Critical Data Centers and Networked Offices||NR*||Ideal||NR||NR||NR||Ideal|
|Mission-Critical Government & NOC||NR*||Ideal||HR||NR||NR||Ideal|
|Electronics Manufacturing ANSI/ESD S20.20||R||R||Ideal||NR||R||
|Offices Inside Electronics Manufacturing or Testing||R||Ideal||R||NR||R||Ideal|
|Engineering Areas in EPAs||R||Ideal||Ideal||NR||R||Ideal|
|R&D & Laboratories||NR*||Ideal||R||NR||NR||Ideal|
|FAA STD 019 Flight Control||NR*||Ideal||NR||NR||NR||Ideal|
Ideal = Highly Recommended
R = Recommended
NR = Not Recommended
* ESD grade carpet tile is not recommended for use in FAA flight areas, data centers, 911 dispatch areas, or communication rooms because it is too conductive. ESD grade carpet tile can measure as low as 2.5 X 10 E4. ESD grade carpet tile with conductive recycled backing does not meet the minimum resistance limits of FAA STD 019e, IEEE 1100-2005, Motorola R56 or ATIS-0600321-2010. Before specifying ESD grade carpet tile in these applications Staticworx recommends reviewing the appropriate grounding standards with a technical resource.
** Static Dissipative Epoxy does not meet the kV rating limits of ANSI/ESD S20.20 in all the applications shown above.
*** Eclipse EC Rubber is the only ESD flooring certified as Class-0 Qualified.
Attention ESD Flooring Specifiers:
The Construction Specifier Magazine
Electrostatic discharge can mean risks for personal safety, communication errors, and damage to expensive electronic equipment. Specifying the right floor for sensitive environments requires not only knowledge of this phenomenon, but also the available products. by Dave Long.
Want to learn about ESD flooring by watching some short videos?
These videos are part of Dave Long's AIA CES course. They cover subjects like static dissipative versus conductive flooring, testing static free flooring to standards like ANSI and NFPA, overviews on how floors are made conductive and anti static.
Click here to view all of our ESD flooring videos.