How Does ESD Flooring Work and Why Would You Need It?
Posted May 26, 2020 by Dave Scaturro
In completing a recent emergency project for an electronics facility an ESD Flooring system was a requirement. But what exactly is an ESD Floor, how does it work, and why would an electronics manufacturing facility need it? Keep reading as we share our insight.
What is ESD Flooring?
An ESD Flooring system serves as a conduit for electrical static charge allowing it to discharge to a desired controlled ground point. This directed and intentional flow of electrical current and discharge helps to greatly reduce or potentially eliminate the unwelcome circumstance of an accidental electrostatic discharge - which can damage sensitive electronic equipment during manufacture or cause injury to an unprotected source.
Even the smallest electric discharge can have effects on sensitive electronic equipment. Think about blowing a fuse or circuit breaker in your home. We understand that today’s technology demands usually calls for smaller and more electrostatic-ally sensitive microchip parts and printed circuit boards, so manufacturers have been tasked with developing ESD control and prevention programs to limit failure and damage as part of their quality control and manufacturing processes. Electrostatic buildup can be disastrous for an electronics manufacturing facility. Since nearly any material can cause electrostatic buildup such as (fabric, metals, glass, even our own skin) it's important to use all necessary pre-cautions to avoid it when handling sensitive electronic components.
Common Areas for ESD Flooring Installation
Clean rooms where integrated circuits, hard drives, and other forms of equipment are manufactured and serviced, require pre-cautions such as special footwear, clothing, and floors that provide a safe outlet for ESD. As an example; friction inside a clean room can produce static discharge or buildup that can damage sensitive equipment. Investing in a seamless, epoxy ESD flooring system will save an electronics manufacturing company from having to replace damaged assets.
How Does ESD Flooring Work?
An ESD control floor coating system contains a conductive particle within its structure that allows the special coating to be electrically active in a way where electrical current can travel through it. Think of a CAT5 wire, it’s able to carry electrical charge from one point to another. Most paints or polymer coatings don’t have this function. In an ESD protected area this type of floor works in conjunction with various other ESD protection devices, such as special footwear, clothing, and grounding straps to essentially minimize and control proper grounded discharge.
Why an ESD Floor is Important?
The risks of unwanted static discharge can range from the following:
- Extremely critical (life threatening), occurrences such as unwanted spark generation causing explosive flammable environments.
- Commonly eliminating static discharge nuisance with persons experiencing a mild electric shock to their body.
An ESD Flooring system, when installed and utilized as part of an entire ESD control and prevention program, can work to limit personal injuries and equipment failures contributing to a healthier bottom line.
Alpine Painting’s Specialty Flooring Division is a leader in solving flooring challenges with seamless epoxy ESD flooring systems. Alpine Specialty Flooring has the necessary flooring systems for any environment within any industry. From consultation to product selection all the way through installation our team is with you adhering to regulations and details, while honoring your work schedule. Contact us to set up a free site visit and estimate today.