FAQ: Why not buy cheaper VCT tile?

VCT tile vs. SVT tile: lifetime cost vs. effectiveness

Heel straps worn

ESD Heel Straps: Some form of ESD footwear must be used in conjunction with ESD vinyl floors.

Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT), such as static-dissipative vinyl (SDT) is comprised of ordinary static-generating PVC, in combination with fillers like clay and limestone, and a chemical, known as an amine, to provide static-dissipative properties. While amines make the floor groundable, regular VCT is highly static generating. When shoe soles contact and separate from VCT as people walk, static builds. To prevent static from building on people or objects—such as rolling carts or chairs—the floor must be waxed regularly, with three to five coats of antistatic polish. And everyone who walks on the VCT floor must wear special static-protective footwear—ESD shoes or conductive heel or toe straps, a requirement that is routine in electronics manufacturing facilities, but would be difficult if not impossible to enforce in most mission-critical spaces.

Cost

Floor cleaning

Routine waxing can add substantial maintenance costs to a VCT floor.

The initial cost of VCT is low. The ESD wax necessary to keep the tile from generating static is expensive. Maintenance costs quickly accumulate, negating any money saved on the original VCT. In other words, while the initial investment is small, the total, or long-term, cost of ownership is much higher than products requiring less maintenance. Conductive solid vinyl ESD tile (SVT) has a higher initial price tag, but SVT, uniform throughout the thickness of the tile, requires only periodic buffing to maintain its appearance.

Static-Control

ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014 requires a system resistance measurement below 1.0 X 10E9 ohms. System resistance is the aggregate resistance of the person, footwear, flooring, floor coatings like waxes and polish, and the connection to ground. As the primary ESD flooring surface, the ESD wax must measure well below one billion ohms (< 1.0 X 10E9) at all times. Manufacturers of ESD wax, however, guarantee a measurement of < 1.0 x 10E10 ohms only on newly applied waxes.
Resistance test - system RTG
In the qualification phase—before purchasing a VCT floor—the material should be tested for system resistance, which must measure under 1.0 x 10E9 to meet ESD Standards.

ESD S20.20 also requires a walking body voltage, tested per STM 97.2, to measure under 100 volts—a standard static-dissipative VCT tile does not and cannot meet this criterion.

Resistance test and walking body voltage test
VCT floors must be tested regularly to ensure that they meet ESD industry standards for resistance and walking body voltage.

Permanent Static Control

Waxing

Any ESD flooring material that gains electrical properties from antistatic sprays or special waxes does not provide permanent static protection. Once the coating wears off, the floor loses its static-protective properties, exposing electronics to the hazards of random static discharge. There is no visible indication that the wax or polish is no longer performing. Unless the maintenance crew or someone in the facility is committed to testing the floor on a regular basis, there’s no way to know when the floor has stopped functioning. For peace of mind, it’s best to avoid these materials.

This article, published by In Compliance Magazine, details the key 2014 revisions in ANSI/ESD S20.20.

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More FAQs

Image shows a completed ESD carpet installation with a gray carpet with yellow and blue accent stripes. The low part of some wooden desks can be seen. The title What is the Sweet Spot? is displayed prominently in bold white text against a square of dark grey Planx flooring in the center of the image

What is “the sweet spot”?

The ideal electrical resistance for an ESD floor is not a number; it’s a range. This brief post cites the ideal range, supported by a clear visual image.

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StaticWorx high-performance static-control floors protect electronic components, explosives, and high-speed computers from damage caused by static electricity. ESD flooring is part of a system. Choices should always be based on objective, researched evidence. When you partner with us, we look at all possible items that may need to integrate with the floor, and, focusing on your goals and objectives, help you find the right floor for your application.

Play Video

StaticWorx high-performance static-control floors protect electronic components, explosives, and high-speed computers from damage caused by static electricity. ESD flooring is part of a system. Choices should always be based on objective, researched evidence. When you partner with us, we look at all possible items that may need to integrate with the floor, and, focusing on your goals and objectives, help you find the right floor for your application.

Vermont Collection/ESD Planx

Staticworx Vermont Collection

“I’m so glad we were able to find an attractive solution that didn’t leave us with some run-of-the-mill ugly disaster.”

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The FAA has updated its standard for facilities and electronic equipment. StaticWorx meets all requirements for ESD flooring.

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Vermont Collection/ESD Planx

Staticworx Vermont Collection

“I’m so glad we were able to find an attractive solution that didn’t leave us with some run-of-the-mill ugly disaster.”

Share This

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Get in Touch

East Coast: 617-923-2000
Email: [email protected]

We accept these major credit cards.

The FAA has updated its standard for facilities and electronic equipment. StaticWorx meets all requirements for ESD flooring.

Flooring Products

subscribe to newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and occasional updates.

Flooring Products

We accept these major credit cards.

The FAA has updated its standard for facilities and electronic equipment. StaticWorx meets all requirements for ESD flooring.

Share This

Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Get in Touch

East Coast: 617-923-2000
Email: [email protected]

“I’m so glad we were able to find an attractive solution that didn’t leave us with some run-of-the-mill ugly disaster.”

subscribe to newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and occasional updates.

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