In our short Static Bursts podcast episodes, we discuss all aspects of static-control (ESD) flooring. We provide case studies with emphasis on problems we’ve encountered in the field – and discuss how the problem was resolved and why the solution worked. We provide up-to-date news and technical information, and occasionally dedicate a podcast to answering specific ESD flooring questions from architects and contractors and facilities owners/managers.
Static Bursts is hosted by Dave Long, founder and president of StaticWorx, Inc. If you need help or would like to talk with Dave or one of our technical reps, give us a call: 617-923-2000.
If you have a question you’d like us to address, get in touch here.
Meet Your Host: Dave Long
Dave is founder and CEO of StaticWorx, Inc., a U.S.-based supplier of static-control flooring products that protect electronic components from harm caused by electrostatic discharge (ESD).
Episode 21: Installing ESD Flooring: Avoiding Pitfalls (Part 2)
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Episode 20: Pitfalls of ESD Flooring Selection: How to Avoid Flooring Failure (Part 1)
When choosing an ESD floor, it’s important to consider all the variables related to your specific application. Will you roll heavy loads on the floor? Do you need noise attenuation, anti-fatigue characteristics, or reflectivity? How long do you plan to stay in the building? When evaluating options, remember that the cost per square foot is only one part of the total cost of owning the floor. Installation, labor, maintenance, operational downtime add up – in the short term as well as over time.
Most people looking to purchase an ESD floor are starting at ground zero, with little knowledge about the product. In this two part series, Dave and Rick discuss the key criteria for selecting an ESD floor. Part one covers the application (environment and work performed in the space); aesthetics; installation methods; and maintenance requirements.
StaticWorx was asked to evaluate a failing floor in an electronics manufacturing facility. After a fire the client had purchased a new ESD vinyl tile floor. Three months into the installation the floor was already lifting. In addition to unmitigated vapor, the building had been built using tilt-up construction. Silicone bond-breakers – sprayed on the concrete to keep the wall slabs from adhering to the subfloor – contaminated the concrete, preventing the tile from adhering properly. As the building was operational and the client wanted to avoid shutdown, Dave recommended interlocking ESD vinyl tile. StaticWorx installed a 10’ x 10’ test patch. Two months later, the interlocking floor was intact. StaticWorx covered the entire floor in the operational facility with interlocking vinyl tile – without the client’s losing a day of production.
In this episode, Dave and Rick explain how ESD chairs work and why they act as a bridge between two perfect methods of grounding (an ESD floor and wrist strap). The ESD floor grounds and prevents charge generation while people walk. Once the person sits and lifts his or her feet, they are no longer grounded. There may be a wrist strap at the work station, but until the person puts it on they’re a live wire. If they touch a component – or expensive prototype, for example – before putting on the wrist strap, any charge on their body will transfer to the component. ESD chairs ground the person in the chair, prevent charge generation and protecting against random ESD events.
Properly qualifying an ESD floor requires more than testing for electrical resistance. We used to believe that the conductivity of a floor predicted its potential for static charge generation. We now know that resistance and charge generation are independent qualities: one does not relate to the other. A floor can be conductive and still generate static electricity. We also know that flooring materials perform differently with different types of footwear. In this episode, Dave and Rick discuss why it’s important to test the floor as part of an integrated ESD flooring/footwear system – and to test for both conductivity and charge generation.
Three types of conductive adhesives are typically used to install ESD floors: epoxy, acrylic, and pressure-sensitive. Each adhesive has advantages and disadvantages. Dave explains the differences, details pros and cons, and discusses why – and in what circumstances – one adhesive might be preferable over another. The fourth option is to choose a glue-free installation, such as interlocking ESD tiles. Interlocking tiles are chemical-free, have no fumes or mess, and can be installed in a functional workspace without disrupting operations.
With StaticWorx ESD flooring, you never have to choose between performance and aesthetics. Our beautiful, high quality ESD carpet tile, vinyl, EC rubber tile and sheet goods, and ESD epoxy floors are as beautiful as they are functional.